When asked, he’d write a poem. She gave him silk,
a small white piece. Her name was Butterfly,
and what she wanted was her name in ink,
deep black on white, her small life glorified
by Basho’s brush. It was a small tea house
deep in the woods and Towards the end of day.
He writes about the beauty Time allows–
eternities of now that fly away:
a butterfly on orchid’s leaf, its wings
alit with incense burning sweetly in
the sun. That’s all that Basho writes. Black sings
on white, simplicity a perfect hymn.
And that’s the gift that he gave Butterfly,
alive, again, though long ago both died.
by Ed Hack
Editor’s Note: This sonnet elegantly merges several different forms of art into one 14 line poem—a fitting tribute to Basho’s words and imagery.
Leave a Reply