Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 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 women,
children, and teenagers

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 his
"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 Prose


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-11


She Walks in Beauty



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

We meet the famous beauties of ancient China and Japan, and learn the tragic ends their beauty brought them. First, however, explore six Basho visions of the beauty of woman’s face and form.


With her wide
open eyes she can get
a thousand koku

Before he vanishes
she grabs his stirrup

 

She uses her lovely eyes to charm a man. She is the center of the scene, the man a mere object of her desire and action. A koku is about 150 kilograms of rice, used as a standard for measuring wealth; “a thousand koku” means that this samurai’s yearly stipend from the government is so-so, not great, but livable. Basho continues this narrative; her chance for a thousand koku is about to ride off into the distance, so he grabs the ring hanging from the saddle where his foot rests. Do not go, thousand koku. please do not vanish. I love this woman; she is so vital and active. She knows what she wants and she acts to get it.

 

In a haze he worships
beauty of female form --

From the far north
the groom a frustrated
wordless butterfly

 

The family has adopted a son-in-law from the far northern island of Hokkaido where (from a mainland Japanese point of view) are no attractive women – but many bears. He can barely speak a few words of Japanese so is frustrated in trying to communicate with his bride; he just stands there, “a wordless butterfly in a haze” gazing as the beauty he has been given. Miyawaki points out that she may not be “beautiful” to our standards but, compared to what he has seen before, she is Aphrodite.

 

Winter solstice on porch
my desperation for love

No matter how
I make-up and dress
he gazes not back

 

Winter solstice on the porch with him, the Sun at her most distant point from us, so far his heart away from mine. This is a season of depression in all aspects of life, and adding on my personal disappointment, makes me desperate. So where does Basho go from here? I use all my skill with cosmetics and clothing, and look at him with all the charm I can muster, yet still he does not look back at me. Young women, this verse belongs to you! Not to the old man scholars. This is your experience or your sister’s, is it not?

 

Speaking to
her face hidden by
folding fan

That sleep-tousled hair
a difficult boat ride

 

I try to speak to her, but she hides her face from me. The second poet puts Basho’s shy woman on a boat one morning after a night of sleeping, or trying to sleep, while seasick. Basho focuses on her hidden face; the follower on her hair.

 

Under the moon
even a frowning face
is beautiful

She pounds the cloth
in argument with love

 

Basho says that under the full moon the entire world, even a sour face, takes on beauty from above. Izen follows with a women taking out her feelings as she pounds the cloth to soften it.

 

My beloved
sends me this letter
I rip to shreds!

The face of a demon
I cry at the sight

 

Unable to endure the message in the letter, I tear it to shreds, then am shocked to see in the mirror the reflection of the demon of my jealousy.

 

At Matsushima Bay, traditionally considered the most beautiful scene in Japan; the brilliant blue water is studded with countless islands, mostly in strata of volcanic rock, Basho writes of the beauty of Earth as one with the beauty of a woman:

 

Islands beyond count, towering like fingers to heaven
or lying flat on their bellies across the waves
some pile up in double layers or fold in triple,
branching right or stretching left
while some carry behind, some hug in front,
beloved children or grandchildren.

 

Basho’s geological descriptions must rank as the strangest yet most vivid ever written. He paints the scene with lively specific verbs – towering, lying flat, piling up, folding, branching, stretching, carry behind or hugging in front – and adorned with images of women and children.

 

The pines are deep green and so bent by the waves
their crookedness seems as if inherent -
the scene is as a beautiful women adorns her face.

 

To each island cling one or a few pine trees, trunks and branches bent to fantastic angles. “Their crookedness seems as if inherent” means the crookedness is NOT inherent but seems to be. No matter how the pines are bent and twisted in the wind, they retain their inherent pine-tree straightness. Adaptation by an individual does not alter the genome. Only selection through generations changes inherent nature. So too, in a woman; she adorns her face with make-up, but the real beauty lies within, unchanging.

When we focus on Basho’s female imagery, we encounter the reality of a woman’s life: in this passage, her child-bearing and her beauty both outer and inner.

