Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Haiku moments - Postcards from two lives

It was seven years ago that my friend Daniela and I participated in a "renku" - a string of haiku composed by each of us alternately in a sort of response to the one which went before. We used Twitter as the interface and ended all of our tweets with the hash tag #renku in an attempt to 'file' them in sequence.We had decided to go eighteen rounds, and that we did over the course of nine months.

The Haiku form leans heavily on specificity of place, season, and simple observations as an expression of the 'haiku moment' - some sublime experience which the poet then attempts to encapsulate within three lines and seventeen syllables.

#1 D (3.30.2011)
Light snow falls
on the coffin along with dirt—
on the sod, a robin hops…

#1 L (3.31.2011)
Fallen branches  
some with buds  
snap underfoot.

#2 D (4.4.2011)
A red sunrise—
Coffee sweet with birdsong—
And snow, again…

#2 L (4.5.2011)
Brisk wind
the plastic bag on a naked branch –
white handkerchief.

#3 D (4.8.2011)
Half in half out
the puddle by the back door,
keys lost since first snow...

#3 L (4.9.2011)
A slow thaw
the stones still cold
in the midday sun

#4 D (4.10.2011)
He will not see again
the crocus thrust up yellow
from dark earth...

#4 L (4.10.2011)
Upturned to the sky -  
their dew-dappled
yellow bowls.

#5 D (4.17.2011)
Rain last night
and thunder. This morning sky—

#5 L (4.20.2011)
Veiled in grey mist-
the brush-stroke branches-
stippled with bud.

#6 D (4.22.2011)
Balanced on the tip
of a thin branch, a squirrel
twirls a new-leafed twig!

#6 L (4.24.2011)
Thrust like a lance
into the sky's blue grayness
the glinting steeple.

#7 D (4.29.2011)
Water falls
from sky to earth—
Spring floods...

#7 L (5.3.2011)
coiled on itself –
old garden hose

#8 D (5.8.2011)
Spring… Late-teens, up
early after a late night, scatter
to first jobs…

#8 L (5.17.2011)
Glassy puddle
raindrops –
the sky ripples

#9 D (5.21.2011)
Rain rain more rain—
Green grass green leaves green
Damp green me…

#9 L (5.25.2011)
In the sparkling drizzle
lovers arm in arm –
sunglasses, sandals.

#10 D (6.5.2011)
No rain, but clouds
of bugs, and the air full
of birdsong…

#10 L (6.9.2011)
The still haze –
the barge gliding
under the bridge

#11 D (6.11.2011)
Rain again, and dank—
Time to bake a rhubarb
upside down cake

#11 L (6.15.11)
Morning, morning –
it always comes  
is always coming.

#12 D (6.27.11)
Cap, gown, diploma—
My son! A fine young man!
Just born yesterday…

#12 L (7.22.11)
Summer haze:
new graduates toss and scatter
old ones stoop and gather.

#13 D (9.1.11)
Dog days yet…
On the breeze drifts a yellow
leaf, or two…

#13 L (9.6.11)
September rain –
the first leaves

#14 D (9.16.11)
Chilly nights…
Inside, the potted hibiscus
blooms lushly…

#14 L (9.22.11)
the dry vines won't drink –
begin their slow fast.

#15 D (9.24.11)
Warm days,
cold nights:
best apples!

#15 L (9.25.11)
In dry pod sacks
and crisp seed packets
shake the dice of Spring.

#16 D (10.16.11)
Fall: sun rests
earlier, rises later….
Me too. Why not?

#16 L (10.25.11)
The wide sky,
the arched belfry,
the silent bell.

#17 D (11.11.11)
Wild geese honk
across dark dream skies
into dawn…

#17 L (11.16.11)
Rain drops
on the window –
crystal curtain.

#18 D (11.19.11)
First snow—
two fat squirrels

 #18 L (11.22.11)
 November damp -
slick yellow leaf litter,
runners sweater'd and capped