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  >  Space and Time  >  G-01


Daybreak to Sunrise

5 Basho haiku and 16 renku on the early morning renewal of hope.

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

 Arising to blow on embers /

the wife of a bell-ringer.

 

Last night she banked the fire, covering coals with ashes to stay alive till dawn when she awakens them with her breath. Her husband wakes up the town, but Basho has eyes only for the wife, getting up in the freezing winter dawn to, like a goddess, wake up the hearth fire. She may be blowing directly onto the coals, or through a bamboo tube. Throughout the ages in every land before gas, electricity, timers, sensors, remote and automatic controls, women have gotten up early to awaken the fire as the wife does here. She is eternal, a goddess of fire, proclaimed by bells.


Sei Shonagon opens her Pillow Book with these words which have inspired Japanese readers for 1000 years:


“In spring it is the dawn which is most beautiful.
As the light creeps over the hills,
their outlines are dyed a faint red
and wisps of purplish cloud trail over them”

 

Blossoms’ full bloom
all day long the mountains’
glow of dawn

 

The pinkish white of wild cherry blossoms fills the mountain side, giving them the rosy hue of the sky at daybreak.

 

In 1004 (according to legend), a 30 year-old woman came to Ishiyama Temple, near the entrance of the Seta River into Lake Biwa, for a seven-day retreat, searching for inspiration. The Genji no Ma (Alcove of Genji) is the ‘traces’ of the small room in the side of the main temple building where under the harvest moon she began work on her Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel. In the Tale, Genji’s wife is called “Murasaki” (purple or lavender) and from this character came the royal-sounding name the author is

known by:

After staying the night at Seta at dawn I visit
Ishiyama Temple to see the Alcove of Genji:

 

Daybreak…
the sky still purple
ho toto GI su

 

The little cuckoo’s bright five-note call announces the summer. The bird sounds breathless, as if striving to produce the five notes with utmost beauty. Basho says that Shonagon’s spring moment is still glorious on the first morning of summer, the season of the hototogisu. The haiku seems simple with so few words, yet Basho has brought these two great female authors together with the grandeur of daybreak, the color purple, and that inspiring bird call: Ho toto GI su

 

Not letting on his boots
rain falls at day break

As they part,
ever so delicate and
fascinating

 

As her lover starts to put on his boots to go out into the heavy rain of dawn, she stops his hands. We feel the intensity of her desire for him to “Stay, stay, stay, just a little bit longer,” although Etsujin says not one word about that desire, but merely suggests. Basho continues about this women, giving her a delicacy that makes men feel protective and stay with her, and a fascination, a sense of wonders hidden within her.


In her haste
nowhere can she find
the lamp oil

She steps on his boil
so parting is wretched

 

She has the lantern but stumbles about in the dark searching for the bamboo flask of oil. (Remember: the futon is at the same level as the floor.) Then she steps on his boil, which is excruciatingly painful for him. When finally he leaves, they do not feel so comfortable with each other. This is fun slapstick comedy.

 

In 1665, Basho wrote the first stanza and another poet followed:

 

Moon at dawn
only my shadow figure
for a friend

Still deep in the night
a lonesome traveler

 

The moon at dawn is only a pale whiteness in the sky; it casts no shadow at all, so this human traveling in the first light of day has no friend. Basho has given the “shadow figure” an identity. Isshou says at night the entire world is shadow, while no humans are on the road, so the shadow travels alone.


Beside unfading stupa
in distress she cries

Shadow figure
in the cold of dawn
lights a fire

Owner of empty house
removed by poverty

 

 

Here is the mother of a baby who has died.  A stupa is a wooden tablet set up by a tomb with phrases from a sutra written for the repose of the dead's soul. This, unlike her baby, will remain. Mourners remained all night long in a mourning hut. I believe this “shadow figure” is the spirit of the dead child returned for a moment to warm and console mother with the gift of fire. Later in life, whenever mama builds a fire, she will feel her child’s presence.

 

The shadow figure becomes a vagrant who has found an empty house whose owner has succumbed to poverty; he burns the cabinets and shelves lying around so he will not succumb to hypothermia in the cold of dawn. Both the owner and the vagrant are shadows, vestiges of humanity, leftovers after dignity has been squeezed out.

 

As dawn comes
we realize in the night
bell was stolen

Hut of a border guard
to a country defeated

 

For the first morning in their lives, the villagers heard no sound from the local temple. A temple bell is far too heavy for one or two people to carry; there have to be many working together. When a nation-state has been defeated, before the conqueror takes control, there is bound to be vandalism. Not only has the border guard disappeared, but also the border itself lost all meaning.

 

People who make their living from the sea experience the dawn every morning:

 

Village embraced
by vast pine mountain
in the dawn light

All the folks I meet
have the smell of fish

 

The huge mountain “embraces” an inlet of the sea providing a safe harbor for a fishing village; as dawn comes, the villagers go about their work catching, gathering, and drying products from the sea. “Embraced” suggests intimacy, so Basho follows with body odor.

