slow recovery ~ haiku

Basho meets two farmers

slow recovery
cautious consideration
the long journey home

This haiku is my response to Carpe Diem #1844 Returning Back To Normal (I Hope), where Kristjaan hopes to start again with daily posts and try “to bring back the happiness of Haiku,” inviting us to join in “a quest for a (new) Masterpiece.” In the following form, the haiku becomes a solo renga:

slow recovery
cautious consideration
the long journey home

in the mind of a poet
time and distance become one

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Poet Matsuo Bashō meets two farmers celebrating the mid-autumn moon festival,
from Yoshitoshi’s Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsukioka Yoshitoshi)

Anticipation ~ chōka & haiku

My initial reaction to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 229 #SynonymsOnly, where the words offered are dawn and twilight (to be replaced with synonyms), was to write a haiku.

morning light
anticipated
with sunset

Instead, I decided to write a chōka.

Anticipation

morning lightsailboats at anchor
in the waning evening light
long day on the lake
lapping of waves against hulls
sound of buoys rings
air of anticipation
to feel wind in morning’s light

light of setting sun
brings a night of quiet rest
morning light arrives
waves ripple in reflection
as the cycle continues

Chōka, a Japanese long poem written primarily from the 6th to the 14th century. Chōka have alternating lines of 5 and 7 syllables and an indefinite length (from 7 to 149 lines), ending with an added 7 syllable line. So, 5-7-5-7-5-7-…7, and a length allowing greater themes.

Chōka often were followed by one or more short poems called hanka, or “envoys,” summarizing, supplementing, or elaborating on, the contents of the main poem. Sometimes, a tanka would serve as an envoy, and that is what I have written here.

Man’yōshū (“Collection of a Myriad Leaves”) is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry (from some time after AD 759) and contains 4,536 waka (classical Japanese poetry). 265 of those are chōka (long poems). The 1940/1965 edition of The Man’yōshū: One Thousand Poems (a translation) is available for download as a PDF from Internet Archive and is some pretty interesting reading.

Image: sunset on the Niagara River at Lake Ontario, Youngstown, New York
                              (click image for larger view in new tab)

A Journey with Bashō ~ solo renga

Matsuo Bashō

A Journey with Bashō

 faithful servant
gains high regard for renga
chained cherry blossoms
~~~
learning the art of a craft
by following a master
~~~
once mentor is gone
student becomes a teacher
butterfly takes wing
~~~
thoughts turn to honored poet
with the voice of a master
~~~
a reclusive life
beside a banana tree
plagued by loneliness
~~~
follow master’s example
find solace in distant friends
~~~
seeking peace of mind
traveling on narrow road
snow on the mountain
~~~
learn new lessons every day
while discovering friendship
~~~
lightness discovered
in search for satisfaction
until last snowfall
~~~
willing to learn from the past
even as my years grow long

 

For Poetics: Poems to a Poet, Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub asks us to write a poem about, or addressing, a favorite poet, trying to employ something of the poet’s style. To create this chain of verse regarding Matsuo Bashō, I decided to write a renga (Japanese linked verse poetry, typically collaborative), with haiku referencing his life and responses that reflect my own journey.

Matsuo Bashō was a master of haiku and renga, culminating with the publication of The Narrow Road to the Interior in 1694. As a page or servant, he learned a love for renga and went on to become a teacher, respected for his haiku. Bashō was known for his many travels from Edo (now Tokyo), vacillating from seeking friendship to an escape from the company of others. Near the end of his life, “he relented after adopting the principle of karumi or “lightness”, a semi-Buddhist philosophy of greeting the mundane world rather than separating himself from it.” (per Wikipedia) Also, “rather than sticking to the formulas of kigo [seasonal words], which remain popular in Japan even today, Bashō aspired to reflect his real environment and emotions in his hokku.” (early term for haiku)

Images from Wikimedia Commons
Poet Basho and Moon Festival, by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Portrait of Matsuo Basho, by Hokusai

moon-filled dreams ~ haiku, senryū

moon rises
in a cloudy sky
silhouettes

branches dance
to tree frog chorus
pale moonlight

morning plans
hopeful for success
moon-filled dreams

rise early
to see setting moon
clouds return

This haiku/senryū sequence is my response to Twiglet #224 – moon rises. It sums up my attempts to take photos of this month’s “pink” moon/super moon. Monday’s photos yielded trees silhouetted by an obscure moon. The second photo is a 30 second exposure that shows how windy it was. Tuesday morning presented a beautiful amber moon that was already dropping behind clouds well above the horizon. It was totally obscured within three minutes. After taking the night photos, I mentioned to my wife that the tree frogs were the loudest I’d heard in my nine years in Missouri. She reminded me that it was my first time hearing them since getting hearing aids. It’s a loud new world.

(Click images for larger view in new tab)

budding oaks ~ haiku

 and daffodil nods

hungry goldfinch feeds
while stealthy cat stays inside
glad daffodil nods

budding oaks
celebrate new light
equinox

elusive worm moon

elusive worm moon
hidden behind clouds and trees
unruffled owl hunts

reverence
on quiet Sunday
lily bows

By some stretch of the imagination,
this may be considered on prompt for Day 9 of napowrimo.net,
which challenges us to write a list poem.  The haiku are my response to
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #182-185: Transformation,
which offers this list of kigo:

goldfinch feeds_a• Daffodil
• Equinox
• Worm Moon
• Lily

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 9 ~

~ click all images for larger view in new tab ~

Hiding the Snow Moon ~ haiku

Hiding the Snow Moon

melting drifts
last remaining snow
in puddles

cloud cover
hiding the snow moon
white flakes fall

with waters warming
last ice gone from the river
turtle surfaces

These three haiku are my response to Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge # 179-181: Spring Trinity, which offers three kigo for the past three weeks:

2/20 – remaining snow
2/27 – Snow moon
3/6 – waters warming

Image source: ukiyo-e.org – Snow in Miyajima, by Tsuchiya Koitsu

Still Cold ~ solo renga

Still Cold

melting snow
in afternoon sun
nights still cold

breath in the crisp air
fogging my glasses

frosted panes
see only shadows
drifting by

waterfowl swimming
in ice-jammed river

dark shadows
stray geese overhead
seeking food

sparrows at feeder
still cold and hungry

This solo renga is my response to
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #177: Still Cold.

Images ~ 18 February 2021
The Moreau River in Missouri (snow covered)
The Missouri River at Jefferson City, Missouri