H  A  I  K  U     S  P  I  R  I  T
Kikaku Takarai

Summer moon nights ~
once in a while
the crackling of bamboos

The beggar ~
he wears sky and earth
as summer clothes

Biten by fleas ~
it was true then
this sword dream?

In the sweet potato leaf
it wraps its life
the drop of water

Eaten by a cat!
the cricket's widow
voices its mourning

Cicada singing ~
the fan vendor
climbs up a tree

Buddha's anniversary ~
the abandoned child
is now an altar boy

Cool evening ~
I'm so lucky I was born
a boy

Who's the idiot
who went to pee
on the fresh snow?

The raucous monkey
shows his white teeth ~
the moon just above the peak


Translation: Gilles Fabre

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