Come, butterfly It's late-- We've miles to go together. —Bashō, On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho
soe-uta: disintegration cannot bear the body it wears: each solid breath numbered
kazoe-uta: his thumb draws one line down her cheekbone, another across her lips, a trace of fire, a wheel spinning through her windblown thoughts
nazurae-uta: the sow slaughtered into sections on his return; stooped father ripe with rings, purple robes and wine in hollowed barrels: her eyes as inevitable as drunkenness
tatoe-uta: cold to her fingers: the metal bowl filled with rainwater from the last 24 hours, a storm she could not contain, water to the lip and over: his continual leaving
tadagoto-uta: mourners led forward, mud splashed onto bare legs; he is no longer sure she wore satin, no longer sure the words he left lined her pillow or the dreams she floated in
iwai-uta: to the third layer of heaven where she waits, to the earth beneath her waiting, to who she was, fine bones, soft breath, before the leaving, her fire roused then traced across the sky like butterfly in flame
footnote: In his kana (phonetic syllabary) preface to the Kokinshu in the tenth century, Ki-no-Tsurayuki lists six types of poetry. These can be found in Bashō’s Narrow Road to the Interior, Translator’s Introduction, written by Sam Hamill.
1st Place Oregon Poetry Association 2011 Spring Contest, free verse category. (Published in Verseweavers)
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