haikai

A November with Basho, Day 20

Kotojitoro Lantern

We crossed Mount Unohana and Kurikara Valley at noon on the fifteenth day of the seventh moon and entered Kanazawa, there we took rooms at an inn with a merchant from Osaka, a Mr. Kansho, who was in town to attend memorial services for the haiku poet Issho, locally renowned for his verse and devotion to craft. The poet’s elder brother served as host, the poet having died last winter.

Tremble, oh my grave–

in time my cries will be

only this autumn wind

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior,” translated by Sam Hamill, the Essential Basho, p. 29-30

Requiem in Paces, Poetae (2019)

A steady rain falls. The house rattles in a cold wind. Scattered leaves on the blacktop saturate with water. Today is a good day to mourn.

We lost so many poets this year. Rachel Sutcliffe. Mary Oliver. Kristen Deming. W.S. Merwin. Toni Morrison. So many others. They shared their minds, hearts, lives with us, through words that stay. Now an emptiness remains where their language touched us. All we can do is remember.

tremble in the wind

you remaining leaves …

Autumn wanes

for Poets United’s Pantry of Poetry and Prose #5 (posted by Sanaa Rizvi)

8 replies »

  1. So beautiful, Frank. The rain goes well with the mourning of those bards we have loved and lost. Thankfully, their words remain. Thankfully, ours will too, in their turn, for those we leave behind.

    Liked by 1 person

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