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Conor Oberst Sep 2012
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly go the days.
Sunrise, sunset
You wake up then you undress.
It always is the same.
The sunrise and the sunsets
You are lying while you confess, keep trying to explain
the sunrise and the sunsets.
You realized then you forgot what you've been trying to retain.
But everybody knows that it is all about the things
that get stuck inside of your head,
like the song your roommate sings
or a vision of her body as she stretches out on your bed.
She raises her hands in the air, asked you,
when was the last time you looked in the mirror?
'Cause you've changed.
Yeah, you've changed.
Sunrises, sunsets
You're hopeful then you regret.
The circle never breaks.
With a sunrise or a sunset there's a change of heart or address.
Is there nothing that remains
for a sunrise or a sunset?
You're manic and depressed.
Will you ever feel okay?
For a sunrise or a sunset your lover is an actress.
Did you really think she'd stay
for a sunrise or a sunset?
You're either coming or you just left, but you're always on the way
towards a sunrise or a sunset, a scribble or a sonnet.
They are really just the same.
To the sunrise and the sunset,
the master and the servant have exactly the same fate.
It's a sunrise and a sunset
from a cradle to a casket
there is no way to escape
the sunrise and the sunset.
Hold your sadness like a puppet, keep putting on the play.
But everything you do is leading to the point
where you just won't know what to do.
And at that moment you may laugh,
but there is someone there who will be laughing louder than you.
So it's true; the trick is complete.
Become everything you said you never would be.
You're a fool! You're a fool!
Sunrise, sunset, sunrises, sunsets
Sunrise and the sunsets.
Sunrise, sunset
Where are you Arienette?
Where are you Arienette?
Viji Vishwanath Dec 2019
A view just before sunrise
Resembles like a sunset
But the difference is vast
As it is fills with a hope of rays

A view just before sunrise
Is well felt deep inside
When it starts to gleam
With its sun rays

A view just before sunrise
Is a blooming sun of rays
Which fill with bright lights
And make beautiful sights

A view just before sunrise
Is a view of hopes
Excited in full of vibes
With its vibrant colours

A view just before sunrise
Is a one more chance
Given to know the worth of lives
To live with full of senses

A view just before sunrise
Is to be grateful to God’s grace
To be a part of living miracles
Especially in this competitive eras

A view just before sunrise
Is enjoyed well when it rises
And when it rise to its bests
It seems as smiling at us

A view just before sunrise
Is a smiley face of sun
As of a blooming sunflower’s
With its joyful pleasures

A view just before sunrise
Is the waiting periods
To see the rising queen
Reflecting as golden eyes

A view just before sunrise
Is hope of new days
In its blessed paces
For every faces

A view just before sunrise
Helps to plan in advance
To utilise the opportunities
With its best ways

A view just before sunrise
May bless us to rise
With its immense cheers
So all can have its leisures

A view just before sunrise
Is the stipulated time frames
To harvest the best nuts
From the life’s tests

A view just before sunrise  
Is to raise yourselves
To shine as jewel stones
As a sun in yourselves

A view just before sunrise
Is to enjoy the glory of living vibes To make best diamond from coals
So that it lustre in darks

A view just before sunrise
In nutshell, is a glorious shine
As a diamond kept in caves
To brighten the path of ways
A view just before sunrise is a ray of hope with full of opportunities. Utilise your opportunities at its best. And make yourself as a shining sun to brighten the ways wherever you go.
Today this view before sunrise, bring lots of energy to write. Hope all can enjoy the depth.
Crystal Freda Sep 2018
At sunrise,
our eyes meet.
At sunrise,
sand tickles our feet.

At sunrise,
I embrace your hand.
At sunrise,
our love is so grand.

At sunrise,
we lay on the beach.
At sunrise,
the sun is a shade of peach.

At sunrise,
we watch together.
At sunrise,
and onward our lives forever.
Kalen Doleman Sep 2018
That morning i awoke.
I felt the rising sun.
A glimpse of true restoration,
with kings crying, emperors imploring mercy, world living,
earth within.

The light of the rays
throughout magnificent pieces
of hollow stone.
I'm happy.
I'm happy.
The sun it did shine.

The sunrise, it was beautiful,
sitting in between the vast open crests of the mountains.
The sky's color orange.
The mountains a deep pink.

This view was a sensation of the universal language.
And the best part had to be the sun's
fiery,
multicolored,
rays!
Where the glory of this moment,
this sunrise,
originated.

What a bountiful moment.
It was filled with glory and strength.
The firefly lighting
inescapable and somewhat inexpressive.
Because of this, all insecurities melted away.

There was something comforting about this rise.
It was as if it was a message from God.
It had the energy of a new day.

No, not a new day.
Not another day to wake up.
Not ANOTHER PLAIN DAY!

No, this was a "new day".
The beginning of a new era.
That's what this sunlight told me.
Situations will now explode and dissolve.
In a benevolent way.

It said,
Feel the warmth of the sun.
Let it's warm welcoming waves of light
surround and caress your being.
Feel its care and courage.

Connect and let its power become yours.
Once i connected i no longer reflected.
The time for reflection ended.
And being pushed aside,
the time or immortality began.

The invincible
irresistible,
sensational,
nature of the sun brought a new wave.

The nine waves of the sun,
They touched me on that sunrise.
They touched my heart.
Just as they mixed and breed with
the unusually blue but now pink mountains.

The loving amalgamation of sunrise and environment.
It was truly a spectacle to behold.
This was a true sunrise.
The first true sunrise of my life.

THE SUNRISE OF THE NEW DAY.
MAY YOU SEE IT AS WELL!
Sunrise hope poetryofwitness spirit self infinitewaters poetry poetryoflight micropoetry love
Anthony Mayfield Jun 2018
Just to last to a brand-new sunrise
That’s all I ask of me
Just to last to another sunrise
Find out what victory means

Just to last to another sunrise
That’s all I ask of me
Just to gain a stop on this great ride
Towards the victory I seek

I need to last until sunrise
I need the sun to see
That I’m more than my nightly low cries
No more will they define me

I’m fighting for my sunrise
For my last chance to see
A life beyond this shadow
A smile just for me

Just to last to another sunrise
Just to say without forced luck
Good morning, Peaceful Sunrise
Good night, Tearful Dusk
Just to last to another sunrise...
Robyn Johnson Aug 2011
Sunrise.
Soft tendrils of illumination
Caress my already
Sunkissed cheek;
The delicate arch of my back
Is warmed by this lover’s awakening.
Sunrise.
The fingertips of him
Leave no part of me untouched
Bathing me in the balmy radiance
Until my body,
my form,
my very being
is surrounded by an ethereal glow.
Sunrise.
Where each dawning
Brings this
Kismet encounter
Between myself
And Apollo’s rebirth,
Leaving me yearning and
Aching for more.
Sunrise.
The troubles and tribulations
Of yesterday’s woes
Are forgotten---
Left behind
In the twilight;
In the shadows where
This beacon
Dares not tread.
Sunrise.
As I
Stretch my arms
And
Reach for the heavens
I am reminded that
This delicate and alluring daybreak
Is short-lived,
Replaced with haste
By the rose-tinted splendor
Of morning.
Sunrise.
Nicolette D Jan 2013
There's something about a sunrise that intrigues me more than a sunset
Its calming and quiet and signals the rise of all mankind
Hues of blues, blinks of pinks, and passions of purples,
all blended with the cotton clouds that sit long and still

There's something about a sunrise that impresses me more than a sunset
Its sweet and loving, and kisses the birds every morning
Its lets the leaves of the trees and the waves of the sea know the day is ok
It makes me blush and smile because I know my day will start in a while

There's something about a sunrise that upsets me more than a sunset
When the pinks go away, and the purples start to fade
And the blue takes over the sky I cant help but feel despair
because my sunrise is not there
So I go to bed at night with a ping of fright
But I know when I open my eyes I'll see my sunrise,
and my heart will be at peace again

There's something about a sunrise that puts a tear in my eye
But it signals to me that my day is alright
and gives me my morning kiss good-bye
J H Webb Jul 2014
Scarborough circa 1989

Jacqui in the night of the instant sunrise
Raises the morning on her shoulders
Swelling between tears and laughter
She melts words into meaning
and gambles on intuition and power

Jacqui in the night of the instant sunrise
looking back and looking forward
finds the dawn most appealing
and issues commands and warnings
to all those with the inner strength to heed them

Jacqui in the night of the instant sunrise
smiles, and the strength of metal
and the purest of beauty
are forged anew

Into the eyes of this miraculous woman
I enter a new beginning
where wisdom lives, and moves, behind her horizons

Jacqui in the night of the instant sunrise
becomes the centre
where all truths are issued passage
and all lies are refused

Jacqui in the night of the instant sunrise
blends courage and compassion
into hues of fine precision
and automatic weapons

Jacqui in the night of the instant sunrise
spreads warmth like a familiar blanket
and moves the day by her power
just as it moves her.
James H. Webb
Clay Face Nov 2019
I see the sunrise over sin,
Repress what I did once again.
Shadows me like its prey,
Lurching out of me eagerly.

I see the sunrise over sin,
It’s boiled over once again.
Scolding from white hot shame,
My guilt has the power to lame.

I see the sunrise over sin.
Push it down before it begin.
The moon rise over blame,
She brings clarity and aim.

I see the sunrise over sin,
Connects us all a kin.
Judge others harshly without perceptivity,
Ignorant of the hypocrisy.

I see the sunrise over sin,
Should **** someone but who’s in?
Let’s all perish together again,
Cleanse this place of our contagion.

I see the sunrise over sin.
Let’s live samsara again.
Improve from the last time.
Not just a rhyme.
Alex Hunter May 2016
sunrise, sunset
birds fly, land, and fret
doctors mend, treat and heal
write wake, write and feel.

sunrise, sunset
the fish swims while the parrot pecks,
the bees nestle back into their hives
as the moon lifts, and the sun dives.

sunrise, sunset
the diaries cease to forget
when all go back to rest
with the sunrise, sunset.

so as the babies mumble and the children cry,
the world lives and nature thrives.
the mother yawns and resets
with the sunrise and the sunset.
my first poem ever
Wuji Jun 2012
I want to find my Alaskan Sunrise.
Her appearance rare but burned into memory.
Whose warmth begins a new era in time.
Doesn't last long but neither does high tide.
Her beauty is an Alaskan Sunrise.
Burns away evils of the past.
Replacing my thoughts with a warmth that will last.
The light at the end of the month,
Tunnels of darkness a tricky labyrinth.
But I will find that Alaskan Sunrise,
All in good time,
As I wait out the dark,
Dreams of her warmth,
Warms the hollow tree's bark.
My Alaskan Sunrise will melt the dark ice cold,
Erase the old,
Replace with gold,
Hell, I'm already sold.
Alaskan Sunrise,
All in good time.
I can wait in the darkness.
Pavel Popov Jun 2016
In search of sunrise
we all dance
while music moves us
in a sense
in search of sunrise
i will be
untill  your sun  rays
shine on me
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
light in her eyes
reflect the sky
just looking at
makes me feel high

and when she speaks
can't help but listen
seven notes of music
started kissing

more songs to sing
more words to say
without her touch
won't last a day

i need her hands
holding me tight
daydream all day
through out the night

searching for her
without compromise
inspires me like
search of sunrise

i may be crazy
a paid price
time after time
i see sun rise

daybreak again
sun's coming up
she's still asleep
don't wake her up

when the time comes
to our delight
both me and her
will find new day's light
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In search of sunrise
we all dance
while music moves us
in a sense
in search of sunrise
i will be
untill  your sun  rays
shine on me
Noah Jan 2015
My favorite sun is the one during sunrise because it looks like it's on fire.
it reminds me of the viciousness of the world,
the power of space,
the power of space

My favorite sun is the one during sunrise because it doesn't burn
as much to look at
and it doesn't burn as much when I step outside
and I can drive without sunglasses on and breathe in the air and hold my coffee and look at that rising sun and I can feel
as small and insignificant as I need to
It feels good
I feel better
I burn my tongue on my coffee and spill some on my sleeve
it gets on my fingers but I don't rush to the sink's cold water
I stand and stare at the sun and feel it's heat
and it's like we're holding hands

