grass tickling
my toes
o-bon festival 

—Abigail Friedman

This haiku is reprinted, with the permission of the publisher, from The Haiku Apprentice. The book is both a gentle introduction to the art of haiku and a charming travelogue. It's an excellent, companionable guide to haiku and the culture from which it springs, and we at tinywords heartily recommend it!

About the author: Abigail Friedman is the author of The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in JapanThe Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan. She joined the United States Foreign Service in 1988 and has served her country in Washinton, Paris, Tokyo, and the Azores, and most recently as Consul General in Quebec City. She is a member of the Haiku Society of America and Haiku Canada and is a founding member of the bilingual Quebec Haiku Group in Quebec City.

Responses to the haiku for 8 September 2006 by Abigail Friedman

    2006-09-09 04:35:50

    The grass is still tickling my toes!

    I have the book, and highly recommend it.

    Corneliu Atanasiu
    2006-09-09 05:16:19

    Please, I don't know what means "o-bon". Dictionaries don't mention it.

    2006-09-09 11:27:12

    a joyous gathering
    toes dancing in the grass
    buddha smiles

    ray haydok
    2006-09-09 13:29:02

    as a bead of mercury
    the raindrop
    on the nasturtium leaf

    2006-09-09 19:46:52

    "O-bon" or simply "Bon" is one of the most important holidays in Japan, in August. The spirits of the dead are said to return to earth at this time and many people return to their home towns to visit the graves of their ancestors. There are festivals and traditional dancing, sometimes in the grassy outdoors. In my book, The Haiku Apprentice, I have a chapter on O-bon inspired haiku.

    2006-09-10 14:41:23

    i love this haiku.
    i love grass on my feet :)

    d. f. tweney
    2006-09-10 21:57:48

    Corneliu, the O-bon festival is August 13-16 in Japan. It's a traditional time for praying for one's ancestors.

    See this page for more information.

    Corneliu Atanasiu
    2006-09-11 05:51:55

    Thanks for the clearing up. I understand now: the blades of grass are ancestors. It's a tender tickling!

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2006-09-12 02:50:47

    atop family hierarchy
    this autumn eve
    on my knees