Haiku by Wahyu W. Basjir in Indonesia (1)

On September 15, Wahyu W. Basjir sent me an e-mail with his brief bio, a photo of his family, and haiku included, as follows:

Dear Hiruta-san

I was born in Central Java in 1967 and have been spending more than half of my age in Jogjakarta with my wife and three children.


As a son of an elementary school teacher, I realized that I love writing and poetry when i was in 5th grade. However, poetry writing was not my biggest passion but journalism, and writing op-ed articles on economic development and governance for indonesian newspapers. In the last few years I contributed to and edited books on local governance, budget analysis, anti corruption, foreign debt, participatory development and advocacy. It was before I fell in love with haiku and other related forms, namely tanka and haibun some years back. 

In 2003. I started to learn more intensely on the genre and tried to work on my first haiku in my national language. Unfortunately, haiku poets are very rare in Indonesia so that it was hard to receive critiques and comment by which I could learn and improve my writing skill. This is probably the first reason why I write english haiku (sad to say, I don’t speak Japanese). I usually write bilingual haiku (english-indonesian) so that i could make it easier to share my works with wider audience (english speaking readers) while keeping my fellow indonesian (they speak english but more familiar to poetries in our national language). And these days, I’m seeking sponsor to publish my first haiku/poetry book in print.

The thing I am now still struggling with is seasonal haiku. As you know, I live in tropical/equatorial country with only two seasons, rainy and dry (but if you like joking, we can say that tropical countries actually have more seasons; rainy, dry, mango, rambutan, durian, and many more kinds of fruits! Hahahahaha…). Four-season is beyond my experience so that my haiku is usually considered non-seasonal. 

Thank you for this opportunity. May this lead to an artistic friendship that lasts forever.


busy roadside
the day moon fills up

a beggar’s bowl 






superficial lie
hovering under the branches
:paper birds





cricket song
how familiar it is
my mother’s voice*



*Ambrosia, issue 5 Summer 2010



tell me
how it feels to be
sour tamarind





new lunar year’s eve
flew to the moon





clouds and dawn–
who’s gonna be the first
to steal the moon?





another wrinkle
on his skin





spring water–
i turn myself into
slope and valley





fly high–
i wish i had the eyes
of a kite





before the mirror
i wish i were not one
of the twin






over sand dunes
are you travelling alone?





seasons shift 
a bird nest on the roadside 
stalking the monsoon 





morning dew 
lingers on tobacco leaves 
smell of ashes 





morning drizzle 
new pond in the frontyard 







my window cracks
a fleurdelis crops out 

thru the fence 




Warmest regards,

Wahyu W. Basjir

Dsn. Nglarang RT 5.35, Wedomartani

Ngemplak, Sleman, Jogjakarta



I sincerely hope  that you have appreciated haiku by Wahyu W. Basjir with my Japanese translations so much.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Kirby Record at AIU in Japan (Part 5)’ appears on October 9.

― Hidenori  Hiruta

4 thoughts on “Haiku by Wahyu W. Basjir in Indonesia (1)

  1. I congratulate Mr Hiruta for posting Mr Basir’s nice piece of poetic credence. The poetic expressions are of different flavour.They are natural, vivid and explicit. It adds wealth to the bank of literature.

    The haiku: busy road sides, monday–, fly high–, before the moon stands out so nicely. Many congrats to Mr Basjir. Poetry flows from heart, not from mind!

    P K Padhy, India

  2. Tad| Thank you for enjoying my works, Tad. Wish I could write more and even better than these.
    PK Padhy| I enjoy so much reading your works too, Mr Padhy. We’re connected at 4seasonshaiku, aren’t we?

    Hiruta-san| It’s wonderful to find some of my works translated into japanese. Many many thanks, Hiruta-san.

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