A November with Basho, Day 12

In Yamagata Province, the ancient temple founded by Jikaku Daishi in 860, Ryushaku Temple is stone quiet, perfectly tidy… Monks at the foot of the mountain offered rooms, then we climbed the ridge to the temple, scrambling through ancient gnarled pine and oak, gray smooth stones and moss. The temple doors, built on rock, were bolted. I crawled among boulders to make my bows at shrines. The silence was profound. I sat, feeling my heart begin to open.

Lonely stillness–

a single cicada’s cry

sinking into stone

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior”, translated by Sam Hamill, The Essential Basho, p. 22

Emerging Faith

There’s an elegance to the crucifix hanging above the chapel at Graymoor. A gentleness in the eyes looking down, even as the face bears that familiar grimace of pain. The arms, even nailed to the cross piece on the palm, spread out to embrace the world.

As I gaze at this figure, my triumphs pale, and my sins fade to insignificance. In this silence broken only by rustling leaves and passing pilgrims, my heart can pour out sorrow and joy.

Who can say what is born of such an intimate experience of serenity arising from suffering?

passing wind

the distant cry

of the last cicada

this way of compassion

to follow

Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor and Mother Lurana, the founders of the Society of the Atonement, were devoted to the passion and death of Christ, and His atoning sacrifice for our sins. The Crucifix stands 15 feet tall and is made of fiberglass and is a wayside shrine for travelers on Route 9.

for Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 153 #SynonymsOnly

and dVerse Poets’ Poetics: Let Us Labor (pubtended by Amaya Engleking)

The Pub is open! Come join us!

9 replies »

  1. Okay, don’t hate me but I had to chuckle at “passing wind”. Oh, my kids are rubbing off on me! But seriously, your haibun brings me to a place of awe as I see those serene eyes, pouring out the love most of us will never know, or care to know.

    Liked by 1 person

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