Sunday 24 April 2011

my little fish called Bashō



To be a fish !

So utterly without misgiving
To be a fish
In the waters.

Loveless, and so lively!
Born before God was love,
Or life knew loving.
Beautifully beforehand with it all.

And I said to my heart, there are limits
To you, my heart;
And to the one God.
Fish are beyond me.

With their gold, red eyes, and green-pure gleam, and
And their pre-world loneliness,
And more-than-lovelessness.

from: D.H. Lawrence (



some say that i am unaware
that i possess no more than
the limited attention span
necessary for the restricted
round of my world

i concede this may be true
yet the walls of my domain
are no less transparent than yours
and the confines of mine
are more visible
inhabitants of strictured spheres

but i whose dominion
is a mere fin span -
with each turn of the bowl
and there the world renewed

swiss (bashō as a fish)



  1. departing spring—
    birds cry, in the fishes’
    eyes are tears

    yuku haru ya / tori naki uo no / me wa namida

    tr. David Landis Barnhill

  2. fishes, birds,
    their heart we do not know:
    seeing the year off

    uo tori no / kokoro wa shirazu / toshiwasure


    “Fish never tire of water; no one other than a fish knows their heart. Birds love the woods; no one other than a bird knows their heart. The same is true of those who savor reclusion.”

    Kamo no Chomei

    Tr. David Barnhill

  3. oh, Basho for Basho, how wonderful, Michael! :-)

  4. although the Lawrence poem you found is pretty darn good itself.

  5. i used to have a fish just like that . i call him Indi . first time i saw him , i can feel that there's a chemistry between us . he's died last year . miss him T.T

  6. What force there is in fish that live their years
    in the cold darks of the sea, swimming the darks

    In August once, I dozed on an unused bridge
    to hang in the very world, in the teeming air
    absorbed in certainties that never fail, though blind.

    ---William Bronk.

    and sometimes i think of these words, spoken by/as a fish, a silver fish that has inherited the black:

    I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
    What ever you see I swallow immediately
    Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
    I am not cruel, only truthful---
    The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
    Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
    It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
    I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
    Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
    Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
    Searching my reaches for what she really is.
    Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
    I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
    She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
    I am important to her. She comes and goes.
    Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
    In me she has drowned a young girl.

    Otherwise, it is hard to comment on the beauty of your posts.


  7. Little, beautiful but also a you.

  8. für Basho:

    Depuis que j'habite cet endroit
    Je ne sais combien de temps a passé
    Si la fatigue vient, j'étends mes jambes et dors
    Si je suis reposé, je mets mes sandales et pars.
    Les louanges des hommes m'indiffèrent, comme leurs moqueries
    Mon corps né d'un père et d'une mère
    Suit son karma et cela suffit à me réjouir.
    (Maître Ryokan)

    Dir alles Liebste, Roxana!
    Die Wolkenprinzessin :-) :-)

  9. Who would not relish
    The fact of being a fish
    In your dish ?
    Under your fascinated gaze
    To receive the love you lavish
    As you cherish
    A fish

  10. Does Basho
    think of Matsuo,
    I wonder?

  11. esenţa apei este Ichtios, rotunjimea muţeniei lui e frumuseţea fără habar a infinitului.
    lup(t)a apei e numai shift-ul necontenit al sferelor perfectului.

    universul frumosului e un acvariu pe versuri de basho

  12. Il se nomme vraiment Basho ? ;)

  13. first let me say that you have a genius for naming fish ... it suits him perfectly :-)

    then these pictures! they are pure encounter, as we look, from our time, into Basho's moment, this world so near and so completely other ... is not photography the perfect expression of this difference in the experience of time? we move on, while he swims in the eternal now...

    the first and the fourth are stunning, especially this deep, happy bordeaux that takes my breath ... how you must spend the hours entranced!!

    ... and i like the D.H. Lawrence ... he was a good poet, whose poems have been eclipsed for most readers by his novels ... but these are great lines: "And their pre-world loneliness, /
    And more-than-lovelessness."

  14. lovely. i may have more to say on these sometime soon...

  15. Basho the Beautiful! Swimming in his perfection. I hope he will take good care of you.

  16. chère magnifique Roxana, thankyou for another masterpeice.
    Basho, -what a cute name for a fish and as always your photos have a cosmic overtone-this is magnificent it is like a cosmic water birth as the shadows of the fish swim profoundly in a cosmic pool of creation and I note the tuning of the minute stars spinning profusely in this cosmic pool even though these stars are universes away and the shadows of the fish swim about like the dark leaves of creation and then in the next photos life is accelerated into a dynamic red red like the bleeding earth viscus and the brilliant blue like the blemish of the sky blue sea
    sending you star kisses and easter wishes of love joy and peace.

