A November with Basho, Day 11

Here (Hiraizumi) three generations of the Fujiwara clan passed as though in a dream. The great outer gates lay in runis. Where Hidehira’s manor stood, rice fields grew. Only Mount Kinkei remained. I climbed the hill where Yoshitsune died; I saw the Kitakami, a broad stream flowing down through the Nambu plain, the Koromo River circling Isumi Castle below the hill before joining the Kitakami. The ancient ruins of Yasuhira–from the end of the Golden Era–lie out beyond the Koromo Barrier, where they stood guard against the Ainu people. The faithful elite remained bound to the castle–for all their valor, reduced to ordinary grass…

We sat a while, our hats for seat, seeing it all through tears.

summer grasses:

all that remains of great soldiers’

imperial dreams

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior” translated by Sam Hamill, The Essential Basho, p. 18-19

Armistice Lost

One hundred and one years ago, the Great War ended on the eleventh hour of this day, during this month. Armistice Day marked the end of an international bloodbath that claimed the lives of 19 million soldiers, while leaving 23 million wounded.

Almost twenty years to the day, World War II began. That conflagration would cost 25 million military personnel their lives.

A continent in ruins. Generations lost. Nevertheless, we continued to wage petty wars against each other, laying waste more lives, and more ways of life.

Who could not see it all through tears?

Veterans Day

our gratitude for

the living and dead

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