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  >  Women in Basho  >  L-19


Death and Near Death

The Final Journey

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

"If I think more about death than some other people, it is probably because I love life more than they do." Angelina Jolie.  Basho also loved life and explored death; here are 20 haiku and renku. 

 

Death and Near Death

The title of this topic refers to people who have died as well as those approaching their death, and also those who are young and alive but close to someone who died. Basho wrote many verses about death,

but here are only those in which a woman is dead, close to death, or affected by someone’s death.

As Basho teaches us about death, he also teaches us about life.

 

Where is the storm?
curtain room shivers
The woman’s shadow
seems to have returned –
awesome her traces

 

あらしはいづく /帳の紙室
女の影 / 帰ると見えて /跡すごく

 

Arashi wa izuku / chou no kamimuro
Onna no kage / kaeru to miete / ato sugoku

 

The first word of the Japanese is onna, “woman,” so here Basho specifies the female. Although there is no wind or rain, the low pressure zone around a storm sends a shiver through the curtains hung around a space to keep it a bit warmer in the frigid winter. Basho makes this quiver in fabric the spirit, or “ghost” of a

woman The word ato, “traces,” is very common in Basho poetry:Basho always looks to “see” traces of the past lingering in the present.

 

 

In the summer of 1688 Kyorai’s younger sister Chine, age 28, passed away. Chine’s jisei no ku or “farewell to life” poem was:


Easily glows
and easily goes out
a firefly

 

Kyorai responded to his sister’s verse with:

 

On my palm
sadly goes out
the firefly

 

Simple words to express Chine’s humility and Kyorai’s grief.

 

While in Gifu I hear that Chine has passed away
so I send these words to the home of Kyorai:

 

Now the house robe
of the one who is gone
airing in the heat

 

無き人の / 小袖 も 今や / 土用干し
Naki hito no / kosode mo ima ya / doyouboshi

 

Clothing gets musty in the warm moist summer, so one sunny day everything is hung outside to “air in the heat.” One of Chine’s kosode, a simple kimono for household wear, kept as a memento and is hanging outside with the rest of the family’s clothing. The traces of Chine’s being linger in the fabric she wore, gently

dispersing in the warm breeze.

 

Basho and Etsujin traveling through the Kiso Mountains in 1688, went to Mount Obasute (“Throw Away Old Women”), considered the supreme place in Japan to view the harvest moon, being so remote few people could get here. Before there were trains and planes and ski resorts, this area was notoriously poor.

In areas such as this, in times of famine, to preserve food for children, families abandoned old women to die in the mountains

 

“Why, for what reason, were old folks abandoned?”

 

An apparition --
old woman alone weeping
friends with the moon

 

俤や  /  姨ひとり泣く / 月の友
Omokage ya / oba hitori naku ya / tsuki no tomo

 

 

Some legends tell of villages where ALL people when they reached 70 were abandoned. From these legends came the film The Ballad of Narayama which won a Grand Prix at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival: Orin is healthy but insists on following the custom. Her son Takuhei carries her on his back high into the

mountains to a place where there are many human skeletons and many lively vigorous crows. She hugs her son with much affection, but when he clings to her for too long, she slaps his face; they stare into each other eyes, and she pushes him away. Orin sits in seiza, proper sitting position on her heels, to wait for the end. Just then it starts to snow, which shows that the Gods have accepted her; as he walks away,we see her sitting with great dignity with snow falling on her.


When she felt her own time coming to an end, she wanted to die in the divine light rather than go through another winter in a dark unheated room where children are crying, eating food that those children need.

If she dies as “friends with the moon,” its light will guide her spirit in the other world.

 

Fuji pilgrim’s
straw backpack become
pillow of grass
For a while the Gods
Mother’s soul to keep

 

不二詣で / おひねだわらを / 草 枕
母 の ほとけを /かりに 預ける

 

Fuji mōde o / hine tawara o / kusa makura
Haha no hotoke o / kari ni asukeru

 

He climbs the mountain for a spiritual purpose, and travels light, at night resting his head on the straw bag he carried on his back. In the bad was a memento of his mother to dedicate to the gods, something that represented her hotoke, or Buddha nature, after death. He entrusts her soul to the Gods for as long as he stays up here on Mount Fuji.


