Basho's thoughts on...
• 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  >  Humanity and Friendship  >  D-09


Sampu, patron and close friend

2 Basho haiku, 1 renku 3 prose passages and 9 letters

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

Basho lived on the generosity of the wealthy merchant Sampu, three years younger, and the two had lots of fun together: some of Basho’s funniest works were written in connection with Sampu.

 

 When Basho first arrived in Edo in 1672, age 28, Sampu’s father Kensuke supported him, and Sampu become one of his first followers.  He continued this support both financially and spiritually for the next two decades.  Sampu suffered some degree of deafness, though he was active and successful in the world.


With Sampu’s
difficulty hearing,
I sympathize

 

 Poor hearing isolates a person from others. Basho compensates by increasing his sympathy for -- his “caring for” -- Sampu.  Basho reaches out to Sampu’s heart to share the isolation – so it is no longer isolation.   

Four words of Japanese near the end of Basho's journal A Narrow Path in the Heartlands convey the  nature of the friendship between these two men: 

                   
All the more joyful, all the more caring

 

In 1680, Sampu, age 33, the eldest son of a fish mercantile house in Nihonbashi, financial center of Edo, supplier of fish for banquets to the Shogun’s castle, is learning the business from dad. He also loves poetry and likes to have fun with his Teacher. Sampu arranged a contest in which many poets submitted verses for Basho to judge. He chose the theme, ‘Vegetables.’ The verses were published along with Basho’s introduction which contains this bizarre succession of parodies. So, let’s talk about vegetables:

 

Intently I imagine the scene
at the Kanda Suda Produce Market:
fresh greens from outside a thousand villages
carried here strapped to kirin,
phoenix eggs wrapped in rice bran,
zingiber from within the snow,
early-spring watermelons,
the deep green of Korean ginseng leaves…
peppers from China becoming red …

 

Things start off real enough: Kanda Suda (across the river from Akihabara) was the largest produce market in the City – but the kirin, a legendary beast of ancient China, is not likely to be transporting vegetables in Japan. The phoenix, also legendary, burns to death and rises from the ashes, so really doesn’t need eggs, but if (IF!) she had them, and if there was a market for them, they would certainly need to be carefully wrapped in soft spongy rice bran to remain unbroken on the back of a kirin. (No bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts in those days.) Zingiber is a kind of ginger grown in the tropics, and watermelons do not ripen till mid-summer. Ginseng ROOTS are a herb and elicacy favored by some, but who would buy the leaves?

The Chinese love to paint things red (Witness their restaurants); Basho imagines that because these are Chinese peppers (to-garashi), this makes them turn red in autumn. Really?


… all gathered here in Edo where wind
does not rattle branches of maize
nor does rain move ginger in the ground.
So we get time for this poetic theme: Vegetables.

 

Basho refers to a chant from a Noh play:

 

Country well-governed
wind does not rattle branches
so goes the reign

 

Do you see? He is indirectly (very indirectly!) praising the Tokugawa Shogunate for maintaining peace throughout Japan. The divine kamisama must be pleased because they have brought no severe typhoons (“wind does not rattle branches”) or floods (“rain does not move ginger in ground”) allowing Japanese (such as Sampu’s family) to build trade networks which bring produce from faraway provinces (and even from the Twilight Zone). Tokibi is maize, American corn, which the Japanese call ‘Chinese millet,’ although before it was in China, it had to come across the ocean from South America – but maize is a grain and doesn’t have branches. Absurd as it is, the passage is praise for the prosperity brought by the Pax Tokugawa. Trade is flourishing. Markets are full of food and mothers can buy for their children. So much prosperity that

Sampu can afford to leave his business to his subordinates while he spends his time on so mundane a poetic theme as ‘Vegetables.’ How the friendly merchant must have enjoyed Basho’s trippy parody of food marketing and trade.

 

Sampu has presented me a light robe for summer wear:

 

Off I go
wearing my fine linen
cicada robe

 

Basho puts on his robe of linen as fine as a cicada wing, and goes flying, clumsily, around the room.


