I wish the mountaintop would flee the moon
And delay the darkening of its light.

Ariwara no Narihira


The sun goes down—
but evening light remains
in the leaves.

Nijō Yoshimoto


Now cat’s done
mewing, bedroom’s
touched by moonlight.

Matsuo Bashō

the rosy cloud

From dying sunlight, stroke by stroke, it grows
in layers, as if splitting shades of rose.
A heavenly wind cut it to pieces,
it seems, to make the fairies clothes.

Wang Zhou

song of the geese

Geese, geese, geese,
curved necks singing to the sky.
They float on green, feathery white,
red feet stirring waves of light.

Luo Binwang


Firefly viewing—
The steersman is drunk
And how unsteady the boat!

Matsuo Bashō

autumn moonlight

As if blossoms have
fallen from the harvest moon—
the cotton field.

Matsuo Bashō


This perfectly still
Spring day bathed in the soft light
From the vaulted sky,
Why do the cherry blossoms
So restlessly scatter down?

Ki no Tomonori


It lights up
as lightly as it fades:
a firefly.



Oh what ails you?
Do not betray me, I implore you.
Before he comes back, get up, never ruin yourself,
do not ruin me a poor wretched sinner.
It is day now, see the light through the window,
do you not see it?