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  >  Children and Teens  >  C-08


Being a Baby – Commentaries for #s 1 - 20



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

These 20 studies of babyhood by Basho and co-poets are anthropology, records of the life and mind  of babies in olden Japan , and also records of the feeling one Japanese man had for babies.

 

1

We plant it
as we would a baby
cherry tree

 

植うる事/ 子のごとくせよ / 児桜
Ūru koto / ko no gotoku seyo / chigo-zakura

 

Chigo-zakura (“baby cherry”) is one species of wild cherry, and also a sapling transplanted to a place where it can grow big. Kon elaborates: “Planting this sapling, with fondness for its loveable name, we handle it with the care we would our own child.” Basho proposes that we treat both young plants and baby humans with tenderness and sensitivity.

 

2

Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?

Chi o nomu hiza ni /nani o yume miru
乳を飲む膝に / 何を夢見る

 

Basho starts with physical body images – “breastfeeding” and “lap” then goes to his favorite spiritual realm: “dreams. ” Shirane notes that yume can mean “dream,” ambiton,” or “glory.”

 

The Japanese original contains no personal pronouns, so this could be “her lap,” however I use “my” so the stanza is a personal communication from the soul of mother to soul of baby. She gazes at her baby’s forehead as if to see within and into the future.

 

 Kikaku in a haibun (given in article B-6 BREAST-FEEDING WITH BASHO) observes the famous ama, or woman shell divers, of Japan and Korea, then Rosen and Basho add a stanza-pair:

3


 Floating grasses
in a bundle, her pillow
firm and steady

Child of a shell diver
breastfeeds on the boat

 

うき 草を /つかねて 枕 / さだめけり
Uki kusa o / tsukanete makura / sadamekeri
あまの 子 なれば / 舟 に 乳を のむ
Ama no ko nareba / fune ni chi o nomu

 

Floating grasses symbolize the ephemerality of human life and (because ama can also mean “prostitute”) specifically the

inconstancy of the indentured ‘play-woman’ who each night vows her love to another man, all in pretense, for she can never leave the brothel. In contrast to her ‘floating’ lifestyle, Rosen gives her a firm stable pillow on which to rest her head and the brain within.


In contrast to the “floating” in Rosen’s stanza, Basho presents the most substantial and eternal of all human relationships, that between milk-giver and milk-receiver, and specifically between a shell diver and her baby.   These women dive without breathing equipment to gather seaweeds and sea creatures rich in nutrition, in particularthe Omega-3 fatty acids which are primary structural components of the brain, skin, blood vessels, and retina.   The apes who evolved into humans probably lived near the sea where the abundance of Omega 3s entered their breast milk to enlarge their brains.

 

Etsujin wrote a stanza about a Buddhist memorial service: a widow cries at hearing a Buddhist prayer for her husband. Basho adds a small child to this scene,


4

A beautiful baby
asleep on her lap

Far from village
shade of tree in bloom
roasting tofu --

 

美し子の / 膝にねぶりて
Utsukushii ko no / hiza ni neburite
里遠き /花の木陰に /とうふ焼く
Sato tōki / hana no kikage / tofu yaku

 

Life goes on in the lap of grief. Basho reconciles the heavness of Etsujin’s stanza with the innocent beauty of the child framed by the mother’s body. Basho focuses  on the beauty of the infant – without anything bad happening to arouse the reader’s interest? This child can be any skin color, “normal” or “disabled,” in any land and any time since primates – apes and humans – sat with a ‘lap’ – a comfortable place on the mother’s body where baby can sleep, or mother and child can touch or talk to each other; on the lap is where intelligence and language evolved.

 

Either a woman is broiling tofu while sitting crosslegged with baby in her lap, or someone else is broiling while the mother sits nearby.


5

His old padded jacket
makes the young look old

Soundly, so soundly
the babe in remembrance
is put to sleep

 

 古い 羽織 に / 老ぞ しらるる
Furui haori ni / oi zo shiraruru
つくづく と / 記念 の やや を / 寝させ置
Tsukuzuku to / katami no yaya o / nesase oki

 

Padded haori jackets are worn by men. A woman whose husband has died places his old padded jacket on the sleeping baby for warmth; as she looks at her baby, memories of him flood her. This image by itself has profound emotional potential; Basho fulfills that potential with more attention to the life-force in babies. The two kinds of sleep – nightly and eternal – blend in our minds.

