Zen Haiku by Santoka Taneda from “Mountain Tasting”

Some works of zen haiku by Santoka Taneda from the collection Mountain Tasting translated from the Japanese and introduced by John Stevens:

If there are mountains, I look at the mountains.:
On rainy days, I listen to the rain.
Spring, summer, autumn, winter.
Tomorrow too will be good.
Tonight too is good.

During the Japanese-Chinese war, no protests were allowed, and poets were expected to support the war effort. In response, Taneda wrote a series of powerful poems. Here are three of them:

The moon’s brightness–
Does it know
Where the bombing will be?

Winter rain clouds–
Thinking: Going to China
To be torn to pieces.

We move silently
in the cold rain
Carrying the white boxes in front.

Santoka Taneda (1882-1940)

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