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Haiku Nature Poems

Haiku are the perfect nature poems.

Spring rain,

enough to wet the little shells

on the small beach

- Buson

O snail

climb Mount Fuji

but slowly, slowly

- Issa

with a crunching sound

the praying mantis devours

the face of a bee

- Seishi

The following is an extract taken from Oi no kobumi (Notes of a Pack-Basket), a travel diary written by Haiku poet Basho, who wrote many nature poems.

'Through the Waka of Saigyō, the Renga of Sōgi, the painting of Sesshū, and the tea of Rikyu, one thing flows. People of such refinement submit to nature and befriend the four seasons. Where they look there is nothing but flowers, what they think is nothing but the moon. Perceiving shapes other than flowers amounts to being a barbarian. Holding thoughts other than the moon is akin to being a beast. Come out from barbarians, depart from beasts. Submit to nature, return to nature.'

so the warbler comes

right on time with a single song

and a knowing look

- Keiseki

The white chrysanthemum

When lifted and looked at

Remains pure

- Basho

under the bright sky

a hairy caterpillar crawls

on the pine tree's branch

- Ryunosuke

Green Willows

Paint eyebrows on the face

of the cliff

- Arakida Moritake

Two hanging scrolls. Located at Masaki Art Museum, Masaki bijutsukan), Tadaoka, Osaka.

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