Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY -- Basho Amazes Me! How About You?
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention
with praise to women,
children, and teenagers

Hundreds upon hundreds of
Basho works (mostly renku)
about women, children,
teenagers, friendship,
compassion, love.

These are resources we can
use to better understand
ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial
power of the feminine
emanating from
Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover his
"gentleness and humanity."

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages
of Basho material, to edit
and improve the material,
to receive 100% of royalties,
to spread Basho’s wisdom
worldwide and preserve
for future generations.

Quotations from Prose


Days and months are guests
passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass
through it yourself.
Some poets have made
no effort to pass through,
merely counting things and
trying to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one
as an expression of the
same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

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


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com

 



Home  >  Topics  >  Women in Basho  >  L-17


Women in Basho Prose and Letters

俳文と手紙

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

So far in Women in Basho we have explored 183 renku and 42 haiku of Basho’s poetic attention to women. In this article we continue exploring in haibun  and in letters to and about women.

 

        From Basho's Introduction to Kikaku's poetry anthology, 1683


Long ago the face of Lady Seishi hiding in her sleeves
along with Little Murasaki cast in gold,
then within bedrooms of imperial consorts
ivy hangs from the clothes hangers,
while in the lower classes, daughter
raised in a cocoon along with her mother,
bride fighting in rage against mother-in-law.

 

 

From Journal of a Withered Field, of 1684

 

Mid-October back in my hometown
the ‘forgetting grasses’ outside my mother’s room
have withered and not a trace remains.
Everything changes to the past.
From the same belly sidelocks white,
eyebrows starting to wrinkle, all we can say is “Still alive.”
Without a word my brother opens an amulet case.
“Pray to this lock of mother’s white hair.
Like the child returning to Urashima with a jeweled box,
your eyebrows are white too.” For a while we cried.

 

Held in hand
to melt in my tears
hot autumn frost

 

From a letter to his brother, between 1685 and 1688

 

… one, I am most grateful to older sister’s kindness,
and two, cannot forget our mother’s heart of
“Great Compassion for Great Sadness”

 

This last phrase is associated with Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. 

 

Basho arrives in Iga in January, 1688 to be with his family for New Years


If my father and mother could be here,
of the love we felt long ago so sadly
only memories remain in excess.

 

My native place
over navel cord I weep
end of the year

 

Basho scholar Kon Eizo reminds us that this navel cord is

“the physical remains of Basho’s connection to his mother.”

 

                        Letter to Sampu,

 

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.

 

From Letter to Ensui, May 24, 1688

 

 

On May 11th we went to the thatched hut
of Ima in Takenouchi. The water jug
in which the eel appeared is still there.
She served us tea and sake on straw mats.
This guy Mangiku wanted to sell his winter robe
then presented the money to Ima as we left.
What is interesting and funny is indeed transient play,
To see that hidden within Ima made me count my sins.
Mangiku wept for a while and could not settle down.

 

 

In summer of 1688, overlooking the beach where the great battle of Ichinotani occurred 500 years before:


From Bell-Hanging Pine, gazing down below,
I see the mansion of the Emperor.
The chaos of that era, the clamor of that day
images gather floating across my mind:
Empress Dowager reverently hugging the Infant,
the Royal Mother’s legs catching in her royal skirt,
all the noble folk tumble onto the cabin boat,
court ladies run back and forth with precious items,
lutes and harps wrapped in cushions and futons
are thrown onto the boat,
delicacies for the Emperor spill to become food for fish,
vanity boxes scatter like seaweed discarded by divers.
A thousand years of sadness linger on this shore
even in the sound of waves breaking.

 

In the battle thousands of men killed each other, but Basho has eyes in his mind for the women struggling to preserve as much of their way of life as possible.

 

I hear that Chine has given up her selfhood,
so from Mino I send these words to the home of Kyorai.


Now the houserobe
of the one who is gone—
airing in the heat

 

             Letter 38 to Ranran, February 16, 1689

 

I am grateful for your letter, for the barrel of
takuan radish sent from your honorable inner room;
for every favor and the heart attached, thank you.