 

Before the sun rises
winter sky tinted red

Boatload of fish
from the depths spread out
across the beach

 

Early in the dawn, the boat returns to the harbor with a load of bottom-feeding fish – such as sardines – and the fishermen lay the fish out on the beach to dry. Without modern astronomical knowledge, people believed the sun passed through the sea before it reveals itself on the horizon. So the fish rise from the sea as does the sun, spreading out on the beach as the patches of red tinted clouds spread across the sky.

 

Whitebait are slender herring-like fish, finger-length and semi-transparent; early in spring they swim up river from the bay and are caught in nets. They are eaten fried or in soup but also alive and still “dancing.”


In the dawn
whitebait, one inch of
translucence

 

As the sky begin to lighten, Basho sees the fish lying in a net and notices the affinity with the growing lightness of the vast sky


Moon at daybreak
as meager as his breakfast

of sliced mackerel

Sail set to eight points
voice of the boatman

 

As light grows, the moon fades. The fisherman gets up and goes to the harbor at dawn to eat his small breakfast on the shore, then he heads out to the sea, his sails set to the eighth point to catch the wind carrying his song out across the waves. Basho uses a specific sailor’s term, then focuses on the voice coming from the mouth which ate the mackerel while watching the moon. So Basho affirming the humanity of this man, Basho consolidates the previous poet’s vision of dawn beside the sea.

 

Pine breeze
awakens the chorus
of caged birds

Carpenters start to work
heard by wife deep within

 

She is awakened by bird song from a row of cages along with a breeze from the pines near the house.

This is a wealthy mansion. She hears carpenters beginning their work in another part of the house –        but that does not interfere with the peacefulness in her part of the house – so again we feel the size        and prosperity of the house. The sound of carpenters in her home but far away, makes the wife at daybreak feel calm and peaceful, relishing her family’s prosperity along with the bird song and cool breeze.


Basho awoke before dawn and got on the road:

 

Crescent moon in dawn sky faintly seen, mountain roots dark,
horsewhip drooping, many villages before the rooster crows,
with lingering dreams of Du Mu’s early morning journey,
arriving in Sayo no Nakayama, suddenly I awake:

 

Asleep on horseback
dreams linger, moon distant
smoke rises for tea

 

A montage of sensory impressions ending in the sight of smoke rising from the houses of people preparing their early morning tea.


Japanese love to eat mochi at New Year’s, so a lot of glutinuous rice must be pounded with a heavy mallet on a mortar. Most work is “traditionally” done by women, however pounding mochi requires large shoulders and arms.


Even at dawn
of the last day, sound
of mochi-pounding

 

This unknown man pounding mochi in the clear dawn sky must be so busy with year-end business and  year-end partying that daybreak is the only time he can spare for the job. We hear his life-force in

the sound of his pestle pounding mochi on the mortar.

 

Battle lost,
the heroes retreat
and go home

Once more night falls
and day breaks in fog

 

Basho presents a vision of warriors we do not expect to see from a Japanese man. Instead of fighting to the death, giving all for glory and honor, these samurai are able to go home and support their wives and children. The road home is long, two inglorious days and nights in depressing weather – yet at least they are alive.

 

With iron bow

he goes out to confront
a brutal world

Tigress at daybreak

yearns to be pregnant 

 

The “iron bow” suggests the folk tale of Yuriwaka betrayed by a subordinate and abandoned on an island,    but returning to take vengeance with his gigantic bow. (Scholars debate whether this part of the story came from the Odyssey.) Kikaku expresses the male “boldly” fighting for vengeance (or whatever men seek), then Basho reaches for the ultimate creative female.  No sweet little girl, she is a fierce tigress. In Imperial China, a tiger represented the highest military general (while a dragon was Emperor and phoenix the Empress).   Daybreak is the Sun-Goddess giving birth to the day and to life.

 

In a Shinto ritual, some of winter's ice is packaged in straw and snow in an ice house to last until midsummer, and that spirit of perseverance offered to the kamisama. As the Japanese frequently extort each other, Gambatte, “persevere, hang in there, maintain your strength.”


So it will not melt
this ice we dedicate

New Year’s dawn
the morning sun a faint
glimmering

 

Isshou switches from mid-summer to freezing cold New Year’s Daybreak; just before we see the first bit of Sun-circle, there is a glimmer on the horizon. The joy of reading renku occurs when we expand our minds to see the Sun rising from the horizon as one with the spirit of ice rising to Heaven.


The stanza-pair is a poetic representation of the yin-yang symbol. Yin is dark and cold; Yang light and hot. The bit of ice in the midsummer heat is the spot of Yin in the field of Yang; the sun rising in midwinter is the bit of Yang in the cold dark Yin. The two fields with opposing spots together form the cycle of the

year, of reality, of consciousness.

