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cats, rain, and trains: new and old haiku

by Alan Summers 

Posted: 12 January 2009
Word Count: 368
Summary: A number of new or old, translated, or versions of previously published haiku.

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All haiku in English©Alan Summers 2009

Nollaig Bheag-
some more mulled wine at the pub
before the last bus

dark morning...
the sushi bar opens up
for the train station

art cafe
a security guy hums
the James Bond theme

sunlight breaks
on a bird
and its portion of the roof

hi wa torini yane no ibasho ni sosogi keri
romanized trans. Hiromi Inoue

almost lost
in the shimmer of water
several ducklings

haeos naduea
sa gaigpat-igpat nga tubi
pilang batong buto't pato

Aklanon, the language of Aklan, Philippines
trans. Melchor Cichon

mizu haete hikari ni kasumu kogamo kana

romanized trans. Nobuyuki Yuasa
editor/translator of the Penguin Classics book "Oku no Hosomichi"

gathering dusk
outside the harbourside cafe
a few fishermen's lines

the rain ceases
as I leave the sycamore...
one more kingfisher

Old Possums Book
a black cat licks itself
into its pages

a tension headache
all the different bees work
the lavender bush

quick starburst fireworks
a girl and her mum tiptoe
to try to pick them

summer wind
a sparrow re-rights itself
at the peanut cage

a heavy downpour
the hoverfly goes deeper
into gerbera

red polka dot dress
a child repeats everything
on the local train

new Mars landing -
a small tendril of red dust
shifts from the footfall

a small smoky cat
restaurant el pescado
insists on white gloves

river of stars -
I wave hello & goodbye
to just one blinking

exotic dancing...
a mobile phone's tune
he taps a beer gut

the blue
of the aubergine
a spider is caught
in the netsuke

city cafe garden
a robin pecks at the joints
between the red bricks

the rain
almost a friend
this funeral

Toshogu shrine pines
I try to stay as still -
mist and dew

winter timetable-
a late train leaves behind
half the school trip

an old bag of beer
every snail trail leaves
from all directions

strong wind
the juggler's hand catches
a pocket hanky

a disturbed crow -
maybe we both invoke God
in the small hours

river-side pub
the number of cows change
by the local bridge

fireside stories-
a boy gets a piggyback
through the pub

NOTE: rain and wind are great for haiku!

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Comments by other Members

Beanie Baby at 11:18 on 29 January 2009  Report this post
I love these, Alan. I could not help but smile because many of them are so obviously things you have seen and/or experienced yourself and thatis precisely why I love this form so much - the little girl in the polka dot dress,the little boy getting the piggyback, the grey cat with white gloves - I felt as if I were there with you, seeing things through your eyes, and to do that is some accomplishment. Any piece of work that yanks its reader into the mind of its writer has a massive thumbs up from me. I was commissioned a few years back to write a series of articles about haiku writing and I was so pleased when I got reader feedback saying how many who had previously not considered it, were inspired to try it for themselves. Your work does that for me.
All the best.


V`yonne at 14:19 on 03 May 2010  Report this post
I daresay more will stike me as I read these and I'll come back to them again but the ones that struck me most today were the lavender and headache one - since laneder is a cure for headaches and it's so summer themed - I suppose using lavender as a season note...

But I loved

a black cat licks itself
into its pages

that is just such a wonderful image!

V`yonne at 18:18 on 08 May 2010  Report this post
Just love this one

the rain
almost a friend
this funeral

I don't pretend to be a judge of haiku but I think that is so minimal and says so much! The cold, the grief, the tears, the dismal event, the shared greiving of people who don't know each other. Blew me away actually!

V`yonne at 20:30 on 08 May 2010  Report this post
I keep coming back to these - a different one strikes me each time and I think that has to do with mood but that's aslo something about poetry in general that's great - it reaches you at different levels all the time. This one is deep.


Did you publish it yet?

V`yonne at 23:45 on 08 May 2010  Report this post
I do like:

la pluie
presqu'une amie
ses funérailles

so formal... just so... I never thought of French haiku heehee

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