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-04


Water with Movement

17 Basho haiku, 11 renku, 2 haibun, 4 letters, 3 spoken word

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

 "The mountains in silence nurture the spirit;

The water with movement calms the emotions."

said Basho in Spring of 1690   


For a while raftsman
at rest on the bank
Pilgrim-robed
heart on a journey
becomes quiet.

 

In Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. the ferryman Vasudeva guides Siddhartha to learn from the river:

 

He was taught by the river. Incessantly, he learned from it. Most of all,
he learned from it to listen, to pay close attention with a quiet heart,
with a waiting, opened soul, without passion, without a wish,
without judgment, without an opinion.

 

The next two renku stanza-pairs express Basho’s worship of a divine female in flowing water:

 

Saying something,
the tree spirits respond
in spring breeze
Form of mountain goddess
disperses in the rapids

 

Etsujin and Basho tell the history of spirituality on their islands: first humans communicating with trees and the wind, then a mountain goddess who dispersed in the rapids of time. 

 

Basho writes two stanzas in succession about a sennyo – in Hiroaki Sato’s words, “a woman who has acquired magical powers, suggesting the legendary world of ancient China.”


The long slender 
figure of a goddess
so gracefully
she wrings out red dye
into the white rapids

 

First he focuses on her slender mature goddess body, then on her hands gracefully wringing out fabric soaked in the red dye akane, madder, into the swift current which carries away all traces of dye. Sato says Basho “painted with words a picture of a Chinese goddess that Utamaro – ukiyoe artist famous for sexual imagery -- might have drawn with a brush” -- yet Basho’s goddess at work can be of any race in any time. His worship of the female, like water, transcends all limitations.

 

Tiny crab
crawling up my leg
clear water

 

On a break from summer hiking to sit with lower legs in the stream, refreshed by a cool breeze, surprised to feel eight legs and two pincers of a tiny hiker on wet flesh, looking at the orange crab shape crawling on leg through the water flowing by -- all is Sensation.

 

Softly, softly
are yellow roses falling?
the rapids roar

 

The verse is a question; Basho cannot see the yellow roses fall from their bush beside the stream, because his eyes are closed in meditation, as he listens for no-sound within the roar of the rapids.

 

Ceaselessly the river flows, yet never the same water,
while in the still pools the shifting foam gathers and is gone,
staying not for a moment.

                                                                                                                   Kamo no Chomei

 

How many moons 
shall young pines be hidden
in your belly

Asking beside the cliff

servant girl no reply
Spring water flows
on the shore, will you stand
against the current?

 

“Will you yield to the hormonal desires urging you to produce more life? 

 

Turning below the hill
I see a waterfall
Where his arrow
will go, the hunter
waves his hand

 

A traveler has freedom to move about, refreshed with the sight of flowing water, to drink from the pool below the falls.  Basho, in a remarkable twist, adds tension to the scene.  The pool also attracts animals and  hunter who aims to shoot one.  Because once a human drinks her, no animals will come for some time, with his hand he warns the traveler away from the pools.  Tension is between the traveler who loves freedom and is refreshed by nature, and the armed hunter who prohibits freedom and kills nature

 

Fresh and green
the tranquility of a rock
that never moves,
Drinking then sleeping
here on this bridge

 

The chilly weather of early spring past, the day warm and comfortable, the plant world green and alive. Basho recognizes that the “tranquility of a rock that never moves” is a drunken– or “stoned” if you prefer -- perception so he gives that perception a location: on a bridge looking down at the stream, focusing on one particular rock that stays still while all that water goes rushing by; he watches for a while, drinks (or tokes) and falls asleep, then wakes up to watch and drink some more.

 

Firefly-viewing
the steersman drunk
it’s hopeless!

 

Our boat is supposed to move quietly through the dark water so as not to frighten the tiny living lights, but the steersmen – and everyone else too – is tipsy and the boat careens about, so not one firefly is seen, but it really doesn’t matter since none of us can stop giggling.

 

The open sea
waves smelling of sake
tonight's moon 

 

Young Basho and his male-bonding group are out on a small boat in Edo Bay to drink and watch the full moon.  The boat rocks about, as does the poet's mind.  Much sake has spilled from the tiny cups, and the strong odor of rice wine mingles with the salty fishy odor of the sea. The rising moon is as round and white 

as a porcelain sake cup being lifted from the dish water after the residue has been washed.  If the moon is a sake cup, imagine how large is the woman doing the dishes. 

