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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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#2567 - Monday, August 28, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Other than the first poem, this issue is a post from Mazie Lane to Garden Mystics.


Unable to get into the Monet show,
Too many people there, too many cars,
We spent the Sunday morning at Bowl Pond
A mile from the Museum, where no one was,
And walked an hour or so around the rim
Beside five acres of flowering waterlilies
Lifting three feet above their floating pads
Huge yellow flowers heavy on bending stems
In various phases of array and disarray
Of Petals packed, unfolded, opening to show
The meaty orange centers that become,
When the ruined flags fall away, green shower heads
Spilling their wealth of seed at summer's end
Into the filthy water among small fish
Mud-colored and duck moving explorative
Through jungle pathways opened among the fronds
Upon whose surface water drops behave
Like mercury, collecting in heavy silver coins
Instead of bubbles; some few redwinged blackbirds
Whistling above all this once in a while,
The silence else unbroken all about.

Howard Nemerov, from The Selected Poems of Howard Nemerov. (Swallow Press)

Travel Sketches - Basho


From Basho's "The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches"    

Many things of the past are brought to my mind, as I stand in the garden staring at a cherry tree.    

    I paid a visit to the shrine at Ise Yamada.  

Not knowing the name of the tree, I stood in the flood of its sweet smell.  

It is a bit too cold to be naked in this stormy wind of February.        

I met Setsudo, son of Ajiro Minbu.  

A young shoot has borne beautiful flowers growing upon an aged plum tree.        

I threw away quite a number of things, for I believed in traveling light. There were certain things, however, I had to carry on my back - such as a raincoat, an overcoat, an inkstone, a brush, writing paper, medicine, a lunch basket - and these constituted quite a load for me. I made such slow progress that I felt deeply depressed as I walked along with faltering steps, giving as much power as I could to my trembling knees.  

Tired of walking I put up at an inn, embraced comfortably by wisteria flowers.        

At Nijikko:  

One after another in silent succession fall the flowers of yellow roses - the roar of tumbling water.        

Dragging my sore heels, I plodded along like Saigyo, all the time with the memory of his suffering at the River Tenryu in my mind, and when I hired a horse, I thought of the famous priest who had experienced the disgrace of being thrown from his horse into a moat. Nevertheless, it was a great pleasure to see the marvellous beauties of nature, rare scenes in the mountains or along the coast, or to visit the sites of temporary abodes of ancient sages where they had spent their secluded lives, or better still, to meet people who had entirely devoted themselves to the search for artistic truth. Since I had nowhere permanent to stay, I had no interest whatever in keeping treasures, and since I was empty-handed, I had no fear of being robbed on the way. I walked at full ease, scorning the pleasure of riding in a palanquin, and filled my hungry stomach with coarse food, shunning the luxury of meant. I bent my steps in whatever direction I wished, having no itinerary to follow. My only mundane concerns were whether the straw sandals were the right size for my feet. Every turn of the road brought me new thoughts and every sunrise gave me fresh emotions. My joy was great when I encountered anyone with the slightest understanding of artistic elegance .... indeed, one of the greatest pleasures of travelling was to find a genius hidden among weeds and bushes, a treasure lost in broken tiles, a mass of gold buried in clay, and when I did find such a person, I always kept a record with the hope that I might be able to show it to my friends.  

The day for the spring change of clothing came.  

I took a kimono off to feel lighter only putting it in the load on my back.  

The moment I descended Mount Yoshino, I sought to sell my cotton-stuffed coat.                                      

Written by Mangiku          

At a certain man's home in Osaka:  

To talk casually about an iris flower is one of the pleasures of the wandering journey.      

~ Basho, "The Narrow Road To The Deep North And Other Travel Sketches"        

Happy Gardening,   Mazie  

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