A Swing After Rain: Free-Form Haiku by Sumitaku Kenshin (住宅顕信)

どこまでも寒い青空が続く

the cold blue sky goes on
as far as I can see

青空に並んで冷たい墓となる石

lined up against the blue sky
cold graves made from stone

淋しさきしませて雨あがりのブランコ

loneliness
creaks
a swing
after rain

誰もいない壁に近くすわる

there’s no one here
I sit close to the wall

握りしめた夜に咳こむ

in the seized night
a coughing fit

自殺願望、メラメラと燃える火がある

wanting to kill myself,
an all-consuming fire

さめて思い出せない不安な夢

I wake up
and can’t remember
my anxious dreams

手が汗ばんでいる夢を見ていた

my hands are sweating
from the dream I had

聞こえない鳥が鳴いているという

unable to hear
it is said
the birds still sing

春にはと思う心に早い桜

spring is I think
early cherry blossoms
in the heart

窓に病人ばかりが耐えている冬空

the window is full
of sick people enduring
winter sky

冷たい朝をゆく健康な人の背ばかり

going away in the cold morning
the backs of healthy people only

NOTES:

Sumitaku Kenshin (1961-1987) was a haiku poet who practiced free-form haiku (自由律俳句). He died of acute myelocytic leukemia before his 26th birthday. In his lifetime, he only self-published one volume of poetry, but the free-form haiku magazine Kaishi (海市) published a number of his poems. After his death, much of his work was collected in a volume called Unfinished (未完成).

Poems taken from kaishi-haiku.com.

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