 

 

Here are some waters Basho and Sora encountered on their journey to the Deep North:

In the beginning of these journey to the Deep North, Basho experienced:

 

For a while
hidden within waterfall
start of summer

 

And a month later the large fast Mogami River swelled by day after days of summer rains.

 

In the shadow of mountains left and right,
down the Mogami River amidst thick summer growth.
This sort of boat carried rice so is called a “rice-boat.”
White-Thread Falls through the gaps among green leaves,
the Shrine of the Mountain Wizard on the bank facing us,
the water overflowing and our boat in danger.

 

Summer rains –
gathering, rushing
Mogami river
A firefly attachs
to boat post on bankd

 

The rain that fell high in the mountains is now flowing in the river. The upper segment is a commonly used seasonal reference, and lower segment simply the name of the river. So the art of Basho is entirely in the middle segment. Here he combines a powerful verb atsumete, ‘gathering,’ with a powerful adjective hayashi, ‘fast.’ These two dynamic words pile up, “pressing forward” with the intensity of a raging mountain river swollen by day after days of heavy rain. To reproduce the power of Basho’s original, I keep the two words ‘gathering, rushing’ together in the middle segment.

 

SUMMER RAINS was the opening stanza to a renku sequence written by Basho, the guest of honor. The host follows with what appears to be a nature scene, but contains a personal message to Basho: “you could be flying down the river with the wind, but you “attach” here in my house, giving us your light for a while, until you too join the flow down river.”

 

When Basho followed the Mogami River down to Sakata on the Japan Sea coast, it was his first time on a western shore. His birthplace Iga is inland, as is Kyoto where he spent much of his youth; when he lived in Edo (now Tokyo) he was near an eastern shore, and if he climbed a mountain he could see the sun rise from the sea. In Sakata was the first time he could see it sink into the water. The next verse, written as he descended the Mogami, expresses the wonder of this first sight of a western sunset.

 

Burning sun
pouring into the sea
Mogami river

 

Both the river and the sun are pouring into the sea. While the scholars claim Basho was austere and detached, it is important to see how much activity and sensation he crams into one verse. His verses about flowing water are especially vigorous.

 

(from Sora’s Diary, entry for August 26, 1689)

 

The weather was clear and sunny. We left Noh.
At Swift River the Old Man slipped and got his clothes wet.
In a short time we dried them on the riverbank.

 

That’s interesting, Sora. While the clothes were drying did Basho wear other clothes? Or just gambol about in his loincloth? Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn doing laundry in the river.

 

All streams run to the sea, yet the sea is not full

                                                                                                                 Ecclesiastics

 

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it;
but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.
Its thin current slides away,but eternity remains.
I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars.

 

                                                                                                                  Henry David Thoreau

                                                                                                                   Walden

 

In May of 1691 Basho wrote about this two-week stay at the House of Fallen Persimmmons:

 

. ..close to the flowing Katsura River,
    a convenient place for leisure,
    a place where the heart can clear...

 

Basho tells of Sora coming to visit.

 

With the evening sun we rode a boat up the river
past Mount Arashi to the rapids at Tonase.
It began to rain and with evening falling,
we returned to the cottage.

 

In a letter to Ensui on June 6, 1691, Basho says

 

Recently I stayed in Kyorai’s cottage in Saga,
being at peace and eating bamboo shoots. We rode
a boat on the river and lay people treated us to fish.
Morning and evening, I viewed Mount Arashi,
and wondered “how is Mount Fuji?”

 

Mount Arashi is just across the river, easily visible from where Basho stands.  Mount Fuji is hundreds of miles away, but Basho looks across the water, seeking to transcend the barriers of space

 

 

In the next two pair, the co-poet has the vision of water linked with Basho’s image of the Sun

 

Today again
on the Stone to worship
the Rising Sun
White water cascade
washing starch from rice

 

I climb onto a boulder to see the sun emerging from the horizon, and sit quietly, watching, absorbing her clear silent power. Rice which has been milled is coated with starch; before cooking, this must be washed away by moving about in a bowl of water, then pouring out the murky water, again and again until water pours clean. Water, purifies itself through movement and turmoil. The mind purifies itself by remaining still and silently worshipping the divine.

