Along the Way

by Judy Halebsky


In this world, our life passes, temporary shelter


To make his life bigger than the corners of a desk

bigger than 18 scoops of ice cream

a four-lane highway, a 747

he wants to get married

Christmas cake: to get old quickly

evening wedding: in the nick of time

a poet friend advises Bashō to live within his means

spinning maid, sitting maid, window watcher

first the house, then plates and chairs

butter knives, serving spoons

our life, in this world, passing/falling, a temporary shelter

(the verb for getting old also means falling, the way rain falls)

a bride in the last flourish of her youth: evening wedding

a girl, good until her twenty-fifth: Christmas cake

pass over: to be left behind

pass over: to escape

our life falling the way rain falls

this world, a brief shelter

a newspaper hat in the rain

From Space/Gap/Interval/Distance, San Francisco: Sixteen Rivers Press, 2012, pages 18–19. The Bashō poem has also been translated by Toshiharu Oseko as “To live in this world / Is temporary, as Sōgi says / Of the rain shelter,” because the poem is an allusive variation of a poem by Sōgi (宗祇, or そうぎ in hiragana).