published on Frogpond and American Haibun & Haiga, 2003

A mountain haijin has come to the seaside. I am at a hot spring along
the coast of the Japan Sea (a twelve hour train ride from my town). The spring is located in the open, right by the beach. A few steps away is the wide, wide expanse of the Japan Sea. I watch the huge sunset as I warm myself in the hot water.

calm sea...
a boat's wake
leads to the setting sun

Basho walked along this beach on his "Narrow Road of Oku" and wrote the following haiku:

the rough sea -
flowing toward Sado Island
the river of Heaven

Sado is too far to see from where I am. And I do not stay outside to
observe the river of Heaven, the Milky Way. I have a party to attend
and, having been in the hot spring too long, I am more attracted to cold beer and sake.

a treat for travelers,
milk for Basho
and sake for me