Two Short Poems and Three Haiku by Kawamoto Ryokuseki (河本緑石)

The Valley Sky

The valley sky takes a deep breath
I drunkenly place a bunch of grapes in my mouth
My eyes collect pools of tears
One day’s journey up a mountain path
Oh, I think of my vanishing loneliness.

谷間の空

谷間の空は深く息をし
私は酸つぱき山葡萄の一房を口にし
目にいつぱい涙をためる
とある山路の旅の一日
ああ、かかる透明なる淋しさを思へ。

Firework

I will give you a firework
Though I know it’s not much
It explodes in the sky
It is my soul
A rainbow of color that quickly fades
A wondrous handball

花火

花火をあげろ
何のことはない
虚空で破裂する
俺の魂だ
七色に須臾(しゅゆ)にして消え去る
不思議の手毬だ

Haiku:

暗い空の雪風に眼がゐる

In the snowy winds
of the dark sky
there are eyes

狂つた時計ばかり背負はされてゐる

Forced to carry on my back
only broken clocks

麥がのびる風の白猫

Growing wheat
A white cat
in the wind

NOTES:

Kawamoto Ryokuseki (1897 – 1933) was the pen-name of Kawamoto Yoshiyuki (河本義行), a Japanese teacher and poet who wrote free-form haiku and free verse. In 1924, he received a copy of Spring and Chaos (「春と修羅」) from Miyazawa Kenji, the famous poet and story writer. The following year, Kawamoto published Dream Fragments (「夢の破片」). In 1932, he published a book of tanka, A Collection of Flowers and Incense (「香花集」). He died in 1933 — just two months before Miyazawa Kenji — saving a colleague from drowning during swimming practice at the coast. He was 36.

The “grapes” of the first poem are 山葡萄 (yama-budou), or Crimson Glory Vine.

A handball (手毬, temari) is a traditional Japanese toy that became a kind of art form.

Information and free verse taken from http://www.urban.ne.jp/home/festa/kawamoto.htm.

More information, photo and haiku taken from http://www.apionet.or.jp/~stfri13b/ryokuseki.htm.

One thought on “Two Short Poems and Three Haiku by Kawamoto Ryokuseki (河本緑石)

  1. Pingback: Two Poems by Kawamoto Ryokuseki (河本緑石) « Entry No. 1

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