A Haiku Each Day

Sixty-two hundred and five Syllables a year.

Paraphrases

My paraphrases or interpretations of verses by haiku masters. I can’t call them “translations” because I don’t read Japanese.

Basho

Old pond
A frog jumps in –
Ah, the sound of water.

Lonely road
No traveler to greet
This autumn evening.

Autumn meets winter
Perhaps it’s time
I met my neighbor.

This autumn –
What brings on thoughts of age?
A bird-pierced cloud.

Buson

White chrysanthemum
The scissors hold their snip
An instant.

Dawn –
Last night’s cormorant-dodging fish
Swim to the shallows.

An outdoor art sale
A swallow contributes a dropping
As it flies away.

Dripping nose
Alone at the Go board
Long night, and cold.

The mountain guide
Has nothing to do
With cherry blossoms.

A winter warbler
Long ago in Wang Wei’s hedge
Another.

or perhaps
The winter warbler
Was also in Wang Wei’s hedge
Long ago.

Chiyo-Ni

Rouged lips
Forgotten –
Fresh spring water.

I must find water
My well-bucked held captive
By morning glories.

Issa

Musashi Plain
In it, in an inn,
An insect cage.

The cricket, too
Had to make adjustments.
These city people!

New Year’s treats –
Why not celebrate with them now
On a spring journey?

Stop, thief!
Look at the dewdrops
In the grass.

Mountain vanity:
Make way! Make way!
A cuckoo.

Shiki

The cicada’s drone
Stopped
I saw it fly!

Midsummer
The morning glories reach their height
Deepest blue.

Alone
After the fireworks
Shooting stars.

Felled tree
Dawn comes early
To my window.

Stream bottom
The stones ripple
With the water.

Spring rain
Umbrellas window-shop
At a bookstore.

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