 

Basho and Sora are at the Cove of Kisa famed among poets, in the rain so common on this gloomy coast facing Siberia. For the scene here, Basho envisions the tragic beauty of Lady Seishi, one of the Four Great Beauties of Ancient China, born in 506 BCE -- 22 centuries before Basho. Her beauty was such that “while leaning over a balcony to look at the fish in the pond, the fish would be so dazzled they would forget to swim, birds would forget to fly and fall from the sky.” Basho writes:


With face red
and beard scraggily
Seishi’s papa

 

Dad’s face is red from working in the sun, or skin disease, or drinking alcohol. His beard has not been trimmed for some time. By portraying ugliness, Basho suggests the polar opposite, the beauty of the daughter. Ain’t it the truth?

 

In 490 when she was 16, Seishi was sent in tribute to the King of Wu who was occupying her home state, with the purpose of using her female power to weaken their government from within. She seduced the King to forget about state affairs and to execute his wisest advisor and general. After 17 years of her efforts, her home state conquered their oppressor. Seishi did not enjoy her undercover mission; she probably wanted to live her own life instead of being a piece, even the Queen, in someone else’s chess game. It was said (by men) that Seishi was most beautiful when frowning, her eyes half-closed in resentment (a notion only a man could hold).

 

At Matsushima Basho saw the sunny Pacific coast of Japan, as "a beautiful woman adorns her face."

At Kisagata, he says

 

Matsushima like laughter, Kisagata like a grudge.
Sadness added to loneliness as if to torment the soul of the Earth


Keene translates “Kisagata is like grief” and Hamill makes it “seems bereaved”, but Shoko insists that Seishi is not in grief or mourning; she is just pissed at those old men who are stealing her life. Shoko wants me to translate “Kisagata like a grudge”, and since she, like Seishi, is a woman, I obey.

 

The nebu is a tree which grows to 10 feet, a mimosa or silk tree. The blossoms in summer are clusters of long needle-like stamens, each with white on the inner section white and red on the outer, so they resemble long eyelashes with white and red makeup. These blossoms shine in the sunlight, but when it rains, they droop miserably.

 

Gloomy Cove
in the rain Lady Seishi’s
eyebrow blossoms

 

Basho’s verse is a ‘sketch’ of a beautiful woman frowning in resentment. The long red and white stamens of the flower suggest the make up on the eyelashes of an elegant courtesan like Seishi –yet the mascara is smeared by tears – or since woman and Earth are one, smeared by rain.

 

And under those lashes is that frowning motion in the muscles between the eyes (whose accumulation nowadays is removed with Botox). Charles Darwin noted that frowning is the one facial expression unique to humanity: 

 

In comparison (to human faces) apes’ faces are inexpressive, chiefly owing to their not frowning under any emotion of mind …(human) eyebrows may be seen to assume an oblique position in persons suffering from deep rejection or anxiety; for instance I have observed this movement in a mother while speaking about her sick son.


Seishi suffered from chest pains (i.e. tuberculosis). According to the tongue twister:


In Japanese:

Seishi shiji shijushi, shijushi-ji Seishi shi

(What fun! Try it three times in a row.)

 

In English:

Seishi dies at forty-four, at forty-four Seishi dies.

 

In Romanized Mandarin:

Xī Shī sishí sìshísì, sìshísì-shí Xī Shīsǐ.

(Oh God!)


In Chinese characters:

西 施 死 時 四 十 四,四 十 四 時 西 施 死

 

A strong but penniless man saw the famous Yoshiwara prostitute Little Murasaki in a procession, and was so enthralled with her beauty that he killed 130 people to obtain the gold to make a statue of her which he offered to the brothel in exchange for her contract. Instead he was caught and executed. When Little Murasaki found out what he had done, that she had been the cause of so many deaths, she committed suicide beside his grave. (What would you have done?) This happened in 1679. Four years later, in Empty Chesnuts, Kikaku’s anthology of linked verses, he wrote and Basho followed:

 

Ridiculed for
his Little Murasaki
cast in gold.

Black as fins of bream
nipples on big boobs

 

People made fun of the man and his obsession with Little Mursaki’s beauty. Imagine that: he cast her in solid gold; what an ego-trip! LOL Even her nipples were gold!! Basho counters with the nipples of Otafuku, a legendary character who anthropologist Michael Ashkenezi calls a “full-checked, plump peasant woman laughing happily” -- her name means “large breasts.”

