cams columbine

Some days the pull of pavement beneath her feet overwhelms her.  Fields would be better – or woodland trails – but for now the crunch of gravel masks the static and urges her onward.

What needs to be fixed?  What needs to be broken?   She gathers these questions into a pouch and ignores them.  

For now the roadsides are blooming and the new leaves are tender.  

For now.

in columbines
between the rails
the blues

Linked to Carpe Diem #731: How Enticing.  Bastet is our host for this weekend and she shares the following haiku from Basho:

Omoshiro ya/ kotoshi no haru mo/ tabi no sora

how enticing
in the spring of this year
again on a journey

Basho (trans. Jane Reichhold)
(spring 1689)

Bastet explains that

“the first of Basho’s journeys resulted from a series of events which had rendered him dissatisfied and lonely, although he had attained a certain amount of fame in Edo.  So, in 1684 Basho departed from Edo, alone for the first of his four journeys, taking the “Edo’s Five Routes” which in Medieval times was considered to be very dangerous, and probably Basho did not expect to return from that trip.  However as his trip progressed his spirit improved very much and he began to feel better.  He met many friends during his travels and enjoyed the changing seasons and countryside.  His poetry became more vivacious and less introspective which reflects the joy he felt travelling.”

Then in 1689 Basho planned to take a longer trip.  He sent the “how enticing” haiku to his pupil, Kyorai.  (It was meant as an announcement; also, the original Japanese uses the word “sora” or “sky” – indicating his intended travel companion, Sora.)


18 thoughts on “columbines (haibun)

  1. I know you posted this back in May but for me it’s summing up what I seem to be feeling about the onset of winter, I must say – ah the gloom!

    My favourite line is “She gathers these questions into a pouch and ignores them” – partly because of the matter-of-factness of the image and partly because it could be hopeful, could be hopeless..


    • Ah, this does speak well to winter as much as to spring, doesn’t it? Oh, how I remember what I was feeling while writing it … and it brings such an ache. Especially the line you mentioned — gathering the questions, ignoring them. Wow. Appropriate.

      Thanks Blake 🙂


  2. Great post here Jen – really captured spirit and essence of the “darker” bluesy aspect of spring – how it is we know we’re supposed to feel delight, joy, awareness, awe, but sometimes, how it can be difficult, even with all the beauty.

    Really love this: “What needs to be fixed? What needs to be broken? / She gathers these questions into a pouch and ignores them. ”

    Great lines 😀


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