Haiku by Ikeda Sumiko (池田澄子)

little Taku’s
first calligraphy this year
a giant oval

拓チャンの書初め大いなる楕円

fig trees
or gods or buddha
never seen them

無花果や神も仏も見たことなし

moonlit pillar
if you want to bloom
be my guest

月の夜の柱よ咲きたいならどうぞ

under cherry blossoms
if they fall
I do not wait for it

桜の下散るか散るまで待てません

she is prettier
than I am
the tubifex worm

私より彼女が綺麗糸みみず

All poems originally appeared in Japanese at the Gendai Haiku Association Database (http://www.haiku-data.jp/).

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Tanka by Okada Miyuki (岡田美幸)

They ran away
from a tower
called school
Shortcut
Rapunzels

学校という名の塔から逃げ出したショートカットのラプンツェルたち

Wanting to be a genius
the science kid
built a robot
and named it
after his mother

天才になりたい理系の少年がロボット作り母の名つけた

Melon bread
does not contain
melon juice
Reading a novel
I can’t shed tears

メロンパンメロン果汁は含まない小説読んで涙できない

NOTE: These poems originally appeared in the Japanese literary anthology Musica, vol. 2 (2015).

Haiku by Yoshii Yoshie (好井由江)

living together
with a single goldfish
raining in Ginza

いっぴきの金魚と暮らす銀座に雨

old scarecrow
crying out something
in the wind

案山子翁何か叫びぬ風の中

NOTE: Haiku taken from the Gendai Haiku Association Database (http://www.haiku-data.jp/).

Six Tanka by Kinoshita Shunsuke (木下竣介)

being alive
a little longer
than I
my clone goes
to the sea today

* * *

when they’re born
I will name my children
whatever names
are most popular
that year

* * *

I am marrying someone
who has carried the burden
of not fitting in with the times,
and the ceremony will be
before the first snowfall

* * *

I’ve often dreamed
that I owned a pet dolphin

but even after
I let the dolphin die
my dreams were very long

* * *

so many
memories are slaughtered
by needs

get me up
in five minutes

* * *

if you come
of course
I’ll be happy
and if you don’t come
I’ll still be happy

ぼくよりも少しだけ長く生きてゆくぼくのクローンが今日、海へ行く

いつか産む僕の子どもの名前にはその年いちばんよくある名前を

時代にそくしていない苦しみを抱えたひとと結婚する、雪が降る前に式をあげる

いるかを飼う夢をよく見た いつだって死なせた後からが長い夢だった

こんなにもたくさんの思い出を屠殺する必要がある あと五分たったら起こして

もし君が来たならもちろん嬉しいし来なかったならそれも嬉しい

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