from dancing atoms,
life is short.
I live life
with defiant joy,
all the way.
An earlier version of this post responded to a challenge inspired by Basho’s last haiku, written when he knew he was dying. Contributors were asked to imagine Basho writing a haiku for his closest followers from his deathbed. While I admired the resulting excellent sad poems, I defied the expectation of sadness and imagined Basho rallying briefly to encourage his companions with a pair of short haiku in 3-5-3.
My response to the previous challenge bungled the initial line of Mortality #2. My first thought was that Basho might tell his followers to
Live your lives / with defiant joy, / …
Telling people like me how to live is a reliable way to elicit angry defiance, so I rejected my first thought, neglected to defy my own fondness for alliteration, and settled on
Let’s live life / with defiant joy, / …
despite some misgivings. Hmmm. Wish I had used
I lived life / with defiant joy, / …
as what Basho might say on his deathbed. Hmmm. I can use it now in the present tense because I am still fairly healthy for my age, in defiance of the odds against those who bungle things more consequential than a line of poetry. So I use it in the revised Mortality #2 here, with defiant joy.
– above post (on phone) or beside it (on desktop). –