National Poetry Month: Onna-musha Haiku

For several years, I studied Japanese swordsmanship. My practice of bushido and identification with the onna-musha (a female samurai warrior) was soul deep. But I wasn’t able to continue that journey. I have over the last two years been writing a modest collection of haiku inspired by some of the most beautiful katana made by modern Japanese sword makers. Along the way, I realized I was also writing about my feelings of being “ronin.” Here are just a few haiku from that potential collection.


Deep grief stains the sky
After a long lonely night
Sun kisses cold cheeks


The tsuba blossoms
Its heart pierced through by the blade
Flower and stamen


The wakizashi
Is shorter but delivers
The ultimate cut


When clay kisses steel
It leaves bite marks on the neck
The beloved blade

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