Catch a glimpse in one breath – Haikus by Kobayashi Issa

flitting to the oil lamp
of the pissing place…
powdery snow
shôbenjo no abura-bi ni chiru kona yuki kana
Creating a direct experience of a moment in time – Japan has traditional gifts to perform this art in different ways.
Haikus are a fascinating aspect of this talent.

To show emptiness and form inseparable and to stick to Bodhidharmas approach of “nothing holy” is another fruit of this amazing form of poetry.
Kobayashi Issa, living about 600 years after Dogen Zenjis time didn’t spare any area of the human experience and transmits the Zen-approach of not judging in a manifold way.

lovers parting–
looking back at her house
until only mist


kinu-ginu ya kasumu made miru imo ga ie

Due to the diligence and endurance of men like David G. Lanoue, translator of Japanese haiku, professor for English at the Xavier University of Louisiana/New Orleans, we’re still able to enjoy these precious gems of micro-poetry.

David G. Lanoues website “”