The basho project


Lance Henson

from far down river the echoes of cities

you are returning and there are no sweet winds
to hold you
no fields to see you remembering
not even the pale moon
that once remembered everything

outside the window the light is moving away
the tracks of animals holding themselves for the last time

the gathering night full of stillness … …

we have waited a long time
in our prayers we have lit lamps though the words
that know us have turned away

others without the hope of prayer have
walked past us and lain down

their voices fallen into the rivers …

awakening to bullets shattering lives
on the streets of kosovo and kabul

their names rise up
in a misted rain
they put their hands upon our eyes
that have grown lonely and searching

in this torn place
a leaf falls leaving its shadow on the wind

and the birds in their songs …

© 1998 Lance Henson

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