NPM Day Eighteen: National Haiku Day

April first had a sort-of-haiku poem in it, but today is actually National Haiku Day, so we have to write haiku today. The American form of the ancient Japanese tradition is a three-stanza syllable-count poem with lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. At its most basic, that’s it, but there are further rules to follow, if you want to take on that challenge:
Make the theme about nature
Focus on a very specific, clear image, and then add a second very crisp image
Use sensory words
One of the words in the poem gives a sense of the season of the year
The third line offers a surprise or twist or shift (often that second image)

Here’s my attempt for the morning:
Spring sun warms feathers.
Tiny sparrow hops, sees me.
The cat is also watching.


Gratitude List:
1. How sun shines on the green
2. How squirrels suddenly stop, and stand with their hands over their hearts, wide-eyed
3. How invigorating a morning shower feels
4. How everything is in bud, is in flower. Me, too. You, too.
5. How wise words enter the labyrinth of the heart.

May we walk in Beauty!


Sunday’s Messages:
“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ―Thomas Merton


“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ―Thomas Merton


“We see quite clearly that what happens
to the nonhuman happens to the human.
What happens to the outer world
happens to the inner world.
If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur
then the emotional, imaginative,
intellectual, and spiritual life of the human
is diminished or extinguished.
Without the soaring birds, the great forests,
the sounds and coloration of the insects,
the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields,
the sight of the clouds by day
and the stars at night, we become impoverished
in all that makes us human.”
―Thomas Berry


“All acts of kindness are lights in the war for justice.” ―Joy Harjo


“We have only begun to know
the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.” ―Denise Levertov


“There are two types of people. Avoid them.” —Mary Engelbreit

Poem a Day: 18

Today’s poem prompts were “train” and “message.” I was wandering through the long grasses of the long A sound in train, and ended up at the Amazingville Station. One day, years ago, when the poetry was so heady and giddy I could hardly keep from floating away, someone wrote on someone else’s poem, “You are sleeping with everyone in Amazingville,” and Mara wrote a poem beginning with that phrase. I have wanted so terribly to travel again to Amazingville, so I figured out today that perhaps you need to take the train.

Someone in one of my groups said he likes this poem, but he doesn’t really understand it, which it exactly how I feel, too. I responded with this, and maybe it makes a little more sense to me now: “I’m not sure I understand it, actually. My seven and seven is the final two lines that turn the haiku to tanka, so the haiku is perhaps a summoning spell, a way to bring me back to Amazingville, too, and I will finish the incantation with my two lines of sevens.”

Here’s the weirdness, and then a video of last year’s Easter Magdalene poem:

Taking the Train to Amazingville
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

When you get off the train at Amazingville Station,
send me a message that you have arrived.

Make it a five seven five, American haiku,
and let the cutting word be one that sets me free.

Then bring me around with the sweet music,
the alluring scent of your season word.

Call me home with haiku and I’ll come to you
on the next train, with my seven and seven.

The Wildest One Calls

There are windows everywhere, if you choose to see them.

Gratitude List:
1. That within us which is wild and untameable. The Wildness that calls to be experienced and known. This is why one of my names for the Holy One is the Wildest One.
2. Autumn walks. Leaves falling all around. Red berries. The scuttlings of small animals and birds in the brush.
3. Circles of protection and care.
4. Haiku and Tanka and terse, short-form poetry.
5. A good night’s sleep.

May we walk in Wildness!

Poem Cop-Out

DSCN9092
It’s a packing tape dispenser, but it is also a bear.

On some of these days
the only poem I can
muster is haiku

Lame, I know, but it’s what I’ve got today.

Gratitude List:
1. Sleep: I love that moment when I lie down and I can feel the tiredness receding, can feel my body relaxing, can let my mind follow its own trails
2. The ones who don’t give up
3. Moments of solitude and quiet in the midst of a busy time
4. Timeless stories–we’re getting into The Odyssey in Freshman English, and they’re hooked by the stories
5. Changing it up

May we walk in Beauty!

Bananas

banaba
(This is me at the age of six, in someone’s banana plantation.)

Cold rain has fallen.
Clouds part, sun floods the hollow.
And where have you gone?

Gratitude List:
1.  All the reminders yesterday to keep open to surprises.
2. Nieces and nephews.  Cousins to my children.
3. All the green.  Somehow green means more this spring than usual.
4. Making things.  Creating.  Seeing something inside my head, and then putting it into the physical world. Isn’t that an amazing process?
5. Rain and sun.

May we walk in Beauty!

Haiku and Tanka

2013 October 044

I am snuggling a boy and a cat in my lap at the moment: benefits of a cool morning.   Makes typing a challenge, though.

Here are a couple poems that walked into my head yesterday.  The first is a tanka, inspired by my friend Mara.  I thought the second was going to be a tanka, too, but while I was waiting for the last two lines to emerge, I realized it was already a haiku.

 

TANKA
See there! In your palm
are the rivers of story,
of constellations,
dragonfly wings, the pathways
of the heart: love, grief, desire.

HAIKU
The now-naked arms
of the walnut tree cradle
the newly-born moon.

Gratitude List:
1.  Autumn birdsong in the hollow
2.  Listening
3.  Constructing my own life
4.  Breakfast
5.  Tiny Poems

May we walk in Beauty.