 

Kurodai often caught by fisherman are actually only black on the backside and fins; the rest of the fish is silver-grey – so I guess to Basho could look like dark nipples on a light-colored breast. Her breasts may be huge, but Japanese men adore slender women, so Otafuku will never be loved by a brilliant shining Emperor, never be depicted in a golden statue. Unlike the golden nipples of the fool’s Little Murasaki, her nipples will be “soiled by rice-seedling mud.”

 

In his prose introduction to Kikaku’s anthology, Basho tells us the sort of imagery to be found here:

 

Kikaku shows the passion of love from every angle:
long ago the face of Lady Seishi hiding in her sleeves
along with Little Murasaki cast in gold,
then within bedrooms of imperial consorts
ivy hangs from the clothes hangers,
while in the lower classes, daughter
raised in a cocoon along with her mother,
bride fighting in rage against mother-in-law.

 

The Emperor was so in love with Lady Yang that in the neglected bedrooms of his other ladies, ivy vines entered through holes in the wall to reach the clothes hangers. According to the current class ranking, merchants are the lowest class even when rich. In wealthy families, each generation raises the daughter “in a cocoon” to protect the precious little girl from getting knocked up – until finally she gets married only to fight with her mother-in-law. Basho the Sociologist.

 

In the shock waves of Kikaku’s language,
truth cannot be distinguished from falsehood…
These are your treasures, Kikaku,
and the thieves of poetry wait to steal them

 

In Kikaku’s “shock waves of language” one cannot tell what is real and what is not. (Is that praise or criticism?)  Kikaku, I know you like this flashy stuff about courtesans sculpted in gold and women fighting each other, and I know people are going to steal it from you – but I prefer the truth of ordinary peasant women laughing happily.

 

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Bo Juyi (Po Chu’i), a narrative poem in 120 stanzas, sings of Yang Kuifei.

She was born in 719, early in the reign of her future husband, the Emperor Xuan Zong. In 733 when she was 14, she was given in marriage to the son of the Emperor. Four years later the Emperor’s favorite died and the Emperor was lonely -- so he took his son’s wife. First, to deflect any criticism he made her a Taoist nun for seven years, then in 745, after he gave his son another wife, he raised the 26 year old to a newly created rank in Imperial Consorts, calling her Kuifei, ‘Precious Queen’. Because Kuifei does not sound beautiful in English, we call her the “Lady Yang.”

 

Although the emperor had 3000 consorts to choose from, he lavished his attention only on the Lady Yang  (so ivy grows upon the clothes hangers of the others).

One stanza in the Song of Everlasting Sorrow says:

Spring follows spring play, night completely night

which (in case you didn’t notice) means day and night sex.

The emperor was so taken with his love for his Precious Queen that he ignored affairs of state,

leading to disaster. The Lady Yang’s cousin was Counselor to the Emperor but appears to have been deficient in wisdom. He incited General An, a friend and supporter of the Emperor, to rebel. An’s forces drove the Emperor from the Capital. The Imperial Guard, incensed at the mess the cousin created, killed him and his family, and demanded that the Emperor kill the Lady Yang as well.

 

The Emperor tried to convince them to let her live but they insisted so he had someone else strangle her in another room. This plunged the Emperor into everlasting sorrow. But a Taoist sage pitied the emperor and offered to go into a trance and find his beloved. “He climbed to Heaven, entered the Earth, searching everywhere.” (Like Oda Mae Brown in the movie Ghost) Finally he found her on a magic island in the Eastern Sea. She told the Emperor through the medium that she still loved him, that she would love him forever. The medium was even able to bring back some mementos from her. Now we come to the final seven stanzas.

 

Within their words, a promise both hearts knew,
On Tanabata in the Hall of Longevity,
At midnight, no one there, private words,
In the sky we wish for birds to share wings
on Earth we wish for branches to entwine
Heaven long, Earth eternal, yet some day consumed,
This sorrow, a fabric with no end in time.”

 

In the next three pages we explore the images of birds sharing wings and pine branches entwining as they travel from Bo Juyi in 8th century China to Murasaki Shikibu in 11th century Japan, and then on to Basho in the 17th.

 

The Tale Of Genji opens with Lady Kiritsubo who becomes the Emperor’s favorite and bears him a son (we call him Genji, the name he later receives). The Emperor is so entranced with Kiritsubo that he ignores affairs of state, causing much disapproval within the court (recalling Xuan Zong and the Lady Yang).