 

From his travel journal A Narrow Path in the Heartlands about this journey to the Deep North in 1689:


We went to visit the Cauldron of Eight Islands.
My travelling companion Sora says,
“This shrine belongs to Tree Blossom Princess
who also has a shrine on Mount Fuji.
She entered a doorless chamber
and set fire to herself to prove
she had been faithful to her pledge,
and so gave birth to Gods-Born-From-Fire
which is why this place is called
“Caldron” of Eight Islands.

 

 

Two little ones follow in the footsteps of the horse,
one a tiny princess who says her name is Kasane,
an unfamiliar name but a gentle one

 

 

Nearby, in an old temple, remain the tombstones
of one family. Among them, the stones marked
for the wives of two brothers are especially pathetic.
Although they were women, so the fame of their
sturdy diligence shall be heard with awe in this world,
we shed tears on our sleeves.

 

At the Bay of Matsushima

 

Islands beyond count, towering like fingers to heaven
or lying flat on their bellies across the waves
some pile up in double layers or fold in triple,
branching right or stretching left some carry behind,
some hug in front, beloved children or grandchildren.
The pines are deep green and so bent by the waves
their crookedness seeming to be inherent --
the scene as a beautiful women adorns her face.

 

Hearing the voices of two indentured prostitutes at an inn west of Niigata:

 

As I pull in my pillow to go to sleep,
from the next room to the front
I hear two young female voices.
An older man joins in and from their conversation
it seems they are play-women from Niigata
on a pilgrimage to the Ise Shrine.

The man came as far as this barrier
to see them off and will return tomorrow
so while writing letters for him to take back
they speak of this fleeting existence:
“As white waves strike the shore drifting along,
in the world of prostitution reduced to misery,
our vows inconstant, how did our everyday karma
become so wretched?” I hear entering sleep.
The next morning as we start out, they approach.
“The safe way unknown, road we travel is gloomy,
the uncertainty makes us sad…
May we follow in your esteemed footsteps,
appearing and disappearing?
By your robes, we see your holiness.
Would you share the Blessings of the Compassionate One
and tie the bond that brings us into Buddhism?”
they ask with tears falling.

With pity for them, I reply,
“we must visit too many places.”
Just follow the way people go.
Certainly you will be under the Gods’ protection.”
So we abandoned them, the pathos unceasing.

 

 

In Fukui looking for an old friend:

 

Enticed into a hidden corner of town, I find a dubious shack
grown over with clinging vines and gourds, cockscomb and
broom trees blocking the door. “Yeah, in here, for sure.”
When I knock on the gate a forlorn old lady emerges.
“From where hast thou come, pious monk,
on thy pilgrimage? The master hath gone
to visit someone in the neighborhood.
If thou hast business, call on him there.”
I figure this must be his wife; as if in that tale of long ago.

 

Near the very end of his journal A Narrow Path in the HeartlandsBasho describes his ideal for humanity in words that women may appreciate:


All the more joyful, all the more caring.

 

The journey past, Basho travels on:

 

In the realm of Ise I am able to stay at Iugen’s house.
His wife, her heart one with his, sees to everything
faithfully, soothing my heart after my long journey.
The wife of Lord General Akechi cut off and sold
her long tresses to provide funds for a banquet.
Such devotion comes to mind now

Moon be sad -
of the wife of Akechi
let us speak

 

The haibun Blessing unto Kasane

 

During my pilgrimage to the Deep North,
in one of the villages there was a little girl
who looked no more than five years old.
She was so small and indescribably charming
that I asked her name and she said Kasane.
What an interesting name!
In Kyoto rarely is it heard
so I wonder how has it passed down
and what is that “layers, again and again”?
“If I had a child this name she would receive”
I said in jest to my traveling companion
and now, unexpectedly, through an acquaintance
I have been called on to be Name-giving Parent.

 

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

 

 

                       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.

 

                         Lettter 85 to Sora, October 13:

Basho’s nephew Toin lived with a woman – later known as Jutei – and her son Jirobei and two daughters, Masa and Ofu. In autumn of 1690, Basho wrote to Sora who lived nearby:

 

Tell them that between parent and child,
brother and sister, there should be no discord.
from letter to Kyokusui, December 14, 1690
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.

