The name ‘Basho’ means ‘banana’ in Japanese. The man began as a poet and seeker
who attained to enlightenment and wrote succinct, timeless verse.
Sick on a journey
Over parched fields
Dreams wander on
(This was Basho’s last haiku, written in 1694)
Whore and monk, we sleep
Under one roof together,
Moon in a field of clover
This bright harvest moon
Keeps me walking all night long
Around the little pond
All that remains
Of a soldier’s dreams
See lightning flash
Wall cool against
Do not forget the plum,
In the thicket
Skylark on moor
~ Matsuo Basho
The myriad differences resolved by sitting, all doors opened.
In this still place i follow my nature, be what it may.
From the one hundred flowers i wander freely,
The soaring cliff; my hall of meditation
(with the moon emerged, my mind is motionless).
Sitting on this frosty seat, no more dream of fame.
The forest, the mountain follow their ancient ways,
And through the long spring day, not even the shadow of a bird.
After ten years in the red-light district,
How solitary a spell in the mountains.
I can see clouds a thousand miles away,
Hear ancient music in the pines.