Dead Planet LIV

Dead Planet LIV

Notes on Scifaiku

“haiku moments can occur
in the distant past or in
distant, imaginary places.
In fact, one of Buson's great
accomplishments was his
ability to create other worlds.”
—Haruo Shirane, “Beyond the Haiku
Moment: Basho, Buson and Modern
Haiku myths,” Modern Haiku, XXXI:
1 (winter-spring 2000)

“the Korean ship—
not stopping passes back
into the mist”

the Martian ship—
not stopping passes backwards
into sub-space

girdled by waves
islands of Japan”

Saturn in eclipse—
ringed by icy-cold thin rings
Titan gliding by
“Have the summer rains
come and gone, sparing
the Hall of Light?”

have the meteor—
showers come & gone sparing
the sky of night?”

“The apparition—
of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on wet, black bough”
—Ezra Pound

the apparition—
of all these orbs orbiting
worlds I’ll never know

“summer grasses—
traces of dreams
of ancient warriors”

pyramid ruins—
the ancient face on Mars
what happened back then?

“Equally important, travel
was a means of entering
into the past, of meeting
the spirits of the dead, of
experiencing what his poetic
and spiritual predecessors
had experienced. In other
words, there were two key
axes: one horizontal, the
present, the contemporary
world; and the other vertical,
leading back into the past,
to history, to other poems.”
—Haruo Shirane

“gazing intently
at the white chrysanthemums—
not a speck of dust”

gazing intensely—
thru the telescope at all
that moonlight & dust

“from deep within
the peony pistils—withdrawing
regretfully the bee”

deep inside my brain—
there’s a worm gnawing away
inside a chestnut

“fallen willow leaves—
the clear stream gone dry,
stones here and there”

cydonia plains—
all the seas & rivers gone
rubble everywhere

“by the side of the road
alongside a stream of clear water
in the shade of a willow tree
I paused for what I thought
would be just a moment”

“a whole field of
rice seedlings planted—I part
from the willow”

déjà vu flashback—
vandals of the void cruising
outta the ort cloud

“frog pond...
a leaf falls in
without a sound’
—Bernard Einbond

“…a haikai twist on Basho's
famous frog poem, wittily
replacing the frog with the
leaf and the sound of the
frog jumping in with no
sound. Einbond's haiku
has a sense of immediacy,
but at the same time it
speaks to the past; it enters
into dialogue with Basho's
poem. In other words, this
haiku goes beyond "the
haiku moment", beyond
the here and now, to speak
across time. To compose
such haiku is difficult. But
it is the kind of poetry that
can break into the mainstream
and can become part of a
poetic heritage.”—Haruo Shirane

outer space—
a planet incinerated
not a single scream

“jumping in
and washing off an old poem—
a frog”—Buson

“Fan-piece, for Her Imperial Lord
O fan of white silk,
Clear as frost on a grass-blade,
You are also laid aside.”
—Ezra Pound

jumping into time—
washing off like an old queen
scifaiku poet

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