A pleasant and simple summer hokku by Kitō:
Are carried backwards;
The clear water.
We see the tiny fish in the clear, sunlit water, swimming against the current, which nonetheless is so strong that, still facing upstream, they are carried a bit backwards.
This is one of those hokku that is just a kind of rejoicing in the experience of seeing. We feel the small strength and persistence of the little fish against the greater strength of the clear water. There is the energy of the fish going in one direction, the energy of the water going in the other.
This is a standard hokku, meaning it has a setting, a subject, and an action.
The setting is “the clear water.”
The subject is “little fish.”
The action is “are carried backwards.”