Thursday, July 12, 2012

in Basho's shadow

yagate shinu
keshiki wa miezu
semi no koe
in the end, they die
without seeing the landscape
cicada sounds

I've been a Basho fan for quite some time. Not really an expert but the knowledge of a few of his beautiful mind-bubble poems (otherwise known as haiku, that's my bad translation above of one of my favorite summer ones, so any mistranslation is my fault) always clung to bits of my mind somewhere in the subconscious dusk between awareness and eternal oblivion. I think I first read Basho in college, a poem that I've tried to find since. The image is still framed in my mind (morning dew/pine trees/serenity) but sadly the words are gone. That's the brilliance of Basho though I suppose, he packaged up little images of nature, from his hikes in the Japanese Wilderness, and passed them down to us. I suppose this is a bit like praising Shakespeare, noting a man considered great is like bringing a pebble to a mountain and saying you increased the height. None the less, life brought me down to the Yamanaka area of Ishikawa last week. Basho also walked these roads, but literally 100s of years before. His ghost was smeared against a collection of buildings and society, his footprints lost in the echo chamber of Time. None the less, as I walked down the side of a rural river with a friend from college, talking about the futility of life, I couldn't help but think of the Banana Shack poet and his push against the layers and layers of years between me and him. Wanting or not, his shadow had been burnt against the wall of the cave so to speak. I felt like a thin gust of wind examining a rock, my life blowing past in a rush of transparent gusto, noticed by few, least of all this stone locked in the unreal past.

All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.