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Poem of the Day (part two) --Issa

By John Published: April 30, 2010

From The Essential Haiku: versions of Basho, Buson and Issa, edited and with verse translations by Robert Hass.

Haiku by Issa

     Don't worry spiders
I keep house
     casually.

     Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
     but slowly, slowly.

     That gorgeous kite
rising
     from the beggar's shack.

     Zealous flea,
you're about to be the Buddha
     by my hand.

     The world of dew
is the world of dew.
     And yet, and yet --

     The toad! It looks like
it could belch
     a cloud.

     A dry riverbed
glimpsed
     by lightening.

     Under the evening moon
the snail
     is stripped to the waist.

     The cuckoo sings
to me, to the mountain
     to me, to the mountain.

     Her row veering off,
the peasant woman plants
     toward her crying child.

     Insects on a bough,
floating downriver,
     still singing.

     Garden butterfly:
baby crawls, it flies,
     She crawls, it flies.

      A good world --
the dewdrops fall
     by ones, by twos.

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