Song of the Toad

<strong>Earle Joshua Stone</strong>
Earle Joshua Stone

The author is eminently qualified to set forth this further collection of his Japanese style Haiku. His travels in, and studies about the orient for over forty-five years, form a rich basis for these verses.
His delightful illustrations are at once entertaining and educational. As a painter/sculptor, much of his work is in Oriental style.
A Fellow of Sigma Chi Epsilon, he is also a student of Japanese and Chinese Languages, and is(was) well- known as a top appraiser and connoisseur of Asian Antiques.
His depth of understanding of Japanese and Chinese people is(was) unique. All of his work is(was) personally experienced or researched, and is absolutely accurate.
He is(was) a life member-benefactor of the San Diego Museum of Art, and served over 30 years as a member of the Asian arts Committee, which he chaired for many years.

Kenji Kikuchi



Loudly bewailing

vanity of fleeting lives

evening cicadas.

tree branch

The scent of the plum

with longing recalls the past

sweet tendrils of Spring.


Leaves growing thickly

and the longing for lost friends

now enters our minds.


Iris on the roof

young rice shoots are planted in

waterfowl cry out.

evening glory

White evening-glory

sensing cottage smoke in June



Evening spring-time dream

disappearing so quickly

dust before the wind.


In Spring’s blue twilight

whisperings in the wet grass

even toads make love.


The small wet garden

reflected in my window

majestic iris.


A dreary spring day

and on its endless cycle

softly falling rain.

budding flower

A budding flower

announces the unfolding

of a virgin soul.

Bidding spring

Bidding Spring farewell

like a parting from old friends

hearts filled with sorrow.

broken clouds

Broken clouds, sunlight

casting prismatic colors

through dew-drop lenses.


Evening spring Venus

ever approaching moon

will they touch tonight.


From the neighbors yard

beckoning our senses

sweet scent of plum.


Some may-flies hatching

on the cool spring breeze sounds of

small ayu splashing.


Wild green canary

seeks bugs beneath the leaves

moving so quickly.


Springtime geese return

high against the pale new moon

again sadness felt.

Equinox Jizo

Looking neat and prim

in a natty white apron

Equinox Jizo.


Beneath curving roofs

the bursting cherry blossoms

Hikone’s spring gift.

hard pouring rain

Hard-pouring spring rain

in sheltering trees the birds

no longer singing.

plums ripening

In June the rains come

Disagreeable weather

plums are ripening.


Small metallic sounds

The gardener planting iris

at the waters edge.


Churning spring waters

their strong instincts conquering

carp struggling upstream.


At the festival

Beneath the cherry blossoms

dancers move slowly.


Springtime Cha-no-yu

the peaceful harmony

relaxing my mind.

snow melting

A warm early Spring

snow to water melting fast

rivulets rushing.


Walking forest paths

somewhere in the mist a flute

making dream-like sounds.

Temple yard

Silent temple yard

in drizzle of cold spring rain

the smell of wet stones.

Gion temple

At Gion temple

admiring e-ma paintings

on a rainy day.

brown puddles

Stillness after rain

breathing hot humid air

brown puddles standing.

great sadness

A great sadness felt

final blossoms are falling

the going of Spring.

spring rains

Overdue spring rains

toads from dried up streams emerge

summer cycles start.

skull dewdrops

Beneath pink hagi

on a skull dewdrops have formed

a toad licks them off.

mist on Hieizan

Mist on Hieizan

tourist being photographed

wet monkeys watching.

cherry petals

On a spring morning

cherry petals sifting down

blending with azaleas.

early April

In early April

awaiting the first pink snow

all eyes on the trees.

fleeciest masses

Fleeciest masses

of clouds tinged by pink sunset

May cherry blossoms.

nature inverted

Nature inverted

green leaves before blossoms

the mountain cherry.

blossoms before

Blossoms before leaves

veiling every twig and bough

in delicate mist.

crimson flame

In the olden days

crimson flame of peonies

on Daikonshima.


Walking thru the pines

soon the humid days will come

and the end of Spring.

near Kamogawa

Near Kamogawa

cherries weeping for themselves

as their faces drop.

Kamogawa trees

Kamogawa trees

planted by Hashimoto

pink tears remember.

one thousand years

For one thousand years

a cherry tree on this spot

spirt of Kammu.

spring at Heian

From the dark brown muck

brilliant clumps of white iris

each spring at Heian.

black kites

A group of black kites

gliding over reed-filled ponds

seeking cranes eggs.

priests alarm

A sound of jingling

heard on the evening spring breeze

the priest’s alarm staff.


Flying Like snowflakes

cherry petals fall thickest

on Mt. Yosino.

old kyoto

In old Kyoto

the most beautiful blossoms

are seen at Heian.

blue yakata

Gently, some falling

cherry petals decorate

my blue yukata.

floating castle

A floating castle

seen thru cherry blossom clouds

at Hirosaki.


Some late night crickets

singing louder than the fan

seeking summer loves.

At the city zoo

in sunshine an elephant

is dreaming small thoughts.

Midst the ancient trees

buildings fragrant in the heat

Welcoming Autumn.

Myriad insects

dreamy voices of summer

enchanting the night.

Pampas grasses wave

bidding farewell to summer

welcoming Autumn.

Through the summer night

murmuring sounds of waters

mingle with sutras.

Falling summer rain

washing away the fireflies

a delicious night.

Below the mountain

the crows fly in groups

toward the setting sun.

Wild geese in the sky

on the ruffle of the breeze

cicadas chirping.

Wheat harvest over

the voice of the cicada

says summer has come.

