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


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover Basho's
gentleness and humanity.

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

Quotations from Basho Prose


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



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


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


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



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


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


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


"Link verses the way
children play."


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


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

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


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



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


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


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


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

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


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


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


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



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com

 



Home  >  Topics  >  Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句  >  K-13


Basho Renku Section 3 B

芭蕉連句全注解、三冊から連句 From volume 3 of the Basho Renku Zenchuukai

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

Basho told Doho:

Make renku ride the Energy.
If you chime in incorrectly, you ruin the rhythm.

 

俳諧は気に乗せてすべし

相槌あしく拍子をそこなう

Haikai wa ki ni nosete subeshi

Aizuchi ashiku hyoushi o sokonau

 

Basho illustrates with each following stanza how to ride the energy of the previous stanza without ruining the rhythm.

 

Gems of water
falling into a dream
realm of magic

Sun bumps Her forehead 3: 24
on peak of Mount Fuji

 

The water is falling into a dream, or the observer is falling into a dream, because of the magic in this realm.

The Sun Goddess Amaterasu has a female face, and as she rises behind the ultimate mountain of Japan, She bumps her forehead on the jagged peak. Ouch!

 

From his seclusion 3: 28
he comes to peak in on
his wife and kids

With one song in his ears
the play quarters linger

 

He abandoned his family long ago to join the fun and games in the pleasure-quarters; he no longer goes there, but has not returned to them. Instead he stays in seclusion, without responsibility for anyone but himself. Sometimes he peaks in on them and wonders what would of happened if… then he returns to his seclusion. Sometimes in his auditory brain he recalls a particular merrymaking song along with memories of the place where he heard and sang it.

 

Ritual wands aflame
spirit of white dove

Prayers for the dead                      3: 50
moon shines on the mirror
stained with blood

 

In Shinto purification rituals; a priest or miko (female shaman) waves the wand with paper streams left and right to absorb unclean energy. The most defiling event, according to Shinto, is death, so at a funeral, many ritual wands are used and defiled, so must be burned. The dove, messenger of Hachiman, the god of war, and patron saint of the Genji warrior clan, and white, the color of that clan, reveal this to be the funeral of a warrior . The mirror represents his pure soul but his blood shed in war stains the mirror to occlude the moonlight.

 

Breaking off a lotus
to adorn a lovely girl

Iridescent                               3: 51
kingfisher alights
on dance stage

 

The kingfisher is a bright blue bird. Basho puts women on center stage;. The girl’s head becomes a stage where a flower, or a bird, descends gracefully and mysteriously as a classical dancer.

 

Making love to young lord
clouds over hunting ground

Our first princess                          3:96
in headman’s household
shall be nurtured

 

The image of a young lord of noble birth at the hunting grounds has a long romantic tradition which Kikaku suggests in his stanza; in this context, “clouds” suggest sex. Basho makes the “young lord” the oldest son of the village headman. Our oldest daughter, our “first princess,” is marrying, or dreaming of marrying, the future head of the most prosperous family in this village. The words “shall be nurtured” are chosen to express Basho’s good wishes for her future in her new family, wishes that everyone in the household will support her in her roles as wife and mother. Basho gives Hope to the young female that everyone in the family she marries into will “nurture” her throughout the decades to come. Throughout the patriarchal world, women will understand this hope.

 

Watch Master Basho
swat at butterflies!

This rotten                           3: 98
verse even a dog
will not eat 


Kikaku teases Basho for his obsession with Chuang Tzu’s butterfly dream, the point beginning that Basho is too clumsy to catch the insect midair. Maybe he could hit one in his dreams, but dreams are not reality. Basho responds that Kikaku’s stanza is so “rotten” that a dog, who will eat garbage, passes on this one.

 

 

Ridiculed for
his Little Murasaki
cast in gold

Black as fins of bream                    3: 99
a good woman’s breasts

 

A man enthralled with the beauty of the Yoshiwara courtesan Little Murasaki had a statue cast of her slender graceful body entirely in gold. People made fun of his obsession with her charms. Basho counters with a woman with huge breasts, like Otafuku, a legendary character described as a “full-checked, plump peasant woman laughing happily.” Apparently she is a shell diver darkly tanned from all-day exposure to the sun, but Japanese men prefer slender women with light skin, so no one will make a golden statue of her.

