Mizu No Oto

      by Bill Knott

Pain passes for sunlight at certain depths
which most of us never strike; the dive
is too far: or is the ear sheer enough—

ō by a pond heard a frog make
the usual faucet-dripping-into-a-keyhole
sound; it wisely ignored his efforts

to collaborate. Get your galleyslaves
rowing with icicles for oars, that’s
one way some say. Risist the urge

to halve the sea/be laser Moses,
to submerge yourself as a slice
specimen, all random camera words.

Beyond the caprice of earth to slake,
thirst issues from the source it breaks.

From Homages by Bill Knott, CreateSpace, 2014, page 57. Author’s Note: A meditation upon Bashō’s most famous haiku, whose final syllables I’ve used for the title.