Suddenly speaking out
about my dead mother
All night long
soothing away the nun’s
chronic pain

 

ひたと言い出す / お袋の事
夜もすがら / 尼の持病を / 押しえける

 

Hitasu to iidasu / o-fukuro no koto
Yomosugara / ama no jibyou o / oshiekeru

 

Do you see the link? Basho’s verse suggests someone who has kept silent about mother since she died, but now blurts out thoughts. Such a person is likely to say “I did not do enough for her when she was alive” – which leads to Yaba’s stanza of physically caring for an older woman, touching her tumor with sensitivity to

soothe away the pain. The link is nowhere stated, but is there, hidden between the two stanzas, as well as hidden in your own heart.


In the moonlight
among Bon lanterns,
time to weep
Autumn wind more slender
than strands of her hair

 

月影に/ 灯篭張いて / 泣暮し
髪筋よりも / ほそき秋風

 

Tsukiyo ni / tourou haite / naki kurashi
Kami suji yori mo / hosoki aki kaze

 

For O-bon, lanterns in windows, on the ground, hanging from ropes, on rafts floating, represent the spirits of the dead, and also light the way for spirits crossing the boundary. A woman cries for one who has died, whose spirit is among those who came back, while the wind penetrates to the depths of her heart.

 

                  -------------------------------------------------

 

Basho’s mom died in 1683 while he was in Fukagawa. The next year he returned to Iga to visit her grave and spend some time with his older brother Hanzaemon and youngest sister Oyoshi.  Hanzaemon hands him a lock of her hair, and says:


Without a word my brother opens an amulet case.
“Pray to this lock of mother’s white hair.

 

Held in hand to melt
in the heat of my tears –
autumn frost

 

手に取らば / 消えん涙ぞ / 熱き秋の霜
Te ni toraba / kien namida zo / atsuki aki no shimo

 

In autumn, frost forms only in early morning; a harbinger of winter to come. Basho weaves together human emotion and seasonal awareness in a ‘sketch’ of a few strands of white hair on his palm.

 

Ten years later, in his final autumn, Basho visited his native place to experience the Festival of Souls with his family.


The whole family
white-haired and on canes
visits the graves

 

家はみな / 杖に白髪の / 墓参り
Ie wa mina / tsue ni shiroga no /haka mairi

 

The dead are buried in family plots near the ancestral home. On the first day of the O-Bon Festival, people go to the cemetery and with lanterns and torches escort the spirits home. The middle segment

sums up the nature of growing old: white hair and osteoporosis.

 

                           -------------------------------------------------

 

The woman later known as Jutei was the “wife” of Basho’s nephew Toin and mother of Basho’s grandnephew and two grandnieces. Some believe Jutei was Basho’s lover in Iga before he left town at age 28; some that she was his maidservant when he first lived in Edo, and as a “maid” may have provided sex. There is also the possibility that she was both: first Basho’s maid/lover and later his nephew’s common-law wife. Her ordinary name is unknown; she only became a nun with the Buddhist name Jutei after Toin died from tuberculosis in 1693. She caught the disease from him, and passed away in 1694, four months before Basho died from his chronic bowel disorder.


Also in his final O-bon season, Basho wrote

 

To the woman Jutei who died:

 

“Of no account”
think not this of yourself
Festival of Souls

 

数ならぬ / 身とな思ひそ / 玉祭
Kazunaranu / mi to na omoi zo / tama matsuri

 

The KBZ says Basho’s meaning is: “Even a trivial being such as yourself who has become small by

living in a corner, you need not be so self-effacing. You too can become a splendid Buddha. In this Festival of Souls, I pray for the repose of your soul.” As one who created three human lives, and cared for them to

teenage, certainly she was of account.

 

Without a man
screens she cannot keep
looking like new
Tears on the brazier
drying her handkerchief

 

男なき/ 妹がすだれを /もりかねて
なみだ火桶に /はなかみを干す

 

Toko naki / imo ga sudare o / mori-kanete
Namida hioke ni / hanakami o hosu

 

Keeping up the bamboo screens” is an expression for keeping the entire house neat and new-looking. Everything costs money, every job requires time and energy; without her husband’s strength and the income he provided, as the widow approaches her own death, it becomes more and more difficult to stop things in the house from showing their age.  Basho enhances the sadness of the first stanza with an image of her siting close to the wooden fire box with a metal container for coals; her tears fall on the wooden surface while more tears evaporate from the handkerchief she holds out to the heat.


