Author Archives: peterjohnstill

…miyako no hana wa harukaze zo fuku!!!…

In your mountain village,
the cherry trees – how are they doing?
down here in the capital…
the weather is changing…
and our blossoms are blowing in the wind

– – – Tamefuji


…on preparing to travel – with kasa and zori…

Basho is leaving –
and after his death,
the years have no end…

– – – Buson

…some waking up haiku, renku, kanbun and waka…

The First Dream of the Year

The year’s first dream:
still in my nose –
the heart of what it is to be a flower…

– – – Chiyo Ni

read more…

…some haiku and kambun on ‘the Way’, the road, the path…

…spring rain…
…in a gap between the trees you can see
a trail that goes to the sea…

– – – Otsuji


Seeing a temple
at the turn in the trail
and all those wild crysanthemums!

– – – Shiki


This is a road that no-one travels…
…it’s Autumn,
and night is falling

– – – Basho


The Autumn mountain’s
yellow leaves
are grown so thick
that I am lost, and my sweet sister
wandered away…
along a mountain trail I cannot see…

– – – Kakimoto Hitomaru


Swirling around – more and more –
just look at the snow coming down…
… – – – in the darkness – covering the trail – – –

– – – Kito


…lighting candles before the portrait of Fujiwara no Teika…

The old, old songs,
and the trails of the heart…
stopping my horse
at the wide stretch of snow at the ford at Sano,
this clean sheet of paper is all I can see…

– – – Shotetsu


Snow swirling down
deep and thick over the moors
at Kano – but you can make out the tracks
of that big wagon,
that’s set out at daybreak…

– – – Shotetsu


And if you come looking,
there isn’t a trail –
and nobody knows it…
…here in my heart
you are now…
and I come and I go…

– – – Princess Shikishi


The twittering of birds and the voices of insects –
completely communicate the secrets of the mind:
the intelligence of flowers and the color of grasses
are none other than studying books of the Way…
a learned man perceives the essence clearly
and his heart hears the bright-jeweled sound:
whatever he touches, his heart can handle…

– – – from the Saikontan


And I keep walking
through the grove – – –
the deserted market with the broken-down stalls
there’s not a soul – – –
an evening crow cries,
and under these trees: the trail

– – – Shotetsu


Dusk hangs from this willow-tree – – –
its shadow spreading
over the deserted road

– – – Buson

…some haiku, renku and kambun about bamboo…

a stand of bamboo
blown about by the winter rain – –
what an evening!

– – – Seisei


Fallen blossoms –
just like scattered paper now!!!…
…my bamboo broom…

– – – Buson


Falling water……
and behind the bamboo water-chute…a cricket sings…

– – – Onitsura

read more:

…apple-blossom time!!!…


…ume no hana!!!…


– Haiku by Soin Nishiyama –

we’ve translated some haiku by the poet SOIN Nishiyama (1605-1682) – – –
Soin was a great influence on Basho, and we think he should be better known:

Being in this world
Is like a butterfly alighting –
However things may be…


So distant from this scattered world –
The cold evening moon.

read more…

…from the Sand and Pebbles Collection…

the fresh
sprouting reeds
in the burned over field
are  a “mandala”!!!
– so the people say – – –

– – – Muju

On martial learning and acting (2) – Suzuki, Kigaku, Budo, Shugyou

…a conversation between Kimbal Anderson Sensei and Dwayne Blackaller of Boise Contemporary Theater about the classical Japanese budo practices preserved in Suzuki acting training – and about the intersecting philosophies of the traditional Japanese martial arts and contemporary theater practice .  A student of a student of a student of Tesshu talking to a student of a student of Marcel Marceau.  The conversation is  here.