Haiku by Kobayashi Issa. I especially like the "lover cat" poems. These were not originally (or ever, as far as I know) published together.

Year Unknown
kôbai ya heri ni hoshitaru aria neko
at the edge of red
plum blossoms
the bathed cat dries

1805
momo no kado neko wo hakari ni kakeru nari
peach blossoms--
at the gate he weighs
the cat

1809
ariake ya ie nashi neko mo koi wo naku
at dawn
the homeless cat, too
cries for love

1809
koi neko no genji mekasuru kakine kana
the lover cat
dandied up like Genji
at the hedge

1809
neko no rin botan no atchi kotchi kana
the cat's bell tinkling
in the peonies
here and there

1811
fuyu no hae nigaseba neko ni torare keri
the winter fly
I spare, the cat
snatches

1812
kagerô ni nani yara neko no negoto kana
heat shimmers--
how the cat talks
in her sleep
!

1812
nora neko ga hotoke no hiza wo makura kana
the farm cat
makes Buddha's lap
a pillow

1813
ô neko yo hayaku ike ike tsuma ga naku
hey big cat
shake a leg!
the wife calls

1813
na no hana ni maburete kitari neko no koi
smeared with flowering
mustard, here comes
the lover cat

1813
nora neko ni hikkakare keri ume no hana
snatched
by the farm cat...
plum blossoms

1814
kagerô ni gui-gui neko no ibiki kana
in the heat shimmers
the cat snores
deeply

1814
neko no ko no kakurenbo suru hagi no hana
the kitten plays
hide-and-seek...
in bush-clover

1815
kagerô no neko ni mo takaru aruki-gami
cats in the heat-shimmer
also follow
the God of Wandering

1815
hana saki ni meshi tsubu tsukete neko no koi
a grain of rice
stuck to his nose...
lover cat

1815
kôbai ni hoshite oku nari aria neko
among red plum blossoms
drying from its bath
a cat

1815
waga kado no neko uchi-guri yo uchi-guri yo
at my gate the cat
batting chestnuts!
chestnuts!

1815
kaze no ochiba choi-choi neko ga osae keri
windblown leaves
for now caught
by the cat

1815
neko no ko ga choi to osaeru ochiba kana
the kitten catches one
now and then...
fallen leaves

1816
neko arau zabu-zabu kawa ya haru no ame
splish-splash
the cat washes in the river...
spring rain


1816
ôneko no dosari to netaru uchiwa kana
the big cat
flops down to sleep
on the fan

1817
jôhari no kagami mi yo mi yo neko no koi
check the mirror
before your date
!
lover cat

1817
nete okite ôakubi shite neko no koi
he sleeps, he wakes
has a big yawn...
the cat goes courting

1817
baka neko ya shintai-giri no ukare koe
foolish cat--
putting his whole body
into his yowl

1817
yamadera ya soshi no yurushi no neko no koi
mountain temple--
with the Founder's blessing
cats make love

1817
oya to shite kakurenbo suru ko neko kana
mother cat
plays hide-and-seek...
with her kittens

1817
sasa no ya ya neko mo shakushi mo aki no ame
thatched house--
on the cat, in the ladle
autumn rain

1817
koi neko no kuso hori umeru ochiba kana
burying the latrine
of the lover cat...
fallen leaves

1818
kobisashi ni maki to neko to yukige kana
on the eaves
firewood and a cat...
snow is melting!

1818
kuraki yori kuraki ni iru ya neko no koi
from darkness
into darkness
the lover cat

1818
neko no ko ya hakari ni kakari tsutsu zareru
the kitten
keeps playing
even on the scale

1818
baka neko ya shibarare nagara koi wo naku
fool cat, tied up
still crying
for love


1819
kakureya ya neko ni mo hitotsu o-toshidama
secluded house--
even for the cat
a New Year's gift

1819
shiro neko no yôna yanagi mo o-hana kana
the willow
like a white cat...
a temple flower too

1819
hai neko no yôna yanagi mo o-hana kana
the willow
like a gray cat...
a temple flower too

1819
o-nakama ni neko mo za toru ya toshiwasure
the cat joins
the drinking party...
forgetting the year

1820
harusame ya neko ni odori wo oshieru ko
spring rain--
a child gives a dance lesson
to the cat

1820
yogore neko sore demo tsuma wa mochi ni keri
dirty, yes
but the cat
has a wife

1820
oya neko ga nomi wo mo kande kure ni keri
the mother cat
gnawing her kitten's
fleas

1821
kadorei ya neko ni toshidama uchi tsukeru
"Happy New Year!"
at the gate, tossing the cat
a present

1821
neko no ko no mamagoto wo suru susuki kana
the kittens
play house
in the pampas grass

1821
ne narande ko chô to neko to oshô kana
sleeping in a row--
little butterfly, cat
priest

1821
wakaba shite neko to karasu to kenka kana
fresh new leaves--
the cat and the crow
quarrel

1821
baka neko ya nigeta iga kuri mi ni modoru
foolish cat--
eyes returning to where
the chestnut was

1822
nora neko no tsume togu hodo ya nokoru yuki
the farm cat
sharpens his nails...
last snow pile

1822
oya suzume ko wo kaese to ya neko wo ou
"Come back, children!"
mother sparrow chases away
the cat

1823
neko no meshi shôban suru ya suzume no ko
sharing the food
in the cat's dish...
baby sparrow

1824
ôneko mo dôza shite neru hiina kana
the big cat sleeps
in the same seat...
with the doll

1824
narifuri mo oya sokkuri no ko neko kana
a spitting image
of his mother...
the kitten

1824
ôneko ga shito kakusu nari hana no yuki
the big cat
buries his pee...
snow-white blossoms

1824
neko no kurui ga sôô no botan kana
a perfect match
for the crazy cat...
peony

1824
neko no me ya kôri no shita ni kuruu uuo
under the ice
the cat's eyes follow...
crazy fish

1825
chôchô wo shippo de naburu ko neko kana
teasing a butterfly
with his tail...
the kitten

1827
sema niwa no yoko utsu kuri ya dorobo neko
knocking chestnuts
out of the little garden...
thief cat!



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