 

6

Calculating
how to get through life
in the Capital

They send no notice
of a daughter born.

 

算用に浮世を立つ京ずまい
Sannyo ni ukiyo o tatsu kyou zumai
又沙汰なしに娘倦む
Mata sata nashi ni musume yorokobu

 

From the villages where life goes on at a natural pace, young folk migrate to the Big City where competition and the high cost of living make life rough (but more fun than in the village) so they must “calculate” to survive. City people, in their endless calculations, lose their natural feeling toward their young, so for a son they sent out a birth notice, but not for a daughter. In much of Asia, throughout the millennia, only boys were cherished while girls were considered a liability and might be strangled immediately after birth or abandoned to die from the cold.


7

Wearing frost,
the wind for a bed cover
abandoned child

 

霜を着て / 風を敷き寝の / 捨て子哉
Shimo o kite / kaze o shiki-ne no / sutego kana

 

The child is so young she cannot move from where she has beenbplaced. The frost covers her body like clothing, while the freezing wind spreads over and underneath her.  Or maybe this child is not ‘real’ but instead is part of a metaphor,a poetic expression for the feeling in the actual frost and wind. In Basho’s time, however, and our time as well, children do spend the night without adequate shelter or blankets; this infant huddling for warmth can be as real to us as our hearts allow.


8

You hear the monkey,
what about this abandoned child
in the autumn wind?

 

猿を聞く/人捨子に秋の / 風いかに
            Sara o kiku hito /sutego ni aki no /kaze ika ni

 

In his journal Basho tells of finding an abandoned child beside the Fuji River. Chinese poets of old wrote poems about monkeys’ plaintive cries. Basho “asks them” whether they hear the cries of a human being so small and helpless.


9

Wind from the pines
blows steadily on and on
past midnight

There’s an abandoned child”
reports the gatekeeper

 

松風の / ずんずんとふく / 夜半 過
Matsukaze no / zunzun to fuku / yonaka sugi
捨子 がある と / 告げる 門番
Sutego ga aru to / tsugeru monban

 

Shiko sets the place, near pine trees; the weather – the wind blows zun zun, continuously, not so strong a wind, but it never lets up - and the time, yet says nothing about human life. Basho follows with an abundance of humanity: the child and the gatekeeper, the one who left the child outside the temple or mansion and snuck away in the dark, and the narrator, either a priest or owner of the mansion woken up by the gatekeeper. All these people are contained in Basho’s words. We contrast the inconstancy of the parents with the steadiness of the chill wind.


 

10

The aged nun has
a story to tell

Filled with pity,
her message to rescue
abandoned child

A deer pulls the sleeve
of someone in the village

 

老尼 はなしの / 叙ありけり
Rōni hanashi no / tsuide arikeri
哀余る / 捨て子 ひろいに / 遣して
Ai amaru /sutego hiroi ni /tsukawashite

      外里に鹿の/ 裾引て入る

To sato ni shika no / suso hikite iru

 

 

The old Buddhist nun tells with enthusiasm in her voice an incident in her life: she commanded a temple servant to go out and rescue that baby crying. Buddhism may advise us to let go of attachments and accept the passage of life and death – but this nun chose instead to save a life. She feels the glory of her deed.

 

Kikaku's stanza separates from the nun and temple, but continues to explore compassion. A deer – probably female -- found the abandoned child in the mountains, and was “filled with pity” for this baby of another species. Realizing her inability to help, she walked, carrying compassion with her, to a village where she chose a human being with a warm heart, and pulled on her sleeve, to get her to come up to where the child was. (Could this really happen?) The poet places the “pity” and “message to rescue” from Basho’s stanza into an entirely different species and reality,so compassion transcends the barriers between us and another life form.


The oldest son maintains the ancestral house while his younger brothers form branch houses nearby. Instead of each branch household sprouting their own rice seedlings, the main house does this for all the farmers that sprouted from it long ago. Basho sums up the custom:


 

11

Farmers get seedlings
from ancestral house

Morning moon,
leave baby to rock
in the cradle

 

本家 の 早苗 / もらう 百姓
Honke no sanae / morau hyakushō
朝 の 月 /囲車に 赤子 を / ゆすり捨て
Asa no tsuki /isha ni akago o / yusuri sute

 

Basho does not mention babies in his stanza, however sets up the next poet to focus on a woman with a baby who is planting rice-seedlings. Where can she put her baby while she works in the mud? Kyoshi offers her a solution: the crescent moon in the sky above the rice fields has the perfect shape to hold a baby and rock to sleep. So, the next time you see a crescent moon, imagine a baby cradled by it – then travel back to rice-seedlings being planted, and the generations of farmers coming and going.


