Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson by Yosa Buson

Washing the hoe--
ripples on the water;
    far off, wild ducks.

The old man
cutting barley--
bent like a sickle.

The behavior of the pigeon
is beyond reproach,
but the mountain cuckoo?

White blossoms of the pear
and a woman in moonlight
    reading a letter.

Lighting one candle
with another candle--
    spring evening.

Before the white chrysanthemum
the scissors hesitate
    a moment.

Ploughing the land--
not even a bird singing
in the mountain's shadow.

Calligraphy of geese
against the sky--
    the moon seals it.

Early summer rain--
houses facing the river,
    two of them


fish the cormorants haven't caught
swimming in the shallows.

His Holiness the Abbot
is shitting
in the withered fields.

Evening wind:
water laps
    the heron's legs.

The spring sea rising
and falling, rising
    and falling all day.

The willow leaves fallen,
the spring gone dry,
    rocks here and there.

My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon.


the sound of the bell
    as it leaves the bell.

Blown from the west,
fallen leaves gather
    in the east.

Below are eleven Buson haiku
beginning with the phrase
'The short night--'

The short night--
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.

The short night--
washing in the river.

The short night--
bubbles of crab froth
among the river reeds.

The short night--
a broom thrown away
on the beach.

The short night--
the Oi River
has sunk two feet.

The short night--
on the outskirts of the village
a small shop opening.

The short night--
broken, in the shallows,
a crescent moon.

The short night--
the peony
has opened.

The short night--
waves beating in,
an abandoned fire.

The short night--
near the pillow
a screen turning silver.

The short night--
shallow footprints
on the beach at Yui.

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The short night-
a watery moon
stands alone over the hill


The short night--
just as I'm falling asleep
my wife's waking up

     Larry Bole

Harvest moon--
called at his house,
he was digging potatoes.

He's on the porch,
to escape the wife and kids--
how hot it is!


The winter river;
down it come floating
flowers offered to Buddha.

Listening to the moon,
gazing at the croaking of frogs
in a field of ripe rice.

Straw sandal half sunk
in an old pond
    in the sleety snow.

Blow of an ax,
pine scent,
the winter woods.

Buying leeks
and walking home
    under the bare trees.

Not quite dark yet
and the stars shining
above the withered fields.

The end of spring--
the poet is brooding
    about editors.

Sparrow singing--
its tiny mouth

A bat flits
in moonlight
above the plum blossoms.

They end their flight
one by one---
crows at dusk.

Old well

Old well,
a fish leaps--
    dark sound.

— The End —