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  >  Praise for Women  >  B-02


Woman with Goddess

13 Basho renku and 2 haiku about goddesses/women

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

Basho worships the divine female in nature:

 

As I speak   
the tree spirits echo
in spring breeze 
Form of mountain goddess 
disperses in the rapids.

 

 

Another poet and Basho tell the history of spirituality on their islands: first humans communicating with trees and the wind, then a female divine force who dispersed in the rapids of time.

 

In the following Basho wrote both stanzas:

 

Today again 
on the stone to worship
the Rising Sun
She bumps Her forehead
on peak of Mount Fuji 

 

 

As She gets up, the Sun(Goddess) bumps her head on the sharp point at the top of Mount Fuji. Ouch!

Anyone at the right place west of Mount Fuji on a clear early morning would see this.

 

                     -------------------------------------

 

Most cultures have seen the Sun as male and Earth as female. In her Women’s History of the World, Rosalind Miles says:           

                

 “From Spain to China the pre-historic sun stood for maleness… the phallic sunbeams striking down      on Mother Earth, a maleness whose rays impregnate the earth and cause the seeds to germinate.”

 

In Japan, however, the Sun and supreme deity is a Goddess, Amaterasu (“Heaven Shining”). Ardy Bass points out that the worship of a female supreme deity could not have arisen in a society as patriarchal as Japan has become since the 8th century: “Her continuing spiritual reign and survival today, in part can be attributed to the remaining characteristics of an earlier woman-centered culture.”

 

Amaterasu is a Goddess of Purity, so She hates anything dirty. In the central myth of Shinto, the Goddess’ brother, the Storm God Susano, spread shit on her seat and did other horrible deeds. His behavior so deeply shamed the Sun that She hid herself in a Rock Cave, leaving the world dark. To lure Her out from the cave, the kamisama (divine spirits) forged a Mirror out of stars. The eight million kamisama gathered before the Rock Cave in the darkness.

:

Ama no Uzume stood on top of a bucket
and was possessed by the spirits to dance,
baring her breasts and lowering her skirt
to reveal her hidden parts.
The eight million kamisama laughed at this.
The Sun Goddess was perplexed:
“While I am hidden in this Rock Cave,
why does Uzume dance with joy
and the eight million kamisama laugh?”
Uzume replied, “Oh, a better Goddess than you
has appeared, so we enjoy”. (Touché, Uzume)

 

So now, of course, the Sun had to open the door a crack to see what was going on. Two kamisama lifted the Mirror to show Amaterasu the “other Goddess.” She opened the door wider to get a better look and the Strongman of the Gods was able to yank the Sun outside and put an end to this nonsense.


Uzume, possessed to dance so the eight million kamisama would laugh, was Japan’s first miko or female shaman,  as well as first dancer, comedian, and porno actress.  She is still considered the ‘goddess of comedy.’

 

Girls who are virgins may serve as miko in Shinto shrines. The distinctive uniform of the miko -- red divided trousers and white jacket, the colors of the Japanese flag, the rising sun against pure sky – made her a walking, breathing representation of the Sun Goddess, a symbol for the female Japan, the Japan uncorrupted by male militarism and cruelty, the female Japan which had no part in raping Nanking, bombing Pearl Harbor, enslaving comfort women, or building nuclear reactors on the edges of major tectonic plates.

 

Japanese long ago believed political power belonged to men, while women held the power of connecting with the spiritual. A miko went into a trance to speak for the kamisama, and men and governments listened to them with respect. Basho wrote of these female shamans:


What the miko thinks
is what she speaks

 

Her thoughts come from the divine, so must be worth hearing. Basho’s stanza has an astonishing resemblance to the spoken words of two of the most magnificent women in Shakespeare. 

Rosalind in As You Like It:


Do you not know that I am a woman?
When I think, I must speak.

 

And in Othello, the dying words of Emilia:

 

So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;
So speaking as I think, I die, I die.

 

Basho, Rosalind, and Emilia, each say that a woman should speak her mind, and be respected for what she says.

 

                               -----------------------------------

 

Carmen Blacker, in The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan, explains that the miko twanged her bow of catalpa wood with one hemp string to, “emit a resonance which reaches into the world of spirits, enabling the shaman who manipulates it to communicate with that world.”

                         

Final day of
mourning, sadness speaks
through catalpa bow
Now in a world of grief
to sell her mirror

 

On the 49th and final day of mourning, a miko channels a man’s spirit through the catalpa bow.

Never again to make herself beautiful, his widow will no longer need a mirror.


