Kiyoko Tokutomi

So lightly it goes
and so lightly it comes back—
the swallowtail
In summer clothing
children have such beautiful
arms and legs
Lingering, the scent
of perfume afterwards
between my fingers
As if in deep thought
it flies away—
autumn butterfly
His Memorial Day
its approach marked by the sun’s light—
flowering iris
How I love it
the sea of my hometown—
cherry petal shell
Light snow
playing with the wind
in the void
Being afraid of revenge
if I do something—
April Fool’s Day
A child’s New year’s gift
the days when I last received one
now far away
I bask in the winter sunshine
of the calligraphy
“Returning Home”
All poems copyright by the estate of Kiyokoi Tokutomi. They may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.
These haiku were translated by Patricia J. Machmiller and Fay Aoyagi; they have been published in Kiyoko’s Sky, Brooks Books, 2002.