Basho's thoughts on...
• What Children Do: Basho Honors the Young
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story:
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Poetry and Music
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time
• Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY (Basho Amazes Me! How About You?)
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention with praise
to ordinary women, children, and teenagers
in hundreds of poems

Hundreds upon hundreds of Basho works
(mostly renku)about women, children,
teenagers, friendship, compassion, love.

These are resources we can use to better
understand ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial power
of the feminine emanating
from Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover Basho's
gentleness and humanity.

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material,
to edit and improve the material, to receive 100%
of royalties, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide
and preserve for future generations.

Quotations from Basho Prose


The days and months are
guests passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass through it
yourself. Some poets have made
no effort to pass through, merely
counting things and trying
to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one as an expression
of the same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

"As the years passed
by to half a century.
asleep I hovered
among morning clouds
and evening dusk,
awake I was astonished
at the voices of mountain
streams and wild birds."


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com

 



Home  >  Topics  >  Introduction to this site  >  A-08


Letters from Basho: Introduction

Journeys through his mind

Legend:
Words of Basho in bold
Words of other poets not bold

As we read Basho's letters to his brother and close friends, we travel through his mind, and discover  his "gentleness and humanity," his "all the more joyful, all the more caring."  For instance, in his Will dictated two days before his death, Basho send this message to his Edo follower Jokushi:                                             

                  Enjoy till the end your wife’s unchanging kindness.

 

What a beautiful thing to say to an old friend. 

                                                                                          

Even with 880,000 words of Shakespeare in print, we know almost nothing of his personal life or thoughts.  He left us no letters, no diaries or essays, just the lines in King John

      

        Grief fills the room up of my absent child
        Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me.

 

believed to be Shakespeare’s lament for his eleven-year-old son Hamnet who died the year the play was written.

 

For Basho, in contrast, we have the ocean of his journals and essays, but even more revealing are 229 letters confirmed as authentic.  Many of these surpass one page. Also, Japanese anthologies provide voluminous commentaries on every person, place, thing and idiom mentioned.   These are a goldmine of information about Basho as well as about his society – and these letters should be studied in anthropology and sociology courses worldwide.

 

Basho shows us a calm, peaceful society without war or natural disasters so people are free to think small ordinary thoughts. The letters are not exciting or scandalous or edgy; they are mostly messages of gratitude, affection, or hope.  Thus Basho expresses his “gentleness and humanity” These two words, yasashisa to ningen-mi, from scholar Yasui Masahiro are perfect for Basho’s letters; they SHINE with “gentleness and humanity,”

 

Readers accustomed to the explosions, assaults, and ugliness of modern movies and video games may find these letters “boring.” Who cares about the small talk of some old poet dead for 300 years? Eric Hoffer -- in no way referring to Basho or Japan -- says,

 

I have always felt that the world has lost much by not     preserving the small talk of its great men.  The little that has come down to us is marked by a penetration and directness  not usually conspicuous in formal discourse or writing, and  one is immediately aware of its universality and timelessness.

 

Here is a lovely bit of small talk from as postscript to a letter to Sora who lives near Basho’s hut in Fukagawa, written four days after leaving on his final journey in 1694:  

 

      Well now, Old Soha still has Sodo’s book.   

      I asked him to return it quickly.

      Would you tell him again?      

       And please give the same message to Jokyu.

 

Things have not changed very much in 300 years. Not-giving-back-things-we-borrow is universal and timeless.    We travel through Basho’s mind to meet his neighbors.      

 

The Letter-Writer

 

Although we have abundant poetry from Basho age 20 or 21 in 1665, and prose from age 28 in 1672, the earliest extant letter is from 1681 -- when Basho was 37 years old in a society that considered age 40 to be “old.”  The letters in the six years from 1681 to 1686 number only 18 -- according to Kon Eizo’s Basho Letter Anthology. (The 60 letters in this collection are given with their numbers in this anthology of 229 letters, found in any major library in Japan, so readers of Japanese can easily find the original.)  From the next three years, 1687 to ’89, we find 34 letters.

 

Only from 1690, after he finished his famous journey to the Deep North and began his two year leisurely sojourn in the Kansai area, did Basho’s letter writing came into full bloom: from Spring of 1690 to Autumn 1691, he wrote 70 letters.  In winter 1691, he returned to a more busy life in Edo, but continued his letter habit; in his two and a half year in Edo he wrote 60. Then, on his final journey in the five months from June 3rd to the end of autumn, he wrote 29 letters including some of his longest. Letters in this collection from these five months fill one third of this collection.  Finally, in winter on his deathbed he wrote one letter to his brother, and dictated his Will which mostly personal messages to friends and followers, and therefore included in letter anthologies.

