Thinking About Bashō

by Bracha K. Sharp

That laundry won’t

Fold itself

I think


I watch the moon,

Treading softly

In the dim corona

Of lamplight

Swathing the room.

But what about Bashō


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 away from Bashō’s


So I read Haikus,

And listen to music,

(Bashō singing)

And the laundry is forgotten,

And the moon.

But not 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.