Arco (TN)

Arco (TN)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ghost Writer - Issa - September 4, 2014

Here is a quote from Issa on the Issa as Ghost Writer post by Carpe Diem Haiku Kai::

"I made a pilgrimage to the temple of Tokaiji in Fuse. Feeling sorry for the chickens that followed after me longingly, I bought some rice from a house in front of the temple gate and scattered it among the violets and dandelions. Soon they began to fight among themselves here and there. Meanwhile, pigeons and sparrows came flying down from the boughs and were quietly eating up the rice. The chickens coming back, they flew off to the branches again, sooner than they wanted, no doubt wishing that the kicking match had lasted longer. Samurai, farmers, artizans, merchants and all the rest are just like this in the way they live".
 scattering rice, -
this also is a sin,
the fowls kicking one another!
 Kobayashi Issa

Reading then meditating the quote above I couldn't help being impressed with Issa's conclusive haiku!  Here a seeming good deed created a scuffle among the chickens ... to the advantage of the sparrows and pigeons.  

Here in Italy the city squares are full of sparrows and pigeons.  One can hardly sit down at a sidewalk cafes without the little beggars swooping down on an unattended brioche or sandwich in some places!  So that particular view hit home easily.  As is the feisty nature of chickens ... which are always afraid some other companion will get more than it does.   However, the impressive intuition that the act of scattering rice indiscreetly, is also a sin because it created the scuffle is really very interesting!  We tend to say, look at those stupid chickens fighting over this or that, not look what I've done ... I've created a scuffle!


men, chickens and mice
living only to survive
have similar goals

 mighty leveller
rice among the marigolds
butterfly watching

the fighting pigeons
renounce the piece of bread
oh - happy sparrows

the abandoned barn
what a perfect winter home
for spiders and mice



  1. Loved your commentary as much as your haiku series :)
    Reminds me of my son when he was very little. We'd give him a hunk of bread to tear and throw to the ducks - and he'd INSIST on throwing the whole piece just to see the scuffle that ensued.
    Your final haiku is a wonderful cap though -- the spiders and mice benefiting from whatever calamity caused the house to be abandoned. Very nice.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post ... Issa is too great!

  2. Awesome post Georgia .... thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks :-) your's was an awesome Ghost Writer's Post!


harmonious words ... like crystal clear water ... pure ectasy

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