Bashō, the hokku poet
by Nyogen Senzaki
Bashō, the hokku poet of Japan,
Wandered alone like a ragged cloud.
He drifted aimlessly from place to place,
Like a nameless riverlet of the Autumn field.
Three centuries after his living days,
His admirers and followers commemorate him,
On this shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Even though eighty-four thousand poems
Were written in different languages,
They cannot delineate the loneliness of pattering rain
On an evening in Southern California.
Commemoration of Bashō
November 3, 1938
Zen Temple, 727 1/1 E. First Street
From Eloquent Silence: Nyogen Senzaki's Gateless Gate and Other Previously Unpublished Teachings and Letters, Somerville, Massachusetts: Wisdom Publications, 2008, page 327, shown below, with the author’s calligraphy.