March 21, 2009
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.
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)