September 18, 2014

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Images and Reflections, Series I

Photographs by Yao Xiang, with accompanying
haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and others

Come out to view
the truth of flowers blooming
in poverty
-- Basho

The new year arrived
in utter simplicity -
and a deep blue sky
-- Issa

Distant mountains
reflected in the eye
of the dragonfly
-- Issa

A flowering plum
and a nightingale's love song
he remains alone
-- Issa

Breakfast enjoyed
in the fine company of
morning glories
-- Basho


Defeated in the fray
By bigger battlers for love...
Tom-cat seeks a mouse.

-- Shiko
(Translated by P. Beilenson)


Plum blossoms:
My spring
Is an ecstacy.
-- Issa


My noontime nap
disrupted by voices singing
rice-planting songs
-- Issa

In seasonal rain
along a nameless river
fear too has no name
-- Buson


Just to say the word
home, that one word alone,
so pleasantly cool
-- Issa

If a west wind blows,
They pile up in the east -
The fallen leaves.
-- Buson
(translated by H. G. Henderson)

In the midst of this world
we stroll along the roof of hell
gawking at flowers
-- Issa

Black Cloudbank Broken
Scatters in the night...Now see
Moon-lighted mountains!
-- Basho
(translated by P. Beilenson)

Brilliant moon,
is it true that you too
must pass in a hurry
-- Issa



This world of dew
is only a world of dew -
and yet . . .
-- Issa

Crossing half the sky,
on my way to the capital,
big clouds promise snow
-- Basho

Lonely silence,
a single cicada's cry
sinking into stone
-- Basho

True obedience:
silently the flowers speak
to the inner ear
-- Onitsura


By that fallen house
The pear-tree stands full-blooming...
An ancient battle-site.

-- Shiki
(translated by P. Beilenson)

Traveling this high
mountain trail, delighted
by violets
-- Basho