 

Here Basho plays around with the myth of Amaterasu and the dawn. Nowhere does it say the story takes place on land. It makes more sense if it occurs in the depths of the sea., because on islands, such

as Japan, the sun always rises from the sea.

 

Source of morning sun,
in the East, red sea snail

Would you think?
clam asleep in shell
sees a dream

 

Rapana venosa, common name the veined rapa whelk or Asian rapa whelk, is a species of large predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk or whelk, in the family Muricidae, the rock shells. The shell has a large whorl with round aperture of a deep orange color; Google the name and you will how this suggests a red light starting to emerge from within the shell. So the whelk is the Sun Goddess, and the shell is the Rock Cave. As the Sun emerges from the mollusk shell on the sea bottom, nearby in the Eastern Sea, a clam sleeps peacefully in his or her own shell. Even in sleep an awareness of the momentous event enters the

clam’s dreams. There must have been some psychedelics at this poetry gathering.

 

For a pilgrimage

to Ise, even stealing
is forgiven

Smiling row of clouds
welcome the rising sun

 

Someone is leaving at daybreak to visit the Ise Shrine; because he is afraid of running out of cash on

the trip and, everybody else is still asleep, he takes the opportunity to pilfer a few coins from the shop.

The first poet claims that because the petty thief is on a spiritual pilgrimage to the high holy shrine of Shinto, he will be forgiven. Or maybe, because he is only stealing from his own family, he is not really stealing. Basho not only agrees with this conditional morality; he affirms it with the most positive of all images to the Japanese, the Rising Sun, the image Japan chose for her flag. The horizontal row of clouds

in the sky above the sun is a smile welcoming the golden orb; thus nature smiles on the traveler, even though he has stolen.


Basho wrote both of the next two stanzas:

 

Today again
on the Stone to worship
the Rising Sun

She bumps her forehead
on peak of Mount Fuji

 

Someone sits on a boulder to get a good view of the rising sun, and meditate.  If you are in the right place to the West of the mountain and the sky is clear, this is what you see: the Rising Sun has a female face and bumps her forehead on the peak.  Ouch!  


"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep."

                                                                                                               Rumi

 

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.  This point in the myth represents the Sun rising from the horizon, and it is the crucial moment in Japanese mythology, for Japan is the Land of the Rising Sun, and her national flag, a red circle on a white field, is the Rising Sun. 

 

In the Tale of Genji  Murasaki Shikibu describes Genjis infant daughter, the Akashi Princess:

 

The Princess, still the tip of bud green, is so pure,
 we can only guess how her life will go
 

A flower bud is a hard brown shell from which green life emerges at the tip, then grows to form a flower.

Thus Murasaki Shikibu combines the images of "tip of bud green" and the infant princess, for both will blossom into full life and beauty.  


 Beginning 1693, Basho received a New Years’ letter from his childhood and lifelong friend Ensui with a haiku telling of the birth of his first grandchild, a girl.

                           

New Year‘s Day –
only tip of bud green
plum blossom
                                         

On New Year’s Day (by the Oriental calendar early February) the dark brown buds on plum tree branches show green at their tips; as the First Lunar Moon progresses, these will become gorgeous white plum blossoms with a sweet fragrance.  Thus Ensui combines in his mind three images: the New Year and new spring emerging from winter, the green life of plum blossoms emerging from their buds, and his granddaughter emerging from the womb. The Akashi Princess grows up to become Empress; Ensui apparently has high hopes for his granddaughter.

 

Basho replied to Ensui on April 9 of that year, 1693:


The plum blossom ‘’only tip of bud 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 experiences Ensui’s joy in his own chest.  We cannot read this letter without feeling the warmth in Basho’s heart. He expresses so clearly.        

 

The following New Year's, Basho sent another letter to Ensui:

                                                                                                                    

In the spring of last year
the scent of plum blossoms I heard of "only the tip of bud 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 blossoms out into the world.  Again 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 in the spring of 1694, probably after Basho mailed the second letter, still thinking about his childhood friend having a granddaughter.


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

 

February the coldest time of the year, early morning the coldest time of the day, the mountains colder and windier than anywhere else, yet wild plum blossoms are colorful and fragrant. Of course, this haiku is fine by itself, without referring to Ensui's granddaughter, however because last spring and again this spring Basho’s heart dwelled on Ensui’s granddaughter, and because the major symbol for the entire nation is the Rising Sun, and in Japan the Sun is a Goddess, we can see Basho in this haiku going beyond Murasaki Shikibu and beyond Ensui to encompass five images in a vast panorama: Spring emerging from hard cold winter, plum blossom emerging from brown bud to become fragrant and colorful, Ensui's granddaughter emerging from the womb to blossom as a girl, the sun peeking out from the horizon, and the Sun Goddess emerging from the Rock Cave to shine on all of creation. 

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com 

 






<< Ode to a Crow (F-20) (G-02) New Years >>


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