Bamboo shoots emerge in summer to be boiled and cut into bite-sized chunks. Here, from the Tale of Genji, is infant Kaoru:


       Able to walk a few steps, the boy tottered up to a bowl of boiled bamboo shoots.

       He bit at one, and just cutting his teeth, the boy had found a good teething object.

       He dribbled furiously as  he bit at a bomboo shoot,

       then having rejected it, scattered them in all directions.

 

 The anthropologist Murasaki Shikibu pays attention to a small child for considerable time without the child suffering, dying, or in danger; she observes ordinary infant behavior so we see that babies 1000 years ago were like babies today. From this Basho creates:

 

12

Boiled bamboo shoots
a baby’s drool dribbling
dew on bamboo grass

たかうなや /雫もよよの / 篠の露
kauna ya / shizuku mo yoyo no / sasa no tsuyu

 

Exploring wetness: Yummy watery bamboo shoots mixing with saliva in my mouth, drool dripping from Kaoru’s mouth in the Tale of Genji, morning dew on the countless large flat leaves of bamboo grass growing over low-lying dew-covered ground; we play with a profusion of b, d, and l sounds – all from the lips -- accumulating in a drippy, dribbly feeling.


13

Frantically
crying baby is thrust
into the cradle

Carpenters and roofers
go home as it darkens

 

せりぜりと / なく子を 畚 に /つきすえて
Serizeri to / naku ko o fugo ni / tsukisuete
大工 屋根や の / 帰る 暮れどき
Daiku yaneya no / kaeru kure-doki

 

Baby cries that panicky scream that so upsets adult ears. Mother or babysitter busy with something else, to shut the kid up, thrusts baby into a cradle. Imagine the crying baby as a house under construction – busy, busy, busy with both carpenters inside the frame and around it, and roofers on top, sawing, hammering, moving things about, shouting to each other. As it grows dark, all leave and that house becomes absolutely silent. Such is the magical quieting effect a cradle has on the infant. Screaming, facial distortion, falling tears disappear into silence and peaceful

breathing.

 

14

Facing into the wind
his wind blown face

Plump and healthy
the young son sits
on the lap

 

真向きの風に / 顔をふかるる
Ma-muki no kaze ni / kao o fukaruru
よう肥えた / むすこのすわる / ひざの上
You koeta / musuko no suwaru / hiza no ue


 

This man is no hermit or wimp; he encounters the world till his face is ruddy with health and energy. Basho goes back in time to this one as a baby on mother’s lap. As in a advertisement for baby food, we are sure this male baby gets the best. His sisters may not fare so well.


 

15

Withering gusts
cheeks swollen and painful
face of a child

 

こがらしや /頬腫痛む /人の顔
Kogarashi ya / hoho-bare itamu / hito no kao

 

.Before there were vaccines, most children had mumps before they were five – so although the Japanese says “face of a person” it is most likely to be a small child. Why is this child outside in the frigid winds. Mother had no food in the house, so had to go out into the cold to go shopping. She tied the baby to her back with a kimono sash, and covered both baby and herself with a nennenko hanko, or oversized cloak, so baby is warm inside next to mother’s body. This is when Basho sees the cheeks swollen and painful.

 

 

16

After having measles
traces are a benefit

 

はしか してとる・後のよささ よ
Hashika shite toru / ato no yosasa yo

 

Literally, Basho says that “traces” (ato) of the disease (i.e. antibodies) ”make things easy.“ or in other words produce immunity so this body never falls to measles again.  Students or doctors of immunology may see in this verse a forerunner of that science.


 

17

The crying child’s
face is such a mess

Renting a room
they make no fire
to boil rice

 

泣いている 子の/ かお の きたなき
Naite iru ko no / kao no kitanaki
縮 かして / 米 搗く 程 は/ 火 も 焼ず
Shuku kashite/kome tsuku hodo wa/hi mo takazu

 

The parents do not wipe the snot off their kid’s face, so germs produce skin infection and pus smeared together with dirt and tears. They seem to be transients who do not go to the trouble of maintaining a fire in the sunken hearth for the hour or more it takes to boil rice. Instead of eating “meals” (which in Japan means with rice) they live on snack foods high in salt and saturated fat. The snotty-faced kid does not get much in the way of nutrition. The observations of the two poets resonate across time and culture.