 

 Some authors consider Basho’s journal Oku no Hosomichi – which I translate A Narrow Path in the Heartlands  -- the highlight of his work, and discuss only the years up to and including that journey in  1689 recounted in the journal.  They skip over the years from 1690 to the summer of 1694, then discuss a few haiku written that autumn approaching his death. Those four and a half years, however, produced three-quarters of his letters, and much of his linked verse. In these years of his maturity (age 45 to 50) considered “old age,” Basho emphasized youthfulness and unconventionality (see Letters 1, 14, 62, and 140).  

 

In many of his letters to followers, Basho includes haiku or renku he recently wrote.  This way is how he shared verses with them,  teaching them by example. A number of letters to different people, including Letter 57 to Sampu, contain this poem which Basho recognized as the birth of his poetic ideal of karumi, or Lightness.

 

                   Under the trees
                   soup, vinegar salad and
                   blossoms hurray!

 

 While I include some of these verses, I leave out the majority, since the focus of this book is the letter communications, and unless the verses directly relates to the letter content, I do not want to dilute these letters with haiku which may not interest you.

 

                                                                          Frequent Recipients

                                                                        Ensui    (1640 – 1704)

 

Ensui was the poetry name of Basho's childhood friend Soushira,  the oldest son in a prosperous merchant family in their home town. his sake factory-and-shop was called Uchi no Kami which means “The divine within.”  In 1689 Soushira retired from the business and shaved his head to take the Buddhist name Isen.  Basho calls him by any of the three, but whatever Basho calls him, we call him Ensui.

                

He was four years older than Basho, and I suspect that Ensui was in some way Basho‘s mentor. Basho‘s older brother Hanzaemon was only about 18 when their father died and he became head of the household, too busy to hang out with 12 year old Basho. Ensui became sort of a ‘big brother’ at this time – maybe.  Or maybe not.In any case Basho and Ensui must have had fun together in those days. I say this because in his letters to Ensui, Basho is so much fun, so quirky and himself. To know Basho, the warm affectionate Basho, read the Letters to Ensui.

 

Basho wrote seven letters to Ensui, one to Ensui and Somu, and one to Ensui and Doho.  In each of the letters to Ensui in this collection, you may notice a common ingredient: Basho to Ensui always  mentions food -- in particular the special foods of their hometown.

 

For instance in letter 148 to Ensui, dated January 8, 1692,     a month before the new year begins, Basho writes:

 

The season has come to yearn for
 Ichibei’s red-miso grated-yam paste,
 as well as enjoy Kyoya’s bran miso.
 

Miso is eaten in hot soup, so warms the body in winter; seasonal awareness is vital to both Basho haiku and letters. Ichibei and Kyoya are merchants in Iga.  This yam paste with red miso, made by the women of Ichibei’s house, is eaten on top of rice, and is especially popular in Iga. Letter 136 to Ensui contains a sketch of Kyoya, at a picnic; this is the miso he produces and sells. Though gustatory memories they share from growing up together in Iga, Basho links his consciousness with that of Ensui.

 

Here is my favorite haiku by Ensui:

                    

                      Spring rain
                      emerges from the mountain’s
                      gate of clouds

 

A large, expansive feeling from Basho’s childhood friend.

 

 

Kyokusui   (1660 – 1717)

 

When Basho first met Kyokusui in 1689, this wealthy 29-year old samurai in Zeze (Otsu), on the southern shore of Lake Biwa, joined his school of poetry.  The next year, after Basho finished his long journey to the Deep North, he went to his hometown Iga, but then decided Zeze was where he wanted to be. He seemed to draw energy from the people of Zeze – Chigetsu, Otokuni, Shado Masahide, and especially Kyokusui and his infant son Takesuke.

 

Basho wrote 17 letters to Kyokusui -- all in 4 and a half years, so three or four letters per year. Basho’s observations of Takesuke interacting with the women in charge of him, becoming a mischievous two-year-old, are vital bits of anthropology; where else in records of this time can we find portraits of infant children in ordinary life?  In letter 130, Basho exhibits his wonderful imagination in exuberant praise for Kyokusui’s potential as a poet.  Here Kyokusui focuses on young love, setting Basho up to further explore mother and teenage daughter relationships:

 

From slender threads
love gets so intense --

Though my thoughts
                       are of love, “eat something!”
                     she commands me


Kyorai   (1651 - 1704)


Kyorai was born in Nagasaki, the second son of a doctor of Chinese medicine. When he was eight, his family moved to Kyoto; it is said, he walked with his father – a bit of personal history which may have endeared Basho to him.  Like most second sons in Japan’s  household system –like Basho – Kyorai had no role to fill in his household, so he had to reach out to find things to do.  He went back to Kyushu to practice martial arts, but grew tired of that, so he returned to Kyoto.  No doubt he helped out in the clinic as his older brother took over father’s practice; the father died in 1687. He got a cottage in Saga, west of Kyoto, far enough from big brother to not be restrained by his family’s reputation.