 

 

In rivers, the water you touch is the last of what has past,
and the first of that which comes. So with time present.

                                                                                                                 Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Water is the softest thing, yet penetrates mountains and earth.
                                                          Lao Tzu

 

 

Into a dream
gems of water falling                                                
realm of magic
Sun hits Her forehead
on peak of Mount Fuji

 

The sparkling drops of the waterfall fall from reality into a dream. From this watery vision of magical transformation, Basho shifts gears to an image of the sun rising behind the peak of Mount Fuji, so the magnificent orb seems to emerge from inside the volcano – in the realm of magic. The Sun has a female face, and She bumps her forehead on the jagged peak.

 

Baby duck seems to be
interested in the water
Lake ripples --
waiting for lantern light
to end today

 

Human consciousness can be “interested” in the ever-changing, always-the-same ripples, but does a baby spotted-bill duck have enough brains in that tiny head to feel “intentness, concern, and curiosity” for a phenomena which is not maternal, edible, or dangerous,? What is the nature of interest, how a phenomenon such as ripples attracts attention. Basho continues observing water, but opts for a different focus, one that transcends time from present to the future. Apparently this is Lake Biwa, and tonight will be a lakeside festival. As Basho looks into the daylit ripples, he transcends time but remains in space to see this water sparkle under lantern light – but can a baby duck envision the future. So we compare the consciousness of two species: duck and human.

 

Fishing fire
seen beneath the waves
bullhead choking

 

 

Bullhead are fish, about ten inches long, who live in rivers in mountain valleys, hiding under pebbles. The fire burning on the boat attracts the fish, while its light refracted through the water shows the fish before the fisherman grabs it with a net. The fish is already choking while still underwater; choking with fear of what is to come. Can a fish understand the nature of future time, of coming death?

 

In the foothills of Saigyo’s Valley is a river.
As I watch some women wash the dirt off taro

 

 

Women washing taro
if Saigyo could be here,
would sing the song

 

Taro in Japan reach maturity in September so they nourish the peasants – 80% of the population – through the winter. Here the village women (onna domo, plural) have gathered small various-shaped taro in baskets and taken them down to the river to wash off the dirt while they chat to each other. The round corms fit easily into their small hands as they dip them into flowing water. Either the famous 12th century poet Saigyo sings to the women, or they sing to him, the song “Washing Taro” in which women at home wonder what their absent husbands are doing.

 

Within the waves' undulation
Mount Fugi in the mist 
Inviting folks 
to the low-tide beach
for pickled squid

 

The reflection of the vast mountain moves about with the coming and going of the waves. Basho gives this perception a location, on a beach at low-tide where pools of water remain and also sea creatures lie about waiting to be gathered, and also connections to humanity.  The squid is soaked in vinegar -- like the mountain soaking in the waves -- to make ika namasu, picked squid.  We invite our friends over to share the food and also the double visions of Mount Fuji in the water and in the air. 

 

Basho enjoyed his final spring, of 1694, at home in Fukagawa near the wide Sumida River with numerous tributaries and canals.

 

Up the river
and down that river,
moonlight friends

 

Friends living in different places along the Sumida, are connected by the water, and tonight by the Moon,

for all of us, wherever we are, watch the harvest moon. Willows like water around their roots, so they thrive on river banks, and their interlacing roots hold the banks firm against erosion.


Ki no Tsurayuki wrote this charming watery verse:

 

Into the flowing
pattern of ripples,
green willows
their shadows like threads
seem to be woven

 

This spring was Basho was especially draw to willows, writing six haiku about them in three months, and this part of the lower Sumida River is famous for willows lining the banks.

 

Flirting with
the old river, willow
opens her eyes

 

Kon says, “Spring still shallow, grasses and trees the withered color of desolation, on an old river bank, only the buds of willow trees have opened.” In Japanese “eye” and “bud” have the same pronunciation, so the two meanings occur together in the verse. The way a girl opens her eyes when she is charming a man – such as her father -- is how willow leaf buds open on their branch tips. Of all Basho haiku, this is the most charming.

 

The Moon pulls the waters on Earth in a 12 hour cycle; the sea level rises over several hours to flood the river delta, then falls over several hours to reveal the mud. The Sun also pulls the waters, and when Sun, Moon, and Earth line up at New or Full Moon the combination of solar and lunar gravity produces extra low tides followed by extra highs. The Japanese celebrate the lowest tide of the year (in 1694 March 28) when the entire delta is a vast plain of wet mud and stranded shell life. (Even today on large rivers near the sea at low tide you will see many Japanese in rubber boots gathering free food.