 

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.Tomiemon’s wife gave birth normally,
both mother and children without misfortune,
and the old mother’s joy boundless.

 

                        Letter to Uko, late October, 1690

 

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

 

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

 

                                             This is to you
                                                                Basho

 

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

 

Basho got the kid’s name wrong. Uko’s daughter is Sai.

“Yoshi” is short for Basho’s youngest sister Oyoshi, now about 40.

 

                               Letter to Chigetsu, New Years of 1691

 

Your daughter-in-law always, always
breaking her bones till it hurts to see her.
and so we should feel gratitude.
I hope you will be very, very aware of this.

 

Without Abigail Adams to remind him, Basho remembers the ladies.

 

            Letter to Ensui, June 6, 1691

 

I did some sightseeing and returned home,
and that was when I realized my gratitude
for your wife’s courtesy when I visited your home.        

                         

                         From the Saga Diary, May 17, 1691

 

The nun Uko arrives for a festival in North Saga.
Kyorai also came out from Kyoto.
Kyorai’s brother’s wife sent us cakes and side dishes.

Tonight Uko and husband stay over and with five people
lying up and down in one mosquito net
even though it is night we cannot sleep
so after midnight we each come out from the net,
bring out the day’s cakes and sake cups,
then till the approach of dawn our talk grows light. . .
With daylight Uko and Boncho went back to Kyoto
while Kyorai stayed on.

 

                             From letter to Uko, October 3, 1691

 

With your letter came the cushion you made for my hips
and sent to me from the intention of your heart,
not from a shallow place within you, and so I am grateful.
Now as we wrap chrysanthemums in cotton:

 

In the first frost
flowers start to feel cold,
my hip cushion

 

When finally I can go to Kyoto I will thank you more.

I would like to think Sai-chan is becoming obedient.

 

p.s.      For the letter you sent to Chigetsu
           you have made me grateful.
           Gentle your heart’s intention,
           returning again and again.
            Chigetsu also knows that feeling.

 

Basho recognizes and affirms the solidarity between these two women.

 

 

                   Letter 147 to Hanzaemon, January 3, 1693

 

For now I will send no word to Hisai.
To inform would cause worry and benefit no one.
No matter what happens, I am in no hurry to tell her.
Please understand that I do not send you
a letter every time (his condition changes).
Please read the above as written to Oyoshi.

 

 

                            Letter 184 to Kyokusui February 23

 

Thank you for your New Year’s letter.
I treasure the knowledge that your wife and children
welcome the New Year without misfortune
That was a meager vegetable-mochi soup
I served you. This year at your house
the uba fed you so much you got sick of it.
p.s. Takesuke becoming a big boy,
his little sister I have yet to meet
I long to see them all.

 

                          Letter to Uko, February 23, 1693

 

You are kind to say everything reminds you of me;
I too awake and asleep have only memories of you.
I can never forget how you cared for me
for such a long time.

 

As for the two haiku you sent me, they do make the feeling
enter. I am glad to see your talent has not declined.
Of the two, the verse FIELD IN SPRING made me see
an image of the awful rash on your thin hands and legs.
From your verse in Monkey‘s Raincoat people feel attracted.
They ask “‘What sort of beauty is she? Is she ladylike?”
I reply, “She is not beautiful and she is not ladylike.
She became a nun only by the compassion in her heart.”
So discipline your heart to more and more compassion.
If Boncho can manage would be good, one step in your favor.
Impermanence so swift. And again.

 

                         From a haibun at the end of summer 1693

 

Beneath plum blossoms on the dark mountain
unknown to people, unexpectedly
we may be stained by the fragrance.
On a hill of deep longing,
with no one to guard the gate,
somehow indiscretions occur.
Many have wet their sleeves on a pillow of waves
with a mermaid, selling home and ruining life…

 

 Basho did what he could to help the widow Jutei. In summer of 1694 he took Jirobei on a journey, and allowed the mother and two daughters to move into his house.


From a letter to Sora, June 8, 1690

 

I hope Jutei’s move went well,
though I know you had no part in it,
please give her my best regards.

