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Appendix 1: Further Reading

All these have a wide range of examples (in English—or in the case of Ref. 4, American) and informative introductions.  Ref. 2 includes nine different attempts to translate a famous Basho haiku.






The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse

Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Thwaite

(Penguin Classics revised edition, 2009


The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry

Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto

(New edition 1987


On Love and Barley—Haiku of Basho

Lucien Stryk

Penguin Classics Reprint edition 1985


The Sound of Water—Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa and Other Poets

Sam Hamill

Shambhala Publications, 1995

Appendix 2: Some Japanese Terms

Mostly drawn from the above.

Haikai renga

A chain of haiku on one theme, not necessarily all by one author. Terimati’s masterworks include several examples.
The ‘Frog in Pool’; renga echoes a famous haiku by Basho—here with Stryk and Thwaite translations:

Basho Stryk Thwaite

Furu ike ya
Kawazu tobikomu
Mizu no oto

Old pond
A Frog

Old pond
Frog jumps in
Sound of water


‘lightness of touch’—the best haiku do not plod or shout

Kake kotoba

‘pivot words’—words with more than one sense or meaning which pivot the haiku or other Japanese poem, they shade into the pun.


‘season words’—classical haiku always include one.  Apparently in Japan you can buy lists of them—which sounds a bit anoraky.

The mind’s deep jewels
Are not found on picking lists
—Crossword cleverness


‘cutting word’—a word which divides the condition or situation from the sudden perception.  Can be rendered in English by the dash.


A more informal haiku form, it does not aspire to Zen or insist on season words, colloquialisms are allowed.
Reference 1 lists 60 of them—here is an example:

A horse farts
Four or five suffer
On the ferry boat

Many of Terimati’s masterpieces are in fact senryu


‘On the spot composition’ of a haiku ‘linked to its inspiration origins’.

Appendix 3: Some Learned Notes on The Bonsai Forest

While most of the haiku in the Bonsai Forest in principle self explain, a few draw a more general message from a particular experience.  To help the interested reader (rather than provide help to those writing essays or theses on the Great Terimati) the following notes are offered.

  1. Hal-kus.  These were inspired by the RSC 2000 production of Henry V, where, the Dauphin’s gift presented, tennis balls cover the stage and bounce down into the auditorium.  The long ‘gone to thistles’ speech is by the Duke of Burgundy in Act V.
  2. Chess.  The final lines of the Lambeth Conference haiku in Indoor Games are in chess notation and decode as ‘Bishop takes Bishop’ and ‘Rook takes Bishop’s Pawn’.
  3. NW1 Odyssey 2012.  It was at twilight on 30th October 2000, when I was inspired with the NW1 Odyssey sequence of haiku.  Those days, for both Teri and Mati, were extremely fruitful.  The Muse has visited us less frequently of late.
    On 2nd September 2012, I was again standing at the top of Primrose Hill.  Haiku arrived again, almost unbidden, as before.  There are (at least) two explanations:
    (1) My mind went back to that late afternoon in October 2000, which I recall as one of those precious moments of actually ‘being’;
    (2) Primrose Hill, like Dun I on Iona, Sachsenstein in the Harz Mountains, Meritxell in Andorra, seems to have a very special ‘spirit of place’—which, as a spiritually-inclined sceptic I’d interpret as having something that arouses resonances in some kind of subconscious ur-memory (I avoid the term race memory for obvious reasons).
  4. Nivelles.  I lived in Brussels in 1985, Nivelles is a small town 25km to the south which I visited, by myself on Sunday 30th June (says an old diary).  ‘Une ville coquette et accueillante dont la collégiale [the abbey] est renomméeMichelin tells me.  The haiku were written on a not recorded date soon after.  I have no other real memories of the place other than those the haiku have encapsulated.
  5. Galadriel is a very impressive Elf lady in the Lord of the Rings.  Tolkien’s description of the dwellings at the heart of the land over which she and her husband rule, Lothlórien, is very evocative.  Sachsenstein is a name I (being one of the instantiations of the Master Terimati) found on a waymark in the woods above the town of Bad Harzburg, on the edge of the Harz mountains, a few years ago.  To this day I do not know the history of Sachsenstein.  All I can say is that I followed the signs, and I knew when I got there.  There was something about this place in the high woods that announced itself as ‘special’.  Almost certainly an ancient site of some kind (of what kind I don’t know)—somewhere with an indefinable but inescapable ‘spirit of place’ which my atheistic sceptical scientific rationalism was completely unable to explain.  Enough to make my hair stand on end, in the nicest possible way—there was an intrinsic beatific(!) peace about the place, which I think I had only experienced previously on the summit of the main hill of Iona (where, you recall, the banshee wail on a sunlit summer’s day); and experienced to some extent subsequently at Meritxell in Andorra (another place of religious significance over many centuries).  And yes, Sachsenstein had a lot of the spirit of the magical location of Lothlórien so beautifully described by Tolkien.
  6. ‘A childhood dream ends’ (i), in Childhood, refers to the final chapter of House at Pooh Corner, and to ‘an enchanted place’.  The reader is invited to revisit this place.  Is this not also Galadriel’s Lothlórien?
  7. The author of the Power Tools Haiku comments:
    It’s a half-syllable problem; pronounce the last word ‘ev’rywhere’ and the haiku works.
  8. The DIY haiku, which allows the participating reader free choice in the placing of the words Thing and Rose, is a confection of groups of words attributable to Marilyn Monroe, Gertrude Stein and William Shakespeare.  A variation on the theme—the substitution of Dorothy Parker for Marilyn Monroe—gives:
    …but at the expense of the element of free choice.
  9. ‘Architecture in general is frozen music’, Friedrich von Schelling, 1809.  Therefore…
  10. The second line of the Purcell & Tate haiku comes from Henry Purcell’s 1694[1] birthday ode for Queen Mary: ‘Come, ye sons of Art’.  The words [attributed to Nahum Tate], ‘Sound the trumpet, ’til around, you make the list'ning shores resound’, come from the second section of the ode and were a joke at the expense of the Shore brothers.  This section of the ode has no trumpet part, so the Shores, both trumpet players, remained idle while the rest of the company sang ‘Sound the Trumpet’.
    [1] It is interesting to note that Purcell and Tate were contemporaries of Basho