 

Kiritsubo bears the brunt of the bad-mouthing by court ladies:

 

Summoned to the palace
ashamed by the gossip

Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow

 

In spite of the gossip about her and the shame she feels, she manages to love the Emperor with all the gentleness and devotion in her heart. Maybe you will remember Basho’s verse when you ease your forearm under the sleeping head of one you adore.

 

Especially concerned about the Emperor’s love for Kiritsubo is the Kokiden Lady, the Emperor’s senior consort and the mother of the Heir Apparent, who is three years old when Genji is born. Genji is so remarkably bright in both looks and intelligence, and the Emperor obviously favors him over the older child, that there is talk that the Emperor might switch the succession to Genji. The Kokiden Lady, not so pleased with this, puts out such bad vibes that Kiritsubo sickens and dies, sending the Emperor into grief – and then on the night of Kiritsubo’s funeral, Kokiden insists on playing loud happy music on her harp far into the night. (Bitch!)


After the funeral the Emperor seeks some contact with his beloved. Xuan Zong used a Taoist sage to reach the Lady Yang on her magic island, but the Emperor in the Tale of Genji has a more practical approach: he sends a court lady named Myobu to visit Kiritsubo’s mother and bring back some of her things, but these bring the Emperor no solace. (Laura Mae says, “Poor Emperor!”)

 

Murasaki Shikibu has the Emperor lament:

 

Morning and evening, the content of our words;
“to line up wings and exchange branches”
were the vows we made, to no avail,
for such is life everlasting sorrow

 

The Emperor says Kiritsubo died because “such is life.” It was her destiny, not Kokiden’s fault nor his own fault for abandoning his first wife to play with a younger, sexier model, but the ‘fate she was born with, everlasting sorrow.

 

Now the images from the Song of Everlasting Sorrow reach Basho in A Narrow Path in the Heartlands:

 

Between the pines
each pair of lovers lies in the cemetery,
their vows to ‘share wings and entwine branches’
in the end become thus, the sadness overwhelming.

 

If we read the three passages together, we see that Murasaki rewrote Bo-Juyi, and Basho rewrote both of them. Both Bo-Juyi and Murasaki use the images of wings and branches in the context of Emperors and consorts, special people, different from you and me. Basho democratizes the images, bringing them into the world of ordinary people. No matter who we are, no matter how beautiful we are or how sincerely we share our wings and entwine pur branches, all end up in the cemetery.

 

The 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi is said to be the most beautiful women Japan ever produced, so that any woman of exceptional beauty may be called a Komachi. Her name is synonymous with female beauty, yet also with “the vanity of a life spent indulging in romantic liaisons.”

 

I meet him not
this night of no moon
rising with desire
in my breast fiery pillars
burn away the heart

 

Whew! What was she like when she did meet him? But Komachi grew old and lost her beauty and could no longer find someone to love her, even for a one night stand. So the name Komachi is also synonymous with the passage of youthful beauty into lonely decrepit old age. Her most famous poem, her poem in the Hundred Poets, Hundred Poems laments:


Bright colors
of flowers have faded
in idle play.
Now my life is gazing
at long dreary rain.

 

On the next page are three Basho images of this famed beauty.

 

Reduced to such poverty that she wandered the streets, a beggar in rags, her mind also wandering to insanity. Komachi’s dying request was that her corpse be left out to weather on the fields, and was then seen with stalks of plume grass growing wild through the eye sockets to the height of a woman.. Basho wrote:

 

Lightning flashes --
from the face of Komachi
stalks of plume grass

 

Her beauty – as well as her sanity -- gone like a flash of lightning, Komachi ended up an unburied skull looking up at tall stalks with wispy plumes emerging from her eye-sockets

 

So many changes
have occurred in my
love affairs

In this floating world
all end as Komachi

 

In the two tanka on the previous page she see how Komachi

went from having plenty of hot romances to none at all. She regrets the loss of those attributes which used to bring her love.

 

To follow in the footsteps
of a wandering madwoman

Compassion is
learned when the gold
has rotted away

 

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com

 






<< In the Mirror (B-10) (B-12) Oppression of Women >>


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...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 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 women,
children, and teenagers

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 his
"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 Prose


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