Variations On ‘The Short Night–‘


Below are eleven Buson haiku
beginning with the phrase
‘The short night–‘

The short night–
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.

The short night–
washing in the river.

The short night–
bubbles of crab froth
among the river reeds.

The short night–
a broom thrown away
on the beach.

The short night–
the Oi River
has sunk two feet.

The short night–
on the outskirts of the village
a small shop opening.

The short night–
broken, in the shallows,
a crescent moon.

The short night–
the peony
has opened.

The short night–
waves beating in,
an abandoned fire.

The short night–
near the pillow
a screen turning silver.

The short night–
shallow footprints
on the beach at Yui.

Translated by Robert Hass

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“The short night–“
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The short night-
a watery moon
stands alone over the hill


The short night–
just as I’m falling asleep
my wife’s waking up

Larry Bole

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