On this last day of the first edition of Micropoetry Month, I thought we’d take a look at the Jisei, the Japanese Death Poem. The Jisei, written about death in general or about one’s own imminent death, reflects the poet’s contemplation of his mortality, of what was and what comes next both in the context of self and universe.
One translation of Basho’s famous Jisei goes like this:
On a journey, ill—
And my dreams on withered fields
Are wandering still.
I attempted a jisei a couple of years ago, here’s another shot at it. Share your micropoem, about death or maybe about life, using comments or Mister Linky.
And when I realize
there was no now,
that life, like time, was a linear illusion.
A cherita as well in the same tone:
she wrote her jisei in six lines
one line about
the fickle, waning moon
two about a persistent mist,
and three about a hobbled dream
waiting for a perfect night
A very warm note of thanks to everyone who was part of Micropoetry Month – as reader, participant, inspiration or supporter. Thank you for your poems, your likes, your comments. I enjoyed writing. I enjoyed reading. And I hope we can do this, or something like this, again soon. Meanwhile, I will continue to post micropoetry and other poems on this blog and haibun on my other blog Phantom Road. You can find me on twitter @tp_poetry. See you on the trail!
between life and death
For CDHK where the prompt is the calligraphy brush.
Jisei is a Japanese death poem.
how many times
this poem cried
the inkstone is still bleeding
For CDHK where the haiku prompt is Pen and Inkstone.
a lone tavern light
seared the mist,
that whispered in her closed eyes,
dissolved in the dark;
he found her
sunbeams round her throat,
the blunt knife
in her hand,
still bleeding on the table,
her final poem.
Linked to MLM where the prompt is for a Shadorma Pair inspired by Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night
a cloud shrouds
the moon’s silver face
while the winter night
A Jisei (Japanese Death Poem) For Dverse Poets