 

Take up your
iron bow to confront
a brutal world

Tigress at daybreak                   3: 100
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 (a story similar to the Odyssey). Kikaku expresses the masculine “boldly” fighting for vengeance (or whatever men seek), then Basho reaches for the ultimate creative female. No sweat little girl, she is a fierce tigress. In Imperial China, a tiger represented the highest general (while a dragon was Emperor and phoenix the Empress) but every tiger has a tigress in the background. Daybreak is the Sun-Goddess giving birth to the day and to life.

 

A secret man, for shame!              3: 120
your life so wretched!

As morning glory
vines twist and turn,
shaken awake -
Forlorn she cuts her hair,
their lies spread like kudzu

Clinging to mama                          3: 120
she turns her back on
the Moon’s orb

 

Basho begins this quartet with a young woman who had a “secret man,” i.e. a married lover, but that relationship has ended, leaving her in shame; in a patriarchal society, the shame of an illicit relationship bears entirely on the woman. Morning glories grow on vines that twine sensuously, climbing over a fence or wall. She is shaken awake, her body twisted and turned, not by a person, but by a dream sent telepathically by her lover’s wife – as in the Tale of Genji, when the young prince is sleeping with Evening Glory, his jealous other woman sends a dream to awaken him - while it kills her. Full of shame, she cuts off her hair as if to cut off her self. The Asian weed kudzu has invaded and spread over much of the southern U. S. – like the lies they told to hide their affair.

 

Basho takes her to the arms of her mother who quiets her down, helping her accept her shame and go on with her life. The daughter turns her back on the Moon which represents female sexuality – what got her into this mess in the first place. She hides from the Moon, facing into mother’s body.

 

After thirty years
in the Yoshiwara, hair
age ninety-nine

On the bedroom pillar
nembutsu is written             3: 125

 

The average age of death for play-women was about 22, so a woman still in the Yoshiwara play quarters after thirty years is most unusual. The experience has aged her hair more than the rest of her. She wrote the nembutsu prayer for salvation from the bodhisattva Amida: the BRZ, gives absolutely no explanation for this stanza; every Japanese gets the meaning without a doubt.

 

Heat shimmers,                        3: 134
building daimyo's mansion
The Sun-Carpenter

Brides blossom within brides
a hundred years of grain

 

Heat shimmers - light refracting through moisture rising from the ground warmed by the spring sun - are the Sun-Carpenter building a mansion for the provincial lord who gets to live in such a psychedelic house.. She is the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, Queen of Photosynthesis, who builds many things – such as all plant life -- with her light. The next poet goes deep, deep inside the bride’s body, into her uterus where millions of egg cells “blossom” – a positive joyful word –preparing to become brides (and husbands) in the future. Although none of the egg cells in the female fetus do any developing until this girl enters puberty, still their presence represents life carrying life forward, while Sun and Earth work together producing grains to feed all those children.

 

Seeds start to sprout
for our treasured grass

Giving birth to                                 3: 158         love in the world, she
adorns herself 

 

A woman make herself beautiful before and while giving birth – as Mother Earth puts on green make-up. The lovely infant rice plants look like ordinary grass, showing no sign that four months later they will yield the staple food of Asia. We watch Basho’s mind go from rice sprouting to woman giving birth to the child she loves, then returns to Mother Earth giving birth to countless billions of plants. Woman merges with Earth, each making herself beautiful.

 

Whose nation                       3: 161
is recalled? as a mirror
the moon shines                 

Fascinated by a song

written for the koto

 

Basho says that the Moon which has watched every country rise, continue, and fall is like a mirror which reflects that history. By gazing at the Moon, or at a mirror, he seeks to recall the past. Music is one more way to turn vision back and connect with the past. Modern composers try to make pieces new and different, but traditional music, as for the koto, continuously evokes the past. Every composition contains reflections from older compositions, recalling the years that have passed since then; this is the fascinating part. Moon, memory, mirror, and music: each of these connects us with the past, so each one of them interesting.

