Basho's thoughts on...
• Women in Basho
• 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
• 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  >  Letters Year by Year  >  G-13


Letters of 1690:

8 Letters from Basho

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

His journey to the Deep North now past, Basho spends 1690 at leisure in Iga and around Kyoto, and in his leisure writes an amazing 44 letters still extant. 

 

                          Letter 57 to Sampu, April 18,

 

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.

 

Under the trees
soup, vinegar salad, and
blossoms hurray!

 

The scene the same in Basho’s time as in ours. The cold of early spring has passed, but there is still a chill in the air. Under a canopy of pinkish white blossoms, on ground scattered with petals, we lay out our favorite foods. The soup is brought to the picnic in an iron pot and heated over a fire. Namasu is raw vegetables or fish marinated in vinegar, popular at celebrations -- so the verse also contains the work of women preparing the food and cleaning up afterward. Amidst the excited chatter of girls and women in their blossom kimono, the songs and laughter of relatives and friends, some more petals have fallen on the food.

 

At the time of this verse, the Master said,

“As I gained some feeling for the rhythm
in this verse on blossom-viewing, I made Lightness.”

 

To those who love Western poetry, Basho’s verses of Lightness will seem so simple and Light they feel like nothing – but they leave the reader feeling good -- as opposed to Heaviness which relies on heavy word associations and allegory to make the reader feel sad. Even without tragedy or sensationalism or negativity, however, Basho reaches into the human heart. In this verse, he reaches through taste sensations – soup which could be so many possibilities and namasu which is raw vegetables marinated in vinegar. The cherry blossoms scatter onto these two taste images; a liquid food and the taste of vinegar.

 

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

 

Kyokusui’s younger brother Dosui and Basho share an enthusiasm for the ancient Chinese sage Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) famous for his story of waking up from dreaming he was a butterfly to wonder whether if actually he was a butterfly dreaming of being Chuang-Tzu.

                   
                      Letter 60 to Dosui, May 18

 

Your kindness and spirit, without delay, shame, or fear;
a conversation with you about the Great Way of Nature,
truly nowhere else can I be at such peace.

 

You the butterfly
and I, Chuang-Tzu’s
heart of dreams

 

The “Great Way of Nature” is the Taoism of Chuang Tzu. Kon elaborates: “You and I are one in our attraction to Chuang Tzu. We can give up all notions of distinction between us.”

 

                    Letter 62 to Shiken and Sensen, May 18

 

Look at the haiku I wrote for New Years

Who is that man
covered by a straw mat
glory of spring

 

It is not much of a poem.

 

Not very impressive from a literary standpoint, not very fashionable . this “sketch” of a beggar asleep outdoors under a straw mat in the freezing cold New Year’s weather. If not for fortune, I could be him. This man, who most people ignore or wish to ignore, has an identity, a humanity, in which Basho sees the glory of spring.

 

According to the talents you have, make the verse work from your heart,
whether it be linked verse or haiku,
neither heavy nor merely spinning about

 

WHO IS THAT MAN? goes straight to its human and sociological meaning; it does not “spin about” aimlessly yet is not “heavy”; it does not shove that meaning at the reader’s face.

 

In this letter we meet the infant Takesuke, Kyokusui’s first son and heir to the household, and also the family uba,        a woman hired to breastfed Takesuke and then stay on with the family as babysitter.

               
In summer of 1690, the samurai Kyokusu who lived in Zeze, was among the entourage of the Lord of Zeze in attendence on the Shogun; they remained in Edo throughout the next year and into the spring of 1692. While Kyokosui is in Edo, he gave Basho use of the Hut of Unreal Dwelling, an old cottage in the hills above Zeze where Kyokusui’s uncle lived until his death eight years ago. Basho stayed here this summer and autumn as he described in his well-known haibun At the Hut of Unreal Dwelling. In letters to Kyokusui he describes other aspects of being in Zeze.
Letter 71 to Kyokusui August 1, 1690

 

Takesuke day by day getting bigger,
endowed with such intelligence
and in good health and mood because your wife,
the uba, and others there in your absence
behave more cheerfully than he,
so Takesuke shows no signs of loneliness.
I am glad to have seen this.

