Haiku by Brian McSherry (5)

2013/02/09

 

On July 2, 2010, Brian Birdsell(McSherry) sent me an e-mail, contributing a collection of haiku about winter.

According to his self-introduction,

Brian McSherry has lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Prague, Italy and currently lives in Iwate, northern Japan. He has lived there for over 6 years and enjoys spending time with his daughter, hiking in the mountains of Tohoku, writing, and traveling. He has a background in linguistics and teaches English at a private high school in Iwate.

 

On January 25, 2013, I received an e-mail from Brian Birdsell(McSherry) after a long absence.

Hidenori –

It has been a long time since we last corresponded! Hope all is well in Akita and the world of haiku! Last year I moved up to Hirosaki to start working at Hirosaki University. The snow relentlessly falls here – good for a skier like myself, but endless shoveling.

Brian Birdsell

http://tsugarupress.com/

Here is a photo of volunteer students at Hirosaki University.

 

 201211~1

 

 

Here are haiku about winter by Brian Birdsell(McSherry) with my Japanese translations too.

 

Winter

 

To know winter is

when everyone else withdraws

you become alive

 

冬を知っていることは

他のみんなが引き下がるとき

あなたは生きるということです

 

 

Piles of books amass

on my shelves

                     if only

they too were like leaves

 

たくさんの本が積まれている

本棚の上に

                     ただ

本も葉のようであればいいなあ

 

 

The rosemary pot

blows over

                   scattering off

little drops of fall

 

ローズマリーの鉢が

静まる

                         まき散らしながら

秋の小さな滴を

 

 

The river sounds

                           just

enough on the stone’s back –

that

             I slip on the moon

 

川の音が聞こえる

                 ちょうど

岩の背後に十分に ―

私は月に見とれて滑って転ぶ

 

 

Winter swans convene –

fresh white sheets blowing

on a clothesline

 

冬の白鳥が集まる ―

新しい白のシーツが吹かれて動いている

物干し網の上で 

 

 

Fiery sunset –

the last maple leaf falling

time to gain some weight

 

火のような夕焼け ―

最後のモミジの葉が散っている

いくらかの重みを得る時

 

 

at Yakumo Shrine (八雲神社)

A neglected shrine –

on the edge of town

                           only

the moon visits it

 

放置されいる神社 ―

町外れに

                         ただ

月だけが訪れる

 

 

December rain

how sad the skis are

                      ignored

in the corridor

 

12月の雨

スキーにはなんて不運なことか

                                       無視されて

廊下に

 

 

In opposing ways

I move

     you move

         the sparrow

flies beyond our sight

 

反対のように

私は動く

   あなたが動く

          雀は

見えない方に

 

 

Riverside willows

droop

      touching the winter ice –

frozen tears    perhaps

 

川べりの柳

しだれている

      冬の氷に触れる ―

凍てついた涙        おそらく

 

 

Writing with charcoal

through the night

       until my hand

turns to ash

 

チャコールで書いている

夜通し

       手が

灰になるまで

 

 

The morning sun cuts

into the bedroom –

            how cold

the nights have become

 

朝の太陽が切り進む

寝室の中へ ―

        なんて寒く

夜がなっていくことか

 

 

End of the year wind

on my veranda

yet some leaves remain

 

年末の風

私のベランダの上に

まだ葉がいくつか残っている

 

 

Tired old men drunk

and unsatisfied

           darkness –

shards of broken glass

 

疲れた老人たちが酔っ払っている

そして満ち足りていない

           夜

割れたグラスの破片 

 

 

Iwate Mountain

emerges

     first snow fall coats

the old lava field

 

岩手山

現れる

      初の降雪が覆う

古い溶岩の野原を

 

 

Making snow lanterns

the light jumps out –

             winter

fireflies

 

雪灯篭を作る

光が飛び出る ―

冬の蛍

 

image_hirosaki01

 

 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Brian McSherry (6)appears on February 16.

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

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One Response to “Haiku by Brian McSherry (5)”


  1. I lived in Hirosaki for four years long, long ago, as a student in Hirosaki University. So Brian’s haiku suddenly reminded me of countless miscellaneous memories I had in my university life in that beautiful city–those memories I shared with my friends in the dormitory called Hokuoryo located near a tiny apple orchard in Gakuen-cho.

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