Spreads across the courtyard.
Life’s a bright
On the wing.
Don’t miss it!
The pigeons crack me up
I smile and go back to sleep.
I stabbed the bag. Once! Twice!
Almonds flowed out
In their tired way.
"Well Old Man
Do you think this is your last Spring?"
"Not if I have anything to do with it!"
Shaking the snow from my head
I love to see
Red taillights as they disappear
Into the mist.
Everything shall pass away
Like the bright flash of a kingfisher.
But it is good that it has been.
Egret forgive my selfish love
I know you were driven here
By the whiteness of the snow.
New sharp kitchen knife.
Same clumsy old fingers.
All checking our watches
Like that would make the bus come sooner.
I wasn't sure I would make it —
But now I've arrived and it's been worth the journey.
High in the rooftops
A gardener tends the last rose.
New Year tomorrow, he thinks.
The pavements wet
By the canal.
Hurry home cyclists.
Passage that knows my feet
I will feel you too through the snow.
Issa wrote many poems that show empathy for other beings. Here is one I like
neko tsuka [ni] shôgatsu saseru gomame kana
on the cat's grave
in First Month...
Snail. Ahem. With permission. May I move you slightly?
You're on my favourite seat.
Imagine a traveller on a train
One beautiful day
In late summer.
At twilight: when we hear
Birds and people: calling one another.
Each other where you're going tonight.
Please take me too.
I'm frightened of crossing the rainbow bridge.
Will someone help me down
On the other side?
I can tell.
You know where you're flying.
The wind is cold,
and the birds fly home.
If I survive a few more of them
I'll have worn a rut in the lane.
If you wish to learn
The indescribable beauty of snails
Just cast your eyes humbly down.
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