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Category Archives: Haiku

Haiku

Hanshan wrote this Haiku. I enjoy reading and writing Haiku. A poem’s meaning is usually shrouded in mystery, but Haiku even more so.  There is so much left to the imagination.

I turn off the light —

my heart a precipice

before the moon

I have not written a Haiku for a while, but decided to take a run at it. Mine is less abstract.

Words separate spaces

overflowing and alluring

Flooding my senses

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A Bee

When I taught poetry, I included haiku and writing them overlapped with our Social Studies curriculum. Bashō was a traditional Japanese poets in a Social Studies unit. As well, I asked students to draw pictures to add richness to their poetry.

Several parents and one administrator questioned the value of writing haiku. I told them it was finding the right word to express one’s self. That was enough for most adults, but the administrator and one parent did not get it. What is ironic is both make their living speaking publicly and I think writing haiku might be helpful.

I chose this haiku, because quite often we struggle to give up things we do not do well and seek the comfort of safe places. In this case, the bee is comfortable in the peony and is reluctant to leave.

Usually, the students enjoyed writing poetry and understood the benefits. Several students used poetry to keep notes in other classes. The students were concerned about the 5-7-5 syllable pattern than actually writing poetry. I told them to get their broad ideas down, find new words, and massage the pattern into place. They took their time and learned how to use a syllabus in the process.

How reluctantly

the bee emerges from deep

within the peony

Frog

Frog.

Basho‘s haiku were gentle and had spaces in them to find silence.

Silence is broken by the sounds of the world and then silence returns. The silence speaks to us when we listen with care and sensitivity. It is in the silence that the noise makes sense. It speaks to us in its echos and traces.

Silence asks us for attention, our presence and mindfulness.

Art and Haiku

We are artists the Fridays we attend. I am not an artist, but have the good fortune to have parents who contribute and are quite artistic. A number of the students are good artists as well. Our first artistic venture was Grid Art. I included a couple of pictures today with a little poetry along with images. I used my cell phone camera so I don’t think the pictures turned out well.

Bird 2

winged clouds above

contrasted against blueness

majestic in flight

Cosmos 2

Brilliant colour

Emerges from black richness

Ever expanding

Haiku Sampling

I have not posted haiku for a while. We wrote haiku as our last activity of the poetry unit. Whenever we write poems, I roam the classroom with a marker in hand. There are four whiteboards in the room and I write randomly as thoughts come. It helps students on two levels. I write poetry and it is not just them being told to do it. As well, I offer exemplars, some good and some less so. Here is a haiku sampling.

Water seeks freedom

Released from lethargy

Water plunges, plummets.

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Fry it in a pan

Friends for eggs and potatoes

Pig meat, oh soooo good!

Did I mention some were not great?

Fedora wearing

The coolest Rat Pack member

Sinatra maybe.

One student wears a fedora. I mentioned that it reminded me of the Rat Pack. He had no idea what that was or who Frank Sinatra was, but I told him it was cool to be compared to Frank Sinatra.

Stay Human My Friends

I ready for my Sabbath break. Yesterday morning, this Bizarro cartoon was in my blog reader. Todd’s posts are short and provocative, so the link is to his site for those who have not been there before. He gives me pause to think.

I shared this cartoon with a circle of acquaintance. We discussed the Most Interesting Man in the World advertisements for an adult beverage. I am an abstainer so the ads are humourous, but there is no chance I will buy the product.

What about a broader message? Instead of closing with “Stay Thirsty My Friends” or “Stay Filthy My Friend”, we could say, “Stay Human my Friends”?

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds me, “find the ordinary in the extraordinary.” I often miss those things which make me most alive and human. I find, in the ordinary so often missed, the extraordinary and live a mindful life.

Stay human my friends

Be one with the universe

Be compassionate.

Open Heart; Open Mind

I walked out of the house and looked up at a clear sky. The Moon stood out in the sky and just below was a morning star. It is not a great picture, but it reminded me I live in a metropolitan area of over 1 million. I find my self rewarded when I take the time and see nature in that place. They are there; I only have to look for them.

See what I want

Hear what I choose

Instead, open my whole self.

Behold nature’s gifts

Hold close to the heart

Hidden only when I choose.

Nature waits for me

Quietly reveals its self

Open my whole self.

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