My favorite sun used to be the one during sunset
but that one is death and the end and sunrise is
beginning and reincarnation and the comfort that
there is always a second chance
and I know of course that that is not the case, that is not true
but I let myself feel it anyway because it's warm

Warm like my bathtub, which I turn too hot and burrow in
and sunrise makes me want to curl under the bubbles and never come out
I do that sometimes
Shut my eyes
cover my ears so everything's quiet and dry there
and drop until my lips and nose are the only things above the water

I lay there for minutes and they feel like hours
and I hear the quiet drum of my heartbeat and breathe with it
and just like watching the sunrise I feel small
and it's good

Sometimes it's different and dark
and I cling to the sides of the tub and push and pin myself as far down as I can
I curl my toes until they cramp
and squeeze my eyes so tight bright lights flicker behind the lids
And try to escape the cold between my shoulder blades, knurled and knotted at the base of my neck
and just like watching the sunset I feel like I'm dying
and it's good
Katelyn Apr 2019
Walking alone
In the early morning.
Thoughts clash around;
While the melodies of birds,
Never reach my ears.
I am a cold sunrise
I am a tranquil storm

Staring at my lifeless phone,
The scarred screen sullied;
No one checking up.
I trudge along aimlessly,
Contemplating, calculating.
I am a cold sunrise
I am a tranquil storm

The blinding ball of fire
Climbs higher,
Yet the warmth never reaches.
My bare arms become littered
With heinous horripilation.
I am a cold sunrise
I am a tranquil storm

The grainy sand
Beneath my fumbling feet,
Is course with broken shells
Poking and prodding,
Yet I am numb to the pain.
I am a cold sunrise
I am a tranquil storm

Because a cold sunrise always sets
And a tranquil storm destroys without a sound
This is an older one
Em MacKenzie Apr 2017
The sunrise greets the morning dew,
to paint the sky with a vibrant hue.
The last night has passed and a new days has come,
advertised perfectly by a morning’s sun.
Alarm clock birds hold no button to “snooze,”
nothing left from yesterday, so now nothing left to lose.
Go hesitantly wipe the sleep from your eyes,
and politely greet the oncoming sunrise.

The blissful sunset that once held the night,
sped off within our starry eyes so fast.
The brilliant, blinding, shining light,
tragically drifted off, lost in the past.
It separates the long days from the glorious dreams,
and divides them into hostile, opposing teams.
A sunrise and it’s rays can always carry hope,
that maybe one day it’s possible to move on.
Either surprise fairy tale, or tasteless joke,
maybe my sense of humour is just somewhat wrong.

So remember to always bless a sunrise,
but never, ever more than a sunset.
Both light up the passing, fading skies,
that cover our shaking regret.
At night, we all strive only to peacefully sleep,
to **** the hours before the sun makes horizon’s leap.
Theron Aidan Feb 2013
I sat curled up in the closet, my knees tucked up into my chest and my arms wrapped tightly around them. The more pain I felt, the tighter I clutched my knees to my chest, my fingernails digging into my skin, breaking it, hoping, with my blood, to make the hole stop throbbing, stop hurting, if only for a few minutes, a few seconds. The throb subsided, dulled, but didn’t go away. Silent tears rolled down my cheeks as another aching sob built deep in my chest, threatening to explode any second. The pressure built, higher and higher in my throat, the pain pushing its way to the surface, looking for a way out. My stomach tightened and convulsed as the sob broke surface, screaming out of my chest like a freight train, allowing the whole world to be privy to my most private pain, privy to the anguish that comes from losing something so dear to you that, when it goes, it takes a piece of your soul, and all of your heart, with it. As the last of my air escaped, my sob turned into a soft, pathetic whimper, like that of a dog sitting at the door when his Master leaves. Depleted of that life-giving substance, oxygen, my body and mind did that automatic thing: breathing. Air ripped through my mouth and down to my lungs, digging its wicked claws into the walls of my throat its entire way. A soft inward whine echoed up from the abyss of my chest just before my lungs were again filled to capacity and another sob burst forth, screaming my agony to the dark walls of the closet I had sheltered myself in.

Eventually, like always, numbness came. It worked its way up through my limbs, a sweet coolness working its way through my burning body. It started in my toes and feet, the furthest and therefore already dullest part of me. Its icy fingers began to massage their way up my ankles and calves next, pausing at my knees to work through the weakness there. I began to feel it work its way up my fingers next, cooling the burn that had been left by her fingers. It followed the paths that she used to trace up my arms, feeling nothing like her fingers’ tender caress. It moved its way up my thighs, chasing the paths her lips used to pursue on their way to my tender core, icing the burns left there. The ice flowed past my elbows, up my biceps, to my shoulders, still following her lips. Up my stomach and abs, along my ribs, over my chest, it searched out the heart that was no longer there. Its icy fingers took a firm hold of my chest and continued their ascent, up my neck and along my chin, gently caressing my cheeks, my nose, playing gently through my hair. And finally, the face, her face, that had been haunting me since I’d stepped into that closet, was frosted over and replaced with the grey haze that meant that I was able to unwrap my arms from around my knees and stand again.

I stood, then, and let myself out. I went to stand in front of the sliding glass door. It was sunrise. I’d sat in there another full night, hiding from the memory of her, hiding from her face, from everything that reminded me of her. I sighed and returned my attention to the sunrise. It was ablaze with oranges and reds and yellows, fire working its way across the sky, flames dancing in the sunrise clouds, heralding a new day. The light was streaming in through the windows, the hopeful light of yet another day. A soft breeze was playing through the aspens that were planted in strategic locations in the sidewalk five stories below. A woman jogged past, dressed in the typical black spandex sweatpants with white stripes running down the sides, accompanied by a tight tank top that revealed far more of the silicone masses, that her stock-broker husband no doubt paid for with his far-too-large Christmas bonus, than was truly necessary for a morning jog. His bonus probably paid for that nose-job that she was sporting as well. I wondered briefly why she was running. I was sure that her husband could probably afford liposuction for her. She jogged around the corner, taking my brief distraction with her, and I was left to ponder the sun rising on yet another day.

I looked around my room, seeing and not seeing the faceless picture frames lining the walls, their emptiness a shadowy reflection of my soul. A soft rage suddenly erupted from somewhere deep inside of me and I found myself tearing the empty frames from their perches upon the wall. Her face stared up at me from the empty, shattered glass that littered the floor. Her eyes haunted me in my rage as I trampled the broken glass, pulling my hair and screaming at the top of my lungs, wordless screams of anguish. My unclad feet began to drip blood onto the glass, hiding the green that was staring up at me, making her flee from the pools of glass that lay strewn upon the floor.

I turned my attention back to the sunrise. Opening the door, I stepped out onto the balcony. A sunrise this beautiful might have once moved me to tears, but the numbness was as paralyzing as it was relieving. All and any emotion was gone. My life was devoid of meaning now. I climbed onto the railing and steadied myself. I waited for the nausea and vertigo that normally came with heights to come, but it didn’t. I looked down, gazing at the sidewalk five stories below. The wind swept up, catching my hair in its grasp, and making me wonder for the first time what it would be like to fly. I spread my arms, my wings, and allowed the warm morning breeze to wash over them. It had a warming effect on my numb body, breaking the ice that had just recently formed all over my body. Her face came back into focus, obscuring the view of the street and the sidewalk below.

My mind, so tattered and torn with grief, brought me back to our last morning together. We had been up most of the night before, making love, our bodies moving in perfect synchronicity throughout the night until they had finally arched in ****** together leaving us sleeping peacefully in each others’ arms. Somehow, we’d still woken up with the sunrise, a blazing red and orange one, much like the one that I was staring at now. She had looked at me with a passionate fire burning in her eyes, softened by a tenderness in her cheeks, and told me that she loved me, that she wanted to stay with me forever. Our fingers entwined, I looked in her eyes and told her that nothing would make me happier. Our lips met then, our tongues entwining and our pulses racing as our bodies moved as one.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, finally allowing myself to succumb to my memories, the happy ones she and I had made during our time together. I held onto them, allowing them to cushion me as only her love could.
David Montgomery Aug 2016
Shelter me like a mother hen shelters her young,
hide me in an embrace,
one not tangled with strangling strings that cut or twist the knife,
but offer an embrace that brings healing and hope.
Cut the noose,
untie the rope.

Shade me like oaks that have grown strong through
seasons endured, through fires long since come and gone,
be like moonlight to guide me safely to harbor.
Be faithful, be kind, be true.

I will bow my back,
and spend my strength to love you,
until we inherit silver,
and our eyes lose sight of seeing clearly,
your heart will always be clear,
and mine clearly for you.

Where are you darling lover?
I hate that others have distracted
and kept you from me,
I hate that I have been lied to by so many
who promised diamonds,
only to to give ashes,
and lashes,
and sorrow.

I love you one I do not know,
and some day I will show you so.
I love you from Sunrise to Sunrise.

Don't make me wait love, I ache for you.
I need you near, be faithful, be kind, be true.
Be here.

(c) DM 2016
I hope she knows I am waiting for her.
Dallas Hogue Feb 2015
I wonder,
If the sunrise ever looks down on our inhabitants,
And holds it's breathe as the beauty of life overwhelms even that of the sky
Attineo Jan 2015
I will watch you here;
I will keep you safe with me
Until the sunrise,
When it spears the eye with light,
Death and dark fleeing behind.
I am not your sunrise lover.
I am 10pm
after a hard days labor.
Dinners cooked and kitchens cleaned.
Lazy hands trace
limp bodies.
Breath softens and bodies roll.

But I am not your sunrise lover

I am midnight moon
high in the sky
eyes thrown back and
thighs open wide.
Sweat drips
breath thick
blood rushing in our lips
body quivers
spirits moan

But I am not your sunrise lover

I am 2am
secrets whispered through
heavy voices and drooping eyes
true selves revealed
under the cloak of night.
Bodies held close
-which is yours?
-which is mine?
It doesn't really matter
I'll be gone before dawn
Because I am not your sunrise lover...
Aaron Combs Dec 2018
Chicago Sunrise (2020) by A.R. Combs

This, this song I made you, let it pierce your heart,
like the silver moon earrings, I gave you.

Hear my voice, close your eyes,

Let me hold you on high.
Let me hold you on high.

Like the Kansas fields that outnumber the stars,
let's walk on the wheat fields of gold, for even
if I can't forgive you, my heart will freely love you.

Over and over,

like red Georgia Peaches,  like Florida Beaches,
wave after wave, for I can show you the world.
Run with imagination, let it all sweep you away.  
For the diamonds at dusk, are waiting for us.

For like the Chicago sunrise, let the waves of it's sunrise,
sing you back to life, until you are alive and washed by dreams.

Embrace, hold on, like a California dream, pretend it's just me,
like the ring on your finger, let this be, let this be,
a time between you and me, like your silver moon earrings.

For if you harden your heart, lets go back to one,
let me be like your silver moon earrings,

let me hold you on high.
let me hold you on high.
For her
Alyanne Cooper May 2014
“If you could be anywhere in the world

At this exact moment,

Where would you choose to be?”

I choose the easternmost point

Of Acadia Maine at sunrise.

Cold, salty ocean spray in my face,

Warm thermos of cocoa in my hands

And the promise of a new day

Being made right before my very eyes.

What could be more reassuring?

What could be more solidifying?

To know that no matter

What happened in the days or weeks

Or months or years or decades

Before,

Today, right now, at this exact moment,

It is all behind you,

It is all in your past.

And that sunrise you’re watching

Over cresting crashing white topped waves

In the cool breeze of morning

With the scent of dirt and earth and trees

Carried on the wind that also brings

The call of the morning dove and thrush

And Phoebe-bird,

Is the promise you’ve been waiting for.