Miracles from
offerings to the Goddess
shining on blossoms
Bird of good fortune
builds nest with the hemp

 

A sheet of paper, traditionally of hemp fibers, is cut and folded in a zigzag pattern and attached to a wooden stick.  The Ise Shrine produces these taima -- same Chinese characters and pronunciation as the psychoactive cannabis -- in great numbers, and priests take them in a box to distribute among houses who have supported the shrine; people wave it before the household shrine to ask a favor.


The light of the Sun Goddess is most easily seen on cherry blossoms. The bird steal the hemp paper from the offerings; hemp fiber is strong, so makes a good nest for the bird who brings good fortune. Notice the links: from blossoms to bird; from hemp offered to the gods to hemp stolen by birds, from Goddess to female nesting bird.

 

                           -------------------------------------

 

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright),
bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day
                                                              Bob Marley

 

Sunshiny day
celestial maiden caresses
the rock spring
Chant of Lotus Sutra
at the window elegantly

 

In the Noh play The Feather Mantle a celestial maiden, in praise for the beauty on a sunny day on Earth equal to that  in Heaven, caresses the world, but the splendor never ceases. Seifu recreates her, making her caress the rock spring that never stops flowing. From these images of sunshine and flowing water, Basho hears/creates  a female voice chanting  the Lotus Sutra which for many East Asians contains the ultimate and complete teachings of Buddha.


The sutra beginning with the famous benediction nam hyo renge kyou declares that women need not reincarnate as men and from manhood reach Nirvana; rather they can do so from being a woman – quite a statement of liberation for women. She chants the sutra not in the masculine tones of priests but rather elegantly, as a celestial maiden caresses a spring of clear water.  I went to YouTube because I wanted to hear women chant the Lotus Sutra, but all I could find were men. Basho offers another Buddhism, a female-centered, life-enhancing Buddhism.Her path to Enlightenment is not inside a temple, but rather beside the window watching the world in sunshine.

 

                        --------------------------------

 

Heat shimmers,
building lord’s mansion
the Sun-Carpenter
Brides blossom within brides
a hundred years of grain

 

The Sun in spring warms the ground and causes moisture to evaporate into the cool air where it condenses.   Moisture in the air makes sunlight passing through it refract, so the air seems to shimmer. Shimmers are the Sun-Carpenter building a mansion for the daimyo, a very important person who gets to live in such a magical house. This “Sun-carpenter” is the Sun Goddess Amaterasu who builds many things – such as all plant life -- with her light. The Queen of Photosynthesis here magically constructs something splendid, a mansion for the provincial lord who gets to live in such a fantastic house.

 

The next poet makes her divine work even more splendid: brides creating life within themselves, The tiny eggs blossoming inside brides’ bellies are future brides who will carry life forward – “generation after generation, individual after individual, brides welcomed into households, descendants in prosperity” -- while Sun and Earth work together to produce edible grains, so in the storehouse we stockpile enough to feed all those children. Here are lessons in Biology as well as Religion and Sociology.

 

                         -----------------------------------

 

Our next trio begins with a stanza by Hokushi followed by two stanzas by Basho: 

 

Clouds of rain clearing 
loquats have ripened
The long slender
figure of a goddess
so gracefully
She wrings out red dye
into the white rapids

 

As the month of summer rains ends, the sky clears yet soon fills up with clouds moving sideways to bring more rain. Also in this season biwa or loquats ripen: plum-like, growing in clusters, oval, 1–2 inchs long, smooth or downy yellow or orange skin, succulent tangy flesh yellow or orange flesh with flavor sweet to slightly acid. The oval shape of the fruit also appears in the lute known as a biwa, and in Lake Biwa near Kyoto. “Clouds and rain” in traditional Chinese and Japanese poetry suggests sexual intimacy, and “loquats have ripened” is also suggestive.

 

Basho changes the clouds into the form of an Asian goddess who lies across the sky with the slender graceful curves which Richard Bernstein in The East, the West, and Sex: A History of Erotic Encounters describes as “more plumlike than melonlike of breast, spare rather than full of buttocks and hips," the  round contours of the loquat fruit and ripe flesh beneath soft downy skin. The BRZ says, “Basho makes the ripening of biwa a symbol for the gracefulness of the goddess’ body.”   A sennyo, according to Hiroaki Sato, “a woman who has acquired magical powers, suggesting the legendary world of ancient China.”

