Equinox tanka

Fun with Google translate, or the perils of trusting a machine to make poetry.

sun moon day night
balanced the space of a day
before earth tips spills
rain fills thirsty mouths washing
summer’s dust-dry taste away

gives this (inaccurate) French translation:

soleil lune jour nuit
équilibré l’espace d’une journée
avant que la terre ne tombe
la pluie remplit la bouche assoiffée de se laver
le goût sec de l’été loin

then back-translated to English:

sun moon day night
balanced for a day
before the earth falls
the rain fills the thirsty mouth to wash off
the dry taste of summer away

Haibun for the equinox

Posting this one a little late. Frank has just reminded me that it fits his weekly haikai challenge too.


Spring, the vernal equinox, and the words of Yeats’s Irish airman come to me: ‘in balance with this life, this death’. The circle is eternal, but constantly renewed, never the same, and the lives that turn with it share only a few revolutions—a few score for us, a flower, only one. Lives grow and are shed, like sparks from the iron wheels of a steam train. This spring blossom scatters so fruit can grow, bulbs swell, buds burst and leaves unfurl. On this day, all is in balance—light and dark, day and night, but only for a moment. And like the wheel, there is no peak and no trough, only the cycle, ever turning, ever renewing.


Buzzards wheel, watching

for small spring deaths

as the year turns.