Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

bound to each other

Inspired by Chiyo-Ni:

a single spider's thread
ties the duckweed
to the shore

© Chiyo-ni

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Under the Waterfall

under the waterfall – 
the hiss of foam
softened by oak


under the waterfall – 
the scent of old oak
borne on the mist


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Each Petal (Tanka)

each petal
the same as its ancestors
–  and yet – not quite –

a tear – a seam – 
and the most delicate – soars –  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Potter's Field



at potter’s field  
the warming earth heaves  
- and the trucks roll on  



How Soft Underfoot

Inspired by the example from Robert Frost:

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground, 
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow, 
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things, 
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?


how soft underfoot - 

the leaves of seasons past

in their dreams



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March Wind

Da Vinci. Woman with Tousled Hair. WikiArt.

March wind - 
following the waves of my hair 

Inspired by Paulo Coelho's "Way of the Bow".  Here is the passage providing our inspiration:

[…] When the archer draws the bow-string, he can see the whole world in his bow. 
When he follows the flight of the arrow, that world grows closer to him, caresses him and gives him a perfect sense of duty fulfilled. 
Each arrow flies differently. You can shoot a thousand arrows and each one will follow a different trajectory: that is the way of the bow. […]

Monday, February 16, 2015

with music (tanka)

with music
he parts the mists in my heart –
i am at peace

the lions of judgment
will have to wait in silence 

Henri Rousseau. The Dream.

Inspired by Henri Rousseau’s “The Dream”. 

Rousseau wrote a poem to accompany his artwork:

Yadwigha in a beautiful dream 
Having fallen gently to sleep 
Heard the sounds of a reed instrument 
Played by a well-intentioned [snake] charmer. 
As the moon reflected 
On the rivers [or flowers], the verdant trees,  
The wild snakes lend an ear 
To the joyous tunes of the instrument.

The name “Yadwigha” reminded me of Jadwiga of Poland. Some research on Wikipedia revealed that the woman in the painting is a Polish mistress from Rousseau’s youth.  And since I was raised in a part of the world where being Polish makes one the butt of many jokes — knowing that this lovely lady is YADWIGHA makes my heart happy in about twenty different ways. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

in the thicket (haiku)

in the thicket
what do chipmunks dream
while vacationing?


Inspired by Yabu-iri (Servant’s Day or “thicket entering”) - an obscure season marker for spring or late New Year. 

“On or about the sixteenth of the first month, servants and apprentices were allowed to go home for a short visit. This would have meant that the holiday started with the full moon.”
So, in Issa’s haiku:

ending the Servant’s Holiday
on purpose ...
sliver moon

“The final slip of moon means the holiday is over, which tells us it lasted less than two weeks (Lanoue, 1991-2009: moon, 1803).  There also was a second servants’ holiday on the sixteenth of the sixth or seventh month, but yabu-iri in haiku was codified as an early spring kigo (or late New Year kigo).”  (Source)

Apprentices also had a “servant’s holiday”:

apprentice’s holiday:
a good-luck amulet
forgotten in the grass



If I recall correctly, “thicket-entering” is sort of like saying the servants were headed home “in the sticks” or “in the boonies” as we would say here in the U.S.    

Here are a slew of Issa haiku about the servants.


Neat fact of the day:  “chipmunk” comes from the Ojibwe word “ajidamoo” (one who descends trees headlong).  They don’t really hibernate – they enter a state of deep torpor.  I can hardly wait for our friendly neighborhood chipmunk “Boxcar Willie” to return from his “long winter’s nap”!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

aware (haiku)



aware –

she nudges her dream

in a lucky direction 


Inspired by Hatsuyume, the first dream of the year.

"Hatsuyume was extremely important because it would foretell the dreamer’s luck for the upcoming year.  “In Japan, the night of December 31 was often passed without sleeping, thus the hatsuyume was often the dream seen the night of January 1. This explains why January 2 (the day after the night of the "first dream") is known as Hatsuyume in the traditional Japanese calendar.”



Original: Odilon Redon