with each lightening flash,

each roll of thunder, rice and

the world grow richer

seen in a flash

of lightening, the riverbed

looks utterly dead*

wyoming sky
wyoming sky


*cited in:

 The Spring of My Life and Selected Haiku Kobayashi Issa,

trans:  Sam Hamill

leaf in infancy l
leaf in infancy l

leaf in infancy ii
leaf in infancy ii

You can learn about the pine only from the pine, or about the bamboo only from bamboo.  When you see an object, you must leave your subjective pre-occupation with yourself; otherwise you impose yourself on the object, and do not learn.  The object and yourself must become one, and from that feeling of oneness issues your poetry.  However well phrased it may be, if your feeling is not natural—if the object and our self are separate—then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit. ~ Basho*

On New Year’s Day

each thought a loneliness

as winter dusk descends ~Basho

Along my journey

through this transitory world,

new year’s housecleaning ~Basho

*cited in Issa’s The Year of My life.  Trans: Nobuyuki Yuasa