Every Day is a Journey

leaf skeleton

The moon and the sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.

Matsuo Bashō (trans. Sam Hamill), opening lines of Narrow Road to the Interior, Shambhala Centaur Editions, 1991.

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with these words from haiku master Matsuo Bashō. Then join in the conversation with your own poetic response.

You can enter into conversation with this text by adding your haiku response below.

About Margaret D. McGee

Comments

  1. to have lived…
    a holey leaf on the path
    in early summer

  2. c. temte says:

    to have loved
    the last leaf
    still clings to life

  3. Brad Offutt says:

    new grass covers
    the old rock
    loving still

  4. c. temte says:

    vibrant green
    in the blink of an eye
    golden yellow

    • Ah, the changing seasons… Yes, spring changes to summer so fast in this region. It seems as if the cool damp days will never end, and then, in the blink of an eye — it’s mid-summer. Thanks.

    • Yes, indeed — I can see myself in this poem.
      When I look in the mirror, “silver” is maybe more on the mark than “golden.” (smile)

      • c. temte says:

        The white in my hair gives it a very nice blonde cast .. oooohhhh what a groaner:)

  5. joe proctor says:

    two bees
    connecting in flight
    sperm fever

    out of place
    a barcode
    on a flower pot

    • Hi Joe — This is a fun pair. The play on words with sperm fever/spring fever makes me smile. And the image of a barcode on a flower pot — yes, out of place is right. I can relate the feeling to myself when I’m out of place, either as the barcode (being too analytical in a situation that calls for more feeling) or as the flower pot.
      And isn’t it annoying when they put a bar code on something like a flower pot in a way that make it hard to get it off?

  6. Brad Offutt says:

    after hibernation
    the hedge trimmer runs
    another summer step

    • Brad, I like the way this links back to the Basho quote. And getting the hedge trimmer going again feels like a rite of passage into the season.

      • Brad Offutt says:

        A rite of passage, or maybe a seasonal ritual? If I don’t manage the Earth Mother’s exuberance on both sides of our driveway, we’ll have to park out in the road all summer and walk in to the house. But at least since I discovered gas stabilizer it’s not so hard to get the trimmer daemon to wake up!

  7. a gnarly ole tree
    lifts her leafy arms to pray
    a year older

    • I like “lifts her leafy arms” and “a year older.”

    • Brad Offutt says:

      I really like what this makes me see. I tried it without “to pray” and it’s totally different – too vague somehow. How wonderful that she prays with exuberance, gnarly but unbowed!

  8. Marybeth Bland says:

    Orange lava flows
    steam rises
    new land emerges

    • Strong images, Marybeth. Destruction & creation intertwined.
      What do you think of this middle line: “through rising steam”
      to help the first two lines flow together.

  9. Janet Stanwyck says:

    Buds open, petals fall
    The earth receives and gives
    The sun rises and sets.

  10. Marybeth Bland says:

    Bird eggs broken
    as three finches emerge
    the journey begins

    • Marybeth, I like the pivot in the middle line of this poem.
      We had a robins’ nest in our car port with three babies. We gave the nest a lot of room until they flew off last week.

  11. Brad Offutt says:

    empty shoes
    in the house now
    the traveler is gone

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      Brad,

      I really like this one. It gives me such a visual picture and a slight feel if sadness for the loss of the traveler. On to another journey I suppose

      • Brad Offutt says:

        Marybeth, thank you! A member of our extended family who was close to us died at ninety two years ago. Hard to get rid of some things; I’ve seen those shoes many times but this time it hit me that he left them behind and doesn’t want or need them any more. I believe that he is finally home and that his journey is over. “Home is the hunter, home from the hill…”

        • Empty shoes are so evocative. Maybe because of the connection to the earth. Our shoes are holy vessels, keeping us “grounded” in life. As you say, Brad, now the journal is over, and the empty shoes are poignant reminders of life & death.

    • c. temte says:

      Home is the sailor …….. I read “Requiem” at the scattering of my husband’s ashes.
      Somethings we never discard. I am sorry for your loss.

  12. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Embroidered by lightening
    Dark sky marched and roared
    Midsummer storm

  13. Marybeth Bland says:

    ripe cherries
    dropped by blackbirds
    a dogs feast

    • Marybeth, I’m surprised the blackbirds dropped any! The crows strip the trees bare around here.

