I stood on the ramparts
that cold, wet morning looking out over the waiting Irish Sea, this day offering only rain and a November chill.
Write haiku, she said to us
and I thought of Basho and Issu who never stood on a 13th Century Welsh fortress and never imagined writing about Llywelyn great or not nearly so.
In the rain and chill
I scribbled furiously, retreated to the outer ward where I was joined by a fellow poet who suggested that a tea in the village would please even old Basho.
This poem begins
with infinite possibility
First Published in the 2005 Scars Publications Poetry Wall Calendar
Apple Snail shell
bleached by the sun, empty happy Snail Kite
Great Egret sitting still
waiting, simply waiting then flying off
staring into the distance endless patience
Pig frog croaking
but the moon will not answer we fall asleep
The dawn cedes slowly
to the impinging sunlight birds greet the new day
The great egret lifts
her wings embracing the cloud the winter sun smiles
on the barren branch
the red-shouldered hawk awaits her mate and the sun
sandhill cranes wander
along the shore of the lake looking for nothing
the moon is a cup
waiting for night to fill it venus sits empty
astronomy, birds, Buddhism, Buddhist, dawn, evening, Haiku, Japan, morning, Nature, Night, Photography, Poem, seasons, Time, Uncategorized, Zen
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps so, but many pictures don’t travel in verbose company, and there are pictures worth far, far less, although some will search until the magic thousand are found. In Japan a story can be told in seventeen syllables, a picture painted with a single brushstroke. In the zendo the whole of dharma can be heard in the silence if you stop and listen.
Buddhism, Buddhist, Haiku, Japan, language, meditation, mind, Photography, Poem, Uncategorized, Zen
Beside the still pond
dragonflies hover lightly senbazuru dawn
The Great Egret stares
the still pond returns his stare dawning sun laughing
Clouds swallow the moon
moorhens chanting their vespers sleep overtakes us
A dragonfly sits
waiting for us to take wing gravity says no
birds, Buddhism, Buddhist, dawn, evening, Haiku, Nature, Night, Photography, Poem, Uncategorized, Zen
myself is no self
no self is universal infinite being
all forms are illusory this is samadhi
always out of your sight until you live it
dharmas teach nothing
contain infinite knowledge just stop looking
Gertrude Stein said
poetry is vocabulary, or so Simic reported it, but in that case what do we make of Haiku, where a poem at maximum can use only seventeen words.
Perhaps, if we
follow Levi-Strauss haiku is not poetry but art, for all art is reduction and there is little you can do to reduce a haiku further.
then another, another only this one
a world of delusion
yesterday and tomorrow Buddha says Now!
Egrets take flight
we stare awestruck nature pities us
Now take up the pen
and write economically lest you run out of
First published in
Defenestration, Vol. XVI issue 2 August 2019