From the Fallen Leaves

Vol 4-1, 2004

FEATURE: From the Fallen Leaves (Shu-i-shu)

Susumu Takiguchi, December 2004

When leaves change colour, we pick from among the carpet of fallen leaves the ones we love. Likewise, I pick haiku from among many. Some may live as pressed leaves. Others may go on decaying. But they are all beautiful fallen leaves. ‘Shu-i-shu’ is a Japanese literary term. Meaning gleanings, it used to be chosen for the title of anthologies which collected poems which escaped a first anthology.Poets featured in this issue:


From: ADA, photos + haiku & senryu, Jenny Ovaere & Geert Verbeke, pub. Empty Sky, 2004

the mendicants
singing in the rain
so many puddles

a long way to go
so many mantras

catching up
about this and that
the smell of tea

little secrets
and a contagious laugh
the fellow-villagers

the toddler plays
with horse-dung
everyone’s a winner

in the sanctuary
he lights a candle
a free sample

on the lingam
rain composes

with goat’s blood
he writes words of power
a sacrificial stone

your window
overlooks the fields
and yourself

a hymn of thanks
for a bowl of rice
the old sadhu

           JOHN STEVENSONFrom: quiet enough, John Stevenson, Red Moon Press, 2004

May morning
the door opens
before I knock

first warm day
the ground
gives a little

Main shore
bits of clam
xxbetween my teeth

a deep bruise
I don’t remember getting
autumn evening

summer night
the sound of a car
about to go by

snowy night
sometimes you can’t be
quiet enough

curling tighter
a leaf
catches fire

since you moved
just a road
I don’t go down

and the leaves
so green
I almost
tell the truth

seeing it her way
it must have been lonely
living with me

autumn wind
the leaves are going
where I’m going

the ring itself
I don’t remember
as much as
the mark it left
when it came off

Father’s Day
she tells me
I’m not the father

a bit of birdsong
before we start
our engines

all new clothes
waiting for
the school bus

shopping alone
the doors
part for me

after the nightmare
in the kitchen

could i still
catch one


From: Sunlight Comes and Goes: haiku, Francine Porad, Vandina Press, 2004

dampened weeds
weaving them over and under
spokes of the basket

windstorm warning
shore birds scurry through
the waves’ froth

hail warning –
a snake of headlights
on highway curves

‘…I awoke,
and behold it was a dream.’
fifty-three year marriage

(*The first two lines: John Bunyan Pilgrim’s Progress, Part I)

trying to get past
the trying years
to the good memories

sparrow in the mist
fluffed to a fat ball
winter deepens

every day is endless
viewed alone
the full moon

blank calendar
not only a new year
a new life

home alone –
I straighten paintings
on the wall

eye surgery
the shimmer
of moonlight

sixty-ninth birthday
youthful dreams realized
and more


From On Cat Time, Timberline Press , USA , 2004

whirling in tandem
a pair of butterflies
follow the wind

summer’s first fly
wanders through
the house

breezy –
a spider’s thread
warps a sunbeam

an acorn knocks
the patio deck
wife away

the tom asleep
on the window’s porch
is losing his sun

fall dusk –
in the house on the hill
all the lights are on

sharing an umbrella
and one wet sleeve

rainy day’s end –
sun breaks through
throwing long shadows

summit trail
we trudge

           DOMINIQUE CHIPOTFrom: Lever de rideau, or raising the curtain, Photo-haiku, a photo haiku booklet in French (the following are English translations of a selection of poems)

carnival evening
even in bed

a young swallow
continues its first flight
the cat back to sleep

new year
beside my parents
new graves

his small posy
so big
for his mummy

end of august –
the grasshoppers take off
in front of the lawnmower

no wind
hooked to branches

raising the curtain –
tits fly off
not too far from seed

faded peonies –
my parents’ garden
just a souvenir

snowy morning –
single trace of a cat
gone to sleep

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