animals in Basho’s haiku through the seasons

falling blossoms—
birds too are startled:
the dust of the koto
chiru hana ya / tori mo odoroku / koto no chiri 

swarming in the waterweeds,
the whitefish: if taken in hand
they would vanish away
mo ni sudaku / shirauo ya toraba / kienubeki 

foolishly, in the dark,
he grabs a thorn:
hunting fireflies
gu ni kuraku / ibara o tsukamu / hotaru kana

in summer rains
the crane’s legs
become short
samidare ni / tsuru no ashi / mijikaku nareri

on a withered branch
a crow has settled
— autumn evening
kareeda ni / karasu no tomarikeri / aki no kure

like clouds drifting apart,
a wild goose separates, for now,
from his friend
kumo to hedatsu / tomo ka ya kari no / ikiwakare

spider, what is it,
in what voice—why—are you crying?
autumn wind
kumo nani to / ne o nani to naku / aki no kaze

snow morning:
alone, I manage to chew
dried salmon
yuki no ashita / hitori karazake o / kami etari

passing clouds—
like a dog running about and pissing,
scattered winter showers
yuku kumo ya / inu no kake-bari / murashigure 

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