Friday, September 25, 2015

Carpe Diem On The Trail With Basho Encore #14 "falling willow leaves"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for an all new episode of our special feature "Encore" in which I present haiku written by Basho to inspire you to write an all new haiku (or tanka). This week I have chosen a beautiful haiku which Basho wrote while he was on his journey into the deep north.

When travelers stayed in a temple, they were expected to perform some work like sweeping out their rooms and or sweeping up the garden or make a payment in some kind. Basho was now alone, because Sora had traveled on ahead of him. When Basho went to leave the temple, some monks stopped him by asking for the payment of at least a poem. Sora had stayed the night before in the same temple and had left the following verse for Basho.
yomosugara   aki kaze kiku ya   ura no yama

all night long
hearing autumn winds
in the mountain behind

© Sora
One wonders if 'the mountain behind' was Basho, and if he 'autumn winds' were Basho's cold feelings. It is easy to see, how on a journey of this length (2400 km) two friends could get very tired of each other.

The following haiku by Basho, he wrote as a payment for his stay at the temple.
niwa hou te   ide baya tera ni   chiru yanagi

to sweep the garden
before I leave
falling willow leaves

© Basho

Basho and Sora

A wonderful haiku I think. I love this verse and I have written the next one. I hope that my haiku will be in the same tone and sense as Basho's.
tears in my eyes
I give Honeysuckle blossom
when I leave

© Chèvrefeuille

In 'My Narrow Road' I have used some of the traditions as they were used in ancient Japan. This verse I wrote for friends as payment for staying at their home.
It's for sure in Chevrefeuille's Spirit and I think ... also in the Spirit of Basho.

Another one also from 'My Narrow Road'.
a bound verse (*)
farewell gift for my host
and blossom petals

© Chèvrefeuille

 (*) a renga was also called a 'bound verse'.
I wrote this one to thank the host of a bed and breakfast in Nikko. He was very pleasant and friendly.

This episode of "Encore" is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and it will remain open until next Friday October 2nd at noon (CET).


  1. The Basho' s haiku is beautiful but yours are filled with real, raw emotions and strong image, Chèvrefeuille. And what a precious farewell gift...
    The Spirits of Basho and Chevrefeuille melted together in a masterful way.

    1. Thank you Ese ... this makes me blush ... I am just a humble disciple of Basho. A bigger compliment you couldn't have given me.

  2. Beautiful, sincere haiku - great background!

  3. I love Basho, and I'm always excited to see him reappear. Thank you!