 

A remarkably complete developmental profile on the infant:

1) gaining weight, 2) shows intelligence, 3) health and mood good,

4) father absent, but 5) child lives in stable, extended family of women devoted to his care.

6) They remain cheerful even when he is sad (because papa is away) so they cheer him up and

7) Takesuke “shows no signs of loneliness”.

 

Doctor Basho looks equally at the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of child development –

and sends his observations to the father to help him feel better in his absence from his son.

 

Basho pays attention to children in ordinary daily life, and furthermore he pays attention to people caring for children.

Where else in old-time literature do we see anyone care for an infant without that one dying or suffering? Juliet’s uba, after she tells of weaning three-year-old Juliet, goes on… and on… and on with a story of the day when baby Juliet:

 

“did break her brow… and cried bitterly…
And then my husband--God be with his soul!
A' was a merry man -- took up the child:
'Yea,' quoth he, 'dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule?' and, by my holidame,
The pretty wretch left crying and said 'Ay'…

 

Shakespeare (in 1595) observes that an infant may not need to cry - if distracted, he or she will stop and even become happy. Read Basho’s letter along with the Nurse’s account: they say exactly the same thing! When the infant is in a bad way, adults act cheerfully to lift the child’s spirit up.


Back in the wild, after you left, since I’ll be in Otsu for a while,
I plugged up the badger hole, etc.
and stayed in the cottage for three or four days.
                                 
 Letter 81 to Kyokusui, October 10, 1690

 

In this letter Basho offers this haiku as an example of his new style of Lightness which he declared this spring (see Letter 57 to Sampu).


Even wild boars
blown along by the
blasting wind

 

A verse such as this rips off the old huskbut on a one-lane road
it is difficult for a new style to emerge;
people see only the words which are vulgar
and give rise to a clamor:
they “smell like sake” or “stink like tofu” 
 is the connection they make.

 

People have one-track minds with no lane for a new style to pass. They do not appreciate a verse because, instead of seeing and hearing the words for what they mean in this particular context, they respond to them within some old context.

 

The reader may think EVEN WILD BOARS is “vulgar” because the animal is such a wild, ferocious beast – however the verse is not really about wild boars. It rather expresses the human experience of being in a furious autumn typhoon: as the savage winds blast my body, as if to blow me away, I fantasize a wild boar in the same experience. This imaginary wild boar brings me a chuckle as I struggle against the wind – and so the verse is one of Lightness.

 

A monk of wisdom and discernment once said,
“Raw Zen, Raw Buddhism is the realm of demons”

 

By lightning
unenlightened, that
one’s nobility

 

Sudden enlightenment which comes like a flash of silent lightning, is “raw Zen.” To be enlightened for a moment is useless. Basho says true enlightenment can only come from experience through time -- and he says this again in letter 185 to Dosui.The two letters to Dosui (#s 60 and 185) and this letter to Kyokusui are three places where we can learn not what modern authors say Basho thought about Zen, but rather what he actually thought.

 

 Meanwhile he was also concerned with events in his neighborhood in Fukagawa. Two letters from this year gives us glimpses of his nephew Toin who lives near Basho’s hut with his “wife” (probably without formal marriage) and three children, a boy Jirobei, believed to be about 11, and two girls Masa and Ofu, 9 and 7.   

 

                                                  Lettter 85 to Sora, October 13:

 

I am greatly relieved to hear that Toin is managing.
Even if he cannot do so well, so long as he
does not fall over, there is merit in that.
remind him not to be negligent…

 

Shoko gets the feeling that Toin has some degree of disability, Even without modern psychological terms, Basho describes his nephew’s problems with considerable accuracy. The slight mention of Toin in letter 57 to Sampu, and this somewhat more detailed yet still vague statement are the only words about Toin in Basho’s letters before he became sick in 1693. This absence of evidence of Toin’s existence in Edo is itself evidence that Toin was a fugitive hiding out in the vast population of the Shogun’s Capital.

 

Tell them that between parent and child,
brother and sister, there should be no discord.

 

Basho leaves us a hint that Toin lived together with a woman and children. Her name is unknown to us, but after Toin dies, she will take the Buddhist name Jutei. We can imagine why, after Jutei’s death, Basho wrote that she was “a person without happiness” and her daughters had “the same unhappiness.”

