H  A  I  K  U     S  P  I  R  I  T
Takahama Kyoshi


Following the current
a turnip leaf
at full speed

Paulawnia leaf
facing the sun fire
in its fall

Like a flying flag
it seems
the winter sun

In the cold a butterfly
passes at full flight
after its soul

Treetop faraway
struck by the sun
withered moors

Off each object put down
something comes out
that looks like autumn

One word from him
one word from me
autumn deepens, I think

Another year
like slipped
onto the same rod

Up to the stars
they rise again
flocks of birds

Playing ball
she sings a very sad nursery rhyme
with such a great voice

Rain beads
on branches that have no leaves yet!
Early spring

In Kamakura
Great Bhuddha seems to
fear the last cold of winter

I close my eyes
and see myself again as a kid...
spring evening

In the white reflection
of the azalea a red carp
draws its nose out!

At the foot of the mirror
the fly, just born,
motionless, watches itself

Out of  love for you,
longtime ago, a painter died,
sunflowers in bloom!

Evening bats!
a wild-eyed mother,
waits for her kid

They are so light
my old summer clothes
as I have empty pockets...

The monk utters
an unsolvable enigma...
outside, atumn has started

A man is nothing
between seas and continents!
mid autumn...

Only one word
for friends to understand each other...
in the heart of autumn

A No mask
lies sadly on the stage;
autumn has ended

Just after Shiki MASAOKA's death

My poet friend
has died... this morning, already,
the waning moon

Blackbird in the sky:
can't you fly anymore?
first storm

Between two thorns
they have found their place
the bamble branch's buds

Pomegranates are red
and men are courageous
in my home place!

Something has moved
in this reddish-brown bush:
the ear of a cat!

Shaking, it took shelter
in my sleeve:
autumn's butterfly!

Translation: Gilles Fabre

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