WHR March 2018‎ > ‎

General Common Room

WHR March 2018

Haiku in Kenya


Presented By

Isabelle Prondzynski


I send you below one of my own haiku, and ten written by haiku teachers and students in Nairobi, Kenya. These haiku were written by members of Kenya Saijiki, under the patronage of Dr Gabi Greve in Japan.


All these haiku were written in Kenya during the period between November 2017 and February 2018.

 

Isabelle Prondzynski (Moderator, Kenya Saijiki)



            heavy downpour --
            total strangers sharing
            a shelter

Isabelle Prondzynski


 

Haiku by teachers :

  

            café balcony --
            the only dusty shoes
            are mine

 

Patrick Wafula



            journeying home --
            I finally take a nap
            in the dusty bus


Andrew Otinga


            a crow disappears
            somewhere in a gutter --
            church building


Antony Waswa

 

Haiku by students  (adults)  :

 

            Sunday morning breeze --
            the January heat slowly
            dissipates


Catherine Njeri Maina

 

            cold morning --
            a coffee seller offering
            a thermos flask


Newton Etuku


            dump site --
            a scraggy brown dog struggling
            with a bone


Wellington Mulima

 

 

Haiku by students (school students)

 


            a new student
            coughs persistently in class --
            January dust


Derrick Lilumbi


            school gate --
            a saloon car speeds by
            leaving a whirlwind


Beatrice Awino


            dusty school hall --
            the shape of my sole
            on the floor

Derrick Omondi


            a dog sniffs
            in an empty green can --
            dry water taps 


Assam Adero




HAIKU OF THE CUT

 


Moussia Fantoli

 

1) 

            luna tagliata
            ogni mese il tuo seno
            ricostruito

            cut moon
            each month your breast
            reconstructed

2)

            grappoli in fiore
            di quello che mi manca 
            sento il peso


            bunches in bloom
            of that I miss
            I feel the weight


3)

            la luna impara
            la regola del meno
            e va calando 


            the moon learns
            the rule of less
            and it is waning


4)

            porto perduto
            rimangono le stelle
            su un buio vuoto


            lost harbour
            stars remaining
            over a dark void


5)

            grano mietuto
            i miei capelli sono
            foglie d’autunno


            reaped corn
            my hair is 
            autumn leaves



6)

            luna d’autunno
            le nubi hanno velato
            la tua ferita


            Autumn moon
            the clouds have veiled
            your wound




 

Homage to Senor Terra

 

Diana Rosen

 


I attended a workshop with Zapotec language scholar-teacher-poet Victor Terra at a Los Angeles library where he shared a glimpse of the Zapotec languages (there are 56 variations) and its popular form of Japanese-style haiku. Some anthropologists believe that Japanese explorers visited the Oaxacan state of Mexico millennia ago and that explains the haiku in Zapotec. Inspired by Mr. Terra, I set out to capture his story in a series of English-word haiku which I call “Homage to Senor Terra.”



            I left my village
            for the city but I spoke
            not to anyone.


            I talked only to
            myself, filled notebooks with all
            my Zapotec words.


            The teacher said, “This
            is poetry.” Some call me
            poet, but that is 


            only partly true.
            I am a teacher who shares
            with all who yearn to


            embrace the myths,
            beauty, magic, wonder of
            being awed by words.


            My ancestors flew
            down from the clouds on brightly
            colored parrot wings


            then Aztecs named us
            Zapotec, or the people
            of the white flowers.


            All Zapotec words for
            for animals, flowers, fish,
            begin with a B,


            even God: Beezo.
            Life begins with breath, begins,
            and ends, with breath.


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