|seichiku ni nemuru jizou to soyogu kaze
among sacred bamboo
just this sleeping jizo
and a breeze
haiku - Michael Rehling
haiga - Mary Rodning
translation - Hiromi Inoue
calligraphy - Shisen
This second place haiku is a fine example of 'show instead of tell'. In line one, the author shows us the season by incorporating the word 'sacred', which indicates that the bamboo is "Nandina" (heavenly bamboo) which is a winter kigo, and thereby probably the reason that the "Jizo" (stone statues with the face of the Buddhist deity (jee-zo) carved into them), is all alone.
Beyond that, in lines two and three, Michael again shows us what it might feel like (if at all possible) to be a "jizo" via the word 'sleeping', and the word 'breeze.'
This is an especially powerful haiku if one knows that "JIzo" was originally Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) of Buddhism who stood between the world of reality and the world of the dead, and saved those who were on their way to the netherworld. Jizo was entrusted with the task of saving the people after the death of Buddha until such a time when the second Buddha would appear. So in Buddhism, he had an important position, and upon coming to Japan was popularized, and has become the protector of the people, (especially travelers), as well as the saviour of children.
So much in just this one little haiku! . . . an'ya
|Michael's biography Table of Contents|