Inku
Japan Society of Fairfield County

Tanka(16)
by Dr. Ikuko Anjo Jassey

枯れ草を舐むる炎の一柱空を駆け抜け龍神となる
ka re ku sa o   na mu ru ho no o no   hi to ha shi ra   ku u o ka ke nu ke   ryu u ji n to na ru

A column of fire
licking the winter grass
flew up through the air
It became a dragon


わが故国恋しと思えどもの言わばひょうきんになるじゃがたらお春
wa ga ko ko ku   ko i shi to o mo e do   mo no i wa ba   kyo o ki n ni na ru   ja ga ta ra o ha ru

Longing for the homeland
yet becoming humorous
in utterance
a foreign bride


寺守が去りて寺守る人もなく寺守るものは野菊さざんか
te ra mo ri ga   sa ri te te ra mo ru   hi to mo na ka   te ra mo ru mo no wa   no gi ku sa za n ka

A caregiver took leave;
the temple abandoned—
wild mums and sasanquas;
protectors they became—


故郷には夜盗いるらし菜の花の畑のむこうの山盗られたり
ko kyo o ni wa   ya to o i ru ra shi   na no ha no no   ha ta ke no mu ko o no   ya ma to ra re ta ri

A night thief wanders
a mountain stolen
over the fields
of rape blossoms
there lies my birthplace


花柄の傘を広げて立春の先取りをするひと月早く
ha na ga ra no   ka sa o hi ro ge te   ri s shu n no   sa ki do ri o su ru   hi to tsu ki ha ya ku

Opening
a flower-patterned umbrella
announcing
“the first day of spring”
earlier by one month
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