      • Marybeth Bland says:

        Margaret, the blackbirds are too greedy. They walk all over the tree knocking cherries off and then they try to take two at a time. The smaller birds are much more polite

  14. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Shiny and sweet
    The blackberry harvest
    Bubbles into jam

  15. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Juicy red plums
    Behind a lacy green veil
    Dangle seductively

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Or, how about a short version. Which is the better shot at Haiku?

      Plums
      hidden by leaves
      dangle

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        Ok, what I am getting now is not wanting a total change of subject for the 3rd line, but getting to the subject which in this case for me is the plum, from a whole different point of view. Which you called a pivot line and that term is making more sense to me now. What I was thinking when I wrote the 3rd line about the grass, was standing in the damp morning grass observing the plum. But I see now that that is way too far off the subject for the reader to catch the connection. Therefore I think your line ‘morning dew’ would be a better fit to what I was feeling in this haiku. It catches my original thought with a better connection to the subject. I will edit my haiku notebook and replace this last line. By the way, I am copying and printing this whole conversation as a lesson and adding it to my haiku file. Thanks for your input. I so much enjoy this new challenge of writing. It is allowing me to see things in a more intimate way when I have Haiku on my mind. How can that be anything but good? And the nature journal also, is always by handy to grab and make a note about something insignificant that suddenly does become significant. Today I will have my husband help me measure my shadow again which may seem silly to the observer, but in my journal it charts a different side of the seasons. Sharon

    • Hi Sharon,
      I agree about cutting some of the modifiers. When I think “plum” then I already think juicy, so that can go. You might keep “red” because it helps me picture the type of plums. “Seductively” can go because the lacy green veil feels seductive to me already. I’d like to keep the veil.

      red plums
      behind a lacy green veil

      That’s an interesting image, and for me “dangle” doesn’t add much to it. To fit the haiku form, I would like to see something different in the third line. Not an extension of the plum image, but something else from the moment. Possibly a wider view … a sense of time of day or weather. What do you think?

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        OOOoooohh, good thoughts here. I’m going to work on that. I am having a hard time switching out from my history of discriptive short story writing where painting a word picture is important and has long been my style.

        • Yes, I know what you mean, Sharon. Haiku is different from prose or other forms of poetry, because it relies more on the reader filling in the blanks. It’s like a structure. The poet provides elements–often one broad scene-setting element and one focused detail–that enable the reader to experience the feeling of the moment. A subtle art…

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        Ok, how about this for a a third line. Is this more in haiku form?

        red plums
        behind a lacy green veil
        damp morning grass

        • Yes, Sharon, this is more in haiku form. You’re getting it. Now I would say … what is the link between the red plums and the damp morning grass? What’s the resonance between them? I get it that they are both true in the moment, and that’s pretty good all by itself. Speaking personally, I don’t feel a strong spark between them. (This is all personal & subjective, so take that into account. Someone else might be vibrating to your poem right now!) A word from one of your other recent poems does vibrate for me with the red plum image, and that’s “sunrise.” You have “morning” in your third line, so I’m guessing that sunrise might be fairly true to the moment. For me, the red plums behind a lacy green veil are inherently joyous, and so is sunrise. Also I can picture sunrise behind a lacy green veil. (You know I like those pivots in the middle line!) So I get a spark with something like this:

          red plums behind a lacy green veil sunrise

          Or “early dawn,” or …

          Or, here’s a thought. “morning dew” could be on the plums, on the grass

  16. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Sunrise comes later
    As summer journeys past us
    The shadow grows longer

  17. c. temte says:

    journey barefoot
    through the years
    read Margaret’s archives

  18. c. temte says:

    lemon lily
    headless stalks standing tall
    deer lemonade

    • Brad Offutt says:

      So true! I like the shift from the negative (oh no – what happened?) to the positive (if you’re a deer) and I especially like “lemonade”. A doe and one or two fawns wander through our garden area most mornings doing some selective munching.

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Love this one.

    • I especially like “headless stalks standing tall” — a striking image.

  19. c. temte says:

    high tide low tide
    souls coming in going out
    dance of life

  20. Sharon Nowidki says:

    Salty morning air
    Moving across the bay
    Sail boats race

  21. Marybeth Bland says:

    Babies are born
    school begins
    time moves on

  22. Marybeth Bland says:

    painting wildflowers
    on a lazy summer day
    I smile

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Very nice image of you painting and I’m sure Nickel was by your side.

    • I like this image too. For me, the last line isn’t needed. The first two lines make me smile … I enter into the poem and have the experience myself, which is one of haiku’s gifts. Thanks, Marybeth.

