Moody weather, homeless heart – Haiku #13-15

Leaving the Zen Center behind is moving into the state of home leavers in a more radical form. It brings tears to my eyes. My cheeks keep getting wet. My mood matches the weather fine:

Rain cools and quenches
Magnolia blooms almost
Holds a little back

Wet gray morning
The wind comes from the North
Dew drips herself free

Old male swan
Brown neck and tail dirty belly
Alone doesn’t work *)

My 心臓の心 ? doesn’t remember the houses I lived in. It just sees the swan, hears the song of the curlew drifting in the Northern winds and spots the beginning of the Magnolia flowers. And feels that life’s great.

Originally in Dutch:
*) Regen koelt en lest
Magnolia bloeit bijna
Houdt nog even in

Grijze ochtend nat
De wind komt van het Noorden
Dauw druppelt zich los

Oude zwanenman
Bruine nek en staart buik vies
Alleen wil het niet


About Jikai

Living a life of blessed less where my feet support my walk and my hands create my story. View all posts by Jikai

3 responses to “Moody weather, homeless heart – Haiku #13-15

  • Clark Strand

    I like the haiku. I wonder if you ever saw the Dutch version of my book on Zen and haiku: Seeds from a Birch Tree. I don’t read Dutch, but my late friend Jan Willem van der Wettering told me that the translation was good, although apparently they substituted the anthologized poems (the ones not actually appearing in chapters) with poems by Dutch haiku poets, and I have no idea what they quality of these is.

    • Barbara 不真 de Zoete

      I’m sorry to say that I don’t know the book. “Zaden van een berk” is the title in Dutch, but I didn’t find it available for purchase on the internet. I can try it with a friend who owns a bookstore in Amsterdam. I’m curious about it.

      I’m afraid though I wouldn’t be much of a professional critic on the haiku the publisher put in your book. I like reading them and writing them, but I’m clueless as to quality. Sometimes I read one that really touches me. And sometimes I write one that really touches someone else. All the rest, both reading them and writing them, is just ‘finger exercises’ (as the Dutch expression would be). And a lot of fun of course.

  • Clark Strand

    Finger exercises. I like that. Here’s a brief exceprt from Seeds on that subject:

    “In July 1993, the poet Kato Shuson passed away at the age of eighty-eight. One of the greatest haiku poets of this century, for many years he selected poems for the weekly haiku column of the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest newspapers.

    “According to a newspaper story written by English haiku poet James Kirkup, two weeks before he died, Shuson fell into a coma and never regained consciousness. Even while he lay unconscious, however, his fingers continued to move in the syllable-couinting fashion typical of Japanse haiku poets: ‘bending the fingers inward toward the palm, then releasing them again one by one.'”

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