The promise that you’re gonna be okay

Because today, today is a new day.
Julie Grenness Mar 2016
Oh, bucolic pastorale,
Dawn brings a carnival,
Golden-pink, sunrise hues,
What a wonder for our view,
Dawn draws back her veil,
Night vanishes, sunlight's grail,
Our skies aflame,
End nocturnal games,
Oh, bucolic pastorale,
Dawn brings her carnival.
Feedback welcome.
Jake Apr 2014
There is so much about life I want to experience.
So many places I want to see.
So much I want to accomplish.
So forget that old cliche sunrise to sunset.
Because who wants to waste time sleeping.
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Zen Death Haiku & Related Translations of Oriental Poems

In what may be called "Zen death haiku" and other forms of jisei (death poems), life on earth is often compared to dew, to a wind-blown petal, to a tree shedding its leaves, to an empty shell, to melting snow or ice, etc.

Brittle cicada shell,
little did I know
that you were my life!
—Shuho (?-1767), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Our world of dew
is a world of dew indeed;
and yet, and yet ...
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Both victor and vanquished are dewdrops:
flashes of light
briefly illuminating the void.
—Ouchi Yoshitaka, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Like dew glistening
on a lotus leaf,
so too I soon must vanish.
—Shinsui (1720-1769), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Let this body
be dew
in a field of wildflowers.
—Tembo (1740-1823), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My aging body:
a drop of dew
bulging at the leaf-cliff.
—Kiba (-1868), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Like a lotus leaf’s evaporating dew,
I vanish.
—Senryu (-1827), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

This world?
Moonlit dew
flicked from a crane's bill.
—Eihei Dogen Kigen (1200-1253) loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Seventy-one?
How long
can a dewdrop last?
—Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Dewdrops beading grass-blades
die before dawn;
may an untimely wind not hasten their departure!
—Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dewdrops beading blades of grass
have so little time to shine before dawn;
let the autumn wind not rush too quickly through the field!
—Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Outside my window the plums, blossoming,
within their curled buds, contain the spring;
the moon is reflected in the cup-like whorls
of the lovely flowers I gather and twirl.
—Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To what shall we compare this world?
To moonlit dew
flicked from a crane’s bill.
—Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
nightfall
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Unaware it protects
the hilltop paddies,
the scarecrow seems useless to itself.
—Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Since time dawned
only the dead have experienced peace;
life is snow burning in the sun.
—Nandai (1786-1817), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Like blocks in the icehouse,
unlikely to last
the year out...
—Sentoku (1661-1726), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Bury me beneath a wine barrel
in a bibber’s cellar:
with a little luck the keg will leak.
—Moriya Senan (?-1838), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Having been summoned,
I say farewell
to my house beneath the moon.
—Takuchi (1767-1846), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Learn to accept the inevitable:
the fall willow
knows when to abandon its leaves.
—Tanehiko (1782-1842), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

All evening the softest sound―
the cadence of the white camellia petals
falling
―Ranko Takakuwa (1726-1798), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stillness:
the sound of petals
drifting down softly together ...
―Miura Chora (1729-1780), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

White plum blossoms―
though the hour grows late,
a glimpse of dawn
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The poem above is believed to be Buson's jisei (death poem) and he is said to have died before dawn.

Lately the nights
dawn
plum-blossom white.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is a second interpretation of Buson's jisei (death poem).

In the deepening night
I saw by the light
of the white plum blossoms
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is a third interpretation of Buson's jisei (death poem).

Returning
as it came,
this naked worm.
—Shidoken (?-1765), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

There is no death, as there is no life.
Are not the skies cloudless
And the rivers clear?
—Taiheiki Toshimoto (-1332), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

All five aspects of my fleeting human form
And the four elements of existence add up to nothing:
I bare my neck to the unsheathed sword
And its blow is but a breath of wind ...
—Suketomo (1290-1332), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Had I not known I was already dead
I might have mourned
my own passing.
—Ota Dokan (1432-1486), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

I wish only to die
swiftly, with my eyes
fixed on Mount Fuji.
—Rangai (1770-1845), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A strident cricket
accompanies me
through autumn mountains.
—Shiko (1788-1845), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The cherry orchard’s owner
becomes compost
for his trees.
—Utsu (1813-1863), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn ends,
the frogs find their place
in the earth.
—Shogetsu (1829-1899), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The night is clear;
the moon shines quietly;
the wind strums the trees like lyres...
but when I’m gone, who the hell will hear?
Farewell!
—Higan Choro aka Zoso Royo (1194-1277), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I entered the world empty-handed
and now leave it barefoot.
My coming & going?
Two uncomplicated events
that became entangled.
—Kozan Ichikyo (1283-1360), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Brittle autumn leaves
crumble to dust
in the freezing wind.
—Takao (?-1660), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This frigid season
nothing but the shadow
of my corpse survives.
—Tadatomo (1624-1676), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My life was mere lunacy
until
the moon shone tonight.
Tokugen (1558-1647), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

“Isn’t it time,”
the young bride asks,
“to light the lantern?”
Ochi Etsujin (1656-1739), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

With the departing year
I have hidden my graying hair
from my parents.
Ochi Etsujin (1656-1739), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I wish to die
under the spring cherry blossoms
and April’s full moon.
Ochi Etsujin (1656-1739), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Once again
the melon-cool moon
rises above the rice fields.
—Tanko (1665-1735), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

At long last I depart:
above me are rainless skies and a pristine moon
as pure as my heart.
—Senseki (1712-1742), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Cuckoo, lift
me up
to where clouds drift...
Uko (1686-1743), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Sixty-six,
setting sail through tranquil waters,
a breeze-blown lotus.
Usei (1698-1764), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Is it me the raven screeches for
from the spirit world
this frigid morning?
—Shukabo (1717-1775), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

To prepare for my voyage beyond,
let me don
a gown of flowers.
—Setsudo (1715-1776), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

From depths
unfathomably cold:
the oceans roar!
—Kasenjo (d. 1776), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Today Mount Hiei’s sky
with a quick change of clouds
also removes its robes.
Shogo (1731-1798), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I cup curious ears
among the hydrangeas
hoping to hear the spring cuckoo.
—Senchojo (?-1802), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Life,
is it not like
a charcoal sketch, an obscure shadow?
—Toyokuni (?-1825), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter winds...
but later, river willow,
remember to open your buds!
—Senryu (1717-1790), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A fall willow tree:
unlikely to be missed
as much as the cherry blossoms.
—Senryu II (?-1818), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My path
to Paradise
is bright with flowers.
—Sokin (?-1818), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A willow branch
unable to reach the water
at the bottom of the vase.
—Shigenobu (?-1832), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A night storm sighs:
"The fate of the flower is to fall" ...
rebuking all who hesitate
―Yukio Mishima, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch; this is said to have been his death poem before committing ritual suicide.

But one poet, at least, cast doubt on the death poem enterprise:

Death poems?
****** delusions―
Death is death!
―Toko, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Other haiku translations …



Masaoka Shiki

The night flies!
My life,
how much more of it remains?
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The autumn wind eludes me;
for me there are no gods,
no Buddhas
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

After killing a spider,
how lonely I felt
in the frigid night.
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Such a small child
banished to become a priest:
frigid Siberia!
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I'm trying to sleep!
Please swat the flies
lightly
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A summer river:
disdaining the bridge,
my horse gallops through water.
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

After the fireworks,
the spectators departed:
how vast and dark the sky!
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I got drunk
then wept in my sleep
dreaming of wild cherry blossoms.
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We cannot see the moon
and yet the waves still rise
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The first morning of autumn:
the mirror I investigate
reflects my father’s face
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I thought I felt a dewdrop
plop
on me as I lay in bed!
― Masaoka Shiki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As thunder recedes
a lone tree stands illuminated in sunlight:
applauded by cicadas
― Masaoka Shiki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Yosa Buson haiku translations

On the temple’s great bronze gong
a butterfly
snoozes.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Hard to describe:
this light sensation of being pinched
by a butterfly!
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Not to worry spiders,
I clean house ... sparingly.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Among the fallen leaves,
an elderly frog.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In an ancient well
fish leap for mosquitoes,
a dark sound.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Flowers with thorns
remind me of my hometown ...
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Reaching the white chrysanthemum
the scissors hesitate ...
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A kite floats
at the same place in the sky
where yesterday it floated ...
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Picking autumn plums
my wrinkled hands
once again grow fragrant
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A silk robe, casually discarded,
exudes fragrance
into the darkening evening
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Whose delicate clothes
still decorate the clothesline?
Late autumn wind.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is an example of a translation in which I interpreted the poem before translating it. In the original poem the clothes were thin (suggesting suggestive garments). In Japanese poetry an autumn wind can represent loneliness. So I interpreted the poem to be about an aging woman who still wears enticing clothes but is increasingly lonely. Since in the West we don't normally drape clothes on screens, I moved the clothes to a clothesline, which works well with the wind. For me it's a sad poem about something that happens all too often to people as they age.

An evening breeze:
water lapping the heron’s legs.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

gills puffing,
a hooked fish:
the patient
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The stirred morning air
ruffles the hair
of a caterpillar.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Intruder!
This white plum tree
was once outside our fence!
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tender grass
forgetful of its roots
the willow
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I believe the poem above can be taken as commentary on ungrateful children. It reminds me of Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays."―MRB

Since I'm left here alone,
I'll make friends with the moon.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The hood-wearer
in his self-created darkness
misses the harvest moon
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

White blossoms of the pear tree―
a young woman reading his moonlit letter
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The pear tree flowers whitely:
a young woman reading his letter
by moonlight
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

On adjacent branches
the plum tree blossoms
bloom petal by petal―love!
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A misty spring moon ...
I entice a woman
to pay it our respects
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Courtesans
purchasing kimonos:
plum trees blossoming
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The spring sea
rocks all day long:
rising and falling, ebbing and flowing ...
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As the whale
    dives
its tail gets taller!
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

While tilling the field
the motionless cloud
vanished.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Even lonelier than last year:
this autumn evening.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My thoughts return to my Mother and Father:
late autumn
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Late autumn:
my thoughts return to my Mother and Father
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This roaring winter wind:
the cataract grates on its rocks.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

While snow lingers
in creases and recesses:
flowers of the plum
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Plowing,
not a single bird sings
in the mountain's shadow
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the lingering heat
of an abandoned cowbarn
only the sound of the mosquitoes is dark.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The red plum's fallen petals
seem to ignite horse ****.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dawn!
The brilliant sun illuminates
sardine heads.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The abandoned willow shines
between bright rains
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dew-damp grass:
the setting sun’s tears
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The dew-damp grass
weeps silently
in the setting sun
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

White plum blossoms―
though the hour grows late,
a glimpse of dawn
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The poem above is believed to be Buson's jisei (death poem) and he is said to have died before dawn.

Lately the nights
dawn
plum-blossom white.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is a second interpretation of Buson's jisei (death poem).

In the deepening night
I saw by the light
of the white plum blossoms

―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is a third interpretation of Buson's jisei (death poem).

