Kiyotaki

Although not his death verse, the last haiku Basho completed during his lifetime was 清滝や波に散り込む青松葉 Kiyotaki ya, nami ni chiri-komu, ao-matsuba

..Ah, Kiyotaki!

..Scattered in your swirling waters

..Pine-needles’ green

revised on his deathbed in Osaka from a version composed at Kiyotaki a few months before. The Kiyotaki stream is only a couple of miles from my house in Kyoto, and I took Nobuyuki Yuasa there on Thursday for an evening visit to hear the singing of the 河鹿 kajika frogs from its shingle.

……………………………………………Creeping in the dark

……………………………………………Toward’s Basho’s monument,

……………………………………………A lone firefly ………………………(Sosui)

……Descant warbling

……Of the river-deer frogs –

……A roofless twilight inn ………………….(Tito)

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