 

Basho's second stanza changes that goddess into a mortal women beside a fast stream; her two hands squeeze fabric soaked in the red dye akane, madder, in opposite directions so the red liquid drops into the swift current. The red flowing away may suggest menstrual bleeding and the part of a woman that bleeds. Sato says Basho “painted with words a picture of a Chinese goddess that Utamaro – ukiyoe artist famous for sexual imagery – might have drawn with a brush.” This is a Basho not found in any other book or site: a physical sensual Basho who seeks to know the “slender figure of a goddess.”

 

                -----------------------------------

 

Basho’s childhood and lifelong friend Ensui sent Basho a New Year’s letter in 1693 telling the birth of his

first granddaughter, including a haiku which compared the newborn girl to the first bit of green appearng

on the tip of the buds that will in a few days become plum blossoms. 

 

Basho replied on April 9 of 1693:

 

The plum blossom "only bud tip green” shall be especially treasured.
I am happy you have a grandchild, my joy as great as yours.

 

The baby’s immaturity just shows that the best is yet to come. Basho bonds to his friend experiences, feeling Ensui’s joy in his own chest. We cannot read this letter without feeling the warmth in Basho’s heart.

He expresses so clearly.


For the New Year of the next year, 1694, Basho sent another letter to his old friend:

 

In the spring of last year the scent of plum blossoms
I heard of ‘’only bud tip green,”
this year gradually to become fragrant and colorful,
so I guess how much you love her.

 

Basho wishes that this year the whole tree will become fragrant and colorful, as Ensui’s granddaughter

who can now stand by herself goes out into the world with the same qualities. Basho transcends the distance between them, feeling Ensui’s love for his granddaughter in his own heart. He clearly, more clearly than any other male writer, affirms the worth of the infant female.

 

The following haiku is not in the letter to Ensui, though was written this spring, probably after Basho mailed the letter, but was still thinking about his childhood friend having a granddaughter.

 

Plum blossom scent --
Behold! the Sun rises
on mountain trail

 

梅が香に / のつと日の出る / 山路哉
ume ga ka ni / notto hi no deru / yamaji kana

 

Early February is the coldest time of the year, early morning the coldest time of the day, and mountains the
coldest and windiest place, yet wild plum blossoms are colorful and fragrant.


This haiku is one of Basho's most famous, yet with no knowledge of Ensui’s granddaughter and Basho’s letters to Ensui, however when we consider the way Ensui and Basho used the budding of plum blossom to represent the newborn girl, and plum blossom scent for baby becoming child, and remember that the major symbol for the entire nation is the Rising Sun (as on its flag) and that in Japan the Sun is a Goddess, this haiku becomes praise for Ensui’s granddaughter as well for any female infant, and also goddess worship.

 

                  ----------------------------------

 

Ragged and tattered
the goddess works at night
as maple leaves fall
In smoke from the lantern
she appears as the Moon

 

“Ragged and tattered” are her family’s clothes that need mending before winter comes, and the scene of deciduous trees as leaves disappear in autumn. “Night work” are the jobs she does at night while the rest of the family sleeps. The next poet gives her a lantern to light up her work; like a genie she appears in smoke.

 

The Japanese Moon God Tsukuyomi appears in creation myths, but not in the hopes and aspirations of people. Basho seeks to elevate the Moon to greater status: he equates the Moon with Kichijoten, the Japanese form of Lakshmi, the Hindu deity of happiness, fertility, and beauty.


Blessings from the Moon
as the goddess Lakshmi

 

The name Lakshmi comes from the Sanskrit word Laksya, meaning ‘aim’ or ‘goal.’ From this root Lakshmi became the goddess ofprosperity, both material and spiritual. She is the household goddess of most Hindu families and a favorite of women. Unlike the Japanese Moon God merely passing through the sky, Lakshmi actively involves herself in human life, bestowing good fortune, enablng us to fulfill our goals.


Is her image
shining under Heaven?
the Moon’s face

 

Basho at age 22 seeks to see the ‘image’ of the Sun-goddess in the Moon—although in Japanese mythology the Moon is male. The majority of cultures see the Moon as female because of her 29 day cycle of waxing and waning which determines women’s menstrual cycle. Basho’s vision of the divine female Moon as a reflection of the Sun-goddess is profound from a spiritual point of view as well as being scientifically accurate—the light that seems to be coming from the Moon is actually from the Sun. So this 22 year old guy still living in his home town is proposing a revision of Shinto mythology to see the female in both Sun and Moon.

