First Winter Rain

all the day long-
yet not long enough for the skylark,
singing, singing
­                                                                   into the dusky shadows
­                                                                   raindrops on wings of song-flight
the dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass
­                                                                   still soaked from summer showers
­                                                                   bent with its liquid burden
autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut
­                                                                   lured by the dampness of soil
­                                                                   musty autumn aroma
I’m a wanderer
so let that be my name –
the first winter rain                         
­                                                                   liquid drops turn to crystals
­                                                                   a white sheet for the cold earth

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)                        Kim M. Russell, 4th September 2018

Stuff 142

My response to Carpe Diem’s Renga With Basho #7 I’m a wanderer

It’s a new episode of Carpe Diem’s Renga With Basho, the special feature in which we create a renga together with the master, from six of his haiku, choosing our own sequence and creating two-lined stanzas between them. Our renga must have a minimum of six stanzas and may have a maximum of twelve. We should also try to create a closed chain, connecting the hokku (starting verse) and the ageku (closing verse).

The six haiku by Basho have been translated by Robert Hass:

all the day long-
yet not long enough for the skylark,
singing, singing

by the old temple,
peach blossoms;
a man treading rice

the shallows –
a crane’s thighs splashed
in cool waves

I’m a wanderer
so let that be my name –
the first winter rain                     

the dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass.

autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “First Winter Rain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.