March 21, 2009

Haiga 184

Another haiku by Kobayashi, Issa of Japan.
Japan is a moutainous, volcanic islands, and there are numorous hot springs all over.
I wrote a haibun about one of such places:

A mountain haijin has come to the seaside. I am at a hot spring along the coast of the Japan Sea (a twelve hour train ride from my town). The spring is located in the open, right by the beach. A few steps away is the wide, wide expanse of the Japan Sea. I watch the huge sunset as I warm myself in the hot water.

calm sea...
a boat's wake leads
to the setting sun

Basho walked along this beach on his "Narrow Road of Oku" and wrote the following haiku:

the rough sea -
flowing toward Sado Island
the river of Heaven

Sado is too far to see from where I am. And I do not stay outside to observe the river of Heaven, the Milky Way. I have a party to attend and, having been in the hot spring too long, I am more attracted to cold beer and sake.

a treat for travelers,
milk for Basho
and sake for me
(published on Frogpond and American Haibun & Haiga, 2003)


Linda Brazeau said...

Beautiful imagery in haiga and prose. The ending made me laugh. Very nice combination of haibun and haiku.



"Milk" is the key word here. This does not work in Japanese. This was my first haibun. Haiku is so short that sometimes I feel that it need some support like more text(haibun) and image(haiga). Of course, the haiku is the essencial, the core, and the other elements resonate and give haiku depth.

John McDonald said...