Wednesday, June 08, 2005


When I visited Basho, in the little museum there - where they have some personal effects like Basho’s cane of tsubaki (a little spindly thing it is!) - I bought as a souvenir a cotton tenugui with Basho’s image imprinted on it, after a famous ink painting of the poet. In Japan, at least traditionally, whenever you set out to do a task that will call for stamina and generate sweat, you tie a tenugui around your head. So early this morning, before I started firewooding I did just that, then spent all morning splitting oak with Basho tied around my head. We had a great time, got a lot of firewood split and stacked in the poetry way.


As the wedge splits the oak
out oozes juice
that looks - smells -- tastes
like premium whiskey
zero proof
aged at least 50 years

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