HAIKUS - by LB (member of the Hailstone Haiku Circle) SPRING - dangling trumpet vine not quite reaching the cold, clear river on the surface of the pond they are mirrored ... double-flowered cherry trees the violet-blue shimmer of a wisteria vine entangled with moonlight beyond the lighthouse shrouded in spring haze ... a distant isle Easter Sunday - the hailstone iron kettle rusts April rains - a golden carp takes shelter under Kinkaku-Ji a great wave - in its aftermath cherry blossoms SUMMER - early summer evening - a ting of coolness bluish-white celadon midsummer - dropping a bucket into a deep well drowning the cicada's song 
the swift currents of 
the Kiyotaki River cloud-covered night at the observatory stunned by fireflies early summer - a few drops drip from an oar
... in the centre of a lake just to see it a golden carp leaps out - solar eclipse mirror pond - the only sound the plash of a golden carp AUTUMN - in the caldera the flowing lava of crimson maples in the stone basin - autumn swirling the moment I light a cigarette - a lightning strike! the sound of a flute through the pines - faintly autumn climbing a mountain - deeper and deeper into autumn trashed folding screen - the ginkgo covers it again in gold leaf branches of the pine already bent into shape the autumn wind stopping at the traffic lights - autumn mountains autumn moon - peeking through indigo curtains WINTER - light snowfall - the crackle of charcoal embers in the tea room a metre of snow - it slips off with a thud HAIBUN - by LB Old Roads - Rounding a bend,  I pulled out of the narrow river-valley road into the vast expanse, framed by shaggy cedar and bamboo-covered mountain slopes. A pale mist clung to the slopes, the patchwork of fields, which on my last visit was dry & brown, was now covered with a fresh sprinkling of January snow. I followed the narrow roads clustered at the foot of the mountains and passed a shrine & a bamboo grove that concealed ancient kiln sites from various centuries. The morning sun shone dimly through the haze of a silvery-gray sky as I passed an old crumbling climbing kiln that had seen its last firing a century ago & pulled up the bumpy drive leading to Sawa Kiyotsugu's studio with its pair of wood-burning kilns. I got out of the car & stared momentarily at the star-encrusted soil (the crusty nature of the soil here is due to the abundance of feldspar granules which characterises the works of the local potters). Sawa sensei's studio with its tiled roof & weathered beams had the usual artistic disarray of pots scattered around, some were placed on plinths. As I was admiring their natural fired textures the master potter appeared. I was here to help with the firing. We split some logs, cleaned the kiln shelves & prepared the kiln loading. As it grew dark I headed back into town & stayed for the night at a nearby inn. Next morning we finished the loading: traditional water containers for tea-ceremony, large tsubo jars, tea bowls, gourd-shaped saké flasks & flower vases.Then we closed the mouth of the kiln with bricks & mortar, leaving a gap at the base for a small bundle of twigs to start the firing. We offered saké to the kiln gods & sprinkled salt for purification, after bowing to the altar, we lit the fire. As twilight was setting in, a light snow began to fall which soon turned to sleet, it was soon time to return to Kyoto. Under these pine-covered hillsides Of remnant snow ... We light a fire (Shigaraki, Jan. 2014)