Letter 27 to Sampu, mid-March, 1688

 

I passed the New Year in good health,
and now am in Yamada town in Ise Province.
On March 5th I went to visit the Ise Shrine,
The 25th is my father’s memorial service so back to Iga.
As it gets warm, I will go see the blossoms at Yoshino.
Tokoku from Owari plans to go with on this journey,
so he has come to Ise, and is with me now.

 

Are Jokushi, his children, and wife too, alright?
If they are without misfortune, you need not respond.
However, if there is anything to tell me immediately,
a man at the Seki Jizo temple, Kasawara Yaihei
will send your letter special delivery.

p.s.    Is Ihei applying himself to his work, I worry…

 

 

In his preface to A Narrow Path in the Heartlands, Basho describes his departure from his hut:


with the moon at Matsushima already
over my heart, I have given where I lived away
to another, and drift over to Sampu’s tea cottage.

 

Matsushima is 200 miles north of Edo where Basho is, but where he will be in six months. The moon there already “over my heart” is a typical Basho expression of the spirit transcending space and time.

Unsure he will ever return from this rugged mountainous journey he has sold his hut. Sampu allowed Basho to spend the first night of his trip in style; since Sampu is wealthy, his tea cottage must be a masterpiece of design and carpentry, a remarkable place for Basho to sleep the first night of his journey. The whole passage builds up to its final expression of gratitude to Sampu, making Sampu’s name live through the centuries.


Basho wrote the following letter in Fukushima on his journey to the Deep North:

 

                                   Letter 44 to Sampu, June 13, 1689

 

I sent you a letter from Kurobane on the Nasu plain.
Was it delivered?
I have been robust; the moxa before leaving worked.


Before a long journey, cones of moxa were burned on acupuncture points of the feet to make them strong.


Also I am eating twice as much as usual.
I have no anxiety about coming down from the North.
In Nasu amidst the long rains, not once did we meet rain,
so fortunate is our journey.


(We all imagine omens.)


We left Nasu to visit the Lifekiller Stone
a 15 mile detour for some sightseeing.
In this region the mornings and evenings are still cold,
but all the inns we stayed in were good, so no problems.
I am waiting for it soon to get warm:
people in the warmth of Edo would find this strange.
My regards to all the folks in Fukagawa.
How is Old Soha doing with his sickness?
I hope he gets better and recovers his heart.
As for me, I have not written many haiku.  Sora is healthy.
At every place we stay, we speak only about you in Edo.
On this day of last month, you came to visit me in Fukagawa.
More than a visit from anyone else, this brought me tears.
Give my best wishes to everyone there.
Since I cannot write to letters to them all
I will not write to anyone.

 

                    Letter 57 to Sampu, April 18, 1690

 

With pain and bloody bowel discharges,
I cannot step across distant boundaries,
so from the beginning of the new year,
I have stayed in seclusion in Iga.
Soon as the weather gets warm, I will head up
to the Kyoto area, then follow where my feet lead me.
p.s. Encourage Ihei and Toin to be diligent at their work

 

In June of 1692, Basho, staying in a rental house in a noisy part of the Big City,  wrote Letter 140 to Kyorai:

 

As the hot season came upon us, we were gloomy,
and Sampu and Jokushi suspecting I might stroll away somewhere
 along with other Fukagawa people such as Kifu and Rika
taking an interest, in May started building a grass hut for me,
and yesterday they completed it. In a few days I will move in.

 

In the winter of 1692, Basho’s nephew Toin came down with tuberculosis, and Basho took him into his hut to care for him. In the spring of 1693, Basho writes to his follower Keiko

 

This spring my nephew known as Toin,
after enduring hardship beyond thirty years,
died of illness. While he was sick my soul suffered
and after he died the heartbreak would not stop.
In the depression of my spirit,
though cherry blossoms were in full bloom
I passed spring in a dream so no verse could I write.
To console my depression
I gave into the recommendation of Sampu and Sora
to write a poem on ‘hototogisu at water’s edge’

 

Sampu and Sora, the two followers in Edo who truly saw into Basho’s heart, realized that their master needed the challenge of writing a haiku to a theme they set, to get over his depression.

 

This prose passages tell of Basho having fun with Sampu one night under the Milky Way, or River of Heaven.

