Reading Issa each Morning
as others open their papers
to the sports page, or
keep them closed on the grim
rumours of the day,
I receive a small, sweet message
by e-mail, a message
telling of simple things ...
midday naps, the scent of the lotus,
deer rutting and mountain rain,
a sickle moon, a temple bell,
muddy straw sandals, the beggar's stove,
first frost and slush-splashed robes,
plum blossom, Buddharupas,
saké cups, radishes,
at the eaves, and a cottage door
crushed by morning glories,
tumble-down houses and dogs
mouthing down rice cakes.
Only occasionally a bigger mystery
presents itself for my morning
consideration, such as
a samurai's discarded top knot.