 

18

On straw mat
we are stuck with unsold
market greens

Crawling baby manages
to snatch rice from tray

 

一むしろ /なぐれて 残る/市の草
這いかかる 子 の /飯つかむ なり
Ichi mushiro / nagurete nokoru / ichi no kusa
Hai kakaru ko no / meshi tsukamu nari

 

This family has problems – but not disasters: they are more like minor annoyances. Many Western books on Japan emphasize the terrible events – diseases, fires, earthquakes, oppression, perversity, ruin of a family, heavy stuff like that. Basho and his followers were searching for a different consciousness, a consciousness of everyday peaceful life. Instead of showing us a famine where a family has no food to feed the children, Shohaku portrays them at market with unsold produce they have to carry home.


Basho continues with their problems when they get home. The individual’s meal was served on several dishes on a small tray on four legs, about 18 inches square and 9 inches high. Instead of a child getting sick and dying before three years, this baby, who has been a slave to gravity since birth, here by crawling and clinging onto things gets high enough to pull rice off the low standing tray, either to put in mouth, or to spread about. We see Basho’s consciousness of infant motor development; the child reaching up onto the 9-inch-high tray is a developmental milestone on the road to standing and walking.

 

19

 Flawless blue
fabric spreads over
the large yard

Infant crawls about,
getting “that place” dirty

 

広庭に 青の駄染めを 引きちらし
Hiro niwa ni ao no dasome o hiki charashi
這い廻る子の よごす居所
hai mawaru ko no yogosu i-dokoro

 

 

At the home-and-shop of a cloth dyer we see a perfectly woven expanse of fabric dyed indigo blue with no other colors, no designs, no blemishes anywhere. The baby crawls about here and there, sometimes sitting to explore what she finds. sometimes scooting about on his bottom. She may be wearing a diaper; even without safety pins, Velcro, or plastic pants, the Japanese have a long tradition of tying on loincloths. Miyawaki notes that the “dirt” on “that place” may be poop, or dirt from the earth, or dust from the

house, or – especially in this house -- the residue of dyestuffs in any color; any or all of these could be there on the derriere.


I love the contrast between immaculate blue fabric spreading over the yard and the haphazard collection of whatnot on this soft chubby tush. Basho actually wrote a poem about a baby’s rear end. To truly appreciate this verse, to ‘get’ the link to the blue fabric verse, we need a mind as bizarre and fun-loving as his.

 

Asked to name a newborn baby girl, Basho chose Kasane -- in

space “to pile up, in layers” or in time “to occur again and again, in

succession.” This tanka’s double meanings – layers of kimono, of

years, of generations; wrinkles in the kimono and in her face --

overlap in a web of Blessing and Hope for all newborn females.

 

20

Spring passes by
again and again in layers
of blossom kimono
may you see wrinkles
come with old age

 

いく春を / かさねがさねの / 花ごろも
しわよるまでの / 老もみるべく
Iku haru o / kasane gasane no / hana-goromo
shiwa yoru made no / oi mo miru beku

 

Kasane, now your time begins, stretching to infinity before unfocused eyes. Soon you laugh and play in the sunshine – that is, if wars, natural disasters, fatal illness, financial ruin all stay away. One spring wear your first bright colorful blossom-kimono at your family’s blossom-viewing picnic, then fold it up and store away till next spring. The springs shall come and go with clouds of blossoms filling the treetops to fall in a shower of petals as you blossom into a young lady. May you pass this youthful kimono onto your daughter, the next “layer” of yourself, while you wear one more moderate in color and pattern – and this too passes onto

her, and you to the dark sedate kimono of an older woman. So may our nation remain at Peace and the happiness in your family pile up layer upon layer until wrinkles in the fabric no longer smooth out

and you see wrinkles cross your face. Do not despair, for you live again as spring passes by and your granddaughters laugh and chatter in their blossom kimono.

 

basho4now@gmail.com

 






<< The Poet of Children – 107 Poems (C-07) (C-09) Age 3 to 7 >>


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