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BASHO, Matsuo

Winter solitude-

in a world of one colour

the sound of the wind.


This autumn-

why am I growing old?

bird disappearing among clouds.


Sitting quietly,

doing nothing,

Spring comes,

and the grass grows,

by itself.


The moon and sun are travellers through eternity.

Even the years wander on.

Whether drifting through life on a boat

or climbing toward old age leading a horse,

each day is a journey,

and the journey itself is home.


How I long to see

among dawn flowers,

the face of God.


Sadly, I part from you;

Like a clam torn from its shell,

I go, and autumn too.


Ballet in the air...

Twin butterflies

until, twice white

they meet, they mate


Harvest moon:

around the pond I wander

and the night is gone.”


Old dark sleepy pool...

Quick unexpected frog

Goes plop! Watersplash!”


“Why so scrawny, cat?

Starving for fat fish or mice...

Or backyard love?”


Nothing in the cry

of cicadas suggests they

are about to die