“…the many vistas before us / are the work of passing clouds.” —Butcho, Basho’s friend and teacher


A couple of swans

in the middle of the bay

on a bright winter

day. Nothing else to

see out there. Calm shapes, ever-

shifting blue. They fix

the deep perspective.

Look at them, forget yourself.

Basho moon viewing.

The road has no gate.

Life is an open road, snow

somewhere up ahead.


Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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