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

南天の真っ正直な紅の色

Heavenly bamboo
The undiluted honesty
of crimson

人体の自在に曲がる螢の夜

The human body’s
freedom of motion
Firefly night

善人と歩く日向の枇杷の花

Walking with good people
Loquat flowers in the sun

地球の芯に水流るるや秋の蟬

Water flows
in the center of the Earth —
Autumn cicadas

彼の世は親し風鈴がひとつ鳴り

His world is familiar
One wind chime ringing

猫太る夢に山河も冬枯れて

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

NOTES:

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.

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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

母死ぬと誰かれとなく飴の匂い

–斉木ギニ

Since Mother died
Everyone I meet
Smells like candy

–Saiki Gini

空蟬に真昼の海が残っている

–高遠朱音

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

–Takatō Akane

それぞれの部屋にこもりて夜の長き

–片山由美子

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

–Katayama Yumiko

死化粧して水色桔梗なりぬ

–寺井谷子

Make-up on the dead
Pale blue bell flowers

–Terai Taniko

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