Ôi TsuneyukiÔi Tsuneyuki (大井恒行)

Born 1948 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Attended Ritsumeikan University night school, in Kyoto. Although he wasn't a member of any sectarian group, he was committed to the Ampo protests of the 1970s. In his Junior year, he dropped out of school and went to Tokyo to become a writer. Today he is a member of the Modern Haiku Association and the Japan Writers’ Association. He is a judge of the Modern Haiku Association Awards for New Poets. He is also President of the National Bookstore Workers, and the Workers Union Connection Council.

Translations into English by Richard Gilbert & Ito Yuki (Gendaihaiku, 2014)

 

嗚呼!嗚呼!と井戸に吊るされ揺れる満月
â! â! to ido ni sturusare yureru mangetsu


ah! ah!
hanged in a well
a full moon sways

 

から泣きの空から泣きの草が生え
karanaki no sora kara naki no kusa ga hae


from tearless sky from tears
weep grasses grow

 

木霊降るいちずに夕陽枷となり
kodama furu ichizu ni yûhi kase to nari


kodamas fall –
the setting sun fetters
single-mindedly

(Note. kodama, a tree spirit in Japanese folklore, reflecting human or anthropomorphic voice within the forest wilds; cf., Dryad, or Echo, in Greek mythology.)

 

頭髪(かみのけ)のなかまで赤き砂降れり
kaminoke no naka made akaki sunafureri


even into hair on the head
red sand falls ...

 

日はひとたびの夢間めぐれる獄舎(ひとや)かな
hi wa hitotabi no yumema megureru gokusha kana


a day's a journey once among dreams in a prison cell

 

遺髪ひとつはかりかねてる秤がある
ihatsu hitotsu hakarikaneteru hakari ga aru


a bunch of hair of the dead
hesitating to weigh it
in balance

 

されど雨されど暗緑 竹に降る
saredo ame saredo anryoku take ni furu


however rain however dark green –
falls on bamboo

 

風鈴も重たき風の鳴り出さず
furin mo omotaki kaze no naridasazu


a wind bell heavy too –
the wind doesn’t start to ring