This poem was written by Gesshu Soku, (1618 –1696) a Zen monk
, while on pilgrimage, on hearing of his mother’s death. He was 16 at the time.
There is nothing I can say
about what is between
mother and child.
Hearing of her death,
my life is darkened.
Like a reed basket,
the years wove us together.
In the blank air
the smoke from a single incense stick
is my last word with her.
The best incense - and explanations of incense - I know of can be found at:
http://www.shoyeido.com (Shoyeido has been producing incense since 1705)
http://www.nipponkodo.com (Nippon Kodo has been producing incense since 1580)