At 5:00 a.m. books
Are written, before others
Wake, and dreams come true.
Here are some haikus to complete 2019.
This year I took up the practice of writing haiku. The purpose? To develop my abilities to express some small something that’s really a big bigthing, succinctly. To develop my ability to observe what is all around me, all the time. To revel in and to learn more about this artistic form of poetry which is centuries old. To have a little fun experimenting with words and ideas.
I have written before about how I began this practice, and always must share my gratitude to the authors of The Art of Pausing for starting me on this path. (Here is the story: The Art of Pausing – My Experience)
To honor the year, here are several haikus. My skills, as in any practice, will take a lifetime to become even useful, so many apologies for these rudimentary attempts.
It’s Grayson’s birthday
His fourth. Each day a blessing.
My little grandson Grayson has had such a difficult life, and yet each day his smiles light up the lives of those around him. I call it this special skill a “profund-ability”.
St. Francis calls me
Sometimes I answer the call.
Too often not. Ring…
There are so many reasons I consider St. Francis the saint I most wish to follow. This is because, I think, he represents so much of what I wish to be, but hardly ever manage. Humility, gratitude, simplicity, sacrifice and service, living in the “sacrament of the present moment” (see de Caussade). Ring, ring, ring….
I felt a sharp chill
As dawn overcame the night
’till sun streamed through leaves.
One of my precious times of the day is early on my back porch before others are awake -the puppies still snoozing, squirrels just stirring, blanketing required – letting the sun light up the morning and warm my soul.
Wind upon my bare leg
Abbey vistas stretch afar
Morning chill awakes
This is another iteration of the same theme, this time not in my backyard, but during a men’s retreat at Mt. Angel Abbey, in Oregon.
Fallen bird, supine
Fallen soldier, laid in pine
Blessed are these, Divine.
~Written on Memorial Day, 5-2-19
I was moved by death and sacrifice this day.
Granddaughter walking through doors.
Safe in Grammy’s arms.
Our dear granddaughter Madison came to visit us. Airports are always times of anticipation or trepidaton of some sort. This was the good kind. The very best kind.
Moving lives. Moving away.
The grass stays behind.
Impermanence is the only permanent condition, and yet it is so hard to see a neighbor move, a colleague move on to a new position, or anything really meaningful change.
And yet it does.
Puppy swallows soft
Stretches one leg, then one more
Swallows again. Sleeps.
Our puppies, Tink and Shelby, are topics of my haikus often.
A stick in his eye
blinds him to whom he is now
The duct tape of then.
Two metaphors in one haiku. Oh well. You get the idea.
Backyard playground, with
laughing dogs and barking kids
still, a broken home
Tears lie underneath sunny dispositions ofttimes, and we don’t see it in their faces. We don’t know what is going on with people in the next office, the next house, or the next person in line for coffee.
Old wooden fence
cracking outside the window
still keeping us safe
When life becomes hard
I have a floppy-eared dog
who makes the day soft
I am in a box
I choose the material
Porous or concrete
Wind outside my house
cold breeze, sharp slap bites my cheek
My eyes see nothing
~My First Haiku, written 1-21-19
My plan is to continue writing haikus as a daily practice. It has enriched my life.
Caussade, J. P. d. (1982). The sacrament of the present moment (1st Harper & Row pbk. ed.). San Francisco: Harper & Row.