Basho’s Haikus


I am very tired this evening and homesick for Michigan.

I miss sitting in the pines and watching the grey waters of Lake Michigan swell into white capped waves. In my mind’s eye I can see the thunderhead rolling across the lake like a deity, rains scouring the water, winds bending the pale golden beach grass until the tops etch bone white sands.

I remember walking in May from my house to downtown. In May Michigan is lush with new green, flowers bloom, and the air is moist. The grass grows and vines climb. The light filters in diamonds through verdant canopies of broad leaves.

I miss a gentler landscape.

I miss the waves.

Basho’s Haiku remind me of my connection to things greater. Here are a few:

In the cicada’s cry
No sign can foretell
How soon it must die.

Won’t you come and see
loneliness? Just one leaf
from the kiri tree.

The sun’s way:
hollyhocks turn toward it
through all the rains of May.

Sparrows in eves
Mice in ceiling –
Celestial music.

Summer in the world;
floating on the waves
of the lake.

Now I see her face,
the old woman, abandoned,
the moon her only companion