Be Here Now ~ Original Haiku


This time of year the cicada have faded and the bell crickets have replaced them. I believe this is a type of cricket unique to Japan. It's name is suzumushi (鈴虫, but usually written スズムシ) and it has a nice soothing sound that many look forward to and enjoy. I listen to them at night.

bell crickets
no thought for tomorrow
singing for tonight


Moonlit Evening at Osaka Castle by Koitsu Tsuchiya

As you might guess, there are tons of kigo both for insect noise at night, mushi no koe (虫の声, voice of insects) being perhaps one of the the more common ones (it's also the title of a traditional kid's song), and more specifically for the bell crickets in autumn. Suzumushi itself is a kigo for early autumn, hence why I used it by itself for the first line in my haiku.

The theme of enjoying the moment and using nature to illustrate the idea is hardly original, but it is an idea that always comes to mind when I listen to the insects at night. If you missed it, I posted a Zen tale about this idea a weeks ago.

Of course the title Be Here Now refers to the book by Ram Dass that introduced the Boomers to the East and fueled the hippie movement (and would inspire a young Steve Jobs to visit India chasing after Dass's teacher Neem Karoli Baba, an experience that may have indirectly led to the formation of Apple).

The ukiyo-e print is in the shin-hanga style. There is a feeling of peace in these night drawings[1] that lets me hear the night insects.

Hi thereDavid LaSpina is an American photographer and translator lost in Japan, trying to capture the beauty of this country one photo at a time and searching for the perfect haiku.

If this blog post has entertained or helped you, please follow/upvote/reblog. If you want to further support my writing, donations are welcome.

BTC: 1Gvrie5FDBNBb6YpGBiaTvA5AyvsP814BN
ETH: 0x2Ce5c2b5F3f1a888b50A7bA9002E4F742784dF9c
BCH: qrzdazep5xfxax0ydppun89cxfts2vup9q4wnfn025
Dash: XoGzWrhdgbLKBG5kn4GjWfaJDJ6AWkDiqU

  1. Drawing? Carving? Painting? What would be the proper verb here for a woodblock print? The image would have been drawn first, then carved in a number of woodblocks (one for each color), then made by using all the woodblocks to apply the image to paper.