Taking Basho in search of wild flowers

David G O'Sullivan

Recently, motivated by tales of beautiful wild flowers growing on the eastern side of Mount Ruby, I went hiking. I took my camera and set out, packing water, sturdy boots, determination and a copy of Basho’s Haikus. The trek was going to be long so I started early in the morning. The gravel path I was to take wound through some thick forests and steep slopes but the rewards are incredible. The aim was to go to the slopes of Mount Ruby where there are masses of wild flowers and some rare beauties. I am currently reading Madame Bovary but I decided for today I would take my book of Haikus by Basho, this book having the better claim on a journey into nature.

I awoke early, I had packed my bag the night before and i headed out, seeing this great sunrise.

Fields, Moutains

of Hubaku, in

nine days – spring.

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On the night train by Henry Lawson

David G O'Sullivan

Have you seen the bush by moonlight, from the train, go running by?
Blackened log and stump and sapling, ghostly trees all dead and dry;
Here a patch of glassy water; there a glimpse of mystic sky?
Have you heard the still voice calling – yet so warm, and yet so cold:
“I’m the Mother-Bush that bore you! Come to me when you are old”?

Did you see the Bush below you sweeping darkly to the Range,
All unchanged and all unchanging, yet so very old and strange!
While you thought in softened anger of the things that did estrange?
(Did you hear the Bush a-calling, when your heart was young and bold:
“I’m the Mother-bush that nursed you; Come to me when you are old”?)

In the cutting or the tunnel, out of sight of stock or shed,
Did you hear the grey Bush calling from the pine-ridge overhead:

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