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Chiyo-ni

Kaga no Chiyo (1701-1775)

A selection of haiku
 

spring rain---
all things on earth
become beautiful

waterweed
floating away, despite
the butterfly’s weight on it

a dandelion
now and then interrupting
the butterfly’s dream

moonlit night---
out on the stone
a cricket singing

loneliness
lies within the listener---
a cuckoo’s call

The passing year --
irritating things
are also flowing water.

cool clear water
and fireflies that vanish
that is all there is...

moon flowers!
when a woman’s skin
is revealed

fragrance of the orchid -
even to the grass
far away

on her day off
the prostitute wakes up alone
the night's chill

morning glory -
the truth is
the flower hates people

stars' meeting
which one
speaks first

over the flowing water
chasing its shadow -
the dragonfly

I wonder in what fields today
He chases dragonflies in play
My little boy who ran away

Chasing dragon flies
Today what place is it
he has strayed off to?

green leaves or fallen leaves
become one---
in the flowering snow

each sound of
the temple bell is different
in the wind

one must bend
in the floating world -
snow on the bamboo

staring
at my snow-white reflection
in the water

tea flowers---
their blooming
delays the dusk

offering daffodils---
my eyes can't tell
which are flowers, which is snow

leaves like bird shadows
desolate---
the winter moon

mistaking birds
for leaves--- lonely
a winters moon

on moor and mountain
nothing stirs
this morn of snow

it’s play for the cranes
flying up to the clouds
the year’s first sunrise

 

to tangle or untangle
the willow---
it's up to the wind

rouged lips
forgotten---
clear spring water

evening temple bell
stopped in the sky
by cherry blossoms

the moon's shadow
also pauses -
cherry blossom dawn

on the ebb tide beach
everything we pick up
is alive

rain clouds ---
the frog
puffs his belly out!

fishing rod
its line brushed
by the summer moon

Grazing
my fishing line --
the summer moon

again the women
come to the fields
with unkempt hair

morning glories ---
awakened
in the middle of a dream

purple cloud
isn't it the same color
as the iris?

moonflowers ---
the beauty
of hidden things

the coolness ---
on the bottom of her kimono
in the bamboo grove

To the one breaking it ---
the fragrance
of the plum.

Since morning glories
hold my well-bucket hostage,
I beg for water

The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water. .

only in the river
darkness flows:
fireflies

green grass---
between the blades
the colour of water

squatting
the frog observes
the clouds

dawn’s separation
unknown
to dolls

Airing out kimonos
as well as her heart
is never enough.

Just for today
using men
for rice-planting

A hundred different gourds
From the mind
Of one vine

From the mind
of a single, long vine
one hundred opening lives

(death haiku)
I saw the moon as well
and now world
"truly yours..."

I’ve seen the moon
I sign my letter to the world
-- Respectfully yours--

'Chiyo-Ni: Woman Haiku Master'
by Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi
- read a review here