Appendix 4: The Great Enigma

The origin and identity of Duo Terimati are interestingly obscure.  His emergence as a key reviving force on the haiku form at the millennium’s turn is not in dispute.  That he—granted that both his gender and cardinality are not known for certain—grew out of the world of the Internet and information technology can also be taken as accepted.  Beyond that, all is conjecture.  The name Terimati has caused more heat than light—but the fact that in Japanese Teru means ‘shine’ and Matu means ‘again’ suggests that perhaps Terimati is an incorrect transliteration.  We should perhaps know the Great Master as Terumatu.  ‘Shining Again’ surely encapsulates the revivified quality of the haiku form in his hands.  And as to his identity we are faced with the same problem that we have when attempting to explain Homer, Chaucer, Ossian, or, in another context, the sudden emergence of complex life forms in the Cambrian Era.  How could such enormous variety and sophistication emerge suddenly from the preceding thin darkness?  The now discredited idea, that Terimati was in fact two middle-aged chaps called Terry and Martin having a bit of fun, seems to us as an unsatisfactory explanation.  As unsatisfactory as believing that Shakespeare—with (and indeed to) whom Terimati has sometimes been compared—was the son of a prosperous farmer in a small Midlands town.  But does the enigma matter?  As with Shakespeare, there is the possibility that some of the works were written by, or with at least the collaboration of, others.  Terimati—the core of Terimati that is—has acknowledged both the contribution and the worth of his ‘Great Disciples’, also known as the ‘Basho Street Kids’.  All this may be a problem for scholars—but not at all for that much larger college: his devotees.  Wheresoever it came, Terimati’s work undoubtedly exists.  Read on and enjoy.

Appendix 5: Criticism

Sometimes, the Great Master is asked to comment on haiku…

The first thing the GM does with an Alien Haiku Attempt (an AHA) is isolate it—after all it could have come from afar, both physically and culturally, and one cannot be too careful.  Wearing protective clothing (only last week poor Cilla Bull was hit by a triple entendre) Cilla does a syllable count and Ike Hughes does a structural analysis, checking for cutting words, season words and so on.  Then, when no one is looking, the GM gets out his hand held device.  This is, wait for it, his ‘haikometer’.  Its insides are both classified and complex but are known to include zen detectors, poetry sensors and influence analysers.  The AHA and Ike and Cil’s analysis are keyed in and the Phase 1 button is pressed…  Out comes

  1. the Gut Reaction (Initial) Test (GRIT) results for, to quote the GM’s immortalish words
  2. the I test—checking for Imagery, Influences and Insights
  3. the Gut Reaction (Output) Test (GROT) which will classify it into
    1. a few to be crushed underfoot (or even flushed underbum) as of no value
    2. great stuff—to be written on the wall and baptised in a pretty font or
    3. a Haiku of Uninspiring Mediocrity (a HUM) - this majority is filed in a big round structure called the HUMdrum.

In Phase 2 a distributed database is created so both instantiations and the BSK can try to ask and answer the following questions:

  1. what does it mean?
  2. can it be improved?
  3. do we really care?

And so on…

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