Autumn Frost from blogsite


Kristjaan writes:  

Today I love to share a, not so well known, haiku by (my master) Matsuo Basho

in which we can read and see how ancient Japanese honored their parents.

As they did honor their parents we see nowadays

more dis-honor for parents or likewise parents for their kids.


te ni tora ba kie n namida zo atsuki aki no shimo
if taken into my hand
melting in the heat of tears
autumn frost
© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
As was common in those times this haiku had a preface:
‘At the beginning of September I came back home.
I was already long since my mother had died. 
The grass in front of mother’s room had withered in the frost. 
Everything had changed. 
The hair of my brother and sisters 
(Basho had a brother, an elder sister and three younger sisters)
was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. 
We could only say, ‘we are fortunate to be still alive’. 
Nothing more. 
My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, 
‘Look, at mother’s white hair. 
You have came back after such a long time. 
So this is like the Tamate Box of Urashima Taro.
Your eyebrows have become white’. 
We wept for a while and then I composed this verse.
yes I do sometimes write a preface to my haiku as was common in Basho’s time):
 Chèvrefeuille preface
This verse of Basho touches me deep, because it brings painful memories. My Grandparents are all gone and also my elder brother died. As I look into the mirror my hair is starting to become grey. When my brother was still alive he surely would be grey, because he was several years older.


life passes –

in the early sunlight

the ripe melts


frost on the branches

melts in the early sunlight

life passes


© Chèvrefeuille (2012)


my hair turned grey

as if it was the frost

on bare branches


a pebble

thrown into the old pond

in an eye blink it’s gone


© Chèvrefeuille (2012)


My response preface:
In red to honor my mother who loved red to go with her
white blouses and black skirts. 
(Her  white pearls she wore often looked elegant with red.)
When my mother died, my 
father had already been gone for many years,
a baby sister died decades ago.
I became the matriarch
of my immediate small family:
a younger brother, (who became the patriarch when dad died)
two adult children who may be past their middle age,
and four granddaughters who are adults or nearly adults.
Time goes by so quickly…
in my mind, I feel as if I’m still in my thirties,
I look in the mirror, and it says otherwise.
My response haiku… 
in baby blue to honor my father with the bluest eyes
my hair has gray frost
my eyes did too with cataracts
gram looked back in mirror
I see again with clarity
the miracle of medicine