 

                                  Letter to Ihei, July 13, 1694

 

On July 8th in Kamo we stayed one night at your house.
I met your mother and Genza and your older sister.
Your Honorable Bag is without misfortune,
however as she has grown older than she was four years ago
her hearing has gotten worse. With your sister,
the two of them, pleading only for ‘dear Ihei’,
imploring again and again how good it would be to see you,
I had some difficulty.

 

                                    From Letter to Sampu, July 13, 1694

 

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.

 

 

After Toin died, Basho did what he could to help the struggling family. In summer of 1694 he took Jirobei on a journey so the mother and two daughters could move into his house.Letter to Ihei, July 23, 1694

 

In this season Rihei has no work in his craft
so you should take care he at least does not get annoyed. And would you do the same for Jutei?
And Ofu, with summer coming on,
is she without misfortune? Please write
and tell me the details of her condition

 

Receiving a letter from Ihei telling the death of Jutei, Basho writes back on July 29, 1694


Jutei was a person without happiness
and Masa and Ofu the same unhappiness;
to express my thoughts is difficult…
Because I had a hunch this might happen
I asked you to take care of her
in case of a mysterious turn of fate.
Everything, yes everything,
is in the world of dream and illusion.
In one word, it has no logic.

 

        Letter to Chigetsu, October 3, thanking her for food she and her servants prepared and sent to Basho          for his harvest moon party

 

If Tosuke and Benshiro are without misfortune, this brings me joy.
Give my special thanks to Misses Oseki and Oichi.
My brother Hanzaemon said with joy “This much!”
He sends his appreciation upon my words.

 

 

From a letter to Sampu, October 28th, 1694

 

So 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.

 

P.s. to Letter to Hanzaemon, November 10th 

 

I humbly request your care for Grandma and Ohyoshi.

 

 

 

White chrysanthemum
No speck of dust rises
To meet the eyes

 

 

“This is a verse about the beauty of Sonome’s elegance.
Because I knew that today’s one meeting
would be the remnant of a lifetime,
I thought to watch for a vision in this hour."

 

Ten days later, on November 25, 1694, Basho recalled a haiku he wrote this past summer:

 

River Katsura 
no dust in the ripples
summer moon

 

About this haiku, Basho said, 

 

“This being indistinguishable from the dust
on the white chrysanthemum of Madame Sonome,
and thinking that this too is the deep-rooted illusion
of what is gone, I change the verse to:

 

Clear cascade
into the ripples fall 
green pine needles

 

Basho says he wrote this final haiku to be distinguishable from the verse he wrote about Sonome, WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM –however CLEAR CASCADE has an interesting resemblance to the renku stanza Sonome wrote six years ago


Pine needles are falling
in the month of March

 

Because pine needles falling have not been the topic in any ancient poems, the image evokes nothing in the Japanese poetic imagination, and as the BRZ says, has no elegance. Basho, in CLEAR CASDADE, gives elegance to Sonome’s image by making the needles green and having them fall into flowing water

 

From his final letter to his older brother, November 26, 1694

 

Grandma and Oyoshi, their power shall decline.

 

From his Will, November 26, 1694

 

The two persons remaining have lost their direction
and must be upset. Please consult with Old Kosai
and others to make a proper decision for them.

 

Message to Jokushi:

 

Enjoy till the end your wife’s unchanging kindness.

 

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com






<< Women in Basho: 43 Haiku B (L-16 ) (M-01) After Having Measles >>


The Three Thirds of Basho

 

 

I plead for your help in finding a person or group to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material, to edit and improve the presentation, to receive all royalties from sales, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide and preserve for future generations.

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com
Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY -- Basho Amazes Me! How About You?
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention
with praise to women,
children, and teenagers

Hundreds upon hundreds of
Basho works (mostly renku)
about women, children,
teenagers, friendship,
compassion, love.

These are resources we can
use to better understand
ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial
power of the feminine
emanating from
Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover his
"gentleness and humanity."

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages
of Basho material, to edit
and improve the material,
to receive 100% of royalties,
to spread Basho’s wisdom
worldwide and preserve
for future generations.

Quotations from Prose


Days and months are guests
passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass
through it yourself.
Some poets have made
no effort to pass through,
merely counting things and
trying to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one
as an expression of the
same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

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


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com