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Three Haiku, Two Tanka

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(Kyoto)

CONFIDENCE
       (after Bashō)

Clouds murmur darkly,
it is a blinding habit—
gazing at the moon.


TIME OF JOY
       (after Buson)

Spring means plum blossoms
and spotless new kimonos
for holiday whores.


RENDEZVOUS
       (after Shiki)

Once more as I wait
for you, night and icy wind
melt into cold rain.


FOR SATORI

In the spring of joy,
when even the mud chuckles,
my soul runs rabid,
snaps at its own bleeding heels,
and barks: “What is happiness?”


SOMBER GIRL

She never saw fire
from heaven or hotly fought
with God; but her eyes
smolder for Hiroshima
and the cold death of Buddha.
Philip Appleman, “Three Haiku, Two Tanka” from New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996. Copyright © 1996 by Phillip Appleman. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Arkansas Press, www.uapress.com.
Source: New and Selected Poems 1956-1996 (University of Arkansas Press, 1996)
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Three Haiku, Two Tanka

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