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“When the winter chrysanthemums go, / there’s nothing to write about / but radishes” —Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo title

Haiku brush
Painting old Edo

“The dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo temple

The Gweilo
In a red-eye rush
Brushes up

“Wrapping the rice cakes,
with one hand
she fingers back her hair”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo Kimono

Noble robe
Silkworm’s carapace

“Staying at an inn
where prostitutes are also sleeping –
bush clover and the moon”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo ink stick

Kindled appetites
The night lights

“The squid seller’s call
mingles with the voice
of the cuckoo”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo kitchen

Detoxed fish
Harpooned-whale-fin steaks
Wokked songbirds

“Bush warbler:
shits on the rice cakes
on the porch rail”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo umbrellas

Temple gongs
Monastic chanting
Silent noise

A cicada shell;
it sang itself
utterly away”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo 6

Paper walls
Cloying incense coils
Straw mattress

“Fleas, lice,
a horse peeing
near my pillow”
—Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo 3

Jet to catch
Executive class
Red-eye rush

“A bee
staggers out
of the peony”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo Haiku

Eyes resting
Prized winter blossoms
Enter dreams

“A monk sips morning tea,
it’s quiet,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo bridge

Floating on a pond

“Seek on high bare trails
Sky-reflecting violets…
Mountain-top jewels”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo wg

New Old Edo rekindles an affair with Tokyo, a flame fanned with the fondness of absense, glossed with a haiku brush.

Quoted translations of Matsuo Bashō poetry sourced from and

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very nice, E Sum

    February 22, 2022
  2. Interesting post. The graphics are so alive. My favorite haikus are: Temple gongs / Monastic chanting / Silent noise
    “A cicada shell;
    it sang itself
    utterly away”

    I love the idea of a silent noise. I was blessed to visit a Buddhist temple in Seoul a couple of decades ago and your haiku describes the auditory sensation of being there perfectly. Thanks for taking me back there (even if it wasn’t in Tokyo).

    March 2, 2022
    • Thanks, LuAnne. Very glad you share that vibe, an no surprise. 🙂

      The music
      In a Zen engram
      A wind rush 🙂

      March 2, 2022

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