December 2003, Volume 1, Number 6

an'ya: Haibun

an'ya . . . whose haigo (haiku nom de plume) loosely translates to 'a peaceful light in the moonless night', lives in Oregon, USA. She has been bestowed (too numerous to mention here) top world-class awards and honours for her haiku poetry, as well as other verse forms, not only throughout the United States, but in Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, India, the UK, Brazil, and throughout the Balkans. an'ya has 4 books out currently, haiku for a moonless night, haiku wine, crosswinds, and haiku in my apron pocket. Her personal website can be viewed at:

Her extended biography is at: under staff members. Besides editing haigaonline, an'ya is the director for the World Haiku Club beginners sessions.


Three Shouts

In a black slip-dress and fishnet stockings specially chosen for this event, I think to myself, how unique it is to be the only woman present. Having occasionally run the crew in my huband's absence, tonight I'm proud to be recognized as 'the Port Engineer's wife.' What an honour it is to be presented with these exceptional gifts that came off the 350-foot reefer/mother ship.

twenty inches . . .
the diameter of my
glass float balls

Ultimately, the reality of this traditional bon-voyage party deeply sinks in. The ships may have been American-built, but the rituals of a Japanese fishing crew prevail. Course after course of eye-pleasing food passed only to the right, toast after lengthy toast, and each one accompanied by a cup of saki. Embracing their customs, I marvel at such patience.

farewell banquet—
the captain teaches me
to eat with chopsticks

At evening's end, my husband and I experience a significant oral tradition in the Japanese fishing culture. What most people in North America think is strictly a 'war cry,' is really an expression of joy and happiness (as the Japanese people did recently to celebrate the birth of their new princess), or a way to wish 'ten thousand years of life' to honoured guests.

three shouts of bonzai!
suddenly the crew leaves us
alone in the room


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