haikai

A November with Basho, Day 6

Shirakawa Barrier Monument
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Dogpochi

A little anxious, thinking of the Shirakawa Barrier, thinking on it day by day; but calmed my mind by remembering the old poem, “somehow sending word home.” I walked through heavy green summer forests. Many a poet inscribed a few words at one of the Three Barriers–“Autumn Winds” and “Red Maple Leaves” come to mind. Then, like fields of snow, innumerable white-flowered bushes, unohana, covered either side of the road…

Unohana

around my head

dressed for ancient rites [Sora]

(note: Sora was a poet and traveling companion of Basho during his travels through the North.)

Basho, Narrow Road to the Interior, translated by Sam Hamil, The Essential Basho, pg. 9

Another misplaced dread

A dead certainty that I would face my first evaluation of the year arose this morning. I shuddered at the waves of anxiety that followed. The morning traffic, being what it was, jammed up in Yonkers. Every highway from my position held hordes of lit tail-lights. I muddled through local streets, convinced of my impending lateness, and dreading the disasterous observation that surely would come.

And didn’t. I once again enjoyed the authenticity of my fearing the worst in vain. It’s as though I relish living Mark Twain’s admonition: “I lived through so many terrible things in my life, most of which never happened.”

clear roads home

the suddenly

setting sun

for Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Authenticity (posted by Susan)

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