My Arm for a Pillow – Yosa Buson

My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon.

This Autumn will End – Akiko Yosano

This autumn will end.
Nothing can last forever.
Fate controls our lives.
Fondle my breasts
With your strong hands.

River of Stars – Akiko Yosano

Left on the beach
Full of water
A worn out boat
Reflects the white sky —
Of early autumn.

Swifter than hail
Lighter than a feather,
A vague sorrow
Crossed my mind.

Feeling you nearby,
how could I not come
to walk beneath
this evening moon rising
over flowering fields.

It was only
the thin thread of a cloud,
almost transparent,
leading me along the way
like an ancient sacred song.

I say his poem,
propped against this frozen wall,
in the late evening,
as bitter autumn rain
continues to fall.
What I count on
is a white birch
that stands
where no human language
is ever heard.

A bird comes
delicately as a little girl
to bathe
in the shade of my tree
in an autumn puddle.

Even at nineteen,
I had come to realize
that violets fade,
spring waters soon run dry,
this life too is transient

He stood by the door,
calling through the evening
the name of my
sister who died last year
and how I pitied him!

Labor Pain – Akiko Yosano

I am sick today,
sick in my body,
eyes wide open, silent,
I lie on the bed of childbirth.

Why do I, so used to the nearness of death,
to pain and blood and screaming,
now uncontrollably tremble with dread?

A nice young doctor tried to comfort me,
and talked about the joy of giving birth.
Since I know better than he about this matter,
what good purpose can his prattle serve?

Knowledge is not reality.
Experience belongs to the past.
Let those who lack immediacy be silent.
Let observers be content to observe.

I am all alone,
totally, utterly, entirely on my own,
gnawing my lips, holding my body rigid,
waiting on inexorable fate.

There is only one truth.
I shall give birth to a child,
truth driving outward from my inwardness.
Neither good nor bad; real, no sham about it.

With the first labor pains,
suddenly the sun goes pale.
The indifferent world goes strangely calm.
I am alone.
It is alone I am.

Hokku Poems in Four Seasons – Yosa Buson

Spring

The year’s first poem done,
with smug self confidence
a haikai poet.

Longer has become the daytime;
a pheasant is fluttering
down onto the bridge.

Yearning for the Bygones

Lengthening days,
accumulating, and recalling
the days of distant past.

Slowly passing days,
with an echo heard here in a
corner of Kyoto.

The white elbow
of a priest, dozing,
in the dusk of spring.

Into a nobleman,
a fox has changed himself
early evening of spring.

The light on a candle stand
is transferred to another candle
spring twilight.

A short nap,
then awakening
this spring day has darkened.

Who is it for,
this pillow on the floor,
in the twilight of spring?

The big gateway’s heavy doors,
standing in the dusk of spring.

Hazy moonlight —
someone is standing
among the pear trees.

Blossoms on the pear tree,
lighten by the moonlight, and there
a woman is reading a letter.

Springtime rain — almost dark,
and yet today still lingers.

Springtime rain —
a little shell on a small beach,
enough to moisten it.

Springtime rain is falling,
as a child’s rag ball is soaking
wet on the house roof.

@Summer

Within the quietness
of a lull in visitors’ absence,
appears the peony flower!

Peony having scattered, two
or three petals lie on one another.

The rain of May —
facing toward the big river, houses,
just two of them.

At a Place Called Kaya in Tanba

A summer river being crossed,
how pleasing,
with sandals in my hands!

The mountain stonecutter’s chisel;
being cooled in the clear water.

Grasses wet in the rain,
just after the festival cart passed by.

To my eyes how delightful
the fan of my beloved is,
in complete white.

A flying cuckoo,
over the Heian capital,
goes diagonally across the city.

Evening breeze —
water is slapping against
the legs of a blue heron.

An old well —
jumping at a mosquito,
the fish’s sound is dark.

Young bamboo trees —
at Hashimoto, the courtesan,
is she still there or not?

After having been fallen,
its image still stands —
the peony flower.

Stepping on the Eastern Slope

Wild roses in bloom —
so like a pathway in,
or toward, my home village.

With sorrow while coming upon the hill
–flowering wild roses.

Summer night ending so soon,
with on the river shallows still remains
the moon in a sliver.

@Autumn

It penetrates into me;
stepping on the comb of my gone wife,
in the bedroom.

More than last year,
I now feel solitude;
this autumn twilight.

This being alone may even be a kind of happy
— in the autumn dusk.

Moon in the sky’s top,
clearly passes through this
poor town street.

This feeling of sadness —
a fishing string being blown by the autumn wind.

@Winter

Let myself go to bed;
New Year’s Day is only a matter
for tomorrow.

Camphor tree roots are quietly getting wet,
in the winter rainy air.

A handsaw is sounding,
as if from a poor one,
at midnight in this winter.

Old man’s love affair;
in trying to forget it,
a winter rainfall.

In an old pond,
a straw sandal is sinking
— it is sleeting.