Dónall Dempsey

Rookie - 33 Points (15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ALTERNATIVE BASHOS(an haiku or two for my old pal AL)


With profuse apologies to Mr. Basho who in the Spring of maybe 1681/82 gave us this famous verse.

FURU IKE YA / KAWAZU TOBIKOMU / MIZU NO OTO

OLD POND
A FROG JUMPS INTO
THE SOUND OF WATER

(this translation by Jane Riechhold)

They efforts are written in sharefu or witty style and I suppose I wrote them as an negai no ito('wish on a string') for me old pal Al. These are the special five-coloured threads of paper that are hung from bamboo trees during the Tanabata('Star Festival') . These are my word versions of such celebratory knickknacks and so I tie them to the trees in his mind. I always like the sound the phrase 'for my old pal Al' and always have fun in dedicating something to him.

The translation of this famous poem always begins with 'old pond' and so...so do I. The syllable count not being the important aspect here and anyway there is a Japanese rule that encourages the breaking away from the set number of syllables to indicate agitation or emotion. I can only say I was agitated with emotion or emotions.

So it was I undertook to stray not just from the strict syllable count but to imagine alternative goings on at the old pond...keeping the old frog in every now and then or ditching him(and in one extreme case...killing him) for contrast or company.

I have also played around with the sound of sound and and the sounds of silence.

I have communed bashfully with Basho and he has forgiven me everything...he only said just don't do it again! So, hopefully, if even he can forgive me then surely you too can. Enjoy them if you can. If not come and throw a brick through my window for such Basho blasphemy!

*******

STARRING IN YOUR OWN EDWARD HOPPER

old blonde
drops fag in her martini
sound of loneliness.

*

BASHO MISSES THE MOMENT

old pond
nothing but the sound of the
sound of silence.

*

LOVER'S TRYST

old pond
dead frog in car's tyre track
sounds of love making.

*

HOT SUMMER NIGHT

old pond
skinny-dippers disturb frog
moonlight on nipples

*

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

old pond
the fallen cherry blossom
making not a sound

*

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE

old pond
silent frog watches children
dive into laughter

*

SILENT SOUND

old pond
sound of stone thrown in & then
silence of ripples.

*

COME AND GONE

old pond
filled in
only the sound of memories

*

MOONLIGHT SERENADE

old pond
sound of frog jumping into
moon's reflection

*

IT'S A POET THING!

old pond
moon falls in...only a poet
hears moonlight shouting.

*

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

old pond
two neat piles of clothes...on edge
lover's giggling.

*

UNBROKEN SILENCE

old pond
not a frog in sight...so quiet
water's meniscus.

*

FOR EVERY SEASON

old pond
two blondes mother and daughter
sound of times gone by.

*


BASHO'S BIRTHDAY BASH!

old pond
full to the brim with frogs...frogs!
all chanting haiku.

*

GOING TOO FAR TOO FAST

old pond
cocky boy...nervous girl...then
sound of kisses...sLAP!

*

THE WIDOWER'S RETURN

old bonds
tie him to this pond...first kiss
first slap...frog's laughter.

*

FROG'S LAUGHTER

old pond
fat flatulent monk farting
sound of frog's laughing.

*

OLD MONK DREAMS OF WRITING FAMOUS HAIKU

old pond
an old monk hard of hearing
can't think what to write.


*******

These of course are my very loose playful translations...done...for...fun!



Old pond
new sound
frog & water





old pond
O
fr g

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



*******

This sequence has now turned itself into a little booklet called OLD POND REVISITED. Haiku by moi and Haiga by Jan.

Submitted: Saturday, September 19, 2009
Edited: Saturday, October 31, 2009

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Comments about this poem (' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ALTERNATIVE BASHOS(an haiku or two for my old pal AL) by Dónall Dempsey )

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  • Rookie - 0 Points alice sunderland (9/28/2009 5:30:00 AM)

    well............ they are absolutely brilliant. the intro was extremely helpful too! the first one (blonde) got me and the rest lived up to expectations. i would need to swear to fully express how good these are. (Report) Reply

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