Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Birds at a Shrine

#shiki wrote a #haiku depicting #birds at a #shinto #shrine that can be read two ways

mi+yashiro ya
niwa hi ni tooki
ukine dori

depending on whether you read niwa and hi as one word or two
this reads

 prefix honorable shrine shinto

garden/yard/enclosed space light / fire being at distance tooki is a verb! toku !
floating - sleeping implied birds ukine = sleeping in a ship or floating object or uneasy sleep

Why are the birds sleeping in the shadows so far away from the light?

They should be safe on the grounds of a shrine?

I thought they were simply avoiding being disturbed and that Shiki was creating a word picture of birds barely visible but recently I found niwahi can also mean bonfire so there's a note of anxiety and sympathy ... the birds have perhaps moved as far as they can across a pond away from the noise of humans celebrating some kind of fire ritual?

Poor birds!