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Winter 2009, vol 7 no 4


Into The Infinite Sky: Half-Kasen

into the infinite sky   the solemn air radiates   Mt Fuji Shinku Fukuda
      a sleeping top   in an adamant whirl Shokan Kondo
green pine laver   may be good as relish   for sashimi* Karin Noborizaka
      a new first-grader   sparkling white collar Kikuyo Sugiura
opening sale   brought overflowing crowds   the misty moon Ryo Uchiyama
      watching mime   forgetting time Mami Orihara
Shunkan's*   tattered hem blown   in the waves and wind Tateshi Tsukamoto
      down a capital's main street   showing off courtship Yoshiko Robbie
sexless couples   and male couples   now so common Karin
      in the evening shower   smoke from burning rape pods* Shokan
the fragrance   of a fresh rush mat   endless dreams Yoshiko
      hostages in Lima   no sign of improvement Rvo
sit'n wait moon   the earth's other side   in deep silence Kikuyo
      autumn equinoctial week   even a cat in a car Karin
not to miss   the shutter chance   at a woodpecker Mami
      for promotion of a village   brewing local sake Karin
pulling down   the shroud from the statue   blossom storm Tateshi
      golden week*   crossing over whirlpools Shokan


* pine laver: dried and processed seaweed (nori), cut into pine-needle-size
"Raw sashimi and raw fresh youngster-a fresh green harmony." (S. Goldstein)

*Shunkan (1142-1179): a tragic monk exiled to a southern island for attempting the Heike clan's downfall

*burning rape pods: season word for early summer, pods are burned on the spot to make fertilizer
"Yes, the mixtures of positive and negative — in the necessary burning, there is freshness and mixtures — all necessary." (S. Goldstein)

*golden week: a week of National holidays in the beginning of May

composed January 4, 1997
at the Demings, US Deputy Ambassador's Residence

led by Shinku Fukuda
translated by Shokan Kondo
Karin Noborizaka
Kikuyo Sugiura
Ryo Uchiyama
Mami Orihara
Tateshi Tsukamoto
Yoshiko Robbie

The above is from page 8 of the renku anthology 'Wind Arrow'
published by Association for International Renku (AIR), 20 November, 1999
edited by Eiko Yachimoto,

Reproduced with Eiko Yachimoto's permission and the following note:

"I asked myself if I have the power to give you the requested permission. It is broadly acknowledged here that a sabaki has the ultimate right to a completed renku poem. Prof. Fukuda, the sabaki of 'Into the Infinite Sky', passed away several years ago... He was very thoughtful in his last days and gave me permission to publish another which I was involved in and I think I can extend the discretion to this
half-kasen you kindly chose.

He would be very pleased had he been alive.

sincerely yours,
eiko yachimoto"

Related item in this issue of Simply Haiku: 'A letter from America: Fond Memories on 'Wind Arrow' andů' by Kristen Deming.


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