H  A  I  K  U     S  P  I  R  I  T
Hosai Ozaki


Even coughing
still all alone

On the shore
when I turn my head
no longer any footprints

When I climb up the hill
all the villages seem
sad to me

"Go and salt the vegetables!"
Mother is this what
I was born for?

To cook beans
I had all day

Head dangling
I am walking disheartened
sorry for everything

Into the winter river
I throw the garbage
and come back

all day long
the shadow of a butterfly

So lonely
to see I open
my five fingers

In the evening
on one leg
a sparrow, hopping

Whistling continually
this morning
in the glowing grove

scissors clicking ~
I'm having a lie in

Not a word today ~
I've pointed to
the shadow of a butterfly

Fantastic breast
and a mosquito!

On the tip of a grass
facing the infinite sky
an ant

At the back of the fog
the sound of water
I'm going there

So alone
I move my shadow
just to see

Denigrate the others?
I wash my spirit
shelling peas

December night
a frozen bed ~
this is all I have

Murders everywhere ~
and yet water
flows in the night

A horse
on a carpet of white frost

Buddha grants me
a few more days
I do the washing


Translation: Gilles Fabre

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