 

Kyorai became the leader of the Basho school in the Kyoto area, so letters to Kyorai often discuss his role as proxy for Basho in the Kyoto area.  Three letters to Kyorai appear in this book, including the complete text of the longest letter Basho ever wrote.

 

Most haiku are nature poems, but here Kyorai looks at humanity

 

In the Capital
                    even a sumo wrestler’s
              life is confusing


Sumo wrestlers have to move boldly and decisively, for even a slight-second of inattention will lose the match, but city living may be more confusing than encountering a 300-pound behemoth.


Sora  (1649 - 1710)

 

Sora was born in Nagano. When he was young his parents died,    so his grandmother took him in.  When she died, Sora went to live with his uncle, a priest at a temple in the Nagashima district of Ise.  As a young samurai, he served as an official in the Ise provincial government.  At age 32 Sora retired from his samurai status to study Shinto, move to Edo,

make poetry with Basho, and accompany him on his travels.   (We see there was a lot of social freedom in this society

usually depicted as rigid and structured.   There was rigidity, yes, but there also were folks who “retired” from the

structure.)

 

Basho’s feeling of comradery with Sora led him to take him along as traveling companion on two journeys.  When Basho was traveling and Sora was home in Fukagawa, Basho called on him (or Sampu) to handle things and deal with people in Basho’s stead. Here Sora begins with a military triplet which Basho fulfills with his stanza about a rebel commander and brothel slave:  

 

The punitive force
already has set forth
in solemn dignity

For one night’s vow
he empties his purse


Sampu  ( 1647 - 1732)

 

Soon after Basho first came to Edo in 1672, a man named Sugiyama Kensuke, the head of a wholesale fish merchant in downtown Edo, supplier of fish to the shogun’s castle, supported the young poet.  As the years passed, his son Sampu took over the business and continued to support Basho. Sampu gave Basho one of his warehouses to live in, and when that place burned down in a citywide fire, built him another hut. Basho gave that second hut away in 1689, and Sampu and others built him a third hut in 1692.

 

 Sampu seems to have brought the humor in Basho; Two essays,  INTENTLY I IMAGINE THE SCENE and THE NIGHT OF TANABATA –reveal the laughter and fun these two shared. Basho had much confidence in Sora, but Sora was just a poor guy struggling to get by; Basho’s confidence in Sampu was far greater because Sampu was rich and powerful. In letter 208 to Sampu, Basho acknowledges that people think he only favors Sampu for his money, but Basho reassures him of his deep appreciation for Sampu’s talent and spirit.  Here is one of his haiku which may (or may not) be feminist.

 

Waiting for chicks,
the rest of the skylarks
soaring high

Selection of Letters

When I began compiling the works of Basho, I focused on works about women and children – and so, at first, all I studied was the eight letters to two women, Uko and Chigetsu, and the letters which mention Basho’s teenage grandnephew Jirobei, grandnieces Masa and Ofu, the children of his friends Kyokusui and Uko, and the granddaughter of Ensui. For many years, I thought this was a lot of letters.

 When I expanded my Basho studies to include all of humanity, I reached out to the rest of his letters to Ensui and Kyokusui, revealing his close bonds to this merchant four years older and samurai 16 years younger.  Also I found much human feeling in Basho’s letters to his older brother Hanzaemon, wealthy patron Sampu, frequent traveling companion Sora, good friends Kyorai and Ranran, neighbor Ihei, and Kyokusui’s younger brother Dosui. Note that the material in Letters from Basho are still only one quarter of Basho’s letters. I have searched for what Basho calls “lightness and interest” (karumi to kyou). I have searched among the letters for information about Basho’s older sister, her son Toin, his “wife” Jutei and their three children, and translated these sections, often without translating the rest of the letter.     

 

 Letters have been selected to the purpose of Basho4Now, that is, to demolish the “Basho image” of an austere, impersonal, and detached poet-saint, to reveal the real Basho, his profound involvement with his family and friends,    his caring nature, his insights into the human condition.  I have also chosen letters in which Basho discusses his poetic ideal of Lightness – or as he also called it, “Newness” – or he  rejects the opposite of Lightness:  Heaviness or Oldness.  I choose  passages such as this from Letter 218 to Ensui and Doho

 

    To see Lightness generally appearing
brings great joy which does not diminish.
 