 

The night of Tanabata, wind and clouds fill the sky,
Tonight for Tanabata it is raining, so Basho and buddy Sampu drink
some sake and have some fun with the legend. He begins with a
quick review of the various streams of the myth:
The banks of the Silver River
drenched with Shining Waves,
the Magpie’s Bridge stakes washed away,
the rudder of One Mulberry Leaf broken off,
the Two Stars have lost their houseboat.

 

One legend says the Weaver crosses an Arch of Magpies clutching to each other over the River -- or she rides across the River on a leaf of paper-mulberry, kaji, similar to the word for ‘rudder’ allowing Basho to make another pun. Yagata means a residence with a roof, either on land or on water. Since we are talking about the “River” of Heaven here, we translate ‘houseboat’— sort of a floating love hotel —but since the ‘River’ is a fantasy anyhow, the whole idea is nonsense. Basho nonsense.


Since this evening can only pass with deep regret,
I lift a lantern to honor the Stars
and think of those two poems by Komachi and Henjo
So here is my poem for Komachi:

 

The water high
star asleep on her journey
upon the rock

 

Basho plays around with this tanka by the famed 9th century beauty and poetess Ono no Komachi:


Upon this rock
asleep on my journey
it’s so cold,
Won’t you lend me
a ‘blanket of moss’?

 

“Robe of moss” (koke no koromo) is a ‘pillow-word’ that decorates the verse without actually meaning what it says. This is just a blanket, but the imagery of moss fits the ‘on a rock’ part and adds beauty to the phrase.


Henjo, a male poet of this time, replied,

 

Away from home
I have only one
‘blanket of moss’
Sorry, I cannot lend,
so let us sleep together

 

Henjo was a very typical man. Now back again to the 17th century and Tanabata. The wealthy

Sampu is not quite satisfied with that “robe of moss.” It sounds pretty tacky to him.


So here is mine for Henjo:

 

On Tanabata
instead of “cannot lend”
a silk raincoat

 

Sampu can easily afford to give (not lend) a silk raincoat (an expensive designer-label) to Vega waiting in the rain of Basho’s verse. We volley the ball from Basho to Komachi, over to Henjo, up to

Sampu, and back to Basho.

 

In the summer of 1694, Basho, accompanied by his grandnephewJirobei, travelled from Edo

(Tokyo) to the Kansai.


                  Letter 197 to Sampu, , July 13, 1694

 

This letter is delivered courtesy of the Lord of Zeze.
Has anything changed with you? I want to know.
As for me, on the road as far as Shimada,
I had some hindrance but gradually became robust.
For the sake of my health, we walk 5 to 7 miles
a day, sometimes, according to the day, 12,
and when horses are convenient we ride horses,
so by doing this and that, we arrived in Iga.
Rainy weather, mostly drizzle, so not really hot.                                
 On the 7th when we arrived in Shimada,
I planned to stay only one night,
but the rain and wind caused a flood
and all crossings were cancelled for three days.
On the 11th we got going, the water still high,
high enough to cover my horse’s butt-strap,
however the people we stayed with are good friends
who have knowledge of horses crossing rivers
and I crossed one-handed, so well they treated me.

My exhaustion has not stopped
but without proceeding to my chronic illness,
though as it gets hotter and even hotter,
how will it turn out? Since before, the doctor
who gives me medicine has not changed,
and he says I need not worry.

We hurried to Kakei’s house
and stayed there three nights and two days.
Going around to Saya, a group
not connected to Kakei, waited in hiding.
The poets in Nagoya, Iga, and Zeze
still rest their butts in a comfortable place.
They know not the elegance of your poetry in Edo.
The ones with the same name,
this time with extraordinary power, were joyful
and I too felt great joy.

 

Sampu heads a business, so is the equivalent of a modern shacho (company director), a very high rank in Japanese society. He financed the building of this house where Jutei is sick with the tuberculosis she caught from Toin who died of it; her daughters, Masa and Ofu, believed to be 13 and 11, are in charge of the house.

As we see below, two neighbors, Ihei and Basho’s cousin Torin, are keeping an eye on things.

 

I know sometimes you go visit them at Fukagawa
though with Jutei being sick your tea is not properly served.
Since you are so busy you need not trouble yourself about them,
however, please make sure they follow Ihei and Torin’s
instructions to protect the house in my absence,
and are especially careful with fire.