 

I hear that Soha is feeling better, and even commutes to Shinagawa.
I know he will get better. I have no doubt that in life all things even out.
The business with Rotsu, this, that, whatever, cannot be put into words.

 

A tea canister disappeared from a house where poets had gathered, and blame fell on Rotsu.

 

He is widely said by my followers in all provinces
to have superb talent, but now he has closed up
and no one is interested any longer. I am glad the tea canister has reappeared, But I have one thing to say:
all meeting or communicating with him is extinguished.

 

The canister was found and Rotsu exonerated, but apparently hard feelings lingered from the incident.

(see commentary to letter 159 to Uko).

 

               Letter 89 to Uko, late October, 1690

 

Recently Old Boncho and Kyorai came to visit.
Although it must have been a bother to them,
for so long we lingered, unable to part,
so you shall realize how unlimited was our joy.

 

Once a man reaches forty, ro, “old,” is added to his name.  Basho says that keeping company with him is a duty Boncho and Kyorai have taken on, so a bother to them. Of course he doesn’t really think this; he just says so for appearance (tatemae). How the Japanese love to prolong farewells. It is interesting how often the word 'joy' (yorokobi) appears in Basho's writing.


This winter allow me to hide myself deep
in the mountains, but when Spring comes
again and again I shall be in your eyes.

 

To ‘hide myself in the mountains’ means to stay in Iga – not really in the mountains but in isolation, far from the well-traveled road to Kyoto where Uko lives. “Be in your eyes” is a Japanese idiom, but works in English.

 

I can hardly forget your long-standing
benevolence, nor can I say enough about it.
Thanks to the clothing you made for me,
I shall not be cold, so you need not worry about me.
Let us wait, without misfortune, for Spring.

 

Yasui Masahiro says,

Basho’s letters to women contain mostly short words in which we see a gentleness and humanity (yasashisa to ningenmi) not found in his letters to men. We feel he does not 'lift his head' -- be arrogant and over- bearing – to  a woman. He makes an impression with simple direct expressions. Take up any Basho letter to a woman and be  touched by his unique charm.

 

Basho spent 18 days this summer in Kyoto and stayed at Uko and Boncho’s house.

The following tanka appears in this letter to Uko.

 

Each evening
kettle surely boiling,
how I miss
those three pillows in
the room where we slept

 

Yoi yoi wa kama tagiruran ne-dokoro
mitsu no makura mo koshikare keri

                                                                                                    Basho

 

Basho recalls the tea ceremony Uko performed for her guest. Kon elaborates Basho’s meaning in the first two lines:    “as I think of the kettle boiling in your tea cottage, I imagine your peaceful, settled lifestyle” -- a lifestyle so serene   that each evening she has the time and heart to make tea in the formal meditative Way of Tea.

 

In a Japanese home of refinement, the houseguest never puts out his or her own futon and pillow;

the wife of the house always performs that role while the guest is in the bath. Because Japanese line things up in parallel as an expression of respect, and because Basho was her teacher and a guest in her house, we can assume that Uko diligently lined the futons and pillows up in three even vertical columns -- like the three strokes of the Chinese character for ‘river,’ 川, which suggest a baby nestled between mommy and daddy, receiving warmth and security from both sides. In the tanka the heat of “kettle boiling” flows into the warmth in Basho’s memory of “those three pillows.”


He wrote two tanka in 1690, both focusing on woman’s life. SPRING PASSES BY, a personal message to a newborn girl, encapsulates the eternal passage of the female from birth to old age and from generation to generation. EACH EVENING instead focuses on one particular woman, praising her hospitality, her tea ceremony, the sleeping arrangements she made for her guest. In the haibun IN THE REALM OF ISE, Basho speaks of the woman of the house with appreciation for her skill and care in providing comfortable lodgings to a tired traveler. His message is similar in EACH EVENING. He wrote many haiku praising the splendor of Kyoto’s temples and shrines, as well as yearning for Kyoto long ago, however here Basho praises the living humanity in Kyoto, the graceful serenity of his hostess, the intimacy of their friendship.