Sadly falcon suffers
his loss of feathers
Only a woman
in an old mansion with
a torn screen

 

煩う 鷹を / おしむ かなしき
女 のみ /古き 御舘 の 破れ 簾

 

Wazurau taka o / oshimu kanashiki
Onna nomi /furuki mitachi no / yabure misu

 

The falcon bred for hunting is a masculine image, yet in old age his life force diminishes. Basho leaps to the human female world of widows in old houses they can no longer maintain. I think of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations with her torn stocking


Final day of
mourning, sadness speaks
through catalpa bow
Now in a world of grief
her mirror shall be sold

 

はての日は / 梓にかたる / あわれさよ
今ぞうき 世に / 鏡 うりける

 

Hate no hi wa / azusa ni kataru / awaresa yo
Ima zo uki yo ni / kagami urukeru

 

The miko (female shaman) twanged her bow of catalpa wood with one hemp string to – in the words of Carmen Blacker “emit a resonance which reaches into the world of spirits, enabling the miko, or female  shaman, who manipulates it to communicate with that world.” On the 49th and final day of mourning, a widow listens to a miko channel her husband’s spirit. Never again to make herself beautiful, no longer will she need a mirror.

 

Rika was one of Basho’s friends and followers in Edo:

 

(Headnote) The grief of Rika for his wife:

 

How he huddles
under the futon, cold
horrible night

 

被き伏す / 蒲団や寒き / 夜やすごき
Kazuki-fusu /futon ya samuki / yo ya sugoki

 

The alliteration of ‘h’ sounds contains the feeling of huddling, lying curled up on one side, holding in the warmth around the chest and abdomen. Getting between the heavy quilts, shivering till my old blood warms the space so I can go to sleep. All alone where she used to lie nearby. The nights are long and bitter, and the sun brings no warmth till late morning. With these few words, Basho captures the experience of Rika, or anyone who has lost a spouse in winter.

 

In 1691 Basho visited his follower Kyorai in his rustic cottage in Saga,  an area west of Kyoto famous for vast and towering groves of bamboos, and went to see the grave of Lady Kogo, a woman who died a tragic death from male oppression in the tumultuous 12th century.

 

Nodes of sorrow—
to become bamboo shoots
at her end

 

憂き節や /竹の子となる /人の果
Uki fushi y a / take no ko to naru / hito no hate

 

The nodes along hollow stems of bamboo form solid disks through the hollow tube. Life moves along smoothly but every so often come to a solid mass of sorrow. Kon speaks of Lady Kogo “tossed

about in the world, finally to be buried in a bamboo grove where she changed into bamboo shoots, the end of her road so pathetically sad.”

 

 

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

 

Father died in war when I was small, and I have grown up under the weight of that grief.  (Many would assume that "I" am a boy, but the original assigns no gender, and girls who lost their father deserve this verse as much as boys do.) Now eighteen, able to give life myself, I look back over those years of dreams constantly reverting to that one moment on a battlefield I have never seen in reality.

 

                     ------------------------------------

 

In 1684 Yasui begins and Basho follows:

 

Making tofu, I begin
mourning for my mother
The Saint Gensei’s
tears must have destroyed
sleeves of his robe

 

“Making tofu” – washing soybeans, soaking, grinding in water, filtering, boiling, coagulating with

gypsum or nigari salts to form curds, and pressing into cakes – may, in tofu shops, be done by men,

but at home a woman makes tofu. This person whose mother died can remember many occasions of

her making bean curd, so doing this work now brings back memories of her. The Japanese mourn

the dead for 49 days. Tofu is vegan, so complies with the Buddha’s prohibition of animal products

and is important source of protein in temple meals. Soybeans and tofu contains isoflavones,

estrogen-like chemicals which “convey benefits (increasing bone density, heart protection, reducing

hot flashes) to post-menopausal women without increasing the risk of breast cancer, so might be a

good choice for women around menopause, and probably contribute to the longevity of Japanese

women. Some men believe soy products will make them feminine. Yasui combines typically

female activity and vegan food favored by women with Buddhism and death of a woman.

