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.

Life, Small Events, Spirit and Spirituality

Life, Small Events, Spirit and Spirituality

Heeding Haiku With HA: Life, Small Events, Spirit and Spirituality

This prompt reminded me of my second year in high school. Several of my sibling were off at college, my closest one had pasted away, and the ones at home were too busy for me.  I had some great news, but no one was home to share it with.  I walked down to the pond and sat on the hill, happy but lonely.  Suddenly a bluebird landed on my hand that was resting on my knee.  It was probably only a moment but time seemed to stop and I was overwhelmed with happiness.  I felt such a connection. It was as if God said yes you matter. This small moment still brings me joy. It made me feel so privileged.  Not able to capture it in a strong haiku but here are my attempts.

on a lonely day
a bluebird on my hand
fills me with joy


a bluebird perches
momentarily on my hand

lifetime of joy


bluebird on my hand
time stops as I hold my breath
blessed by an angel