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Haiku poems composed during the West Japan Explorer tour November 2005

Sitting cross-legged
Eating crab. Fortunate crab
Such flexible legs
(Crab envy)

(voted winner)

Japanese translation of winning haiku

Leaf pressed in clay
Negative to positive
Potter's miracle
(At the pottery)

Through cool dark forest
Sun breaks out on mountain top
A double blessing
(On Miyanoura-dake)

Lamp posts march in line
Twilight shades the autumn hills
Layers of landscape
(Walking back from pottery)

Alan Wenban-Smith


Down in the cold hut
Inspissated gloom presaged
By stertorous farts

(voted second)

Sad Japanese lady
Performs the ancient ritual
Bowing gracefully

“Dawn on Mount Fuji ”
Said the Sage of Ecclefechan
“Butters no persimmons”
(Thomas Carlyle)

In the warm damp dark
Gently swings the grizzled squirrel
Thinking of his nuts

Judy Wenban-Smith


Wild monkeys and deer
Watching the photographers
Just contemplating

Buddhas listening
Slightly battered by their age
But not answering

Trees with autumn coats
Volcanoes bellowing steam
Ice on the leaves

Careless and carefree
Koi swimming by the pavements
Joy in Usuki

Dorothy Everatt


A small silver fish
Twists and curves head left, tail right
Challenging chopsticks

Ginko and maple
November sunshine and mist
The camera clicks

Oh, holy mountain
Snow covers your stony path
Your will turns me down

In the falling rain
The train winds through autumn woods
So my life passes

Kate Wentworth


Empty cans rattle
The masses prattle
Truth is eternal

Peace; mountainous peace
Behind, the ever mounting noise
Gone, mountainous peace!
(The spirit of the mountains)

Young life grows, ever thus
Even now death stalks, ever present
Soon death comes – too soon

Dennis Everatt


Shakespeare sonnet is
Too long to be a haiku
O Gordon Bennett

I drank much shochu
Ate chopsticks with tsunami
Watanabi you?

Joy full in Japan
Climbing Mount Aso with you
My heart beats faster

Looking for the shrine
I hear the great bell sounding
The peace of Daisen

Stephen Wentworth


Kites soar on high
Sika graze, monkeys squabble
Yakushima smile

Orange man leading
Silent feet caress the rock
Tom glides onwards

Pilgrims slithering
Snowy Daisen sits serene
Dennis-san gone

Gaijin lady prowls
Boy reaches for a sweet
The camera clicks

Nigel Perry


White skin freckled face
Obviously a gaijin
The crowds mill around me

Gulliver lies down
To take a photo up the
Model temple steps

The bow the smile hides
Her contempt as she hands me
The correct slippers

Crashes and screams outside
Monkeys play with all our pots
Inside we sleep on

Paula Perry


Sweet smell of crab
Fresh breeze from the Japan Sea
At Kinosaki

Monkeys came to play
Curry night on the mountain
Yakushima moon

Down in the valley
What I thought were falling leaves
Was a flock of birds

Whisking fresh green tea
Aso. Autumn harmony
m … m … m … m …m*

(* ‘m' shape hand movement for frothing up macha (powdered green tea) with a bamboo whisk)

Bob Heffill


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