 

                                    -------------------------------------------

 

When Amaterasu’s grandson Ninigi came down from Heaven to rule over the Japanese islands, he met a beautiful maiden on the seashore. Her name was Tree Blossom Princess. Ninigi fell in love and asked her father, the God of the Mountains, for her hand. He approved, but sent along her ugly older sister, Rock Long Princess, as co-wife. Ninigi sent this one back. The father said,


“I gave my two daughters to the Divine Grandson
so his life would flourish as blossoms on the trees
for as long as the rocks.
He has rejected Rock Long Princess,
so his life shall be as evanescent as blossoms.”

 

Tree Blossom Princess became pregnant after one night with Ninigi, so he accused her of sleeping around. Incensed at his distrust, she declared that if she had broken her marriage pledge, the flames would consume her and baby -- but instead she gave birth to three healthy baby-gods.


My travelling companion Sora says,
“This shrine belongs to Tree Blossom Princess
who also has a shrine on Mount Fuji.
She entered a doorless chamber and set fire to herself
 to prove she had been faithful to her pledge,
and so gave birth to Gods-Born-From-Fire
which is why this place is called “Caldron” of Eight Islands.

 

Tree Blossom Princess endured her ordeal without harm, so became Deity of Easy Childbirth. The “caldron” is a womb (room).  

                 ---------------------------------------

 

The Buddhist temple, Hase-dera has long been a place of pilgrimage for women who came here to pray to the famous Eleven-Faced Kannon, a 30-foot tall statue in relief of the Goddess of Mercy, carved from a single log of camphor, the largest wooden image in Japan. Anthropologist Michael Ashkenazi says of Kannon, “for most people she carries the possibility of restoring and continuing life.’’ Women commonly pray to the Goddess of Mercy for love, to bear a child, for a child to succeed in school or life, or for relief from hardship.

 

Finally, by the end of April in central Japan, enough warmth has accumulated so even the nights are warm and tranquil. It is a time for the heart to find solace and renew hope. 


At the Kannon Temple in Hase:


Night in spring --
one hidden in mystery
temple corner

 

Taking off our shoes at the entrance, we step quietly onto the finely polished hardwood floor. Before us rises Kannon-sama, five times our height, the compassion in her face and figure radiating to every corner of the temple. Over there, in a corner, someone barely seen in the faint lantern light sits in communion with the Goddess. Who is she? Why has she come here alone at night? What is she praying for?


 Kon says “in the one now hidden before my eyes, the images (of all the women who came to Hase-dera inthe past) pile up one on top of another to attract my heart.” By making a poem about the hidden woman, Basho eulogizes her; as conduit between spring and Kannon, she herself becomes eternal. This woman and her prayers to Kannon-sama convey a tender mystery known in temples and churches throughout the world - this world where men make decisions but men are inconstant, and all women can do is pray to the goddess for compassion.

 

                      ---------------------------------------------

 

Basho called the following tanka

                    A Crazy Verse of Adoration 

 

 

Basho called the following tanka:  

 

                     A Crazy Verse of Adoration              

 

As we ascend 

without confidence
the Gods roar
beside mouth of well
we fall in to death

                                                  Anonymous

 

What does Basho mean by “Crazy Verse" and by "Adoration”?  The Japanese text provides little commentary, and no reference to the Japanese mythology of the Goddess of the Well. “A crazy verse” means he is "playing" to interpret the verse, without any religious authorities telling him the right way to see . Even if Basho did not write the verse, he makes it his own through his interpretation which comes from his own "crazy" mind - although the interpretation here is my speculation of what that interpretation is.  I believe he sees the verse as "adoration" for the goddess who creates life.  Japanese scholars never recognize the reverence for the female so common in his poetry – so my speculation reflects the female adoration I see throughout Women in Basho, although most of these works, including this tanka, will not be found in any other English book or site. 


The ancient records of Japan mythology, the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, tell of the Well Goddess, Mizuha-nome-no-mikoto, one of the primal deities,  paired with the male God of Water, Suijin - and we note that this has not the form of a god's name, but instead simply means "water-person." Water is drawn, or born, from the Well, the Earth's vagina. Water comes and goes, while the Well remains eternal. The ancient records says that the first water of a well must be drawn by a man, for the presumably jealous Well Goddess would be angered by a woman doing so.

 

The verse says that we are born, as water is lifted from a well (or vagina), without confidence, then grow up listening to the Gods Roar beside the well. When we die, we return to the darkness deep within the well to be born again.

 

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com






<< Basho’s Appreciation for Women (B-01) (B-03) Mothers >>


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