More Free-Form Haiku by Ozaki Hōsai (尾崎放哉)

山に登れば淋しい村がみんな見える

If you climb the mountain
you can see
everyone in the lonely village

働きに行く人ばかりの電車

On the train
only people
heading to work

壁の新聞の女はいつも泣いて居る

The woman
in the newspaper on the wall
is always crying

心をまとめる鉛筆とがらす

I gather my thoughts
and sharpen my pencil

春の山のうしろから煙が出だした

From behind the spring mountain
smoke came rising up

月夜の葦が折れとる

Reeds
in the moonlight
snapped

入れものが無い両手で受ける

I have no container
I will take it in my hands

NOTES:

Ozaki Hōsai (1885-1926) was an early free-form haiku poet. His only book of poems, 大空 (The Great Big Sky), was published posthumously. Thanks to Miyoshino Mori for correcting a mistranslation above. All poems taken from the Gendai Haiku Association Database.

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No Light from the Firefly: Free-Form Haiku by Ozaki Hōsai (尾崎放哉)

汽車が走る山火事

The steam train speeds by
A wildfire

沈黙の池に亀一つ浮き上る

A turtle
floats to the surface
of the silent pond

淋しい寝る本がない

Lonely
I fall asleep
without a book

淋しいからだから爪がのびだす

My nails start growing out
from my lonely body

爪切つたゆびが十本ある

I cut my nails —
I have ten fingers

蛍光らない堅くなつてゐる

No light from the firefly
He’s already going stiff

障子しめきつて淋しさをみたす

I shut myself behind
this paper door
to satisfy my loneliness

何か求むる心海へ放つ

When you desire something
in your heart
release it to the sea

NOTES:

Ozaki Hōsai (1885-1926) was an early free-form haiku poet. His only book of poems, 大空 (The Great Big Sky), was published posthumously.

All poems taken from the Gendai Haiku Association Database.

A Cup Full of Free-form Haiku

春の日暮れへ行方不明になった機関車

–飯島翆壺洞

A locomotive
mysteriously vanished
into the spring sunset

–Iijima 翆壺洞

鶺鴒の胸の白さと春の白雲と

–青木此君楼

And the white of the wagtail’s breast
And the white clouds of spring

–Aoki Shikunrou

月が昇れりわがまへの花ひらくべし

–種田山頭火

The moon rises
A flower blooming
Before my eyes

–Taneda Santoka

雀のあたたかさ握るはなしてやる

–尾崎放哉

Grab hold
of the sparrow’s warmth
then let it go

–Ozaki Hosai

木を挽けば鳩の声木を挽けば

–和田光利

If you cut down the trees
The singing of the doves
If you cut down the trees

–Wada Akitoshi

赤い郵便車とまつたポストと冬の雲

–秋山秋紅蓼

A red mail truck
stopped at the postbox
Winter clouds

–Akiyama Shuukouryou (Shūkōryō)

雪が好き想像妊娠かも知れぬ

–三樹雄

I love the snow
Maybe this is a false pregnancy

–Mikio

Three Free-form Haiku

こだま
「おーい」と淋しい人
「おーい」と淋しい山

— 荻原井泉水

Echo

“He~ey” said the lonely human
“He~ey” said the lonely mountain

— Ogiwara Seisensui

せきをしてもひとり

— 尾崎放哉

I even cough
alone

— Ozaki Hosai

もりもりもりあがる雲へ歩む

— 種田山頭火

rising high high higher
walking toward the clouds

— Taneda Santoka

Four Free-form Haiku by Ozaki Hosai

とんぼが淋しい机にとまりに来てくれた

A dragonfly
came to visit me
at my lonely desk

肉がやせてくる太い骨である

The meat gets thinner
The bones get fatter

門をしめる大きな音さしてお寺が寝る

The gate shuts
with a loud groan
The temple sleeps

うつろの心に眼が二つあいている

Both eyes are open
in an emptied mind

— 尾崎 放哉 (Ozaki Hosai)

NOTES:

“thinner/fatter” — lit. “meat thins out, fat bones” or “They are fat bones that thin out the meat”

“with a loud groan” — lit. “a big sound”