The Hilltop Castle

by Michael Dylan Welch and Ikuyo Yoshimura

First prize winner in the 2003 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. First published in Mariposa #10, Spring–Summer 2004, page 24. Written in twenty minutes on 19 October 2002 at the train station in Gifu, Japan (one of the fastest rengay I’ve ever written—after all, the train was about to arrive). This was after a rainy day of visiting Gifu tourist sights, including taking a cable car up Mount Kinka (see also the Wikipedia page) to visit Gifu Castle. One of the great pleasures of rengay is how it can commemorate special events or meetings like this, or deepen one's memories of time spent together with a friend. Download or view the “Six Rengay” trifold, where this rengay also appears, on the Trifold Downloads page on my Graceguts website.

autumn rain—

the blurred view

from the hilltop castle Michael

umbrellas sold out

a shower of cherry blossoms Ikuyo

distant siren . . .

an unexpected drizzle

mists my sunglasses Michael


a dog’s black coat

steaming Ikuyo

cloudburst ends

the little girl’s tantrum Michael


over the meadow

where we used to picnic Ikuyo