Graceful Exits

In my mind I hold the many children
That were friends and foes.
Like Peter, never-changing
They remain.
The vestigial shadows of last year’s flowers —
If I were to find them today:
Only the smell of damp earth.

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

(In)compatible

Time runs uniquely to two
In circular or straightforward fashion
Like bright ribbons that stretch into the distance
Perhaps never meeting
Perhaps meeting when one is too newly dyed
Perhaps meeting when one has frayed for quieter spaces
Ah, what meaning is there to think:
If we had only met earlier or later?
The now is all that matters
The now is the miracle or the great sadness