 

The priest Gensei, born in 1623 in Kyoto, at age 25 entered the Nichiren sect. He is famous for his

devotion to his mother. In January of 1687, when she was 78 years old, at her request, he carried

her to a mountain to die. After seeing her off, he mourned for the required 49 days, then, on March

20, 1688, he himself died. Basho was at this time about 24, and spent time in Kyoto studying, so

he must have known the story of Gensei. Two and a half decades later, when Yasui presented an

image of mourning for mother, Basho fulfilled that image with Gensei mourning so intensely that, as

he brought his hands to his eyes, tears soaked and ruined the sleeves of his robe. He enriches the

sadness of Yasui’s stanza with historical detail and strenuous activity.

 

The renku master Basho taught his followers to

 

"make your following stanza ...  
an expression of the same heart’s connection”

as in the previous stanza. Here, the “heart’s connection” in each stanza is the feeling we have for our mother’s death. Both “making tofu” and the story of Saint Gensei lead to that feminine heart’s connection.

                         ----------------------------------


Offering water
for where thou goest
dried rice powder

 

水向けて / 跡訪ひたまへ / 道明寺
Mizu mukete / ato toi-tamae / dōmyōji

 

At the memorial for a follower’s mother: Entering the temple grounds, at a rock basin with spring water, we put our hands together and pray to Buddha; this is called “offering water.” Rice is cooked then dried to a powder for travelers who add water to make a meal. Basho suggests that the temple water added to the

dried rice powder will nourish Fuboku’s mother on her long journey.


Wretched in the dew
my wife’s fallen hair,
Speaking of love,
in the mirror her face
still I can see

 

露にしがるむ / 妹が落髪
物いふて / 鏡に顏の / 残りみえよ

 

Tsuyu ni shigaramu / imo ga ochi-gami
Mono iute / kagami ni kao no / nokori mieyo

 

Fallen hair” means the wife has died – for a woman’s hair contains her life force.“Dew” is the forces of wetness that rust, corrode, and wear out all things. She looked in the mirror so often it retains a copy of her face – or maybe the husband and wife were so in tune with each other that their faces came to resemble each other.

 

 

Hand that plays koto
writes letter of regret
Cherries in bloom
again she climbs the hill
to his grave
 
恨みの文をつくる琴の手
花咲けば又来てのぼる塚の上

 

Urami no bun o / tsukuru koto no te
hana sakeba / mata kite noboru / tsuka no ue
 

Both her beauty and her suffering go into the notes she plays on the harp, and both go into the letter she writes. Each year in cherry blossom season, she comes here to climb the hill ofher grief.  

 

The mother of Kikaku, Basho’s friend and follower for 15 years, has passed away. At the memorial service, Basho begins then , Kikaku and Ransetsu follow.


White flowers
without mother at home
seem so chilly
Her fragrance lingering
a brief night’s dream
An assortment
of clouds can be seen,
the moon clear.

 

卯の花も / 母 なき 宿 ぞ /冷じき
香消のこる / みじか夜の 夢
色々の / 雲 を 見に けり /月澄て

 

Unohana mo / haha naki shuku zo /susamajiki
Kōshō nokoru / mijika ya no yume
Iro iro no / kumo o mi ni keri / tsuki sumite

 

The many petaled white blossoms of the deutzia tree appear in the abundance of May. Kon interprets Basho’s verse:

 

"Having lost mother familiar with these flowers for so long a time, at her memorial service, they seem so meaningless and chilly floating in the evening darkness. From the white desolation of the flowers comes the feeling of the person who has lost the warmth (nukumori) of mother.”

 

This is why I love Kon-sensei’s commentaries: he always brings into focus the warm, positive feelings in Basho’s vision.


Kikaku follows with his feeling for his mother, and Ransetsu concludes with an image of the vastness and transience of sky.

 

 

                     --------------------------------------

 

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


basho4humanity@gmail.com

 






<< Erotic Flowers (L-18 ) (L-20 ) Brothel Slavery >>


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