Naviarhaiku176 – Lonely stillness

The haiku of the week is from The Narrow Road to the Interior, a collection of haibun (prose + haiku) written by Matsuo Basho

In Yamagata Province, the ancient temple founded by Jikaku Daishi in 86o, Ryushaku Temple is stone quiet, perfectly tidy. Everyone told us to see it. It meant a few miles extra, doubling back toward Obanazawa to find shelter. Monks at the foot of the mountain offered rooms, then we climbed the ridge to the temple, scrambling up through ancient gnarled pine and oak, gray smooth stones and moss. The temple doors, built on rocks, were bolted. I crawled among boulders to make my bows at shrines. The silence was profound. I sat, feeling my heart begin to open.

Lonely stillness-
a single cicada’s cry
sinking into stone


DEADLINE: 25th May

Poem by Matsuo Bashō

Picture by Parker Gibbs