Visiting the neighbours

.
.
On the scented tree
four orange butterflies rest –
and now, six, seven …

(09 March 2015)


Some weeks ago, striped caterpillars stripped bare the swan plant one of my neighbours had planted. We thought the ravening gluttons must have been eaten by birds. Somewhere nearby, however, certain of their relatives must have survived, pupated, then hatched.

Full moon soon

.

.

Pinned to autumn grey
the white disc has one soft edge …
two days still to go.

(06 March 2015)


In fact, 06 March 2015 is the night of the full moon. The observation underpinning the haiku took place two nights ago, but I have just finalised the text.

Harbinger

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Dawn. A south wind. Leaves
tap the glass. The rain drops in
monosyllables.

(15 February 2015)

 


Two mornings in a row, the leaves of the Cordyline banksii outside my window have awakened me early. Wellington’s summer has been fine and warm, so these few cool days, with their southerly air flow, seem like a harbinger of autumn.

Feeding the birds

feeding the birds

feeding the birds

.

.

Old man tossing bread
by the handful to the birds
– those I always feed.

__________

Around the city I see pensioners – men in the main – with bags of bread. At bus-stops, getting on and off the buses, occupying park benches … they’re feeding the birds.

In my little garden, I am visited by blackbirds, finches, and silver-eyes, as well as by sparrows and starlings.

For an occasional treat, I sit in Civic Square with a packet of hot chips. Seagulls and sparrows are quick-eyed and quick-witted, often catching the scraps I throw to them. The pigeons don’t get much to eat from me – they’re not quick enough.

__________

Image found on imgfave – posted by Rose By Any Other Name

Making the cut

You knew – you must have
known – how deeply you could cut
with that knife of yours.

Life is dropping crumbs
(which the birds will eat) – no point
hoping to get out

alive. Gratitude
counts for a great deal, you know …
but then, who’s counting?

Strictly speaking, only the syllables are correct. Does it still count as a haibun? But this piece (seventeen three times) playfully (suggestively) (arbitrarily) offers up a sampling of the cuts and connections that came to mind whilst reading something else. (And here I give thanks to Derrida.)

Up before the sun

Early morning sky,
stars still bright as diamonds …
nothing special.

__________

Become totally empty
Quiet the restlessness of the mind
Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness

(Lao Tzu)

Emperor Wu of Liang asked the great master Bodhidharma, “What is the main point of this holy teaching?”

“Vast emptiness, nothing holy,” said Bodhidharma.

__________

http://vastemptiness.com/

The small details of childhood

Tsushima Yūko

Tsushima Yūko

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.

.

There were times when snow
fell. And rain, of course. He re-
called the sound of rain.

He remembered the sound of rain. All at once the murmuring of the trees would grow loud and vibrant, then raindrops would strike the stones and the dead leaves and soak their surfaces. Soon the sound of the rain would merge into a single mass, absorbing the child’s ears and eyes into it. Rivers would form on the straight paths, and the sound of splashing water followed after them as the child and the father walked along. (Tsushima Yūko, in Laughing Wolf)
__________

The haiku is derived from text on p12 of Laughing Wolf; only the word ‘remembered’ is altered. I’ve just begun reading the book today; I know virtually nothing about it. But the quality of the writing seems so strikingly like haibun. 

Yūko Tsushima is the pen name of Satoko Tsushima, a contemporary Japanese fiction writer, essayist and critic. She is the daughter of famed novelist Osamu Dazai, who died when she was one year old. (Wikipedia)

Also see: http://what-when-how.com/literature/tsushima-yuko-literature/

Tsushima Yūko. 2011. Laughing wolf. Translated by Dennis Washburn. Ann Arbor MI: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan. [p12]

Blue and yellow

blue and yellow (22 Dec 2012)

blue and yellow (22 Dec 2012)

.

.

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The temple bell stops
but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.

(Matsuo Bashō)

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Visiting Grandmother’s garden – a little sanctuary, quite invisible from the city street – I could sometimes hear the bells of the carillon. Grandmother and my childhood are long gone, but my flowering courtyard resonates with memories.