Thinking About Bashō

      by Bracha K. Sharp

That laundry won’t
Fold itself

I think
and

I watch the moon,
Treading softly
In the dim corona
Of lamplight
Swathing the room.

But what about Bashō
and,

In a way
It was fun
Not to see Mt. Fuji
In foggy rain,

And also,

Not knowing
The name of the tree,
I stood in the flood
Of its sweet smell . . .

I listen to the echoes of
Haikus in my head,
And cannot bring myself

To flee the moon’s stare,
Or wander from Bashō’s
Pathways—
So I read Haikus,

And listen to music,
(Bashō singing)
And the laundry is forgotten,
And the moon.

But to Bashō,
As I say,

To talk casually
About an iris flower
Is one of the pleasures
Of the wandering journey.

And so I wander.


From American Poetry Review 45:6, November/December 2016, page 34. Of course, the word “haiku” isn’t a proper noun, so it shouldn’t be capitalized, and it’s also singular and plural, thus there’s no need to say “haikus.” But this is a lovely poem.