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April 2015, vol 11 no 1

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Ray Rasmussen

Giboshi: Twice in the Garden

I cross an arched bridge to reach the Kurimoto Garden bell tower. It's here I plan an escape from the hot sun and crowded, noisy pathways.

The tower has a black ornament on the top, called a giboshi that is said to represent the top of a Buddha's head.

Sitting next to the 1500-pound bell, I read Buson:

on the one-ton temple bell
a moon-moth
folded into sleep

Eyes closed, my hand becomes the moth, fingers antennae, exploring the etched surface . . . settling . . . resting . . .

Footsteps, a child's voice, Mom, can I? Please, can I? Let me, please!

A clinking of chains as the massive wooden clapper is pulled back and released.

The baritone "goooooong" fills my chest, sings in me . . .

moon moth –
stirring, fluttering
into the garden

from deep within
a stone lantern –
candlight flickers


* The haiku in the text is my rendition of a translation of Buson's haiku by X.J. Kennedy. The version on the image is X.J. Kennedy's unmodified translation.

Revision of a haibun published in Haibun Today, Thursday, January 29, 2009.

The haiga image is from my photograph of the Kurimoto Garden's bell tower and an image of a moon moth.




buson haiga