Our life here on earth:
to what shall we compare it?
Perhaps to a rowboat
departing at daybreak,
leaving no trace of us in its wake?
—Takaha Shugyo or Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch



Matsuo Basho

The legs of the cranes
have been shortened
by the summer rains.
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A bee emerging
from deep within the peony’s hairy recesses
flies off heavily, sated
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A crow has settled
on a naked branch―
autumn nightfall
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
autumn twilight
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
phantom autumn
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A raven settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A crow roosts
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightmare
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Winter solitude:
a world awash in white,
the sound of the wind
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of its autumn migration
my spirit drifts
over wilted fields ...
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), said to be his death poem, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of this autumn migration
in dreams I drift
over flowerless fields ...
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), said to be his death poem, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Except for a woodpecker
tapping at a post,
the house is silent.
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

That dying cricket,
how he goes on about his life!
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Like a glorious shrine―
on these green, budding leaves,
the sun’s intense radiance.
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Kobayashi Issa

Right at my feet!
When did you arrive here,
snail?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I toss in my sleep,
so watch out,
cricket!
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In a better world
I'd leave you my rice bowl,
little fly!
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All's well with the world:
another fly's sharing our rice!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cries of the wild geese―
spreading rumors about me?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wake up, old tomcat,
then with elaborate yawns and stretchings
prepare to pursue love
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An enormous frog!
We stare at each other,
both petrified.
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Skinny frog,
hang on ...
Issa to the rescue!
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

While a cicada
sings softly
a single leaf falls ...
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The cry of a pheasant,
as if it just noticed
the mountain.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As I stumble home at dusk,
heavy with her eggs
a spider blocks me.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All the while I'm praying to Buddha
I'm continually killing mosquitoes.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This windy nest?
Open your hungry mouth in vain,
Issa, orphaned sparrow!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The ghostly cow comes
mooing mooing mooing
out of the morning mist
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

If anyone comes, child,
don't open the gate
or the melons will flee!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It's not at all anxious to bloom,
the plum tree at my gate.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Our world of dew
is a world of dew indeed;
and yet, and yet ...
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Full moon―
my ramshackle hut
is an open book.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, brilliant moon
can it be true
that even you
must rush off, late
for some date?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, brilliant moon
can it be true that even you
must rush off, tardy?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The snow melts
and the village is flooded with children!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Don't weep, we are all insects!
Lovers, even the stars themselves,
must eventually part.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In our world
we walk suspended over hell
admiring flowers.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Standing beneath cherry blossoms
who can be strangers?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Petals I amass
with such tenderness
***** me to the quick.
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Standing unsteadily,
I am the scarecrow’s
skinny surrogate
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn wind ...
She always wanted to pluck
the reddest roses
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Issa wrote the haiku above after the death of his daughter Sato with the note: “Sato, girl, 35th day, at the grave.”



Other Poets

A pity to pluck,
A pity to pass ...
Ah, violet!
―Naojo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Silence:
a single chestnut leaf
sinks through clear water ...
―Shohaku, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


New Haiku Translations, Added 10/6/2020


Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Where’s the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Cooling the pitiless sun’s
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  
Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

What am I doing,
writing haiku on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird’s song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth’s flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth’s withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch




Today, catching sight of the mallards
crying over Lake Iware:
Must I too vanish into the clouds?
—Prince Otsu (663-686), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  

This world—
to what may we compare it?
To autumn fields
lying darkening at dusk
illuminated by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

This world—to what may we liken it?
To autumn fields lit dimly at dusk,
illuminated by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Like a half-exposed rotten log
my life, which never flowered,
ends barren.
—Minamoto Yorimasa (1104-1180), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Overtaken by darkness,
I will lodge under a tree’s branches;
cherry blossoms will cushion me tonight.
—Taira no Tadanori (1144–1184), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Overtaken by darkness,
I will lodge under a cherry tree’s branches;
flowers alone will bower me tonight.
—Taira no Tadanori (1144–1184), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Let me die in spring
beneath the cherry blossoms
while the moon is full.
—Saigyo (1118-1190), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
 
Both victor and vanquished are dewdrops
in which flashes of light
briefly illuminate the void.
—Ôuchi Yoshitaka (1507-1551), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Even a life of long prosperity is like a single cup of sake;
my life of forty-nine years flashed by like a dream.
Nor do I know what life is, nor death.
All the years combined were but a fleeting dream.
Now I step beyond both Heaven and Hell
To stand alone in the moonlit dawn,
Free from the mists of attachment.
—Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

My life appeared like dew
and disappears like dew.
All Naniwa was a series of dreams.
—Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Felt deeply in my heart:
How beautiful the snow,
Clouds gathering in the west.
—Issho (-1668), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Brittle cicada shell,
little did I know
that you were my life!
—Shoshun (-1672), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch 

Inhale, exhale.
Forward, reverse.
Live, die.
Let arrows fly, meet midway and sever the void in aimless flight:
Thus I return to the Source.
—Gesshu Soko (-1696), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)by Michael R. Burch

My body?
Pointless
as the tree’s last persimmon.
—Seisa (-1722), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Farewell! I pass
away as all things do:
dew drying on grass.
—Banzan (-1730), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
A tempestuous sea ...
Flung from the deck —
this block of ice.
—Choha (-1740), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Empty cicada shell:
we return as we came,
naked.
—Fukaku (-1753), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Since I was born,
I must die,
and so …
—Kisei (1688-1764), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Let us arise and go,
following the path of the clear dew.
—Fojo (-1764), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Depths of the cold,
unfathomable ocean’s roar.
—Kasenjo (-1776), loose translation/interpretation of her jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch 

Things never stand still,
not even for a second:
consider the trees’ colors.
—Seiju (-1776), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Lately the nights
dawn
plum-blossom white.
—Yosa Buson (-1783), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter winds!
But later, river willow,
reopen your buds ...
—Senryu (-1790), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Who cares
where aimless clouds are drifting?
—Bufu (-1792), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch 

What does it matter how long I live,
when a tortoise lives many times as long?
—Issa (-1827), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Like a lotus leaf’s evaporating dew,
I vanish.
—Senryu (-1827), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Man’s end:
this mound of albescent bones,
this brief flowering sure to fade ...
—Hamei (-1837), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
When I kick the bucket,
bury me beneath a tavern’s cellar wine barrel;
with a little luck the cask will leak.
—Moriya Sen’an (-1838), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  

Frost on a balmy day:
all I leave is the water
that washed my brush.
—Tanaka Shutei (1810-1858, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Though moss may overgrow
my useless corpse,
the seeds of patriotism shall never decay.
—Nomura Boto (1806-1867), loose translation/interpretation of her jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

My aging body:
a drop of dew
bulging at the leaf-cliff.
—Kiba (-1868), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Forbearing the night
with its growing brilliance:
the summer moon.
—Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Blow if you must,
autumn wind,
but the flowers have already faded.
—Gansan (-1895), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Time to go ...
They say this journey is a long trek:
this final change of robes.
—Roshu (-1899), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
The moon departs;
frost paralyzes the morning glories.
— Kato (-1908), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Stumble,
tumble,
fall,
slide down the slippery snow *****.
— Getsurei (-1919), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  



As the monks sip their morning tea,
chrysanthemums quietly blossom.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The fragrance of plum blossoms
on a foggy path:
the sun rising.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkens ...
yet still faintly white
the wild duck protests.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Pear tree blossoms
whitened by moonlight:
a young woman reading a letter.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Outlined in the moonlight ...
who is that standing
among the pear trees?
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your coolness:
the sound of the bell
departing the bell.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As the moon flies west
the flowers' shadows
creep eastward.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

By such pale moonlight
even the wisteria's fragrance
seems distant.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Leaves
like crows’ shadows
flirt with a lonely moon.
Kaga no Chiyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let me die
covered with flowers
and never again wake to this earthly dream!
—Ochi Etsujin, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To reveal how your heart flowers,
sway like the summer grove.
—Tagami Kikusha-Ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the thicket's shade
a solitary woman sings the rice-planting song.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Unaware of these degenerate times,
cherry blossoms abound!
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

These silent summer nights
even the stars
seem to whisper.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The enormous firefly
weaves its way, this way and that,
as it passes by.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Composed like the Thinker, he sits
contemplating the mountains:
the sagacious frog!
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A fallen blossom
returning to its bough?
No, a butterfly!
Arakida Moritake, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Illuminated by the harvest moon
smoke is caught creeping
across the water ...
Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Fanning its tail flamboyantly
with every excuse of a breeze,
the peacock!
Masaoki Shiki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Waves row through the mists
of the endless sea.
Masaoki Shiki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I hurl a firefly into the darkness
and sense the enormity of night.
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As girls gather rice sprouts
reflections of the rain ripple
on the backs of their hats.
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


* Haiku translations added 6-3-2023 *


Spring
stirs the clouds
in the sky's teabowl
—Kikusha-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight I saw
how the peony crumples
in the fire's embers
—Katoh Shuhson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

It fills me with anger,
this moon; it fills me
and makes me whole
—Takeshita Shizunojo, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

War
stood at the end of the hall
in the long shadows
—Watanabe Hakusen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Because he is slow to wrath,
I tackle him, then wring his neck
in the long grass
—Shimazu Ryoh, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Pale mountain sky:
cherry petals play
as they tumble earthward
—Kusama Tokihiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The frozen moon,
the frozen lake:
two oval mirrors reflecting each other.
—Hashimoto Takako, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The bitter winter wind
ends here
with the frozen sea
—Ikenishi Gonsui, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter wind,
why bellow so
when there's no leaves to blow?
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The lamp extinguished,
once-distant stars
enter my window.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Winter waves
roil
their own shadows
—Tominaga Fûsei, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

No sky,
no land:
just snow eternally falling...
—Kajiwara Hashin, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Along with spring leaves
my child's teeth
take root, blossom
—Nakamura Kusatao, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Stillness:
a single chestnut leaf glides
on brilliant water
—Ryuin, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The snake slipped away
but his eyes, holding mine,
still stare in the grass
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Girls gather rice sprouts:
reflections of the water flicker
on the backs of their hats
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Murmurs follow the hay cart
this blossoming summer day
—Ippekiro Nakatsuka, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The wet nurse
paused to consider a bucket of sea urchins
then walked away
—Ippekiro Nakatsuka, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

May I be with my mother
wearing her summer kimono
by the morning window
—Ippekiro Nakatsuka, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The hands of a woman exist
to remove the entrails of the spring cuttlefish
—Sekitei Hara, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The moon
hovering above the snow-capped mountains
rained down hailstones
—Sekitei Hara, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, dreamlike winter butterfly:
a puff of white snow
cresting mountains
—Kakio Tomizawa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Spring snow
cascades over fences
in white waves
—Suju Takano, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

First one hidden face is revealed,
then the other; thus spinning it falls,
the autumn leaf.
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

I persuaded a child to purchase rural wine;
once I'm nicely tipsy,
I'll slap down some calligraphy.
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

The thief missed it:
the moon
bejeweling my window.
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

This world:
a distant mountain echo
dying unheard...
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

The peonies I planted around my hut
I must now surrender
to the wind's will
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

Wild peonies
blossoming in their prime,
glorious in full bloom:
Too precious to pick,
To precious to leave unplucked
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

The Orchid

Deep in the valley, a secluded beauty!
Serene, peerless, impossibly lovely.
In the bamboo thicket's shadowy tower
she seems to sigh softly for a lover.
—Ryokan (1758-1831) , translation by Michael R. Burch

Observe:
see how the wild violets bloom
within the forbidden fences!
—Shida Yaba (1663-1740) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A white swan
parts the cherry-petalled pond
with her motionless breast.
—Roka (1671-1703) , translation by Michael R. Burch

When no wind ruffles the Kiri tree
            leaves fall
of their own free will.
—Nozawa Boncho (1640-1714) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Loneliness:
striking the gong again and again,
the lookout.
—Hara Sekitei (1886-1951) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sleeping alone;
a mosquito interrupts my dreams
with its querulous voice...
—Chigetsu (1632-1706) , loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The rain is helpless
to reach the ground—
a winter gale
—Mukai Kyorai (c.1651-1704) , loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A cat in heat
can't catch a mouse? —
pathetic!
—Kinpu (? -1726?) , loose translation by Michael R. Burch

It's getting to the point
of ******* on fish bones—
old age.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I ****** an ant
then realize my three children
were watching.
—Shuson Kato (1905-1933) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My three children
watched me ****** an ant.
—Shuson Kato (1905-1933) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As the moon rises
the rooftop tomcat
philosophizes.
Ikuyo Yoshimura (1944-) , loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Changing my lipstick's pastels—
spring rain.
Ikuyo Yoshimura (1944-) , loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at 'em! The sky goes bright!
Let'***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
this mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Where's the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cooling the pitiless sun's
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

What am I doing,
writing haiku here on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird's song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth's flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth's withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Today, catching sight of the mallards
crying over Lake Iware:
Must I too vanish into the clouds?
—Prince Otsu (663-686) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch
Momozutau / iware no ike ni / naku kamo wo / kyo nomi mite ya / Kumokakuri nan

This world—to what may we compare it?
To autumn fields darkening at dusk,
dimly lit by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

