haikai

A November with Basho, Day 3

Courtesy of The Gate

On the first day of the fourth moon, climbed to visit the shrines on a mountain once called Two Wildernesses, renamed by Kukai when he dedicated the shrine. Perhaps he saw a thousand years into the future, this shrine under sacred skies, his compassion endlessly scattered through the eight directions, falling equally, peacably, on all four classes of people. The greater the glory, the less these words can say.

Ah–speechless before

these budding green spring leaves

in blazing sunlight

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior.” translated by Sam Hamill, The Essential Basho, p. 5

Awe in an Autumn Walk

The leaf-covered trails present their own challenges. Where are the rocks, the roots, the tripping hazards? And how slippery even dry leaves can be. Nevertheless, press on! Along the rise and fall of the trails, see the last fall foliage. Hear the rustle of scampering chipmunks and squirrels gathering their fall provisions. And when the trail opens up before the glistening waters of Pine Meadow Lake from a unique vantage point, savor the rippling sunlight.

so much

in those rustled leaves

the silence after

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