Dusted with pollen

a clumsy black bumble bee

seeking warm nectar.

Black tadpoles wriggling

in the brown muddy waters

soon the toads will dance.

Locusts in the trees

mikan blossoms on the air

do they smell the scent?

A tiny spider

on a gossamer-thin thread

flying in the sun.

Geta on the step

enjoying warm noontime sun

a red dragonfly.

In the warm garden

he is steeped in tradition

the bearded iris.

The scarlet sun

burning with bright flame destroys

our today’s mistakes.

In summer shower

a brown decaying mushroom

shelters a green snail.

Near purple iris

an old man meditating

gentle golden thoughts.

In hot summer sun

watching a small green inch-worm

measuring a leaf.

Glowing in the dark

bright goldfish and generals

nebuta lanterns.

In crazy circles

ears listening for insects

the drunken brown bat.

Meandering streams

mingling with purple iris

in endless patterns.

A strange quiet night

some rare fireflies near the lake

sweet scent of iris.

Steamy summer day

stained-glass wings brightly flashing

thirsty butterflies.

From summer forest

a chorus of insect tunes

singing Basho’s praise.

In hot summer sun

some nodding pink hollyhocks

a curious bee.

Sticky summer heat

the futaku tells us of

a moment’s relief.

In an acorn cup

a cool drop of crystal dew

for a fairy’s thirst.

Dried-up grasshoppers

lying in the summer heat

so must Buddhas pass.

On a summer day

Nara’s deer, like Hokkaido’s

are always hungry.

Chewing bitter grass

watching white clouds overhead

dreaming of matcha.

In blue summer sky

clouds appear then disappear

that old girl’s magic.

Sweet purple iris

from the warm summer garden

unearthly incense.

Precious nature art

from within, lingering songs

amber cicadas.

Bon festivity

slowly drifting down the stream

thin paper lanterns.

The mosquito’s hum

such a tiny voice to hear

in the scheme of things.

Munching in the night

silkworms on mulberry leaves

one leaf, two leaves, three.

In summer moonlight

the magnolia’s shining face

invites the white moth.

In summer darkness

night flowers await the moon

soon the moth will come.

Summer night pond-songs

singing deeper than the rest

a hulking bull-frog.

This hot July day

Tanabata festival

a spider weaving.

In the July heat

celebrate the weaver bird

Tanabata day.

In twilight glowing

supporting a bright-green frog

red water lily.

Rolling in the dust

black hooves in sun glistening

spirited ponys.

In summer bamboo

three small sparrows looking trim

in their white collars.

Warm summer morning

in the grass dark green melons

cool dew glistening.

Beneath the footbridge

feet cooling in the water

an old man sleeping.

Gentle garden snake

in it’s mouth a grasshopper

legs mutely kicking.

Faces to the sun

prickly fuzz makes my skin itch

summer hollyhocks.

Against summer sun

warbling their siloloquies

unseen meadow-larks.

On a summer day

pigeon droppings on my head

add to discomfort.

A slight sound above

on my skylight bird droppings

snowflakes in July.

In the trees at dusk

now and then a rustling sound

quail return to roost.

On the embankments

and along the sandy beach

summer moonflowers.

A meteorite

reflected on the dark pond

uncaring frogs sing.

In the sparkling pools

tiny ayu fish darting

eyes so clearly seen.

Nature’s gems unveiled

rubies flashing in the sun

two young dragonflies.

From the scraggy bush

a young man picking hagi

for his lover’s hair.

On the summer air

voices and songs, bells and bees

the pleasures of sound.

The scent of flowers

thinly sweet on tepid air

a humming of bees.

On a summer night

dipping up some pond water

the moon in my palm.

Unbearded iris

sweet perfume on summer air

her feminine charm.

Working the hardest

at the summer polo game

a little horse died.

Thirsty mosquitoes

clinging to the summer net

humming their blood-song.

Near temple buildings

overcoming benjo smells

sweet iris perfume.

In early morning

a grasshopper on a leaf

sucking a dew-drop.

Summer’s choking heat

in the shadows a dark form

slowly moving toad.

Kyoto Summer

artist’s brushes laid aside

ambitions melting.

In summer darkness

from the silent cat-tailed pond

sucking sounds of carp.

Beautiful flowers

peeping over the high wall

brightening a dull day.

On a humid day

skating where there is no ice

dizzy water-bugs.

This sere summer heat

difficulty in painting

oils drying quickly.

Fat golden-bronze quail

stretching to the millet heads

beneath the pampas.

Clatter of horses

ghostly warriors passing by

Gion festival.

At the ryokan

limply in chairs reclining

two old gentlemen.

On a maple leaf

floating down a glass-clear stream

yellow butterfly.

In summer moonlight

egrets preening in the reeds

the sound of an owl.

Summer festive sounds

all along the river banks

reflected lanterns.

Summer lotus leaves

frogs above large koi below

all soundly sleeping.

In the heat of night

soundless flashes in the sky

summer lightning storm.

On this summer day

tasting the sublime feeling

of doing nothing.

I watched the rocks grow

my conciousness grew with them

mystic Nanzenji.

In the crystal creek

strange dancers without music

spinning water fleas.

Begging summer koi

what earthly food is needed

for rainbow jewels?

Who lives with beauty

loving nature and her charms

dies beautifully.

In faded tea room

guests reflectively sipping

froth of liquid jade.

Ghostly wisps of smoke

through bamboo trees in moonlight

the mosquito punk.

Fifty kinds of moss

delight the eye and insects

at Kokedera.

Flowing words then bells

monks’ deep rich voices chanting

throaty golden sounds.