To Bashō [I]

by Nyogen Senzaki

Any script, ancient or modern,

Is an instrument to express hocus.

It can be arranged into lines, perpendicular or horizontal.

Our Bashō, however, wrote some hocus which transcends script

and form.

To produce poems of wordless word and formless form,

Man has to experience the loneliness of autumn,

Century after century.

November 2, 1939

From Like a Dream, Like a Fantasy: The Zen Teachings and Translations of Nyogen Senzaki, Somerville, Massachusetts: Wisdom Publications, 2005, page 50.