 

Here is another letter to Sampu, dated August 25, 1694; Sampu is leader of the followers in Edo who support Basho’s new ideal of Lightness. Most of the Edo followers however go with Kikaku in maintaining the old-fashioned style Basho has moved away from in the four years since his journey to the Deep North.


The letter you mailed on July 24th reached me
and the August 12th one wandered here from Kyoto.
So you are without misfortune:
congratulations to you need not be oblique.
I safely passed the breath-taking hot season.
I agree I should not let my disposition get rumpled,
but where I go and return,
being with many people confuses and annoys me.
On July 25th my followers in Iga began building
a cottage for me on the Matsuo estate,
saying they want me there for O-Bon.

 

Since Basho received word that Jirobei’s mother, Jutei, had died in Basho’s hut in Fukagawa, he wanted to send the boy back to Edo to handle his mother’s affairs and see his two young sisters, but none of his followers were free to escort the youth 300 miles and back. 

 

Jirobei is now on his way to Edo, two fellows, Shiko and Izen, accompanying him, so there should be no problems
and you need not worry about him.

 

 

So the Masters there are complaining
and giving you trouble, but pay them no mind.
They’re the ones who need to catch up, unless
they wish to scrape the bottom of their rice tubs.
You need not give them one coin of attention.
“The Masters there” are Kikaku’s group; they earn their way
by teaching and judging poetry. Basho does not wish them well.

 

The rumor around here is that
Sampu is just an honest person
but among my followers merely an ornament,
while Shison has no reputation at all,
but this time the two of you did so well
that everyone is surprised.

 

Sampu’s haters admit he is honest, but think him no real poet, just a rich and generous “ornament” for Basho -- however Basho gave Sampu and Shisan (not somebody from Kikaku’s group) the job of

assembling and publishing an anthology – and many followers thought these two were not up to the job. Basho clearly tells Sampu that his position as leader of the pro-Lightness forces is secure.


Above all I encourage you to
concentrate on Lightness and Amusement
and tell everyone else the same.

 

Basho says “concentrate” on Lightness. This is more than just mere flightiness.

It requires concentration as well as amusement.

 

Our final letter to Sampu is dated October 28, just one month before Basho’s death.


From summer till autumn your letters were delayed,
but eventually arrived without error. All my time in Iga,
I sent you no letters and guess made you worry.
I wish to know that your business is without misfortune
and there is no disruption in your family.
Your third daughter is getting married in a few days.
I’m sure your household is in a bustle,
but nature will take its course,
and I await to hear good news from you.

 

I passed the long summer without misfortune.
Along came autumn, the season of after-midnight cold.
I will be careful to pass from autumn into winter;
so you need not worry about me even slightly.
In that time, I think I will visit the Ise Shrine,
but first I have to face Osaka and leave it.
But actually Basho only could leave Osaka as a corpse.
Please send me a letter soon. Nearby you,
in Ryogin-machi or Suruaga-machi is the sake store of
Inadera Juheimon, a branch of Itanya Choheimon’s
here in Osaka: if you ask him, he will send your letter quickly.

 

 

Basho’s Will, dictated to Shiko on November 26, 1694, two days before death, includes this message:

 

This I say to Sampu: for so long your kindness,
even after death, I shall not forget.
As I now end at an unforeseen place
there can be no words of parting
nor any thoughts between us.

 

Basho expresses his profound gratitude to Sampu, the one person who has consistently supported him, both financially and spiritually, for the past 20 years. His gratitude will continue from the other side.


Keep on making an effort with your poems
so you enjoy them as you grow old.

 

Basho would have been glad to know that his friend lived until his 85th year in 1732. I am sure that throughout those 38 years, whenever Sampu thought about poetry, he remembered Basho’s

final words to him. We end with one of Sampu’s haiku:

 

Waiting for chicks,
the rest of the skylarks
soar so high

 

Sampu observes the nature of gender-based life-roles in birds. Maybe the mother waiting for her eggs to hatch is content in her role,her still silent preparation for life to emerge. Or maybe she envies

the others of her flock who sing out as they rise up, soaring freely  through the sky.

 

      basho4humanity@gmail.com 

 






<< Letters to Ensui, Basho’s BFF (D-08) (D-10) Sora: traveling companion >>


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:
• 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