Bamboo leaves always point downwards

— imbibing Basho, haiku by Caroline Josephs

Photo by Gabrielle Wang.

boats against a pier

calm water

no tsunami now

in the temple — Golden Buddhas,

in the museum –

a severed head

drinking green tea

around the hearth

imbibing Basho

persimmons peep out

from Jan’s bag —

tasting autumn

trying to thread a needle —

a lover’s breath

on my back

forty truckloads

to thatch a roof —

one seventy-six year-old master

friends on a train

black pompoms on her scarf

evening sun

rebellious —

I eschew

toilet slippers

cedar sentinel

smiling at pilgrims

for one thousand years

timber yard stack

by the sea


fire in the hearth

crunch on gravel

haiku poets writing

by the sea — giant hand-thrown

rocks, stepping stones

to the Pure Land

fungi marching up an old log

chorus girls

in twirling skirts

Photo by Gabrielle Wang

a company of jizos

navy and pink habits

protecting the unborn

we hear news — -

Trump will win!

sun sets behind the mountain

Gabi tells us

bamboo leaves

always point downwards

© Caroline Josephs, Japan 2016.

Caroline Josephs (right), Don Yates(left), our guide Ted Taylor (centre).

Caroline Josephs is a Sydney based artist, writer, storyteller and educator. She has an active arts practice and runs arts workshops including storytelling with Aboriginal Yuin elder Uncle Max.

Caroline was a participant in Haiku Walking in Japan 2016. The next Haiku Walking in Japan journey will take place in November 2017.

Except where indicated, photos by Jan Cornall.

Read other contributions to Summer Grass here.