Meditation and Poetics – Haiku – 7 (Haiku – continued)

Meeting, the two old friends laugh aloud
In the grove, the fallen leaves are many.

Packed in and sleeping with others
Again getting up from this night’s lodging.

The wandering poet, Basho describing his own empty wanderings – “Packed in and sleeping with others/Again getting up from this night’s lodging”.

(R.H.) Blyth, who was the author of this, suggests a number of qualities, such as space (and) time, which are, for him, the empty subjects, so to speak, the empty subjects of haiku – selflessness, loneliness, grateful acceptance, wordlessness, non-intellectuality, contradictoriness, thus humor, freedom from conceptions, non-morality, simplicity, materiality – those are the eleven – a series of eleven themes or aspects of the emptiness suggested by the haiku.

Standing still
the voices of frogs
heard in the distance too

Standing still
the sound of car tires
heard on Marine Street

That’s a common experience, that standing still.

And then there’s a Chinese poem, quoted to back up his contention about the empty forms – or the different forms of emptiness, the different aspects of emptiness. It’s called “Evening Quiet”

Evening Quiet”.

Early cicadas stop their trilling
[(Cicadas – locusts)]

Early cicadas stop their trilling
Points of light, new fireflies pass to and fro.
The taper burns clear and smokeless;
Beads of bright dew hang on the bamboo mat.
I won’t go into the house to sleep yet
But walk awhile underneath the leaves.
The rays of the moon slant into the low veranda.
The cool breeze fills the tall trees.
Letting loose the feelings, life flows on easily.
The scene entered deep into my heart.
What is the secret of this state?
To have nothing small on one’s mind.

With the bull on board,
a small boat passes across the river
through the evening rain.

That’s a sort of Kerouac-ian powerful one – “With the bull on board,/ small boat passes across the river/through the evening rain”.

Another, sort of Objectivist style:

Along this road
no one goes
this autumn eve.

Well, somebody had to go through there to notice that -“Along this road/no one goes
this autumn eve”.

Then, regarding change, and some element of grateful acceptance of change:

Blowing from the west
fallen leaves
gather in the east.

The grasses of the garden
they fall
and lie as they fall.

Or lie as they fall, or lie where they fall. Wherever they fall, they lie where they fall.

The heavy wagon
rumbles by
peonies quiver

I used some similar thing in “Wales Visitation” poem, speaking of my own breath; my own breath trembling in white daisies by the roadside.

Summer lightning
yesterday in the East
today in the West

In the vast inane
there is no back and front.

In the vast inane
there is no back and front.

Summer lightning
yesterday in the East
today in the West.

Peter Orlovsky: What does “inane” mean?

AG: Can somebody define “inane”? Somebody define “inane” to Peter Orlovsky.
(and) can somebody give me a cigarette?)- Inane?

Student: (Inanity)
Student (2) Making no sense.
Student (3): Harmless.
Student (4): Heartless, meaningless.

AG: Is there a classics major in the house?
Student: Yes
AG: What is it? What’s the root?
Student: Benign.Yes
AG:And what does that mean?
Student; Without substance.
AG: Without substance.
Student: Yeah
AG:I want to go back, because it recurs in the book, but it’s.. just right now..

They spoke no word
the visitor, the host
and the white chrysanthemum.

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