  23. Marybeth Bland says:

    He was lying on the deck soaking in the sun. Thanks Sharon

  24. c.temte says:

    head on paw
    lying in the warm sun
    time slips away

    • Nice reply to Marybeth’s poem & comment. As a stand-alone poem, I like it that the animal could be either a dog or a cat. Somehow it helps me enter into the poem … it could be me!

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Very nice!!

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      Carolyn,

      You described the scene so well.

      And Margarer I have a question. Part of me felt it was a two line haiku but was afraid to write it that way, it felt unconventional . How do we decide?

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        Good question!

      • Hi Marybeth,
        Ah … how do we decide? Yes, that is a good question! Wish I knew the answer. (smile)
        I’m going to start out by saying that everything I say is probably contradicted somewhere by a really great haiku writer, or a really great haiku. All the rules and conventions have exceptions.
        But the general convention I’m thinking of right now, in relation to your poem, has to do with stating directly what the poet (or persona) is feeling.
        Don’t get me wrong — haiku is all about feeling. But the general convention of the form is NOT to state the feeling directly. Rather, you hand the reader the experience that evoked the feeling. The reader shares the feeling not by being glad that Marybeth smiled (though we are glad), but by smiling herself.
        Now you might say — Fine, Margaret. My experience was that I SMILED! What’s the problem with saying that?
        The problem is that it makes the poem about your own emotional response to the moment. And — this is hard to see, but trust me, it’s true–that makes the poem smaller than it could be.
        I can’t tell you how many haiku I’ve written that had the word “surprise” somewhere in the first draft. Part of the wonder of the moment, for me, was surprise … and I wanted so badly to evoke surprise by saying “Surprise!” Darn, it doesn’t work. Somehow I had to present the elements and trust them to be surprising. After trying to do this many times, I’ll just tell you that surprise is a very difficult feeling to evoke in haiku!
        Well, I feel as though I’m answering a question other than the one you asked, and getting away from your poem. You wanted to know, how do you decide whether your poem is a two-line or a three-line haiku?
        Here’s what I do. I find my two elements. In your poem, the two elements are “lazy summer day” and “painting wildflowers.” Lazy summer day sets the broader scene. Painting wildflowers is an action. It’s a very simple combination … I don’t know why it works so well for me. But those two elements are enough for me. Because I generally write in three-line haiku, I’d probably start by trying to shape those elements into three lines. But I don’t see a good line break other than the one you have between them. So there you go, a two-line haiku.
        I’m satisfied with it, but that doesn’t mean that the poem couldn’t be even stronger with another third line. It’s just that third line (for me) won’t be “I smiled.”
        Well, this has gone on way too long, and probably hasn’t answered the question. But it’s been interesting to me to think about it.

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      Carolyn, you captured nickels moment so well. Beautiful picture.

      I feel as if I should draw a picture of nickel and add your haiku

      • c. temte says:

        Marybeth,

        That would be fine with me. Is Nickel a particular breed of dog or just dog? I have a mental picture of him and just wonder if I am any where close.
        c.

        • Marybeth Bland says:

          Carolyn,

          He is half black lab and half golden but he looks all black, . He has a square head which I am told is typical of an English Lab. As he is aging some of the golden is coming out. In the sunlight can be seen brown. My joke is he will turn all brown, I will rename him Penny and he will live another ten years.

      • Marybeth, I think it would be great if you drew a picture & added c’s haiku! That’s often how haiga are made — in collaboration. If you do that, I’d love to see a scan.

      • Marybeth Bland says:

        Ok here is my vision if I can do it. I was thinking of drawing nickel on a blank note card and then adding your Haiku inside when the person opened the card.i am very good at drawing nickel from the backside sitting and staring. I often see him this way as he looks out the window waiting for the bus.

        Now I must practice drawing him lying down, I have done it before so could do it again. But we are not having much of a summer so not often outside while he is lying in the deck. But I will undertake this task and will send the scan to Margaret when it is complete and she could send it on to you Carolyn.
        marybeth

      • c. temte says:

        Marybeth,
        I think Nickel is very much as I pictured him. Labs are known for their nice temperaments. I am glad you have him.

        I think you can draw Nickel just from memory. It would be great to see the finished card. Margaret can always give you either of my email addresses also.

        Shalom
        carolyn

  25. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Seagulls glide
    exploring the shore
    evening meal

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      Sharon, I love it. And I must add I see so much growth in your haiku since we first too a class from Margaret at the priory maybe two years ago

      Marybeth

  26. Marybeth Bland says:

    Margaret,

    I am replying to your reply about two line haiku. Your answer made perfect sense. Thanks. Now I understand.
    That might be why I struggled to find a third line.

