Eight Haiku by Miki Motoshi (三木基史)

this injury
lets me take a break
from swimming lessons

fireflies
seated
demolition workers

I take a look
behind the crematorium
ladybugs

because of the rain
my true intentions
are not revealed

coffee
mixed only with
amaryllis

spending all day
with the goldfish
thin dust

the palm of my hand
I leave open
for the fireflies

summer moon
from somewhere
the screech of fish

水泳の授業を休むための傷

夏蝶や坐る解体作業員

火葬場の裏見てきたる天道虫

夕立のせいで本音が出てこない

珈琲に付き合うだけのアマリリス

終日を金魚と過ごす薄埃

てのひらを蛍のためにあけておく

夏の月どこかで魚の軋む音

NOTES: Poems originally published in the Japanese literary anthology Musica, vol. 2 (January 2015).

夏蝶, literally “summer butterfly,” seems to be a name that is pronounced “Hotaru,” which is the word for “firefly” (usually written 蛍). I am not sure how Miki meant this to be translated, but I decided to go with “fireflies” because of the pronunciation. It could also be translated: “Hotaru / seated / demolition worker” or, perhaps, “summer butterflies / seated / demolition workers.” My guess is that “hotaru” means “fireflies” in this case, indicating the summer (being the seasonal word, or 季語, in the haiku).

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