Tag Archives: Haiku

Fog Haiku

beidge in mist

In a famous story,  the Buddha gave a wordless sermon to his disciples by holding up a white flower. No one in the audience understood the Flower Sermon except Mahakashyapa, who was the only one who simply smiled.   The Buddha nodded approvingly, indicating that he was the only one among the hearers who truly understood.  In the Zen tradition, Mahakashyapa’s smile signifies the direct transmission of wisdom without words.  The photo is of the sutra hall at Honen-in temple in Kyoto. And so:

cloud hidden sutras

the wordless flower sermon

cuts through illusion

linked to carpediem haiku kai

That Haiku Frog Again!


From carpe diem haiku kai:

And this is our prompt: a frog jumps in which refers to that famous haiku by Basho:

the old pond

a frog jumps into it

the sound of water

(C) Basho (tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Maybe you can remember our Kamishibai Extreme challenge (2014-November). In which I challenged you to write a haibun (prose and haiku) on a given prompt with only 55 words (including the haiku). For this Time Glass episode I will challenge you again to write a haibun, with only 75 words, including the haiku, in just 24 hours.

Basho’s poem is probably the most famous ever written.  Everyone I met in japan knew this as well as his own address: furu ike ya, kawazu tobikomu, mizu no oto.   For such a perfect poem, it seems surprising that everyone is tempted to play with it .  My favorite was written by Ryokan (1785-1831): ata ike ya, kawazu tobikomu, oto no nashi: new pond, a frog jumps in, not a sound. And so I join the chorus of celebration:

such a noisy frog!

plopping into Basho’s pond

for five hundred years

Lost in the Mist Haiku

linked to carpe diem haiku kai

This is a picture of the main gate to Honen-in, a temple of the Pure Land Buddhist sect. It is found in the Northeast corner of Kyoto, just off the Path of Philosophy.  Its precincts are relatively small, but a precious, tranquil oasis.


pure land gateless gate

Nirvana on either side

hiding in the mist