Bush Clover Surprise

against a backdrop
of heavy weeping rainclouds
sturdy bush clover
bursts through earthy autumn hues
early morning pink surprise

© Kim M. Russell, 2016


My response to Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #15 bush clover

In this new episode of Tanka Splendor month, the prompt is bush clover, a plant name I did not recognise. I found out that bush clover is related to peas and beans and is native to warmer climates, which is why it was unknown to me, living in the British Isles. From what I’ve read, though, it is quite a hardy plant.     

Chèvrefeuille has explained that bush clover is one of the seven sacred herbs of autumn and is a favourite motif with Japanese poets, of which there is a white-flowered variety, but pink is more common. In the 10th century, no aristocratic villa would have been complete without the modest bush clover, blooming in a dew-drenched garden.

He also shared not only a haiku but also a quote from Basho, as well as a tanka of his own:

in one house
prostitutes lie down to sleep
bush clover and the moon

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

‘The loneliness Of autumn on the beach More even than that of Suma In the surf Mingled with small shells Petals of the bush clover’ (Matsuo Basho; The Narrow Road Into the Deep North)

bush clover spreads
my garden becomes a purple sea –
autumn dew shimmers

I wash the feet of my love with the fragility of the dawn

© Chèvrefeuille

5 thoughts on “Bush Clover Surprise

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