  27. c. temte says:

    white marble crosses
    marching in dazzling sunlight
    homeward bound

    • In this poem, I like it that “homeward bound” has an expansive meaning. It could be simply the poet (or me) visiting a graveyard, viewing the crosses, and then turning toward home. But in the context of the poem, it’s also the souls of those who have died. And white marble crosses marching suggests a military cemetery … and soldiers are so often far from home. So the last line resonates in many ways. Thanks!

  28. c. temte says:

    pools of liquid velvet
    peek around the shed corner
    newborn fawn

  29. Marybeth Bland says:

    Carolyn,

    I like both of these. One dies and then a birth of a fawn. How beautiful. Natures cycle

  30. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Filling the barn
    the sweet smell of fresh hay
    summer chore

  31. Marybeth Bland says:

    one love lost
    another born
    natures cycle

    • Interesting, Marybeth … did you mean “love” or “life”? I like “love” better because it makes me think. Is love ever really lost? Is the cycle of love also nature’s cycle? I don’t know the answers … just like thinking about the questions.

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      I did mean love. Carolyn’s poem of the white crosses and the new fawn reminded me of losing someone to our recent war while expecting a chikd

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Very beautiful and very touching, Marybeth. Loss really hurts but love keeps living, and new life always comes. We’re all in this together…

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Marybeth this lovely and deep. It reminds me of a time 18 years ago when I told an elderly friend that my daughter’s best friend had a baby yesterday. He said “I will tell my wife, it will make her happy. She lost her best friend yesterday.”

  32. Marybeth Bland says:

    Speaking a dying language
    no one answers
    soltitude

    I read an article in national geographic of how many languages the world is losing every day.

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Marybeth, I love this one. The last ones speaking these dying languages will certainly have a level of solitude. Solitude that is not peaceful but tragic loneliness.

  33. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Marybeth and I spent the day together yesterday. One of the things we planned was to share our Nature journals over lunch. We have been sharing these entries occasionally with each other via email and were looking forward to sharing our journals with each other in person. This was a powerful exchange for both of us. As we studied each other’s journals, we both come to realize we were the exact opposite in how we perceived this type of journaling to be. Fortunately there is no right or wrong. We both spoke of how we needed to adopt a little of each other’s style. Mine specifically, is so rigid. I need to relax it a bit. Marybeth also mentioned an area she will work on now in her own journaling.

    We also wrote Haiku.

    Marybeth wrote one I will add here

    Moonlight drips
    through the blinds
    we awaken.

    Lovely account of our full moon lately.

    Together we wrote:

    Full moon
    shadows long on the grass
    midnight air.

    Sharon

    • Brad Offutt says:

      You are both marvelous. Thanks for all the beauty you share with the rest of us.

  34. Marybeth Bland says:

    sharing tea
    with a friend
    the hour slips away

  35. Sharon Nowicki says:

    My lone lavender sweet pea is going to seed now, nestled in the tomato vines that are crawling up the woodshed wall around it. It’s a lovely place for a spring flower to mature and die, held in the embrace of young plants still waiting to produce their own fruit of the season later in the summer.

    Sweet pea pods
    cradling next year’s seeds
    death and Resurrection

    • Thanks, Sharon, for sharing the setting of the sweet pea as well as the poem. I like picturing it amidst the tomato vines, against the woodshed wall. “Sweet pea pods” has a nice sound to it.

  36. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Sitting on the wire
    Singing bird lullabies
    Nesting babies doze

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      As I clicked the post comment button, I saw I needed to change the first line. I think I like it better with the type of bird I see.

      Swallow on the wire
      singing bird lullabies
      nesting babies doze

  37. Janet Stanwyck says:

    This post has certainly got the creative juices flowing and the instruction has been very beneficial. Went to Southern ORegon last weekend. This is what came to me (with a lot of struggle).

    Pink and fuchsia sweet peas,
    Meadow’s summer carpet
    Mason jar’s bonnet.

    • Janet, I love it! Both the summer carpet and the jar’s bonnet are strong images. The poem tells a story, of gathering the flowers and putting them in the jar, letting me fill in between the 2nd & 3rd lines. Here’s a thought about the first line. In general, I like naming colors because the words for colors have such strong, vibrant energy. But in this poem–at least for me–“pink and fuchsia” don’t add that much. When I picture a meadow carpet of sweet peas, those colors are already in my mind. What do you think of the first line being “sweet peas” all on its own, maybe ending in a dash? Then the next two lines show me sweet peas in two lovely settings. Just a thought.

