(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' When Is A Hedge Not A Hedge?

Cutting the hedge
I sing: “ Summer

is icumen in
loudly sing Cuckoo!

Sing Cuckoo...sing Cuckoo! ”

Until it morphs into
“Samurai is coming in

loudly sing hototogisu!

Sing hototogisu...sing hototogisu! ”

Ah, “bird of time”
flying back and forth

from this world
to the next.

And the hedge is cut
so much...it no longer exists!


Hototogisu...so synonymous with haiku...is the Japanese cuckoo. It is said to die after singing 8,008 times. Seeing as it sings day or night(especially moonlit nights) even when flying...its song is a strong mournful cry. “Bird of time, ” “messenger of death, ” “bird of disappointed love” are some of its other aliases. It is thought to fly...back and forth...from this world to the next. It is a black breasted bird speckled with white dots, green legs, and its open mouth is a bright blood red. It migrates to Japan in May and stays until Autumn then it heads off to winter in South Asia. It lays its eggs in the nest of the Uguiso or nightingale. ”Ho to to.. Ho to to! ” as it would say itself.


And in tanka form...it comes out thus...like this!


Sounding like a Koan.
'When is a hedge not a hedge? '
'When it is a hole! '
Carried away by clippers
our hedge is...very Zen now

User Rating: 2,8 / 5 ( 53 votes ) 1

Comments (1)

Yes, we did a good job on that hedge! But what's all this about disappointment? I don't find disappointment features much in our little kingdom, whether it's hedged or not! x Jan