Favorite Basho Poems

I received some upsetting personal news and am not feeling creative today, so I thought you might enjoy some of my favorite haiku by Basho instead. The following were translated into English from Japanese by Sam Hamill:

You weren’t home when I came
even the plum blossoms were
in another yard

Between our two lives
there is also the life of
the cherry blossoms

Just one possession
in this lightly-lived life —
a gourd of rice

Red Wagon

Old Wooden Wheel

The rusted red wagon
Anchored by granddad on the porch
Once roamed the seas
With little boys battling Midway
And in royal gold filigree
Pulled Ms. Queen the border collie
On bumpy London cobblestones
It cradled the sod for mom’s petunias
And spilled with cloying sweetness —
A childhood Garden of Babylon.