 

Two years before, at the end of 1688, Uko wrote this haiku:

With no child,
of what shall I think?
the year ends

 

She sketches the unsettled feeling of a woman whose hormones are seeking pregnancy; in 1689 they won. (Boncho did it!) So by the time of this letter, autumn of 1690, her daughter must be near her first birthday (in the Western sense. The Japanese did not “have birthdays” -- everybody just became one year older on New Year’s Day. Simple.

 

p.s.    May you raise Tei-chan without misfortune.
         Yoshi from far away also says this to you.

 

Basho politely addresses the infant as Tei dono -- “Little Miss Tei”. However he got the kid’s name wrong. Uko’s daughter is Sai. ‘Yoshi’ is short for Oyoshi, Basho’s little sister, now about 40. When Basho was in Iga at his house, Oyoshi asked him to take her best wishes to Uko and the baby; here Basho kindly delivers them. There are three persons in this postscript, all female. Basho pays attention to the energy passing from one female to another. Basho writes ‘like a woman’, with consciousness of women, children, and personal relationships.

 

            Letter 95 to Kyokusui, December 14

 

This is believed by many scholars to be a fake, written by someone else, however Kon considers it genuine, so includes in his anthology. On his authority, I translate about one-fifth of the whole letter.

 

Basho, still in Zeze, again portrays the infant in a way to please and reassure the concerned father whose job takes him far away.

 

Here in Zeze, Master Takesuke growing up,
often laughing, a sturdy lad, as sturdy as
he can be in his second year of life.
And Osome and the uba are without misfortune.

 

Basho’s praise for one-year-old Takesuke pleases Kyokusui because his young heir is the next generation, the next layer, of Kyokusui. The father is a samurai, but nowadays there is no fighting, and samurai have become government administrators. Kyokusui has little opportunity to be manly, and his son is growing up without father present. Basho reaches inside Kyokusui’s heart to reassure him that his son is showing manly traits, becoming a takumashii (strong, sturdy, vigorous) little samurai who can also laugh – just like Dad.

 

The package marked “Toin ”should be taken
to the little nuns of my retainer of long ago.
While I know this is a bother,
if you would have Seiroku deliver it –-
Kyobashi, Yumi block, to Ishimaru Kento –
it will be received with gratitude.

 

In 1676 Toin, age 15, accompanied his uncle to Edo and so could be called Basho’s “retainer of long ago.” When Basho was in Kyoto he, like everyone else, bought souvenirs for the folks at home, his grandnieces Masa and Ofu whom he calls “little nuns” as a term of affection. Basho knows that Kyokusui is too busy to deliver the package himself, so he asks him to have his personal servant Seiroku take it to Toin’s workplace in Kyobashi, Yumi-block (now Ginza 2-chome, a few blocks east of Tokyo station), a prosperous and bustling shopping area (as it is today). Kon notes that a registry of all people working in this area at this time shows no one named Ishimaru Kento.

 

What is going on here? Why can’t the package be sent directly to Toin? Why is Toin going by an assumed name at his workplace? “Ishimaru Kento” is it?  The ‘to’ in Kento is the same character for “peach” we find in Toin, and also in Tosei, Basho’s former poetry name before he settled on Basho. Hopefully no one -- especially no one from Iga, ninja capital of Japan!! -- will notice any of this. Frankly, it does not seem like a very smart alias.


We even know the address where Toin worked, and we see that “Ishimaru Kento” lives with “little nuns” who are apparently Jutei’s daughters Masu and Ofu; the son Jirobei is not mentioned here. From this letter we see, vaguely but still clearly, that Toin and Jutei were 1) a couple and 2) fugitives.

(Of course there is no evidence of this. What do you expect?)

 

But even in a family of fugitives, little girls like to get presents from far away, especially presents from their granduncle. Tomiemon’s wife gave birth normally, both mother and children without misfortune, and the old mother’s joy boundless. Basho pays enough attention to his friend’s servant’s wife, newborn and aged mother to mention them in a letter. He manages to get all three generations into the image, focusing on the female.

 

Basho’s several hundred poems about women children, friendship, love, and compassion are, 

I believe, the most pro-female, child-centered,and life-affirming works in world literature.

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 throughout the world and preserve for future generations


                         basho4now@gmail.com

 






<< Basho Letters of 1688 – 89 (G-12) (G-14) Letters of 1691 >>


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...
• Women in Basho
• 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
• 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