December 4th 2015 | eggshells

Basho wasn’t Basho’s birth name, nor was it Buson’s or Issa’s. Basho assumed his haiku name when his disciples built him a hut and planted a banana tree beside it. Basho, which is Banana tree in Japanese, was named after it. When I was writing haiku several years ago I signed my haiku with my nickname—bottlecap (because of my bottlecap glasses). So if I’m going to pass myself off as a haikuist, then it seems to me I ought to get back to signing my haiku that way—by my haiku name.

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eggshells
····in the old mailbox—last summer’s
··············delivery

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28: December 4th 2015 | bottlecap

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As I was clearing room for wood, I moved an old mailbox atop its rotten post. It had been left leaning on the shed wall. When I picked it up, out fell a Barn Swallow’s nest and its eggshells. I decided to lean it round the corner for another swallow and for another carpenter—who might also wonder why it wasn’t thrown out.