milky way

Ponder and Wander

by Don Baird (2018) 

As I ponder and wander through this year's developing Under the Basho journal, I realize how blessed we all are to share such beautiful thoughts — our poetry . . . from around the world. I don't travel much; I've never been out of the United States. Nevertheless, I have friends from dozens of countries through haiku and related poetry styles.  This is what our journal does — it brings folks together!

Under the Basho is fraught with little gems to read. It has grown to include numerous styles, both modern and of ancient times. I find myself . . .

muddy thoughts
the day clings
to my boots

Mary Hanrahan - USA

I'm lost in it; I'm found in it; and, it clings to my soul -— all of it.  The following dream-like haiku continues my journey;

sea lettuces
floating on the waves —
nowhere to go

Norie Umeda - Japan

I reflect on the "haiku wars," from time to time. I journey into my own psyche and question how that even occurred; this is poetry for goodness sake — not war! It is an art form . . . a way to bleed the heart . . . a touch of each poet's sense of self. . . and beyond. The journey through Under the Basho is a journey through the thing called self — the reader having much to do with completing the poem. Haiku, an open-ended medium, is ready and willing to be fulfilled by new readers — haiku beg for completion.

Not all becomes that clear. The following poem leaves one in a kind of "where am I" feeling:

the cognac
you told me never to open
rainy day

Aaron Barry - Canada

And the next one — where does it take you?

reading poetry
all that white space in the clouds
Mark Gilbert - United Kingdom

If I had pennies for all of the thoughts these two poems cause, I'd be a wealthy man!

Under the Basho is designed so that any visiting reader will find nuggets of gold for their pondering. We attempt to read the submissions with open, longing minds so that we not only produce what we personally like (our editing team), but that we produce gems that readers will discover and enjoy as well. Keep reading; keep glancing through the journal; I bet something will catch your mind — your consciousness — and send you into another space/place of being.

Like this one:

the deeper we go the darker it gets kelp forest

Nicholas Mathisen - USA

That's the truth!

And so,

heavy fog
I take directions
from departing geese

LeRoy Gorman - Canada

There's the answer. When in doubt, follow the geese!

We've collected new poetry for nearly a year. Haiku to haiga, one-liners to visual haiku, there are unique and inspiring poetry for all to enjoy. Find some time, sit back . . . and read (re-read) for years to come.

We, at Under the Basho, appreciate contributors' steadfast work and creativity. We are all blessed that you find our journal worthy and engaging enough to trust us with your poetry. It's a personal journey for you; we respect that.

And for all the readers that pop by for a visit, thank you! Without great readers, poetry simply wouldn’t have a place on the shelf.

Have a blessed rest of the year! We all look forward to what next year will bring! Peace and Blessings,

Don Baird

Editor in Chief

The public domain image is a scene from The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Yosa Buson dated ca. 1780.
(Folding fan mounted as a hanging scroll; ink and color on paper.)