All Day Ebb and Flow

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On a fine but decidedly chilly spring day, Algy perched on a mass of slimy seaweed, watching the tide come in. He was intrigued by the increasing flow of clear water through a sandy channel between the rocks. With each tiny wave the ripples advanced a little further and the drying seaweed got a wee bit wetter and more colourful again. Algy knew that in a few moments more he would have to hop into the air, if he didn’t want his legs and tail feathers drenched with salty water, and he wondered just how long he could wait… He was reminded of a haiku by Buson:

The spring sea
all day ebb and flow
ebb and flow

Algy wishes you all a beautiful, calm and peaceful weekend xoxo

[Algy is quoting a translation of a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Yosa Buson.]

The next day there was not the slightest change in the weather, and the Scotch mist continued to smother the land with a drenching grey blanket; the lost world seemed to do nothing but drip, drip, drip, drip, drip…

Algy lay back in the branches of a fir tree and watched the droplets of water falling all around him. One slim, bare branch above his head was curved in such a way that droplets formed only at the lowest point of the curve, each one growing until it could hold on to the branch no longer, and then dropped, to let the next drop of water follow its example. The process was fascinating and apparently endless, and Algy rested there for some time, just watching the droplets form and fall, form and fall, form and fall…

He was reminded of a haiku by Kobayashi Issa, although his own drops were rather more leisurely than frenzied:

in morning mist
a frenzy of drops
from the tree

.朝霧にあはただし木の雫哉

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a leisurely, happy and peaceful weekend, whatever the weather in your part of the world 🙂

[Algy is quoting an early haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue.]

Algy fluttered over to a small, stunted birch tree that was overhanging the water, and made himself comfortable among the mass of twiggy branches and wee green leaves. It was so quiet and peaceful by the lochan that Algy soon began to doze, but suddenly he heard a sound that made him start. A frog had jumped into the water – Plop! – from the rock where Algy had been perching just a little while ago; it inevitably reminded him of that most famous of all Japanese haiku:

The old pond;
a frog jumps in —
the sound of the water.

[Furu ike ya               
kawazu tobikomu 
mizu no oto]

[Algy is quoting the famous haiku by the 17th century Japanese master Matsuo Bashô.]         

Tucked into the heart of a cherry tree, Algy gazed at the beautiful white blossoms as he listened to the birds singing all around him. He was reminded of a haiku by Issa:

peace to the world
from time immemorial…
cherry blossoms

.天下泰平とうに咲桜哉
tenka taihei tô ni saku sakura kana

Algy hopes you will all have a very happy and peaceful weekend 🙂

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa, in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]

Algy flew on until he reached one of his favourite trees: a massive old storm-damaged oak, which stood alone in a clearing apart from the other trees. It was just coming into leaf, and the new leaves glowed yellow when the sun managed to break through the clouds. Although it was very late this year, Algy knew that spring had definitely arrived once the Atlantic oak trees burst into their distinctive yellowish green. As he looked at the tree he was reminded of a haiku by Basho:

The oak tree:
Not interested
in cherry blossoms

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 17th century Japanese master Matsuo Basho in a translation by Robert Hass.]

Something miraculous had occurred in Algy’s assistants’ garden. It happened once a year – and only once – and each time it delighted Algy as though it had never happened before. He perched among the blossoms and watched the bumblebees buzzing around each flower, while the newly arrived warblers flitted about among the branches of the other trees which had not even got their spring leaves yet. As Algy buried his beak in the beautiful white blossoms, he remembered a haiku by Issa:

the cure for
this raucous world…
late cherry blossoms

.騒がしき世をし祓つて遅桜
sawagashiki yo wo oshi haratte oso-zakura

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]

Although a menacing bank of mist and cloud was hovering over the sea, it was a fine spring day for the moment, and almost warm providing you could find a place out of the wind… Algy tucked himself down into the shelter of the Marram grass and gazed at the sky, watching the skylarks as they fluttered up from the dunes into the blue and back down again, singing their beautiful songs. He thought of a haiku by Issa:

lovely –
the sky where a noon lark
is singing

.うつくしや昼の雲雀の鳴し空
utsukushi ya hiru [no] hibari no nakushi sora

Can you see the lark singing? Follow Algy’s gaze to the little black dot just visible in the sky on the right-hand side 🙂

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]

Algy leaned back against the trunk of the tree that hung over the burn, and listened to the different sounds of water all around him. The burn itself made the most noise, but if he listened carefully he could also hear the sounds of the persistent light rain and the dripping bushes all around him. It was cold and wet, but it was pleasant to hear the many sounds of water; they reminded him of a well-known haiku by Issa:

          Winter seclusion;
          listening, that evening,
          to rain in the mountains.

[ Algy is quoting the a haiku by the late 18th/early 19th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa. ]

When the Scotch mist came down during the winter months, the bare trees looked more beautiful than ever. Algy loved to sit and gaze at the wonderful maze of twisty branches silhouetted against the pale, hazy background, and study the rich pattern of lichens which would be hidden when the leaves returned. As he perched on a rock beneath the wet branches, he felt a constant soft drip, drip, dripping on his head, and remembered a haiku by Matsuo Bashō. Soon it would indeed be spring:

          Spring rain
          conveyed under the trees
          in drops.

This post is dedicated to Algy’s friend lillianhowan, who is currently setting up a new online literary magazine nimbuscat on Tumblr. The first issue, to be published this spring, will be devoted to writing on the subject of wood 🙂

[ Algy is quoting a haiku by the 17th century Japanese master Matsuo Bashō. ]

Algy found a perch in a bare willow tree, and looked out through the veil of lightly falling snow towards the craggy ridge. His little world seemed strangely transformed, and Algy thought of a haiku by Issa:

          Just by being,
          I’m here –
          in the snow-fall.

This post is especially dedicated to Algy’s sweet friend tinktastichana, who is about to end her annual visit to her home in Japan to return to her home in New York. Algy sends Hana and all his friends lots of snowy fluffy hugs xoxo

[ Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa. ]