 

Till her hair grows back
she must hide her self             3:185

In the bitterness
of delusion, squeezing out
milk to throw away
Beside unfading stupa
in distress she cries

Shadow figure
in the cold of dawn
lights a fire                           3: 186

Empty house’s owner
removed by poverty

 

He seduced her with promises of love and devotion, but when she gave birth to a son, he took the boy to be his heir and abandoned her. She entered a temple which takes in such women, had to cut her hair and stay in a cell. Only when her hair has grow back can she can re-enter society. Her breasts still have milk which she has to squeeze out and throw away – while she recalls the baby that milk is produced for – such is the bitterness in her heart.

 

The “delusion” is that reality will be kind or fair to us. A stupa is a pagoda-shaped wooden tablet set up by a tomb with phrases written for the repose of the dead's soul. This, unlike her baby, will remain. The spirit of the dead child, a shadow figure, has returned for a moment to warm and console mother with the gift of fire. Later on when she 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 and other wood lying around so he will not succumb to hypothermia. Both the owner and the vagrant are shadows, vestiges of humanity, leftovers after the dignity has been squeezed out.

 

Coming down from Court
to street of gossipy neighbors -
“How are blossoms
at the palace?” nun asks
the second nun

“A butterfly among wireweed!”      3:188
she says, blowing her nose

 

A court lady took the tonsure upon the death of her emperor and left Court to live in the ordinary bustle of Kyoto streets. When another nun, a friend of hers still at Court, comes to visit, the first nun asks about the cherry blossoms she used to know and love. Butterfly is an image of feminine elegance, whereas the obnoxious climbing weed mugura, “wireweed,” grows wild over anything in its path without the slightest hint of elegance. The second nun exclaims “Imagine you, a person of the Imperial Court, among these lowly gossips” while she chokes up with tears filling her nasal passages.

 

From late night
pillow talk, I realize
we are cousins

Our marriage cut off                 3: 198
my grief remaining

 

Talking with the brothel’s customer in bed, I realize he is my cousin; we probably have never met, but he spoke of a relative who is my relative. Basho then takes an amazing leap into coincidence, al la Dickens: this cousin also was the one arranged to marry me, but something happened and my family needed money, so they sold me to a brothel. And now here he is, in bed with me, only for one night.

 

 

Tomorrow to the enemy
“our necks shall be sent”

Having Kosanda                       3: 199
hold my sake cup
one song to sing

 

The night before the great battle; we are outnumbered and have no advantage. “Our necks will be sent” means we die in battle. Kosanda is my retainer; in gratitude for the years he has served, in recognition of our vow to face death together, I hand him my cup of sake to hold while I sing one song, my final song in this life. So men use music, war, and sake for self-glorification.

 

Bamboo fence
crumbled and washed away
by the tsunami

A Buddha was eaten                3: 210
by fish we cut open

 

A bamboo fence has been completely washed away. The waves engulfed a temple and washed away a wooden or bronze image of the Buddha. We know this because we are fisher folk who have captured a huge fish (or whale?) and while we gut it we discover the Buddha there in the stomach. Would a fish really eat a wooden or bronze statue of zero food value and likely to get caught in the throat? I don’t think so.

Another interpretation is possible – but you may not like this one either: Buddhism speaks of death as “entering Nirvana” and a dead person as a “Buddha” – so what the fisher folk found in the fish’s stomach was the hair and nails and other indigestible parts of a human being, someone washed away along with the bamboo fence.

 

Lady love would tear off             3: 213
her sleeve for my muffler

With such a lover
I’ll drink up the barrel
for my coffin

 

“Lady Love” is a courtesan who fulfills her job, to make her customer feel like he is the most important fellow in the world, and also order lots of expensive sake. He is even willing to die for such a lover – yet we must keep in mind that this is all pretense and acting. She will not tear up her expensive kimono. She no more loves him than she will love tomorrow’s customer. In fact, she abhors his gullibility and hates playing these stupid games with him.

 

With one poppy petal
Zen name fell to him

Crescent moon,                       3: 214
toll of a temple bell
darkens the east

 

The observation of a single petal falling from a poppy brought him enlightenment, and he took his name as a Zen monk from that incident. Thoughts of Zen leads Basho to the sky and celestial bodies. The slender crescent on the 3rd night of the lunar month rises from the east during the day, but cannot be seen until evening in the west. The solemn toll of the temple bell darkens the east where there is no moon, but the crescent moon keeps the west light.