This world—
to what may we compare it?
To autumn fields
darkening at dusk
illuminated by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

This world—to what may we liken it?
To autumn fields lit dimly at dusk,
illuminated by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Like a half-exposed rotten log
my life, which never flowered,
ends barren.
—Minamoto Yorimasa (1104-1180) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Overtaken by darkness,
I will lodge under a tree's branches;
cherry blossoms will cushion me tonight.
—Taira no Tadanori (1144-1184) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Overtaken by darkness,
I will lodge under a cherry tree's branches;
flowers alone will bower me tonight.
—Taira no Tadanori (1144-1184) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Let me die in spring
beneath the cherry blossoms
while the moon is full.
—Saigyo (1118-1190) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

There is no death, as there is no life.
Are not the skies cloudless
And the rivers clear?
—Taiheiki Toshimoto (-1332) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

All five aspects of my fleeting human form
And the four elements of existence add up to nothing:
I bare my neck to the unsheathed sword
And its blow is but a breath of wind...
—Suketomo (1290-1332) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Had I not known
I was already dead
I might have mourned
my own passing.
—Ota Dokan (1432-1486) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch



Ôuchi Yoshitaka, his death poem, written in 1551:

1.
Both victor and vanquished are dewdrops:
flashes of light
briefly illuminating the void.

2.
Both victor and vanquished are dewdrops,
lit by flashes of light,
as we apprehend this life.

3.
Both victor and vanquished are dewdrops
in which lightning flashes
briefly illuminate the void.

—Ôuchi Yoshitaka (1507-1551) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch



Even a life of long prosperity is like a single cup of sake;
my life of forty-nine years flashed by like a dream.
Nor do I know what life is, nor death.
All the years combined were but a fleeting dream.
Now I step beyond both Heaven and Hell
To stand alone in the moonlit dawn,
Free from the mists of attachment.
—Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

My life appeared like dew
and disappears like dew.
All Naniwa was a series of dreams.
—Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Felt deeply in my heart:
How beautiful the snow,
Clouds gathering in the west.
—Issho (-1668) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Brittle cicada shell,
little did I know
that you were my life!
—Shoshun (-1672) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Inhale, exhale.
Forward, reverse.
Live, die.
Let arrows fly, meet midway and sever the void in aimless flight:
Thus I return to the Source.
—Gesshu Soko (-1696) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

My body?
Pointless
as the tree's last persimmon.
—Seisa (-1722) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Farewell! I pass
as all things do:
dew drying on grass.
—Banzan (-1730) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Seventy-one?
How long
can a dewdrop last?
—Kigen (-1736) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

A tempestuous sea...
Flung from the deck —
this block of ice.
—Choha (-1740) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Empty cicada shell:
we return as we came,
naked.
—Fukaku (-1753) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Since I was born,
I must die,
and so …
—Kisei (1688-1764) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Let us arise and go,
following the path of the clear dew.
—Fojo (-1764) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Depths of the cold,
unfathomable ocean's roar.
—Kasenjo (-1776) , loose translation/interpretation of her jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Things never stand still,
not even for a second:
consider the trees' colors.
—Seiju (-1776) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter winds!
But later, river willow,
reopen your buds...
—Senryu (-1790) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Who cares
where aimless clouds are drifting?
—Bufu (-1792) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

What does it matter how long I live,
when a tortoise lives many times as long?
—Issa (-1827) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Like a lotus leaf's evaporating dew,
I too...
vanish.
—Senryu (-1827) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Man's end:
this mound of albescent bones,
this brief flowering sure to fade...
—Hamei (-1837) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

When I kick the bucket,
bury me beneath a tavern's cellar wine barrel;
with a little luck the cask will leak.
—Moriya Sen'an (-1838) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch
Ware shinaba / sakaya no kame ni / shita no ikeyo / moshi ya shisuku no / moriyasennen

Frost on a balmy day:
all I leave is the water
that washed my brush.
—Tanaka Shutei (1810-1858, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Though moss may overgrow
my useless corpse,
the seeds of patriotism shall never decay.
—Nomura Boto (1806-1867) , loose translation/interpretation of her jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

My aging body:
a drop of dew
bulging at the leaf-cliff.
—Kiba (-1868) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Forbearing the night
with its growing brilliance:
the summer moon.
—Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Blow if you must,
autumn wind,
but the flowers have already faded.
—Gansan (-1895) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Time to go...
They say this journey is a long trek:
this final change of robes.
—Roshu (-1899) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

The moon departs;
frost paralyzes the morning glories.
— Kato (-1908) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Stumble,
tumble,
fall,
slide down the slippery snow *****.
— Getsurei (-1919) , loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)  by Michael R. Burch

Year after year,
the face a monkey faces
is a monkey face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Haiku scholar Kon Eizo explains: "At a New Year's performance, a monkey's mask worn by a monkey changes nothing, so we repeat the same foolishness each year."

Because it will not melt
we dedicate this ice
to the New Year's dawning sun
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Students with your copybooks:
from whose satchel
shall the New Year spring?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Basking beneath the New Year's sun:
my grubby hut.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Letting in torrents
of New Year's rain:
my leaky hut.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

O, God of the New Year,
this year also,
please have pity!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

These useless dreams, alas!
Over fields of wilted grass
winds whisper as they pass.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When a nightingale stops singing,
it's just another bird.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A nightingale, when it ceases singing,
is just another ordinary / unexceptional bird.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The sincerity of snow, the moon and cherry blossoms
is the truthfulness of art.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Above the garden
the camellia tree blossoms
whitely...
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , explaining the essence of haiku, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Moonlit hailstones:
the night hawks return.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Nowhere to dump the dishwater:
cricket cacophony.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A good father
drives away crows
from his sparrow-like children.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A cool breeze:
the empty sky fills
with the songs of the pines.
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Return my dream, raven!
You woke me to a misted-over
unreadable moon
—Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) , said to be his death poem, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tears are useless:
insects, lovers, the stars themselves
must part.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sparrow-like children,
make way, make way!
The stallion's coming through!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

No one travels
this path but me,
this moonless autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita wrote this poem on December 4,1941, while sailing for Hainan to invade Malaya.

Now, as the sun and moon shine as one,
the arrow, hurtling from the bow,
speeds my spirit toward the enemy,
bearing also a hundred million souls
—my people of the East—
as the sun and moon shine as one.
—Tomoyuki Yamashita, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Bonfires for the dead?
Soon they'll light pyres
for us, instead.
—Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Children delight
in bonfires
for the dead;
soon they'll light
pyres
for us, instead.
—Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cries of the wild geese—
spreading rumors about me?
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wake up, old tomcat,
then with elaborate yawns and stretchings
prepare to pursue love
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This windy nest?
Open your hungry mouth in vain,
Issa, orphaned sparrow!
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The ghostly cow comes
mooing mooing mooing
out of the morning mist
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Full moon—
my ramshackle hut
is an open book.
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The snow melts
the rivers rise
and the village is flooded with children!
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Don't weep, we are all insects!
Lovers, even the stars themselves,
must eventually part.
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) , loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Peonies blossom;
the world is full of fibbers.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Peonies blossom;
the world is full of blooming liars.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Overdressed for my thatched hut:
a peony blossoms.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, magnificent peony,
please don't disdain
these poor surroundings!
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Insolent peony!
Demanding I measure your span
with my fan?
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

'This big! '
The child's arms
measured the peony.
Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Issa seemed to have a love-hate relationship with the peony, writing at least 84 haiku about the flower, sometimes praising it and sometimes accusing it of haughtiness and insolence!

The rutting cat
has grown so scrawny
he's nothing but eyes.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Clinging to each other
beneath an umbrella:
spring rain.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Twos become one:
butterflies.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

No rain
and yet the flowers glisten?
Dew.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Buzzings encircle
a meditating monk:
mosquitoes.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

He's lost so much weight
in the summer heat
even the mosquitoes won't bite.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn's here, crickets,
whether you chirp
or not.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A windy temple:
coins clatter
in the collection box.
—Shuson Kato, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

After death
six feet under the frost
will be sufficient cover.
—Shuson Kato, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Midwinter thunder
rattles the windowpanes.
—Shuson Kato, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



PLUM BLOSSOM HAIKU

A shy maiden:
the loveliness of the lone plum
blossoming
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Longing for plum blossoms:
bowing before the deutzia,
weeping.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Moonlit plum tree,
tarry!
Spring will return soon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The plum blossom’s fragrance
warms
winter’s frigid embrace.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

White plum blossoms:
have the cranes
gone undercover?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Suddenly, the scent of plums
on a mountain path:
sunrise!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Warm sun unfolds
the plum blossom’s scent:
a mountain path.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The plum in full bloom
must not be disturbed
by the wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The plum's fragrance:
the past
holds such pathos.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Are you the butterfly
and I the dreaming heart
of Soshi?
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
kimi ya cho / ware ya shoshi no / yume gokoro

The poem above is a reference to a butterfly dream of Chuang Tzu, a Taoist sage and poet who was a major influence on Basho. Soshi is the Japanese rendering of the name Chuang Tzu. I believe what Basho may have meant is something closer to this:

Are you the butterfly
while I pursue dreams
of Soshi?
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Are you the butterfly
while in my dreams
I flit after Soshi?
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The white poppy
accepts the butterfly's broken wing
as a keepsake
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
shirageshi ni / hane mogu cho no / katami kana

As autumn deepens
a butterfly sips
chrysanthemum dew
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
aki o hete / cho mo nameru ya / kiku no tsuyu

A single leaf
of paulownia falling
reflects the sun.
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I caught a falling cherry petal;
but opening my fist ...
nothing
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

They call it a white peony
yet it contains
hints of red
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Evening shadows
grow thick
on the floating algae
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The snake slithered away
yet his eyes, having met mine,
remain
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The bamboo grove
is lit
by the yellow spring sunlight
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Chikurin ni/ Ki naru haruhi wo/ Aogikeri

On a hot summer night
dreams and reality
merge.
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Mizika-yo ya/ Yume mo utsutsu mo / Onazi koto

The summer butterfly
has to look sharp
to make its getaway.
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Natsu no cho/ Manako surudoku/ Kakeri kishi

The autumn sky
is severed
by the big chinquapin tree.
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Akizora wo/ Futatsu ni tateri/ ****-taiju

“Cawa-cawa!”
The winter crow
elocutes coarsely.
—Takahama Kyoshi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Kawa kawa to/ Ookiku yuruku/ Samu-garasu


Keywords/Tags: Haiku, Zen, Japan, Japanese, translation, life, death, aging, time, pain, sorrow, lament



ORIGINAL HAIKU BY MICHAEL R. BURCH

Incomprehensible
by Michael R. Burch

for the NRA

“Slain” — an impossible word to comprehend.
The male lion murders cubs,
licks his lips, devours them.


As springs’ budding blossoms emerge
the raptors glide mercilessly.
—Michael R. Burch

I wrote the haiku-like poem above on 3-27-2023 after the Nashville Covenant school massacre.—Michael R. Burch



You rise with the sun,
mysteriously warm,
also scattering sunbeams.
—Michael R. Burch

Her sky-high promises:
midday moon
—Michael R. Burch

The north wind’s refrain,
a southbound train ...
Invitation?
—Michael R. Burch

The north wind’s refrain,
the receding strain
of a southbound train ...
Invitation?
—Michael R. Burch

The moon blushed
then fled behind a cloud:
her stolen kiss.
—Michael R. Burch

Elderly sunflowers:
bees trimming their beards.
—Michael R. Burch

Celebrate the New Year?
The cat is not impressed,
the dogs shiver.
―Michael R. Burch

Brittle autumn leaf,
no one informed me
you were my life!
—Michael R. Burch

Valentine Haiku #1
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

A leaf brushes my cheek:
a subtle lover’s
gentlest caress.

Valentine Haiku #2
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Teach me to love:
to fly beyond sterile Mars
to percolating Venus.

The Ultimate Haiku Against God
by Michael R. Burch

Because you made a world
where nothing matters,
our hearts lie in tatters.

