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—
Bashō 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. Resist 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.