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Seven Haiku

by Sayumi Kamakura
Translated from Japanese by
James Shea
Issue 29 Online Exclusive

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緑の夜とおくでガラスの馬いななく

 

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二歳の沈黙はマシュマロのかたち

 

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この百合が咲かない見つめているのに

 

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君はいま枕よりパリより遠い

 

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うろこ雲結んで開いて失って

 

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曼珠沙華なり赤ならば捨てるほど

 

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怒るより咲いてしまおうクロッカス

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On a green summer night,
a horse of glass
neighs in the distance

 

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The silence
of a two-year old—
the shape of marshmallows

 

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This lily won’t bloom—
even though
I’m staring at it

 

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You are now
further than your pillow,
further than Paris

 

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A mackerel sky—
expanding, opening,
and disappearing

 

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So many red spider lilies—
if this one turns red
we can throw it away

 

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Let’s just bloom
instead of getting angry—
the crocuses

Winner of the Oki Sango Prize, Sayumi Kamakura is one of the founding editors of the haiku magazine Gin’yu with Ban'ya Natsuishi. She has published numerous collections, including Jun (Moisture), Tenmado kara (From the Skylight), and Kamakura Sayumi Kushū (The Collected Haiku of Sayumi Kamakura).
Translator
James Shea is the author of two books of poetry, The Lost Novel and Star in the Eye. His poems have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, including The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. A former Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong, he currently teaches in the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University.