Early robins
get the worms,
cats waiting to pounce.
—Michael R. Burch

Sleepyheads!
I recite my haiku
to the inattentive lilies.
—Michael R. Burch

Am I really this old,
so many ghosts
beckoning?
—Michael R. Burch

The sky tries to assume
your eyes’ azure
but can’t quite pull it off.
—Michael R. Burch

The sky tries to assume
your eyes’ arresting blue
but can’t quite pull it off.
—Michael R. Burch

Two bullheaded frogs
croaking belligerently:
election season.
—Michael R. Burch

An enterprising cricket
serenades the sunrise:
soloist.
—Michael R. Burch

A single cricket
serenades the sunrise:
solo violinist.
—Michael R. Burch



New haiku translations added 8-25-2023

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

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

Once they’ve crossed the sea,
winter winds can never return.
—Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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

(My interpretation is that the haiku above is about WWII kamikaze pilots. Winter is metaphorically the season of death and snow may be seen as a shroud for the dead. So here the poet may be saying, metaphorically, something like “We don’t need shrouds because our pilots are blowing themselves up.” )

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

Finally
the cicadas stopped shrilling:
calm before 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

Seishi Yamaguchi has been said to represent “a pinnacle of haiku in twentieth-century Japan.”

Graven images of long-departed gods,
dry spiritless leaves:
companions of the temple porch
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

See: whose surviving sons
visit the ancestral graves
white-bearded, with trembling canes?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch



I remove my beautiful kimono:
its varied braids
surround and entwine my body
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This day of chrysanthemums
I shake and comb my wet hair,
as their petals shed rain
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This sheer kimono—
how the moon peers through
to my naked skin!
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

These festive flowery robes—
though quickly undressed,
how their colored cords still continue to cling!
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Chrysanthemum petals
reveal their pale curves
shyly to the moon.
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Loneliness —
reading the Bible
as the rain deflowers cherry blossoms.
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

How deep this valley,
how elevated the butterfly's flight!
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

How lowly this valley,
how lofty the butterfly's flight!
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Echoes from the hills—
the mountain cuckoo sings as it will,
trill upon trill
—Hisajo Sugita, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter in the air:
my neighbor,
how does he fare?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let’s arrange
these lovely flowers in the bowl
since there's no rice
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Please arrange
these delicate flowers in the bowl
since we lack rice
—Matsuo Basho, translation by Kim Cherub

An ancient pond,
the frog leaps:
the silver plop and gurgle of water
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An ancient pond sleeps, quiet and still ...
untroubled ... until ...
suddenly a frog leaps!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Big old pond,
the little frog leaps:
Kerplash!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Explosion!
The frog returns
to its lily pad.
—Michael R. Burch

The first soft snow:
leaves of the awed jonquil
bow low
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, investigate loneliness:
a solitary leaf
clings to the Kiri tree
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The first chill rain, so raw!
Poor monkey, you too could use
a woven cape of straw.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Fever-felled mid-path
my dreams resurrect, to trek
into a hollow land
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This snowy morning:
cries of the crow I despise
(ah, but so beautiful!)
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The cheerful-chirping cricket
contends gray autumn's gay,
contemptuous of frost
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Whistle on, twilight whippoorwill,
solemn evangelist
of loneliness
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkening,
the voices of the wild ducks:
my mysterious companions!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lightning
shatters the darkness—
the night heron's shriek
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As the monks sip their morning tea,
chrysanthemums quietly blossom.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The fragrance of plum blossoms
on a foggy path:
the sun rising.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkens ...
yet still faintly white
the wild duck protests.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let me die
covered with flowers
and never again wake to this earthly dream!
—Ochi Etsujin, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To reveal how your heart flowers,
sway like the summer grove.
—Tagami Kikusha-Ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the thicket’s shade
a solitary woman sings the rice-planting song.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Unaware of these degenerate times,
cherry blossoms abound!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

These silent summer nights
even the stars
seem to whisper.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The enormous firefly
weaves its way, this way and that,
as it passes by.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Composed like the Thinker, he sits
contemplating the mountains:
the sagacious frog!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A fallen blossom
returning to its bough?
No, a butterfly!
—Arakida Moritake, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Illuminated by the harvest moon
smoke is caught creeping
across the water ...
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Fanning its tail flamboyantly
with every excuse of a breeze,
the peacock!
—Masaoki Shiki, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Waves row through the mists
of the endless sea.
—Masaoki Shiki, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I hurl a firefly into the darkness
and sense the enormity of night.
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

As girls gather rice sprouts
reflections of the rain ripple
on the backs of their hats.
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Will we remain parted forever?
Here at your grave:
two flowerlike butterflies
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

These wilting August weeds?
The only remains
of warriors' ambitions ...
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

These brown summer grasses?
The only remains
of "invincible" warriors ...
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An empty road
lonelier than abandonment:
this autumn evening
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Spring has come:
the nameless hill
lies shrouded in mist
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
autumn twilight
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
nightfall
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Right at my feet!
When did you arrive here,
snail?
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

While a cicada
sings softly
a single leaf falls ...
—Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, brilliant moon
is it true that even you
must rush off, tardy?
—Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, brilliant moon
can it be true
that even you
must rush off, late
for some date?
—Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This world of dew
is a dewdrop world indeed;
and yet, and yet ...
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Standing beneath cherry blossoms
who can be strangers?
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An enormous frog!
We stare at each other,
both petrified.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Skinny frog,
     hang on ...
Issa to the rescue!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I toss in my sleep,
so watch out,
cricket!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In a better world
I'd leave you my rice bowl,
little fly!
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Petals I amass
with such tenderness
***** me to the quick.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Standing unsteadily,
I am the scarecrow’s
skinny surrogate
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Brief autumn breeze ...
she always wanted to pluck
the reddest roses
—Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is a haiku Issa wrote after the death of his daughter Sato with the note: “Sato, girl, 35th day, at the grave.”

In our world
we walk suspended over hell
admiring flowers.
—Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The childless woman,
how tenderly she caresses
homeless dolls ...
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Clinging
to the plum tree:
one blossom's worth of warmth
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

One leaf falls, enlightenment!
Another leaf falls,
swept away by the wind ...
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Disdaining grass,
the firefly nibbles nettles—
this is who I am.
—Takarai Kikaku, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A simple man,
content to breakfast with the morning glories—
this is who I am.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is Basho’s response to the Takarai Kikaku haiku above

The morning glories, alas,
also turned out
not to embrace me
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The morning glories bloom,
mending chinks
in the old fence
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories,
however poorly painted,
still engage us
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My dear Basho,
I too have been accused
of morning glory gazing!
—original haiku by Michael R. Burch

Taming the rage
of an unrelenting sun—
autumn breeze.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The sun sets,
relentlessly red,
yet autumn’s in the wind.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As autumn deepens,
a butterfly sips
chrysanthemum dew.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As autumn draws near,
so too our hearts
in this small tea room.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Nothing happened!
Yesterday simply vanished
like the blowfish soup.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The surging sea crests around Sado ...
and above her?
An ocean of stars.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Revered figure!
I bow low
to the rabbit-eared Iris.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, butterfly,
it’s late
and we’ve a long way to go!
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Nothing in the cry
of the cicadas
suggests they soon die.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I wish I could wash
this perishing earth
in its shimmering dew.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Spring!
A nameless hill
shrouded in mist.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dabbed with morning dew
and splashed with mud,
the melon looks wonderfully cool.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cold white azalea—
a lone nun
in her thatched straw hut.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Glimpsed on this high mountain trail,
delighting my heart—
wild violets
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The bee emerging
from deep within the peony’s hairy recesses
flies off heavily, sated
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A crow has settled
on a naked branch—
autumn nightfall
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Except for a woodpecker
tapping at a post,
the house is silent.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

That dying cricket,
how he goes on about his life!
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Like a glorious shrine—
on these green, budding leaves,
the sun’s intense radiance.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A kite floats
at the same place in the sky
where yesterday it floated ...
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Not to worry spiders,
I clean house ... sparingly.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dawn!
The brilliant sun illuminates
sardine heads.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Picking autumn plums
my wrinkled hands
once again grow fragrant
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Thorny roses
remind me of my hometown ...
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Nearing the white chrysanthemum
the scissors hesitate ...
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

White blossoms of the pear tree:
a young woman
reading her lover’s moonlit letter
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The pear tree flowers whitely:
a young woman reading her lover’s letter
by moonlight
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Pear tree blossoms
whitened by moonlight:
a young woman reading a letter.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Outlined in the moonlight ...
who is that standing
among the pear trees?
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The pigeon's behavior
is beyond reproach,
but the mountain cuckoo's?
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your coolness:
the sound of the bell
departing the bell.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As the moon flies west
the flowers' shadows
creep eastward.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

By such pale moonlight
even the wisteria's fragrance
seems distant.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

On the temple’s great bronze gong
a butterfly
snoozes.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Hard to describe:
this light sensation of being pinched
by a butterfly!
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

gills puffing,
a hooked fish:
the patient
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In an ancient well
fish leap for mosquitoes,
a dark sound.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the lingering heat
of an abandoned cowbarn
mosquitoes hum darkly.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Among fallen leaves,
an elderly frog.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The stirred morning air
ruffles the caterpillar’s
hair
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Whose delicate clothes
still decorate the clothesline?
Late autumn wind.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tender grass
forgetful of its roots
the willow
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: I believe this poem can be taken as commentary on ungrateful children. It reminds me of Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays.—MRB

Intruder!—
This white plum tree
was once outside our fence!
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Since I'm left here alone,
I'll make friends with the moon.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The hood-wearer
in his self-created darkness
misses the harvest moon
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

An evening breeze:
water lapping the heron’s legs.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A misty spring moon ...
I entice a woman
to pay it our respects
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Courtesans
purchasing kimonos:
plum trees blossoming
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

On adjacent branches
the plum tree blossoms
bloom petal by petal: love!
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The red plum's fallen petals
seem to ignite horse ****.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The spring sea
rocks all day long:
rising and falling, ebbing and flowing ...
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

As the whale dives
its tail gets taller!
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A silk robe, casually discarded,
exudes fragrance
into the darkening evening
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

While tilling the field
the motionless cloud
vanished.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Dew-damp grass:
the setting sun’s tears
—Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch
PN-

The dew-damp grass
weeps silently
in the setting sun
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lately the nights
dawn
plum-blossom white.
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

White plum blossoms —
though the hour grows late,
a glimpse of dawn
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch; this is believed to be Buson's jisei (death poem) and he is said to have died before dawn

In the deepening night
I saw by the light
of the white plum blossoms
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Silently observing
the bottomless mountain lake:
water lilies
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Cranes
flapping ceaselessly
test the sky's upper limits
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Falling snowflakes'
glitter
tinsels the sea
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Blizzards here on earth,
blizzards of stars
in the sky
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Completely encircled
in emerald:
the glittering swamp!
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The new calendar:
as if tomorrow
is assured ...
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The new calendar:
as if tomorrow
can be predicted
—Inahata Teiko, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Ah butterfly,
what dreams do you ply
with your beautiful wings?
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Because morning glories
held my well-bucket hostage
I went begging for water!
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My well-bucket being held hostage
by morning glories,
I went begging for water.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Since my well-bucket’s
being held hostage by morning glories,
I go begging for water.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To listen, fine ...
fine also not to echo,
nightingale.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch, she wrote this poem in calligraphy on a portrait of Matsuo Basho

Upon her engagement to the servant of a samurai:

Will it be bitter,
the first time I bite
an unripe persimmon?
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Written for her only son, who died:

My little dragonfly hunter:
how far away has he wandered
I wonder?
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Her husband died when she was 27 years old:

Rising, I see,
and reclining I see
the web of the mosquito netting ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

After she had shaved her head, become a nun and retired from public life:

No more
fixing my hair,
merely warming my hands by the fire ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Leaves
like crows’ shadows
flirt with a lonely moon.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon settled
in a flower-strewn stream
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My elderly parents
become my children:
strident cicadas
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Illuminating
my fishing line:
the midsummer moon.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Auspicious straw!
Even the compost
looks glorious!
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