 

Green Willow
reaches down to mud
of low tide

 

A willow tree on the riverbank has some branches ending underwater, but now at low tide, these reach into the mud – however in the supernatural legend Green Willow told by Lafcadio Hearn in his collection Kwaidan, this is the name of a slender maiden: she bends down to gather shells and other edibles from the mud.

 

To view blossoms
boat slowly poles along
willows on the bank

 

We are on our way to see cherry blossoms at some special place, but the boat moves so slowly, the day is so pleasant and tranquil, the willows on the bank so green and leafy, that no one in hurry to get there. Calmly the pole pushes against the river bottom to keep the boat moving slowly and peacefully. The tranquility in the verse is especially poignant because this is Basho’s farewell to the Sumida River system where he has lived for two decades..

 

In summer of 1694, Basho took his grandnephew Jirobei on a journey west to Iga, Zeze, and Kyoto.

Before leaving, he described to his Edo followers his new poetic ideal of Lightness:

 

Now in my thoughts the form of poetry is
as looking into a shallow stream over sand,
with Lightness both in the body of the verse
as well as in the heart’s connection.

 

They arrive in Shimada on the east bank of the Oi, the largest river that must be crossed on the road between Edo and Kyoto. There is no bridge, no ferry, and it is illegal to keep any sort of boat at this crossing – because the shogunate does not want an invading force to steal those boats and use them. There is however a river crossing service offering four ways to go: in a covered palanquin carried on the shoulders of four men, on a simple platform carried the same way, on horseback, or carried piggyback by a strong man. Fees vary accordingly. In a letter to Sora, dated July 13:

 

The evening of June 7th, Shimada not yet dark,
I thought we could cross the Oi River immediately,
but heard from Magobei that lodgings would be
impossible in Kanaya because the entourage
of Lord Matsudaira of Awaji was stopping there,
so certainly we should stay with him.

 

An important daimyo from the Matsudaira clan, Tokugawa Ieyasu’s paternal family – along with his entourage of a thousand samurai plus servants and others -- is on their way to Edo for their biennual “attendance” on the Shogun, and have filled all the inns in Kanaya on the west bank.

 

Because Magobei manages the river crossing service,
he said “somehow I will get you across this river,”
but the rain that night produced the greatest flood of the year,
so we had to spend three nights in Shimada.

 

Summer rains
blow down those clouds
Oi River

 

On June 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.

 

Magobei’s people know how to rig a horse so the saddle will not slip off the wet back. In addition to the usual chest and girth straps there is one extra, under the tail (which I am told does not interfere with defecation.) From Shimada Basho and Jirobei traveled to Nagoya, Iga, Zeze and on to Kyorai’s cottage in Saga. Here beside the River a he saw the the purity of moonlight on flowing water:

 

River Katsura
no dust in the ripples
summer moon

 

From Saga Basho went to Zeze on the shore of Lake Biwa:

 

Lake Ripples
and the wind’s fragrance
one rhythm

 

He went on traveling until mid-November when his chronic bowel disorder brought him to his deathbed. About midnight of November 24th: Basho awoke from sleep to dictate a haiku about dreams wandering on a withered field, an expression of that desolate loneliness favored by literary scholars. Basho then spoke to Shiko:

 

As the years passed by to half a century.
asleep I hovered among morning clouds
and evening dusk, awake I was astonished
at voices of mountain streams and wild birds

 

Basho fell asleep. When he woke the next day, as Shiko tells it:

 

After taking his medicine Basho turns to me and says,
“Do you remember this summer, when I was
in Saga, that verse about the Katsura River?”

 

Basho told Shiko to revise that verse to the following which was actually Basho’s final haiku:

 

Clear cascade
into the ripples fall
green pine needles

 

The pine needles fall into the rushing water, swirl about, and rush away leaving no traces of their existence, no possibility of ever being seen gain. The flow never returns and what is gone is gone forever. So Basho’s final poem of Basho was NOT the famous verse about dreams wandering about a withered field, but rather this ode to flowing water and living green activity .

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com

 






<< Mount Fuji (G-03) (G-05) On a Journey >>


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