Cup of Tea : Friday Fictioneers

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

I know they all will die. No matter how many times I marry, no matter how many times I try, house of Kobayashi will not last after me. The “Cup of Tea” will remain untouched and unloved. I outlive all of them as I outlived my beloved Kiku. I even outlived my father’s house along with the whole of Kashiwabara village.

After searching whole of Nippon for love, I sit alone in this barn. While I see them come and go under the silent candles, they will find my remains in my five feet of snow.

I hate them;
The butterflies find their flowers
At will.


Reurning to Friday Fictioneers after taking a break last week I find our wonderful host Rochelle posting a photo-prompt that instantly connects me to my love for Haiku. And what is a better connect than my favorite Haiku master “Issa”. This one is dedicated to him, his life and work

Born as Kobayashi Nobuyuki, Issa is my favorite Haiku master among the Haiku Master quartet. The simple pen name “Issa” roughly meaning “Cup of Tea” wandered through his life in search of love. His haiku poems keep me spellbound as well as with wrenching heart. Some of his greatest works came from his pain –
After returning to his native village and getting some of his inheritance from his stepmother –

“the closer I get
to my village, the more pain…
wild roses”

He wrote after both his first and second born died in a very tender age –

“This dewdrop world —
Is a dewdrop world,
And yet, and yet . . .”

After death of a third child –

“Outliving them,
Outliving them all,-
Ah, the cold!”

and his beloved wife Kiku –

“if only she were here
for me to nag…
tonight’s moon!”

Another, translated by Peter Beilenson with Harry Behn, reads:

“Everything I touch
with tenderness, alas,
pricks like a bramble.”

… and last but not the least if you love Haiku – you may like to visit my poetry blog at – “Rain Starved Clouds”

39 responses to “Cup of Tea : Friday Fictioneers

  1. Dear Indrajit,

    Beautifully done. Thank you for sharing Issa and his history. We were somewhat similar in our approaches this week.




  2. Beautiful haibun – join us at our weekly haibun challenge or at the daily carpe diem haiku kai challenge on blogspot. We’d appreciate it!


  3. What an excellent haibun.. to bring back Issa to life was very imaginative….very good.


  4. This is lovely – almost desolate. Thanks


  5. I’m glad you supplied the history at the end it made me appreciate your story all the more.


  6. Very pretty haibun. I like poetry – don’t understand some of it, but the ones I do – WOW! I love your “O Moon” on the link. Thank you so much! Nan 🙂


  7. Hi, it’s Nan again. I didn’t mean to say I loves your “O Moon” . It should read I love your “O Moon” Thanks, Nan (again).


  8. Very well done.


  9. Great piece of literary history there. Thanks for the info.


  10. Well-written story and interesting information. Thank you for explaining. Well done. 🙂 —Susan


  11. Dear Indrajit,

    What a heartbreaking take on the prompt and how well written. Very moving piece. Tragic and sad. The price of art?




  12. Beautiful, tender and informative. Perfect 🙂


  13. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    This was excellent. The poem at the end — or suicide note, what have you — was the perfect end to this piece.


  14. touching, beautiful story and fantastic haikus, reminds one of tagore, his poems were so touched by a pain deep within…


  15. Wonderful integration of story, history and some Haiku thrown in for flavor. Super read!


  16. I am intrigued by haikus and haibuns but am not a poetry buff, and the closest I ever get to poetry is a limerick.
    I did think haikus were 5 syllables -7 syllables – 5 syllables though. Am I wrong?


  17. I was hoping someone would respond with a Haibun this week. Nicely handled.



  18. Beautiful and touching. I enjoyed the history too.


  19. duskyisbeautiful

    Thank you for introducing me to the world of Issa. Splendid post!


  20. what a gorgeous haibun. thanks for this lovely read 🙂


  21. That was a very interesting haibun. loved your take 🙂


  22. This was beautiful, Horus! Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my story — else, I would not have been able to get to yours so soon! I loved your mood of loneliness and heartbreak in the story. I didn’t know anything about Kobayashi Nobuyuki before. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of him with us.


  23. Horus, I just found in double checking comments that I’d not been notified about some of them. Your’s was among them so I just now replied. Thanks and sorry about that. 🙂 —Susan


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