      • Janet Stanwyck says:

        Let me think about that. I am not that knowledgeable about sweet pea colors so I was really taken by the scene and wanted you to know they were light pink and dark pink. Being succinct is not one of my strong points. Actually having the scene in my head and heart made it more real to me. Thank you for input.

      • Janet, now when I read it this morning, after your reply, I like the color names better! So there you go — that’s poetry-land. Comments are subjective by their nature, and the poem is utterly up to you, the poet.

        One other (subjective) thought. It would be daring to say “pink and dark pink” (as in your comment) instead of “pink and fuchsia,” but might be worth thinking about. Avoids having a different flower name in the poem.

        • Janet Stanwyck says:

          I think scarlet came to mind at one point but fuchsia made the page. It is amazing to me because I have the visual in my head I want that sense of wow conveyed. And then I am controlling the response of the reader. I think I will write it several ways and put it away for awhile, pull it out and read it again. Writing Haiku indicates to me how invested I become in the other person knowing how I feel and then probably approving of it. Interesting.

          • Oh yes — the relationship between the poet & the reader — so interesting! And revealing. Your method sounds good to me. I’ve done the same thing — write down the alternatives I’m struggling with, then put it aside. When I come back to it weeks or months later, it’s easier to see. Still loving these images, Margaret

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Very nice Janet. I especially like the last line. Gives a wonderful old fashioned picture.

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      I love it also

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Janet, Studying this again I can see the first line being
      Shades of pink sweet peas
      I like this Haiku very much and don’t mean to be so bold as to suggest changing it, but just had this thought. The whole idea leaves a bright picture in my mind, and is very well put together.

      • Janet Stanwyck says:

        I appreciate your input into my haiku. How grand it would be to live closer and sit in a circle once or twice a month face to face. I am putting the varieties of versions down and let them percolate.

  38. Marybeth Bland says:

    Janet I loved your poem. Looking forward to any corrections.
    Marybeth

  39. Marybeth Bland says:

    As the mosque burns
    the birds fly away
    we cry

  40. Midnight Trilogy

    tall grass in a field
    tassels sway in the sunrise
    perches for gold finch

    cries of loons
    waves softly washing over rocks
    sunset symphony

    polka dot cat
    sleeps in a wildflower patch
    sweet dreams

  41. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Very nice images, well done.

  42. c. temte says:

    dogwood tree
    cross on a hillside
    undying love

  43. Marybeth Bland says:

    Five pole greens
    My first harvest
    Ever so delicious

  44. Marybeth Bland says:

    On August mornings
    fall is in the air
    time to chop wood

    • Sharon Nowidki says:

      I like this picture. Fall, my favorite time of year and also feeling the heat of a cozy fire.

    • It’s true that fall is in the air … but I am so, so grateful for this shot of summer heat! I know the rest of the country is suffering. Still, there’s a bit of Ohio in me after all these years, and I love these days of warmth. We get few enough of them.

  45. Sharon Nowidki says:

    Tasting the bounty
    Blackberries on riverbank
    Plucked from horseback

    • What a wonderful picture. Many senses evoked in this short poem.
      The second line could be “riverbank blackberries,” shorter and more natural sounding.

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        Margaret, thanks for the suggestion. I have edited my notebook to the change in the second line. I like that much better, it does sound more natural.

  46. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Several days ago I heard a few geese passing over the house, one squawking instructions. Running to the window I saw them flying low and counted 8 or 9 heading south. 20 minutes later they flew over again returning to the north. I named this flock the Olympians since the games are on and the birds look like they swimming through the air like Michael Phelps did in the water to win all his medals. They fly over regularly now in their migration maneuvers, each time increasing in their size as typical when fall is in our morning air. This morning they completed their circle in only a few minutes before disappearing to the north. We must be the end of their training flight track. It is thrilling when they fly low enough to allow my ears to catch the rushing sound of their wings stroking the air as they pass overhead. So effortlessly. I want to reach up and hitch a ride on ones back to feel the freedom and relax into the strength and rhythm of a flying goose.

