The Cat’s Getting Fat: Haiku by Terai Taniko (寺井谷子)


Heavenly bamboo
The undiluted honesty
of crimson


The human body’s
freedom of motion
Firefly night


Walking with good people
Loquat flowers in the sun


Water flows
in the center of the Earth —
Autumn cicadas


His world is familiar
One wind chime ringing


The cat’s getting fat
Even in his dreams, outside
is desolate winter


According to an online profile, Terai Taniko was born in Fukuoka in 1944 and started writing haiku at the age of ten. She is a vice president of the Gendai Haiku Association. Among her books is 「母の家ー寺井谷子句集」 (My Mother’s House – Collected Haiku of Terai Taniko, 2006).

All poems taken from the Gendai Haiku Assocation Database.


Sun Dog: Three Haiku

母の家まで六百五十歩春の雨 –寺井谷子

Six hundred and fifty steps
to my mother’s house
Spring rain

–Terai Taniko (b. 1944)

憧れの蛇に覚えてもらいけり –杉浦圭祐

The serpent
Taught us
How to yearn

–Sugiura Keisuke (b. 1968)

凍空に太陽三個死は一個 –阪口涯子

In the frigid sky
There are three suns
Death is one

–Sakaguchi Gaishi (1901-1989)

NOTES: In his column about Sakaguchi Gaishi’s haiku, Ishikawa Seirou (石川青狼) explains that there is a rare phenomenon called 幻日 (genjitsu), or parhelion, in which bright spots appear to the left and the right of the sun caused by the refraction of sunlight through ice crystals in the atmosphere. You can read the entire column here.

Poems taken from the Gendai Haiku Association Database.

Four Haiku



Since Mother died
Everyone I meet
Smells like candy

–Saiki Gini



In the world of men
The midday ocean
Is all that remains

–Takatō Akane



Each and every one
Isolated in their rooms
So long is the night

–Katayama Yumiko



Make-up on the dead
Pale blue bell flowers

–Terai Taniko

NOTES: Poems used by kind permission from the Gendai Haiku Association.