Pages
Contact:
James Carman
Office: +1 (212) 533-8806
Cell: +1 (917) 208-8806
james@jamescarman.net

©2017 James Carman

HAIKU’S I LOVE

 

 

BASHO:

 

Year after year

on the monkey’s face

a monkey face

 

The winter sun—

on the horse’s back

my frozen shadow.

 

Wintry wind—

passing a man

with a swollen face

 

A group of them

gazing at the moon,

not one face beautiful

 

Teeth sensitive to the sand

in salad greens—

I’m getting old

 

HIS DEATH POEM

 

Sick on a journey

my dreams wander

the withered fields

 

BUSON:

 

That snail—

one long horn, one short,

what’s on his mind?

 

The short night—

waves beating in,

an abandoned fire.

 

I go,

you stay;

two autumns.

 

Bats flitting here and there;

the woman across the street

glances this way.

 

By moonlight

the blossoming plum

is a tree in winter.

 

The old man

cutting barley—

bent like a sickle.

 

Plum blossoms here and there

it’s good to go north,

good to go south.

 

A gust of wind

whitens

the water birds.

 

A tethered horse

snow

in both stirrups.

 

HIS DEATH POEM

 

In the white plum blossoms

night to the next day

just turning.

 

 

ISSA:

 

 

            New Year’s Day—

everything is in blossom!

I feel about average.

 

The snow is melting

and the village is flooded

with children.

 

Don’t worry, spiders

I keep house

casually.

 

Climb Mount Fuji,

O snail,

but slowly, slowly.

 

Mosquito at my ear—

does it think

I’m deaf?

 

This moth saw brightness

in a woman’s chamber—

burnt to a crisp.

 

Even with insects—

some can sing,

some can’t.

 

Even a fleabite,

when she’s young,

is beautiful.

 

On my portrait:

 

Even considered

in the most favorable light,

he looks cold.

 

 

Fleas in my hut,

it’s my fault

you look so skinny.

 

The old dog—

listening for the songs

of earthworms?

 

The holes in the wall

play the flute

this autumn evening.

 

From now on,

it’s all clear profit,

every sky.

 

This stupid world—

skinny mosquitoes, skinny fleas,

skinny children.

 

Insects on a bough

floating downriver,

still singing.

 

 

HIS DEATH POEM

 

A bath when you’re born,

a bath when you die,

how stupid.

 

 

James Carman

 

Kitty crunching crackers

Into meat powder paste

Lapping milk puddle

(whisker touches milk puddle)

Pink tongue

 

Water Buffalo grazes

rice paddy

Crunchy Pudding
high on a journey
my tiger soul flies
frozen tundra fields

 

 

 

Kosai

 

Autumn ends

He didn’t leave behind

Even a snore

 

 

Mumon Gensen

 

Life is an ever-rolling wheel

And everyday is the right one

He who recites poems at his death

Adds frost to snow

 

Bokusui

 

A parting word?

The melting snow is

Odorless

 

 

James Carman

 

Even though moth eaten

It’s still warm enough

To die

 

 

Seaside resort teepee

Fat Russian belly

floats Hari Krishna skis

 

Kitty crunching crackers

Into meat powder paste

Lapping milk puddle

(whisker touches milk puddle)

Pink tongue

 

Water Buffalo grazes

rice paddy

Crunchy Pudding
high on a journey
my tiger soul flies
frozen tundra fields