    Flock of geese
    Increasing in numbers
    Practice for migration

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Sharon, what a beautiful “back story!” I am especially moved by the image of relaxing into the strength and rhythm of a flying goose. Never thought of it that way – even though the body is working hard, it is doing something it knows well and has trained for. So the mind relaxes, not driven, not anxious, not intent on winning, just doing and doing well. Like my German-American grandfather when he cut brush with a scythe. I learned to do it too but rarely could “relax into” it as he could. Thank you for the beautiful thoughts and the reminiscences they brought with them.

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        You’re very welcome Brad, I am glad it brought back some good memories and you enjoyed the story.

  47. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Morning sun
    a shimmery pearl
    above the fog.

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      Sharon I like both is these. Especially the line a shimmery pearl.

      I have seen the flight of ducks also .

  48. Marybeth Bland says:

    Mount Rainer
    with purple white ice
    looms large in sky

    we turn the corner
    it is gone

    • Sharon Nowicki says:

      Very nice picture Marybeth, I have seen the mountain with the purple hue in the ice, it’s so beautiful.

    • Yes, I like that image too, Marybeth. We usually think of blue with ice, so the word purple is unusual and striking – brings the image to life.
      What do you think of the fourth line being “around the corner”? That makes it a little easier for me to enter into the poem. It could be the poet going around the corner, or it could be me. Just a thought.

      • Marybeth Bland says:

        Around the corner works for me. I was trying to capture the image that Mt Rainer seems to travel, it is there in one spot and not the other

  49. Sharon Nowicki says:

    I am working on trying to stay more in the present as far as my mind goes these days, not past or future. I have also been going down to the church at dawn in the mornings to water a new row of cedar-like hedge trees and occasionally have seen little snails about the size of a nickel on top of the trees. I have been wondering what they are doing up there so high, the trees a little taller than me. As I was watering one of the trees this particular snail noticed the stream of water. I water the top of the tree and let the water filter down to cover the area in the grass around the bottom. This snail obviously noticed the stream of water and stretched its neck out long and extended its antenna, moving them around toward the water like it was looking it over. It slowly looked up and down the stream of water and appeared to be so curious at what would be an amazing site for a snail. I was wondering what a snail would be doing so far off the ground, nothing to eat up there that I could think of. I thought about what it would be like to be a snail and pack my own house around and what does a snail see from so high. I wonder if some are braver than others to climb like that and why hang out on the top of the branches. Pretty risky I would think. So, I was all that time in the cool morning air, focused on the present and enjoying something as insignificant as a snail.

    Oh mighty snail
    what are you longing to see
    from atop the tree

    • Sharon, I really like your prose and poems together. You are working in the haibun form. This one is cool because after the internal musings, in the poem you suddenly address the snail. That change in address brings me to attention.

      • Sharon Nowicki says:

        Margaret, I did not know my style of writing had another name. Haibun, I looked it up and think that is certainly the way I have always liked to write. Now just adding haiku. I am glad to know it has a name and I am not off here being a renegade. I didn’t catch the turn in attention in the poem either until you pointed it out. Thanks. The haiku looks different to me now and I like it.

  50. Marybeth Bland says:

    Under clouds
    with a damp mist
    the wedding begins

  51. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Very good Marybeth, This gives a full picture. I’ll bet the bride isn’t happy though.

  52. Marybeth Bland says:

    Actually they both took it in stride. They are camping for their honeymoon . Sounds utterly fantastic to me. And the sun peaked out

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Marybeth, I remember my own wedding many years ago. The weather was far from perfect. It did not matter. Coming up on 46 years, and all I can remember is the happiness. Sometimes clouds and a damp mist, common here in Port Townsend, make me feel cozy and comfortable. I hope that your memories are as lovely as your haiku.

  53. fiery red flutter
    tapping throbbing on my pane
    passionate partner

  54. Reading your Haiku – the sacred art for a second time brought me to this website. Really like that book and see so much application to living in awareness and from the heart and expressing from the heart. The thread of comments here is enlightening and instructional at the same time. I’m joining you from the eastern USA. Traveling to the coast this afternoon brought this haiku:

    ominous ceiling
    smokey puffy pillow rolls
    heavy and sagging

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Mary Catherine, I can see it and feel it. We lived for years near Washington DC. Where are you?

    • Thanks, Mary Catherine — I’m glad my book brought you to the site & into the conversation!
      My favorite line in this poem is “heavy and sagging.” Brings out the weight of the water, and the sense of foreboding.

  55. North Carolina, Brad. That sagging heaviness became drenching wetness just as I was unloading my car.

  56. Marybeth Bland says:

    Sounds very humid and hot.

  57. Marybeth Bland says:

    A yellow belly bird
    soars and dips
    as the clouds part