• Stone Bridge Press

Poetry Roundup #2 - National Poetry Month


Well everyone, National Poetry Month is officially over – it went by so quickly!  As a farewell gesture, we've rounded up the poems we've shared from our Japanese poetry collections during the second half of April (plus a few more). You can read them all below – enjoy!


Watching the cherry blossoms shimmer, break through the sunshine; I was born to be human in this dark, transient world

- Chieko Yamanaka


A deep canyon, the moon behind it– where did it come from?

–Teiko Inahata


Rain in the eucalyptus tree like infinite thought

–Kimiko Itami


My gloom is only

because I envy the birds

these blossoms

–Sogi


The cat’s food dish

the shell of an abalone

one-sided longing

–Shuwa


Boundlessly

over the surface of the paddies

a breeze wafts

–Koroku


Awakening faith

at the time when blossoms

are just in the bud

–Kyorai


To the point of

sucking on fish bones

looking at old age

–Basho


Under thin snow

the leaves make colorful

this mountain path

–Shohaku


To those who lament the cries of monkeys

what of the abandoned child

in the autumn wind?

–Basho


Sympathy

toward people, toward cars

toward this town

–Momoko


SPRING

under the cherry blossoms, warmed by the earth's smell

a man is hanging from a rope

his eyelids convulse

the man drifts in and out of his dreams

a girl’s taut breasts softly grow rounder

the snake he saw yesterday returns

and eases up the trunk of the tree

the man’s grip releases

many things have been thrown at his feet

on the tip of his swaying fingers

one transparent petal remains

–Miyuki Aoyama


FEBRUARY

the field of wheat is drying out

the field mouse has shrived up

i see teeth in its half-opened mouth

in the dead of the night

a cat with a distorted body leaps and leaps

the cat moans in a baby’s voice

a woman with a low temperature slowly strolls the field

hearing the woman’s footsteps

the flesh underfoot grows sullen

–Miyuki Aoyama


PEACH

a ripe peach falls

the peach sinks in the heavy summer air

a stifling hot wind pushes it up from under

a woman in her ninth month digs a hole

i put a slippery thing in my mouth

and feel a sudden nausea

a woman gives out a scream behind the dark shoji

all at once, the children become sleepy

the blackened peach in the air

the dog with a black penis slowly goes crazy

–Miyuki Aoyama


If you enjoyed these poems, you will definitely enjoy reading our poetry collections in their entirety. These particular poems come from The Haiku Seasons, A Long Rainy Season, The Haiku Apprentice, and Other Side River . Of course, poetry is always in the air, especially as spring blossoms into the coming summer months, so look forward to more haiku, tanka, and free verse Japanese poetry on our social media and blog every so often – cheers!

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