How alarming:
her scarlet fingernails
tending the white chrysanthemums!
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Whatever ...
Leave it to the weather:
withered pampas grass.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Heat waves shimmering
above the wettened rock ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon:
a morning blur
amid cherry blossoms
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Loneliness
abides within the listener:
the cuckoo’s call
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Skylark,
what do you make
of the trackless sky?
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Returning
from moon-viewing:
we humans, voiceless.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The harvest moon
illuminates these snowdrifts
I trample.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

How contentedly they snore
in the boondocks:
full moon
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The butterfly tip-toes at ebb-tide
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Along her path
butterflies flit,
front and back
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Voiceless
as a butterfly:
the Buddhist service
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Whirling its wings
the butterfly
creates its own wind ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The waterweed
washes away
unaware of the butterfly’s weight
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Now and then
a dandelion intrudes
on a butterfly’s dreams
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sometimes a butterfly
emerges from the mist ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A butterfly settles on
cherry blossoms:
nap time!
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Moonflowers blossom:
a woman’s nakedness
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My painted lips
purified:
crystalline springwater
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A woman’s desire:
the wild violets’
entangled roots
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Her day off:
the ******* wakes
to a frigid morning.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

With the waning moon
silence enters the heart.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We stoop to pick up ebb-tide pebbles.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Ebb-tide:
everything we stoop to collect
slips through our fingers ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To entangle
or unentangle the willow
is the wind’s will.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Inflating the frog’s belly: looming downpour
Inflating the frog’s belly: pregnant thunderheads
The frog inflates: monsoon soon
The frog inflates: prophet of the deluge
Thunderclouds inflating: the frog’s belly
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Her death poem:

Having seen the moon
I can bid Earth
farewell ...
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Isn’t it good
to wake up alone,
unencumbered?
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

She wakes up
alone,
unencumbered.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Her body-debt paid
she wakes alone—
a frigid night.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Coolness—
strangers meet on a bridge
late at night.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A woman’s passion
flowers from the roots—
wild violets.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Also a poet arranging words
with its airy wings—
the butterfly.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

It’s child’s play for the cranes
circling the clouds
to celebrate the year’s first sunrise

Cicadas chirp
oblivious to death.
—Fukuda Chiyo-ni, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Spring
stirs the clouds
in the sky's teabowl
—Kikusha-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight I saw
how the peony crumples
in the fire's embers
—Katoh Shuhson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

It fills me with anger,
this moon; it fills me
and makes me whole
—Takeshita Shizunojo, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

War
stood at the end of the hall
in the long shadows
—Watanabe Hakusen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Because he is slow to wrath,
I tackle him, then wring his neck
in the long grass
—Shimazu Ryoh, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Pale mountain sky:
cherry petals play
as they tumble earthward
—Kusama Tokihiko, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The frozen moon,
the frozen lake:
two oval mirrors reflecting each other.
—Hashimoto Takako, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The bitter winter wind
ends here
with the frozen sea
—Ikenishi Gonsui, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter wind,
why bellow so
when there's no leaves to blow?
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The lamp extinguished,
once-distant stars
enter my window.
—Natsume Soseki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Winter waves
roil
their own shadows
—Tominaga Fûsei, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

No sky,
no land:
just snow eternally falling ...
—Kajiwara Hashin, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Along with spring leaves
my child's teeth
take root, blossom
—Nakamura Kusatao, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Stillness:
a single chestnut leaf glides
on brilliant water
—Ryuin, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The snake slipped away
but his eyes, holding mine,
still stare in the grass
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Girls gather rice sprouts:
reflections of the water flicker
on the backs of their hats
—Kyoshi Takahama, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Murmurs follow the hay cart
this blossoming summer day
—Ippekiro Nakatsuka, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The wet nurse
paused to consider a bucket of sea urchins
then walked away
—Ippekiro Nakatsuka, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

May I be with my mother
wearing her summer kimono
by the morning window
—Ippekiro Nakatsuka, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The hands of a woman exist
to remove the entrails of the spring cuttlefish
—Sekitei Hara, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The moon
hovering above the snow-capped mountains
rained down hailstones
—Sekitei Hara, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, dreamlike winter butterfly:
a puff of white snow
cresting mountains
—Kakio Tomizawa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Spring snow
cascades over fences
in white waves
—Suju Takano, loose translation by Michael R. Burch



Keywords/Tags: haiku, Japanese, translation, Oriental, imagery, metaphor, nature, coronavirus, plague, life, death, nature

Keywords/Tags: Burch, original haiku, haiku, nature, spring, summer, fall, autumn, winter, Zen, death, Japan, Japanese, translation, life, aging, time, pain, sorrow, lament, mrbhaiku
Pandora dO Apr 2013
Today, I drove towards the sunrise.
As the sun drew a rainbow in the sky
the world was painted in beautiful hues.
An idyllic sight I very much enjoyed.

As I drove towards the sunrise,
the sun changed faces.
From red to orange,
from orange to yellow
and all the colours in between.

While driving towards the sunrise
I would not, could not, stop looking
at all the beauty that surrounded me.
The world was peaceful, with a slight touch
of morning dew covering the earth.

Today, I drove towards the sunrise
and when it was over, too soon,
when the sun was high and yellow,
my only wish was that I could see
this gorgeous sight every single day.
Copyright 2013
Liz King Nov 2014
At sunset you told me
what you were holding back
your plans
your dreams
how wide they stretched
your eyes sparkled
at the road ahead

At sunrise
I found you missing

I recall
your plans
your dreams
the light in your eyes
did not include me
Jack Thompson Mar 2015
This moment.

Sunrise at dawn.
Wading into each others lives.
Togetherness and warm.

Picnics amidst the day.
If the world would just collapse.
This is where I'd stay.

Sunset giving into the stars.
Looking into you.
Along with Jupiter and Mars.

I know one thing for sure.

Where we are or what we do.
Its all irrelevant.
All I ever needed was you.
© All Rights Reserved Jack Thompson 2015
Dan Filcek Apr 2015
standing at the top
bleary-eyed and nauseated
holding on to stomachs,
glumly watching rain splatter the windshield.
dawn was breaking .
it was freezing and gray;
There was no sunrise.
beaten by fierce wind gusts,
Were we going to ride
that winding wet road?
the most tricky parts
feeling like an idiot
I was up all night,
somber meditation on mortality
we approached the summit,
passing through the gates
how am I going to know my limits?
The volcano had conquered me
how have I lived this long?
watch the sunset.
we made it to the top
passing through lush forests
up the arid moon-like summit,
I descended into the crater,
a rocky path of rugged lava.
this otherworldly place
black, orange, red and silver
Vents emitted plumes
the air is crystalline and still.
I heard no sounds
I posed for pictures
in the background Romeo was waiting.
We watched the sunset
It was sublime
This year for Poetry Month, I decided to post a "found poem" every day. If writing a poem is like painting, a "found poem" is like sculpting. - source - https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/travel/forgoing-sunrise-for-sunset-on-mauis-volcano.html
Harry J Baxter Jun 2013
I didn't sleep again last night
my yesterday is still taking place
as my fingers gently press these keys
so as to not wake my brother
restless,
I realized,
I've seen a sunset
but never a sunrise

the streets were still asleep
the only ones about
only the down and out
the poor black folk
the aimless hipsters
the homeless
the single mothers with three jobs
who wait alone
under a flickering street light
for the bus which will take them
to their deadpan jobs
the puddles from last night's storm
rest with not a ripple
and the pretty little birdies
start finding their voice
restless,
I realized,
after the sunsets
the world opens up her eyes

periwinkle horizons
blend easily with the grey skyline
and the line between man and God blurs
the sky is tropical mango cocktails
and pillows of white Caribbean sand
the smell is left -
like a residue -
chasing after the tail of a storm
but the air is wet to the touch
hinting at repeat of the downpour
and I would've sat on the arm of that denim sofa
hour after hour
until the world was ready to wake up
giving me a chance to sleep off their insecurities,
only,
I felt like writing this poem
only,
I felt like a sunrise
or maybe a sunset?
or just maybe
a ******* supernova
I felt good
brimming with peace in my gut
like a warm fire
restless,
I realized,
that after all is set
I will still love the sunrise
Malin Eriksen May 2016
She was running
Running fast
She was chased
Chased by yesterday
She was fleeing
Fleeing from the world
She was haunted
Haunted by regret
She is gone
Gone in the sunrise
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ethics survived definition reasoning internet feedback vibrancy serotonin cyclone hacker sardonic surreality virtuality here's he's sunyata temporality ******'s empathos apotheotelos flash shining green forever anger carry son moon selfish written supposed feed ya quite loop hooked pure feet hole paper flag sick voice burning attention fly utter wicked tremble endless form infinity talking piece shores verse chest rules food placed plan hallelujah called gun fading drinking emotional measure inspiration suffering belong west read sly instead bear erase furious shame conclusion drunk roll ******* depressed calls taught died defined tire everyday answers sacred acknowledge speaks perfection games ground spoke stood motion sway keeping pretend hell movement magic park key spin kick sake jump hanging animal begins orange streetlights fade crazy honest warp puppet chained survive apathy chains claim prey science diamonds begging grip tale hang powerful wonderland heal dealing plant twice painful daylight mastery desires recall school conviction miracle yearn empyreal weekend actual court value chalk hurts humankind rabbit eggs potential offers temporary pupil atlas nostalgia serenity happens yearning ponder hypothesis worthy witnessed ideas azure tools alpha curiosity consume singularity typhoon revelation stimulant liberate application projection criminals communication throes fraternity enables actuality starshine ethos apotheosis sardonicism aren't mind's teleology empatheon entheos hear mydriatic transcendention fight tear ash minutes wanna taking nights forgot tales lest desire lust darkest single shine slow allow destruction money comes anxiety contemplate nostalgic offer continue happen ink brings brave created holding create thunder produce talk sail philosopher creating distant illuminating drive dancing ease wishing higher pass excuse figure essence angel hopes child ahead sigh using door vast loves awaits strong tornado ok sorrow immortal ghosts certain remains stained insane reached lot discovered plain poison streets killing ending tried session vs poor woke stare watching grass slick emptiness falling box painter series children virtues awareness clean rolling reach advice heavens rend half cherish bay started relax focus laughed ashamed fiend melody drop exhale void occurs beneath win chose robes thrall shield ended sons normal sunrise road forged onward burden actions unlike colors curious street observe chosen silence shades returns technology race vengeance swept bag civilization strive reconcile trouble cloud described replaced substances whilst finding euphoria dear chemistry events deal message eternal masses beliefs vision apparent honestly dr seeing idea domain soar books frames rule law pleasures eat dread bare blaze raise compassion kindness wandered objects expressed sin declare mistake smoking drum heavenly honor lands fountain renew happening aspect gotten issues divinity teach matters pills goal follows significant job romantic gazed envelope elements identity group sell foolish lucid dimensions brothers owe education november difficult recognition express properties glitter considering illusion appreciate discover resonance derived transcendental buzz notion risk scares riot rainy teaching drizzle direct experiences elation normality quote evolution versus lamplight method reflective endeavour cloth eats teenagers eventually haul club result relative breed threat subjective concerning solstice interpretations allows rational ultimately basis aligned numbness hypocrite charade morality dope chaser continuum undead exploits aeons research freeman appropriate ion ****** teachings dilation binge beatific intuitive transcendent escapism psychedelia metaphysical beta untitled mescaline otherworldly dreampt contextual experiential symbiosis codex dissociation cybernetic weren't life's let's mirror's well-being any-more entheogenic junkiedom signifiers mescalito zero-summing won't 'pataphysics window 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confidence error alter paying unreality cost chronology thoroughly resembles vivid steal poetic illegal understands maelstrom temples amidst perpetual lesson pathos behold reborn produces scale heaviness ascend talked **** forsake valuable andor relinquish dismiss usually kid nervous sort fierce disguise demands abandon encourage avoid minor relentless identify loneliness web alchemy cosmic rhyme coil suffered basking dropped standard spark mates hearth swore steam myth native wonderfully occasionally solace ventures determination galaxy opportunity justify political prophecy steadfast healthy forsaken chapter facebook worried ex struggle shatter gentleman including convinced profit comfortable twine deity responsible adrift sage fortune immortality theft damage examine deliverance ultimate immersion response access test physics magnitude occur member relation acts theme signal shivers mire coin planet anybody vicious nirvana pendent applause glimmering benediction consuming glint refrain renewal myths manifest nocturnal reflections limitations teenager naturally material matrix columbine giveth inseparable singular proving lifestyle coherence humane ideals starlight sincerely prudence underworld infamous perspective presented pretends excitation viewed regard enhanced zen reverence arcadia theory realization typing construct statement subjugated exploration vote hazy reaper **** streetlight artificial trespass definitive device exceed complex finality surreal petrol proposition inspiring totality originally recurring narcotic cometh juxtaposition reckoning represent inability proclamation syntax continuity nevermind avoidance irrelevant veracious arcadian commence rumination aesthetics ubiquitous nonetheless variable exploit experiencing underlying villain cola rictus ketamine corporeal electronic graciously input cannabis manifestation comprised socially proportionate insofar ethical hedonism junkies vicissitudes cognitive determining psychiatrist palindrome 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chances abuse palm week existed ignorant blind dice sheep agree joke spy spill odds immeasurable *** pushing wanderlust softly midst presents blade guided ripped round ball lovely rhythms beats cars glaze wash fates evening vein gloss juvenile sides faces graces month circular rung wheel rises permeates father supreme portal liked rip fades october sitting grin showing surrounded explored opened confused wall quietly deftly scene sighs lingering radio altered evaporated suns dreamed vibration important appetite exactly devil inhabiting brains ordinary beckons constant local organic soothing linger meditation moonlight lads height ethereal simplicity kinda cigarette suggest violence blew bombs arise trips predict surface guy movements grey car stepped large bank forward landed lied ancient purely crash direction inspired release warned melodic rhythmic telling mysticism blues riddle blur floating drama neck lover nerve poisonous glare factory wage character suburbia escaped gates suspended followed pierced hall marks ruled influence functioning contained losing stopping effect electronica relate fed temper facts dependent malleable convey bent delve horror wolves won lacking certainly fooled temple oblivious watches extension molecular random subtlety rem price sear covers truths judging stage frost conditions victory millennium realised confront trickster eve daughter defines awoke terror remembere
Composed on 00:53, 21/09/2016 using Hello Poetry's 'Words' algorithm. We don't assume this means something.
Shofi Ahmed Jul 2018
On the edge, the living earth
dared to mimic Queen Fathima's worth,
the Queen of Heaven's grace and poise,
her footsteps, a blessed path of choice.
This way bedewed with divine light,
a numinous destination of sight,
graced by thousands of prophets of God,
a sacred path that all should trod.

