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Songs of 
Cherry Blossoms Falling 

by Basho 

edited by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 
& Kassandra Kramer 

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Portland, O r e g o k 

Scriptor Press 

Songs of 
Cherry Blossoms Falling 

by Basho 

edited by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 
& Kassandra Kramer 

Number Thirty-six 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling 

(circa A.D.1 667- 1694) 
by Basho 

Burning Man Books is 

an imprint of 

Scriptor Press 

2442 NW Market Street-#363 

Seattle, Washington 98107 

cenacle@mindspring. com 

This volume was composed 
in the AGaramond font 
in PageMaker 7.0 on the 
Macintosh G4 computer 

Open out to these songs. 
Let their music prime life's mysteries. 

Autumn moonlight 

a worm digs silently 

into a chestnut 

The oak tree: 

not interested 

in cherry blossoms 

A bee 
staggers out 
of the peony 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling 

attached to nothing 
the skylark singing 

It's not like anything 

they compare it to — 

the summer moon 

A cicada shell 
it sang itself 
utterly away 


First snow 


on the half-finished bridge 

The morning glory also 

turns out 

not to be my friend 

All this foolishness 
about moons and blossoms 
pricked by the cold's needle 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling 

The beginning of art— 
a rice-planting song 
in the backcountry 

The spring we don't see — 

on the back of a hand mirror 

a plum tree in flower 

Winter solitude — 

in a world of one color 

the sound of wind 

8 • BashO 

You could turn this way, 

I'm also lonely 

this autumn evening 

Summer grasses . . . 

traces of dreams 
of ancient warriors 

The sea darkens — 

the voices of the wild ducks 

are faintly white 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling • 9 

I still want to see 

in blossoms at dawn the face 

of the mountain god 

The bush warbler 

in a grove of bamboo sprouts 

sings of growing old 

All day long, singing, 

yet the day's not long enough 

for the skylark's song 

10 • Basho 

A weathered temple, 

blossoming peach, and, hulling rice, 

just one old man 

Weather-beaten bones, 

I'll leave your heart exposed 

to cold, piercing winds 

Things beyond number 

all somehow called to mind by 

blossoming cherries 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling 


If my voice was good, 

I'd sing a song of cherry 

blossoms falling 

The wandering crow 

finds only plum blossoms 

where its nest had been 

The moon disappears 

into darkening treetops 

collecting the rain 

12 • Basho 

A harvest moon, 

and creeping up to my gate, 

the rising tide 

Drinking sake 

brings on insomnia — 

it snowed all night 

The cry of the dove 

penetrates even the stone 

door of this dark cave 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling 


In the old cow barn, 
dusky sounds of mosquitoes- 
summer heat lingers on 

A winter garden — 

the moon also a thread, 

like the insect's song 

On the coldest night, 

we two sleeping together — 

how comfortable! 

14 • Basho 

With clear melting dew, 

I'd try to wash away the dust 

of this floating world 

For today only, 

we'll grow old together in 

the first winter rain 

Freshly reburnished, 

the temple mirror is clear — 

blossoming snowflakes 

Songs of Cherry Blossoms Falling 


The whole household — 
each with white hair and cane- 
visiting a grave 

Even the whitefish 

opens black eyes to the law 

of Buddha's net 

Sick on my journey 

only my dreams will wander 

these desolate moors 

16 • Basho