 

The slender edge of moon is somehow like a single falling poppy petal.

 

 

No wind blows                    3: 218
and no sake in jug,
autumn day

 

The day is calm and peaceful, yet empty.

 

A kotatsu without fire           3: 220
is the person no more

 

A kotatsu is a heater under a table with a blanket all around.

When a person dies, the spirit leaves the body which no longer has an internal source of heat.

The thermodynamics of life.

 

 

In a haze he worships
beauty of female form

From the far north                    3: 258
the groom a frustrated
wordless butterfly

 

The family has adopted a son-in-law from the far northern island of Hokkaido where (from a mainland Japanese point of view) there are no attractive women – but many bears. He can barely speak a few words of Japanese so is frustrated in trying to communicate with his bride; he just stands there, “a wordless butterfly in a haze” gazing as the beauty he has been given. Miyawaki points out that she may not be “beautiful” to our standards but, compared to what he has seen before, she is Aphrodite.

 

 

Sorcerer in Kyoto
to heal my tumor

Base of Fuji                          3: 259
wearing conical hat
riding a horse

 

Riding west past the 25-miles of Mount Fuji to a healer in Kyoto who will remove the tumor. The round conical hats of East Asian farmers, worn to ward off rain and snow as well as sun and wind, have the same shape as Mount Fuji. Either I, or the mountain, wears a conical hat and rides the horse; either I bounce up and down from the movement of the horse, or the multimillion ton mountain moves up and down from the movement of my eyes on horseback.

 

 

Dew where the coffin                3: 261
has soon disappeared 

Torn apart
soldiers’ armor sent
to their country
After Korean campaign
he grows vegetables

 

“Dew” is the forces of time and weather that wear out and decay all things: all that remains where the coffin was. The coffin bearers carried it away, and it never again will be seen. The country where the battle took place and soldiers died does not destroy the old, damaged armor, and has no reason to keep it, so they send it to the country of the deceased. After coming home from the disastrous invasion of Korea, a soldier whose armor was not torn apart, lives in peace until he too disappears in a coffin.

 

Sake drinking auntie
is so very lonely –

In a letter                                3: 296
she tells all her grief
playing dice

 

The old woman lives out her life with no purpose except to drink and writes in detail her misery gambling over dice.

 

Bone fragments in cascade          3: 299

Morning sun transforms them

Reverently on
Buddha’s stone seat
blossoms eternal

 

Fire turns the bones of a Buddhist saint into sarira, the pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters – however in his stanza, Basho seems to be looking at small round stones in the cascade; the clear water flowing over them shining in the morning sun makes them appear like sarira from the Buddha himself. Throughout the stanza, we keep on wondering what is real and what is illusion.

 

Subjects are often unstated in Japanese, so we can told who is experiencing what; in this case, who is sitting on the stone seat. Cherry blossoms are usually a symbol for transience because they appear for just one week and disappear so quickly, however here they represent eternity, for they keep on coming back every spring, always the same.


 

With this song                         3: 300
to women, silkworms
I have sent

 

Basho sends this verse in imagination to women of the world along with silkworms, a symbol for constant and flawless production of the highest quality of material.

 

Comes a dream
of woman cutting her
jet black hair

Love seen through,                        3: 310
morning glory moon 

 

Disappointed in love, so she has cut her hair and tells him this in her sending. The traditional way to interpret “cutting her hair” is as “becoming a nun” – although Shoko says “not necessarily.” In Japan, women cut a number of strands as a declaration of giving up the past to move into a new future. Basho makes her see through the false love she thought was real, realizing that such love disappears as surely as the moon fades into the morning sky and gorgeous blue and purple morning glories wilt to become refuse in the rain.

 

Your treasures shall be                  3: 330
a number of years

 

Remember this.

 

Basho4humanity@gmail.com 






<< Basho Renku Section 2 B (K-12) (K-14 ) Basho Renku Volume 4 B >>


The Three Thirds of Basho

 

 

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

 

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


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover Basho's
gentleness and humanity.

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

Quotations from Basho Prose


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



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


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


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



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


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


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


"Link verses the way
children play."


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


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

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


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



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


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


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


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

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


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


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


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



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com