In Allah's name, she descended,
on the Night of Ascension, her path transcended.
from the Night of Measures, she came,
her frame, heaven's dark matter, a mystery untamed.
A divine dot in terra incognita,
a fondly-folded bud where time doth bloom.
If one can see up to where it rose,
Paradise sways towards this uncharted way
the only guide, oft is a glimpse of Queen Fathima's eye!

The only asymmetrical golden ratio,
steps forth amidst the symmetrical prophet flock.
The earth makes way for her in awe,
as she moves in sequence with the golden lock.
Cloaked in mystery, she reveals
her unique, divine relation to the divine.
Makes measured moves at the forefront,
shining the light ever drawing closure to God.

She is so pretty and classy, a paragon of art,
a sunrise amidst the eternal night.
Her beauty is a burning fire in her shadow,
she is 'Zahra,' pure light, a luminary dynamo.
The only woman in heaven and earth with no shadow!

The great flock of women mirrors the earth,
following each atom on that angled girth,
aligned perfectly under the waxing full moon's worth.
As they approach the behemoth's might,
atoms beneath their skin explode in their finest sway,
and beneath Fathima's feet, vibrations take flight.

The ocean billows up, floating with the clouds,
Like choreographed dewdrops hanging low on the rose,
Ready to shower down on that hot spot like honey-drops.

Even the Moon on the horizon follows suit,
Ah, the lunar punter rows down, loves to sip in a drop.
the sleeping beauty wakes amidst the moonlit night,
silver dances in her eyes on every star in sight,
as the Moon sails down from its celestial height.
The seven seas sing out in the dark,
bubbling with exuberant fireflies' spark,
who gleefully rock the moonlit boat,
towards the cup of that pretty little drop.

Poetry in motion, the sea on the ground
a beauty reflected in the Moon on high
the storylines jump and dance around.
Painting the colors of the winds in the sky
over the shady grove, the rhythm goes on
rains down from the sky on that sweet spot
singing the sweetest of all title songs.

Never before was a woman a prophet of God,
but for the primitive woman, the leading lady,
the sharpest cut above the rest, the leader of the pack.
Sayeedatun Nessa, Queen Fathima,
Heaven holds no secrets, always an open mirror!

Secret is Fathima touched the bottom of the earth first
it's in her elements a pure unique one otherworldly love
the womankind scores that only entering paradise!
"There is no night, only déjà vu moonlight
the pious homemakers, these veiled tuberoses,
were hidden gems to the sublunary fireflies
who will be open moons in heaven's secret skies."
The Huris gaze upon mesmerizing beauty,
but their eyes turn to the real McCoy:
the women in paradise!

The universe debuts a primitive water dew,
Big Bang, soon Fathima drops in it her two hairs duo
enkindles the inner dark energy in the dark matter mole.
Absolutely pure, nature wakes up get the building rock
nothing like it never seen before, treasures in Earth's core.

The Queen's first impression hooks on
the motionless earth in the dew makes the first move
polished golden spiral is in bloom expanding ever more
the last thing the sun can't do can't take its eyes off
after the Big Bang big fireworks still (Ratqan) a black mole
thicker than the black moon, gravitates the cosmos! 

Walking in the dark ahead of the sun and the moonlight
one step up on that shady way the Queen cemented on,
perfectly circle pi-locks, the earth takes a Ma pause.
Until God willing Fathima's locks shall finally bottom in  
the long haul of time squeezing out paradise upside for good,
the heavenly Queen shines the light in the secret end of God!

The planetary ebb and flow are on the way heaven
the planet earth is the only steppingstone.
No matter how many times they try on
there will still be an unturned stone.
Until the very one, the original woman,
the Queen Fathima steps on.

Dots connect in her presence
the nadir and the zenith perfectly intersect
once for all that shall mingle in her perfect circle
without a labyrinth gap in the whole
making ‘As above, so below’ pure Scientia scenario.

Where the Queen stands on
heaven will open its grand door!
No more reverse engineering the original
God willing Fathima will step on
on the last turned stone.
From the very one greatest woman
paradise starts from there on
from beneath the mother’s foot!

She is so pretty and classy, a paragon of art,
a sunrise amidst the eternal night.
Her beauty is a burning fire in her shadow,
she is 'Zahra,' pure light, a luminary dynamo.
The only woman in heaven and earth with no shadow!

The great women flock mirror the earth
treading across every atom on that angle
perfectly aligned down the Moon.
Until those beneath the skin atoms
bang, explode, on approaching the behemoth,
the vibration beneath the otherworldly Fathima’s feet!

The ocean billows up floats with the clouds
like choreographed dew droops hanging low on the rose
just to shower down on that hot spot like honey drops.

Even the Moon on the horizon follows suit
ah, the lunar punter rows down loves to sip in a drop.
The sleeping beauty wakes up amidst the moonlight
silver dances eye on every star in the night
the Moon is sailing down.
The seven seas sing out in the dark
bubbling with exuberant fireflies
that would gleefully rock the moonlight boat
over to the cup of that pretty little drop.  

Poetry in motion is a sea on the ground
the same is known as the Moon in the sky!
The storylines jump ever more
on that way over the shady grove.
Painting the colour of the winds
the sky rains down on that spot
singing the sweetest title song.  

Never was a woman prophet of God
for the primitive woman the leading lady
the acute cut above the rest, the leader of the pack.
'Sayeedatun Nessa' Queen Fathima
heaven is no secret always an open mirror!
Secret is Fathima touched the bottom of the earth first
it's in her elements a pure unique one otherworldly love
the womankind scores that only entering paradise!
There is no night only Deja vu moonlight
the pious homemakers these veiled tuberoses
were the hidden gems to the sublunary fireflies
shall be the open moons in the heaven's secret skies!
Huris look on mesmerising beautiful
eyes on the real McCoy the woman in paradise!

The universe debuts a primitive water dew,
Big Bang, soon Fathima drops in it her two hairs duo
enkindles the inner dark energy in the dark matter mole.
Absolutely pure, nature wakes up get the building rock
nothing like it never seen before, treasures in Earth's core.
The Queen's first impression hooks on
the motionless earth in the dew makes the first move
polished golden spiral is in bloom expanding ever more
the last thing the sun can't do can't take its eyes off
after the Big Bang big fireworks still (Ratqan) a black mole
thicker than the black moon, gravitates the cosmos! 

Walking in the dark ahead of the sun and the moonlight
one step up on that shady way the Queen cemented on,
perfectly circle pi-locks, the earth takes a Ma pause.
Until God willing Fathima's locks shall finally bottom in  
the long haul of time squeezing out paradise upside for good,
the heavenly Queen shines the light in the secret end of God!

The planetary ebb and flow are on the way heaven
the planet earth is the only steppingstone.
No matter how many times they try on
there will still be an unturned stone.
Until the very one, the original woman,
the Queen Fathima steps on.

Dots connect in her presence
the nadir and the zenith perfectly intersect
once for all that shall mingle in her perfect circle
without a labyrinth gap in the whole
making ‘As above, so below’ pure Scientia scenario.

Where the Queen stands on
heaven will open its grand door!
No more reverse engineering the original
God willing Fathima will step on
on the last turned stone.
From the very one greatest woman
paradise starts from there on
from beneath the mother’s foot!
Marshal Gebbie Apr 2013
Standing on the hillside is a rustic yellow cottage,
Rusty yellow staining from the steel dust of the trains.
Passing, rushing carriages that crisscross by the hour,
The ten o clock from Frankston meets the City train detained.

Golden light of sunrise in the calm of early morning
Golden light reflected on the rusty cottage roof,
Puffing at his briar and sitting at the doorstep
Old Grandpa drinks the peacefulness whilst stroking cat aloof.

Bacon smells a-beckoning from coal range fires a-glowering
Delicious tang of coffee from my Granma’s breakfast fare,
The clattering of silver wheels as silver rails reverberate
Sings the music of the morning with not a trace of care.

Memories from yesteryear I treasure on reflection,
Memories, a little boy, recalled from times secure.
Memories of cuddles in the ***** of my Grandma
And the scent of plum tobacco giving Grandpa’s pipe allure.

Perhaps a trick of memory, perhaps my passing fancy
But I clearly recall a sign above the kitchen door,
A simple sign of welcome with a sense of real belonging
In the gentle name of “Sunrise” to warm the heart galore.


Marshalg
In memory of my dear Nan and Pop Cummings @ Mordialloc by the bay.
23 April 2013
Adia Heart Aug 2014
The colours bleed through
The skies and into my skin,
Memories - someday.
15/June/2014
I can see the light of Dawn

The everlasting darkness fading

Cold leaving my bones

And the warmth of hope filling them again

Though the stars have lit our way

As we walked down this path

Nothing is greater than seeing the Sun
Kerri Jun 2015
Soft  yellow sunrise
my first morning waking up
looking into your eyes

Lying still in the moment
to soak it all in
a calm beating heart & an unscathed grin

Wrinkled sheets and messy hair
sipping fresh coffee
in a chipped-paint chair

A new beginning & the feeling of home
making sense of the past
and my journey alone

It lead me to your smile, which lead me to your kiss
and being wrapped in your angel wings
in a night of heavenly bliss

This morning I found my purpose
and I hope to see 1000 more
soft yellow sunrises streaming in behind your door
I don't do a lot of rhyming poems, but here it is :)

— The End —