Basho enjoys seeing Lightness appear in his follower’s poetry;   he cherish this evidence of his contribution to their minds. Scholars who have little or no knowledge of Basho’s letters tell us Lightness was one of many techniques Basho used, or that it was a phase he went through in his final years.  From the letters we learn that Lightness (or whatever he called it) was the essence of his poetic vision throughout the 13 years in which he wrote letters – and I will go further to say that Lightness was the essence of his consciousness throughout his 30 years of poetry and prose, and throughout his life.

 

There are letters from each of the four seasons from 1690 to 1694 which comprise 80% of this book; reading these in sequence we feel of the passage of the seasons for these five years.   

 

Translations and Commentaries

 

Since the original form of these letters uses so many now-obscure characters and grammatical forms I cannot read most of the letters in their original form. I translate from a translation into modern Japanese – either by my research assistant Shoko or by scholar Tanaka Yoshinobu – however once I have that modern translation, I can figure out much of the original.

 

 Sometimes I see places where the modern translator has taken the words away from the original to make them easier-to-understand;  in my translations I always search for a way to more closely follow the original and still be understandable. Two examples from letter 124 to Kyokusui will illustrate. In the beginning of the letter, Basho literally writes your kindness is in my heart.  Tanaka translates that to modern Japanese for “I appreciate your kindness.”  Of course that is what Basho means, however I prefer to give you Basho’s actual words and let you figure out his meaning.  Furthermore his concrete words can take on deeper meanings as we explore them as he wrote them.

 

At the end of the letter, Basho says I met with Kikaku and we gossiped about you   The word “gossip” (uwasa) is actually there in the Japanese.  Tanaka apparently feels this word is not suitable for the great poet-saint, so he changes it to “we spoke about you.” Again, I follow Basho in using unconventional, interesting words. My aim is to give you exactly the information in the original, no more, no less – to reproduce Basho’s words in English with nothing (or very little) from my mind or another mind to “help you understand” – though I do strive to fix up the grammar so Basho’s words are coherent in English.


 My efforts for your understanding have gone rather into the commentaries there on the same page as Basho’s original.  You never need to look in the back of the book for the clues to Basho’s riddles; instead look immediately before or after the translation. Japanese also rely on commentaries on the same page to find Basho’s hidden meanings. In my commentaries I have followed documented evidence from Japanese Basho scholars, however from that base I fly freely through the worlds of knowledge to make Basho more entertaining, or more inspiring in the 21st Century.

My purpose in the commentaries is three-fold:


To have fun with Basho;

To learn more and more from Basho

To discover the warmth in Basho’s heart

 

Literary scholars may not approve of my “having fun with Basho”—they may not like the jokes and anecdotes and stream of consciousness wandering—but this book is not “only for scholars” but rather more for ordinary people who like reading to be fun, and enjoy learning about humanity.


                                                                                                                   

                                             

 

Basho’s several hundred poems about women children, friendship, love,  and compassion are, amost unknown

both in Japan and in the West, yet may be the most pro-female, child-centered, and life-affirming works in world literature.I plead for your help in finding a person or group   to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material,                   to edit and improve the presentation, to receive all royalties from sales,  to spread Basho’s wisdom throughout the world   and preserve for future generations

basho4now@gmail.com     

   






<< Dear Uncle Basho: Poet of Humanity (A-07) (A-09) Sun Bumps Her Forehead 日に 額 を うつ >>


The Three Thirds of Basho

 

 

I plead for your help in finding a person or group to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material, to edit and improve the presentation, to receive all royalties from sales, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide and preserve for future generations.

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com
Basho's thoughts on...
• What Children Do: Basho Honors the Young
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story:
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Poetry and Music
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time
• Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY (Basho Amazes Me! How About You?)
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention with praise
to ordinary women, children, and teenagers
in hundreds of poems

Hundreds upon hundreds of Basho works
(mostly renku)about women, children,
teenagers, friendship, compassion, love.

These are resources we can use to better
understand ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial power
of the feminine emanating
from Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover Basho's
gentleness and humanity.

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material,
to edit and improve the material, to receive 100%
of royalties, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide
and preserve for future generations.

Quotations from Basho Prose


The days and months are
guests passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass through it
yourself. Some poets have made
no effort to pass through, merely
counting things and trying
to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one as an expression
of the same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

"As the years passed
by to half a century.
asleep I hovered
among morning clouds
and evening dusk,
awake I was astonished
at the voices of mountain
streams and wild birds."


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com