A few hours ago, I walked by the Japanese-American Historical Plaza, where poems by Americans of Japanese descent who were herded into concentration camps during World War II, in this state and others, are carved into rocks. Reading the poems, I thought of another time, when Basho, by then a reknowned haiku poet, walked his last tour of Japan.

When I returned to the house where I'm temporarily staying, in the mailbox was the manuscript of David Rosen's "Notes for The Soul of Haiku."

Shadow burnt into wall--
Rain falls, leaving no sound

Rosen wrote this haiku after visiting the Memorial Peace Park in Hiroshima, just across "our large moist brains" from Portland. What connects us to ourselves connects us to each other.


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