Sleeping with Bashō

by David Trinidad



At the Yam Festival


What a delicious life!

When I cut a sweet

potato in half, I get

the harvest moon.



Stripped Branches


What’s left after the wind

blows every blossom

off the dog cherry—

a tree of wagging tails.



Surrender to the Beauty of Flowers


Be sure to wear

your flowered robe

when you come out

to view the blossoms.



Family History


The bamboo sprout

cares nothing

about the stalk

that produced him.



Wagging Tongues


Every red leaf


with gossip.



Lights Out



the new moon

has been sent upstairs

before her bedtime.





Like wild geese,

we’ll only be separated

by clouds, my dear,

dear friend.



House Call


How come the rich merchant

never sends a horse

to fetch the village poet?



Seeing Is Believing


I found god

in plum blossoms,

not the great blank sky

beyond them.



From Poetry, November 2023. Also from Sleeping with Bashō (Kenmore, New York: BlazeVOX [books], 2024). These poems offer creative riffs on Bashō’s haiku, derived from Jane Reichhold’s translations, as the author explains in the introduction to his book, which you can read, along with a preview of the poems, on the BlazeVOX website. For additional selections from the book, see the Plume Poetry website.       +