  17. Fish, fish, fish..why don't you rest by my side (said the chips)

  18. i love the fish - so much freedom in that first photo! and them all...

    i will take the plunge and admit, i've never liked d.h.lawrence - there, will you still talk to me? :)

  19. Your website is ethereal and amazing. I have truly enjoyed it. -Lola

  20. ce povesti frumoase,acum cateva minute citisem ceva din basho,apoi,in adancul bolului de ceai,o floare verde avea aripi si inota:)si ceva mi-a tresarit inima,nu am inteles decat atunci cand,avandu-l pe acest basho sub ochi,mi-am dat seama ca era acea pre-singuratate.basho imi aluneca printre priviri

  21. Just the other day, someone, a heady adventuress, was explaining to me that her mind was like the inside of an imperturbable aquarium. Can you imagine such a thing? Fleetingly, i thought of you.

  22. Such a unique presentation and interpretation of the subject! It is easy to imagine the smooth fluidity of underwater life for a moment. Love where the reds filter the light where the fish is so delicate. Basho and the plant seem as one with each other.

  23. Basho est il un papillon , un oiseau, un poisson...? :o)
    Ses mouvements sont si gracieux qu'on a la sensation qu'il danse...qu'il vole..

    Papillon nage,
    Petit poisson ailé,
    petit planeur rêveur,
    Ami des profondeurs...

    Merci pour ces images très douces Roxana..entre air et eau...une alchimie subtile dont tu détiens les secrets..:o)
    Je t'embrasse tendrement
    a bientôt..

  24. how lucky this fish is, to see you every day, to live such a constrained life, bound by the limits you place on his heart.

  25. the wonderfully receptive and always-so-quick-to-act-upon-creative-impulse swiss has replied to this post with a stunning Basho-poem, this message is just to let you know that i have updated the post to include his gift!

    i will come back to you soon :-)

  26. aisyah, sorry to hear about your loss :-( yes, i feel very much the same about my Basho... thank you for coming by!

    anon, wonderful Bronk, i might used that somewhere, thank you!

    Gabi, haaaa :-) thank you!

  27. liebste Wolkenprinzessin, das ist ja ein wunderbares Geschenk, und so passend, der Ryokan hier... ich danke Dir so lieb und umarme Dich :-)

    Owen, i don't know the wanswer to these questions, but you are right here, my gaze is surely fascinated in this case :-)

    Dan, a wonderful haiku :-)

    Flipi, te misti unduitor in poezie ca Basho in universul lui transparent, raman in urma ta, sub podul meu, cercuri de lumina tremuratoare in ape...

    K'line, bien sur :-)

    ah James, how well you understand, as always, my fascination and my longing for this pure now... thank you, thank you...
    as for D.H. Lawrence, i haven't read his poems except this one i had especially chosen for this post, i only liked the lines i selected, though :-)

  28. S., dear dear S., i know that! me too! :-)

    swiss, and indeed you had, indeed you had! thank you so much!

    Lynne, haha, this is both so sweet and funny of you, exactly as i picture you :-)

    ah, Madeleine, it is so nice of you to say that, cosmic overtone! :-) especially here, it wasn't easy to portray that since his world is after so small - but if i managed to, then i am more than happy! thank you for another luxurious comment, je t'envoie des bisous de pluie et lumiere (il vient juste de pleuvoir, comem elle est magnifique, cette pluie printaniere)

  29. manuela haaaa, how dare you!!! :-)

    i read his novels, i don't think he is a great writer but not bad either. very negligent, stylistically speaking. why don't you like him? what i like is his emphasis on the body, rediscovery of the body and his continuous struggle to affirm its rights...

    Lola, thank you for visiting and your kind words...

    Cerasela, ce cuvant minunat a inventat el, nu? pre-singuratate... stiam ca te vei lasa patrunsa de ea, ca o vei face a ta...

    Prospero, always delighted to be a fleeting part of your thoughts :-)

    Stickup, thank you, i am proud that you say that, it is somehow difficult to come with something new/different when you photograph a fish, there are plenty of gorgeous shots in the National Geographic pages... but i didn't want that 'gorgeous', it is somehow flat, unemotional, no?

  30. ah, chere Clo, mais c'est toi la magicienne des alchimies subtiles :-) je te remercie de tout coeur pour ton regard plein d'emotion and de tendresse pour mon petit poisson-oiseau!
    bisous de presque-mai :-)

    anon, i have no idea how lucky this fish is, but i am sure that this wording: "bound by the limits you place on his heart" is wonderful, you could make a poem out of it!

  31. I bet there are many fish joyously swimming under the floating bridge of dreams (or around the bridge?? since it's floating ...)