a hangover

a hangover

On The Trail With Basho Encore #13 a hangover

cherry blossom viewing
without a set of nested bowls
in my heart

© Basho

a hangover
is nothing as long as
there are cherry blossoms

© Basho


under a pine
the drunks “Look!”
“Cherry Blossoms”


searching for you
at the cherry blossom festival
lost in sea of pink

Butterflies – On the Trail with Basho

Butterflies – On the Trail with Basho

On The Trail With Basho Encore #7 butterflies

ran no ka ya   cho no tusubasa ni   takimono su

orchid fragrance
from the butterfly’s wings
scenting the clothes (c) Basho

cho no tobu   bakari nonaka no   hikage kana

a butterfly flies
only in the field
of sunshine (c) Basho

cho no ha no   ikutabi koyuru   hei no yane

wings of a butterfly
how many times do they flutter
over roof and wall c) Basho

kimi ya cho   ware ya Soji ga   yume gokoro

you are butterfly?
I am Chuang-tzu’s
dreaming heart c) Basho

fennel waves
breeze from swallowtail wings
tiny eggs laid


white sulfas
play hide and seek
in the shasta daisies

A Falling Sound

A Falling Sound

On The Trail With Basho Encore 5 a falling sound

This haiku was written by Basho in spring 1666 short after the unexpected dead of his friend, Yoshitada. Basho was almost 22 years of age when he wrote this haiku.

uru oto ya mimi mo su-naru ume no ame

a falling sound
that sours my ears
plum rain                    © Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Written today the after the news of my dear friend Cathy’s passing.


rain on the tin roof
no longer music to my ears
empty garden


as the bells ring
my heart trembles
falling petals


Fragile Twigs

Fragile Twigs

On The Trail With Basho Encore (2) fragile twigs

fragile twigs
breaking off the scarlet papers
autumn winds                              © Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

‘Toshi’ refers to a very fragile paper made in China. The idea of the poem was that even a fragile twig could tear the paper or the twigs were too fragile to hold on to the Autumn leaves.


delicate branches
pink heads bent to the ground
after spring shower

A Grass Pillow

A Grass Pillow

On the Trail with Basho Encore (01), a grass pillow

“On the departure of Rotsu for Michinoku (the Northern part of Honshu)”.

kusa makara   makoto no hanami   shite mo koyo

a grass pillow
is the best to use when coming
to view cherry blossoms

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

cloud watching
hands behind head
grass for a pillow


lying on our backs
under the maple tree
light shadows dancing

On further reading these are not in the same spirit:  According to Jane Reichhold, Rotsu was leaving to follow Basho’s trip of the previous year to the Far North. Rotsu was rather notorious for his bad behavior. While in Zeze, visiting in a home, he broke a valuable tea container. Instead of owning up to the accident, he blamed another one of Basho’s students. Basho got very angry with him over the incident. He only forgave Rotsu shortly before his death. But he was so concerned about the situation that he had left a note in his will of his forgiving Rotsu for this. Rotsu did attend the funeral service of Basho at Gichuyi Temple in Zeze and wrote a detailed report of the end Basho’s life and death.