Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Yamaguchi Seishi Haiku Translations by Michael R. Burch

Grasses wilt:
the braking locomotive
grinds to a halt
― Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Published by Haiku Universe, Carpe Diem Haiku, Adas Poetry Alcove, HaikuViet, Form in Formless Times, Purple Pen in Portland

This appears to be one of my most popular translations on the Internet. A google search for the entire haiku text turned up nearly 8,000 results. That’s a lot of cutting and pasting!

Ceaseless chaos―
ice floes clash
in the Soya straits.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Having crossed the sea,
winter winds can never return.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

(The haiku above was written in October 1944 as Kamikaze pilots were flying out to sea.)

Banish the snow
for the human torpedo
now lies exploded.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The sky hangs low
over Karafuto,
as white as the spawning herring.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Green bottle flies
buzzing carrion—
did they just materialize?
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

the cicadas stopped shrilling—
summer gale.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As grief becomes unbearable
someone snaps a nearby branch.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As grief reaches its breaking point
someone snaps a nearby branch.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Trapped in the spider’s web
the firefly’s bulb
blinks out forever.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Trapped in the spider’s web
the firefly’s light
is swiftly consumed.
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags:  Yamaguchi Seishi, haiku, translations, Japanese, grass, grasses, wilt, locomotive, train
Crystal Freda Feb 2019
Blue, vibrant skies
over colors so divine.
Making them so bright
that they shine.

Paved bridges
take you to this escape.
Making you feel warm inside
that make you feel safe.

Every color
bleeding on your eyes.
Making everything beautiful
with those blue, vibrant skies.
onlylovepoetry Aug 2018
would cry
being loved,
when even such tinkling
comes of the loving?

Grasses” by Alfred Kreymborg

we all make lots of love
in the same way as billions of others

grunting huffing noises of neural tissues torn and reborn

but the notes and noises we make, keep, unique no one else’s

the bored and the low thinkers saying “honey, you just wrong,”

the tinkling sounds are the silent mitosis of cells splitting
and then rejoicing rejoining, definable only as unique

so we both weeping, side by side, only we together can
hear the sounds of our life becoming and being,
no one else quite can be so specific
you could be there and still not hear the heat of our love making

would cry
being loved,
by the creative silences we have just written?

we would.  we do.  we are the noisiest lovers ever.  tinkling laughter. creating.

Mary-Eliz Apr 2018
the hushed

its stately grasses
forming a dry

as they
Gusblero Free Apr 2017
in meditation
above your eyelashes

in fingers
I scooped from the meadow
of your fertile valleys

outside the house
drizzle was so down
because love without words
claimed the crown
who grew up on the sidelines of your grasses
Don Moore Dec 2016
The springs bracken fronds swish and sway and yet there is no wind
Lying on the soft verdant grass and observing the fern, there is movement
From between the intense greenness appears a black nose followed by a snout
Shades of grey, with a little black and as the head with observant eyes appears
There is white, although a ***** one, for it is Badger who appears
No announcement, no fanfare, in fact quite the opposite, for he has much to fear
His strong shoulders follow through as he pushes out into the field
He has a muscular body, built for digging and his nose snuffles as he tests the air
Behind him, but a little shy, his sow close by his heels as she enters the scene
For a moment both stand shoulder to shoulder, their noses both a quiver
He is first; he shuffles off into the meadow in search of food, worms and snails
The sow is wary, and well so as her cubs join her at the edge of uncertainty
They, a boy and a girl are not so worried, for life to them is full if surprises now
But they have not yet met the many who would take them for their dinner
Their mother and father are a different game, but presently Fox would like a go
There is weasel and stoat and owl floats above with buzzard and hawk
These hunters all like a youngster of any breed, and if there was chance of dinner
And so, as they gambol and play upon the grasses, their mother stands on watch
These cubs, they must be taught, taught playing does not feed their stomachs
Taught that food is not free and must be hunted each and every night or die
And the food they seek, there are also many others who feel their need to gorge
With one eye above, mother seeks the juicy worm, and tries to teach her cubs
Her youngsters eat all she can deliver, fat juicy snails and the odd slug or two
And then, upon the air although very scant, a smell most awful and rank
It would appear the lord of the hedgerow is nearby, and he will be out hunting
He wears a shiny coat of red; he carries a most bushy tail and fangs of yellow
At this time of year, he will have a family of his own and need extra food
His home is not near, or the Brock badger would know and challenge
Now the sow is worried where her husband is, and if he is near to protect them
The scent becomes harder and her lips peel slowly from her teeth and she hisses
Lifting from the ground over the green grass she dimly spies a red coat skulking
The evening light is falling fast, her eyes are poor, but she can smell her enemy
She hears the pad of his paws as he draws ever near, his coat brushed by grasses
Hissing she draws her cubs to her side, the decision quickly made to fight here
Speedily they run beneath her upraised body, her scent comforting she is mother
And on comes Fox, he’s not so stealthy now, he knows he has been seen
He skirts the trio out on the meadow; he knows she cannot be guarding two
And here he thinks is a quick early evening meal, he is confident, he is Fox
Near and ready he crouches to the ground, choosing his meal with care
Now ready decision made, he rushes in, his jaws open to grab a tender morsel
His eyes are centred on one cub that wanders from his mother’s belly fur
Bam out of the blue Fox is shunted away, the brock has returned, his teeth ready
There’s a fierce tussle and this Fox learns his lesson, to leave Brocks children alone
The male Badger returns his teeth bloodied, his teeth full of fur, but triumphant
His wife greets him, his cubs adore him, then he leads them back to the bracken in the night.
Observations from my childhood, and which led to my book of a Cornish Faery Tale.

— The End —