Radiant Creation – One Spirit

The older I get, the more I like rose hips. I like their warm color. I like their spiky crowns. I like their generous curves. And I like the way they reveal themselves as the leaves fall, and hold on through winter.

There is no creating that does not have radiance.
Be it greenness or seed, blossom or beauty,
it could not be creation without it.
— Hildegard of Bingen, 12th Century mystic and Benedictine Abbess

We were all made to drink of One Spirit.
The body does not consist of one member but of many.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
There are many members, yet one body.
God has so arranged the body that the members may have the same care for one another.
We were all made to drink of One Spirit.
— excerpted and adapted from
1 Corinthians 12

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with these words from Hildegard of Bingen and Paul of Tarsus. 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. Earlier this fall, I facilitated a one-day retreat, “Autumn Light – Writing Haiku for Mindful Practice” at Stillpoint at Beckside retreat center near Bellingham.

    We found inspiration from Hildegard and Corinthians, as well as from the beautiful surroundings, and each other.

    We started with an introduction to the haiku form, then wrote some haiku together, as a group. Here are two of my favorites written by the whole group:

    cool weather
    migrating birds blanket
    the harbor

    All Saints—
    every color
    under the canopy

    I’ll also post poems written by individual retreatants on the day, and hope that you will join the conversation.

  2. This “circular poem” was written by participants in “Autumn Light – Writing Haiku for Mindful Practice” at Stillpoint at Beckside. The verses are linked by passing words one to the next.

    bathed in light—
    rustling gold trees
    give thanks
    — Denise

    windfall apples
    in autumn light
    I wait for you
    — Margaret

    an autumn windfall
    strewn along
    some crooked trail
    — Peter Corcorran

    autumn apple tree—
    the fruit strewn on the ground
    is the sweetest
    — Cherie Lashway

    bread warming…
    the humble oven
    holds sweet treasure
    — Mary Terry Rankin

    warm and abundant food
    crowded table
    hearts giving thanks
    — Linda

  3. Written by Linda at Stillpoint at Beckside:

    Brilliant colored leaves
    Surround the cross
    Love is here

  4. Written by Mary Terry Rankin at Stillpoint at Beckside:

    One drip against metal
    after morning rain
    the ticking clock

  5. Written by Cherie Lashway at Stillpoint at Beckside:

    In creek’s leafy bed
    a hint of watery sky—
    drought over!

  6. Written by Peter Corcorran at Stillpoint at Beckside:

    an arching blackberry branch
    guarding nothing

    soft needles
    deep and dead—
    a welcome mat

  7. Unharvested
    Winter pears dangle
    Robin perches near

  8. Marybeth Bland says:

    Six brown leaves
    hang from the old tree
    Without my glasses
    They look like birds
    Swaying with the wind

    My late fall poem

  9. a fiery globe
    in the early morning sky
    a twinkling star

  10. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Woodpecker notices
    I am watching him.
    Who is the observer?

  11. The lawn equipment needs to be winterized but who wants to waste a beautiful sunny autumn day doing something as mundane as winterizing lawn equipment. Not me! I have a case of the “roamies” as my husband called these moods. I just need to go somewhere just anywhere. Since there are only two ways to go — east or west, I flip a coin to see which way. East it is. I head out on 101 towards the Hood Canal Bridge. I know where I will go; I will go to Port Gamble. I arrive in Port Gamble and get out of the car and stroll around. The trees are in their fall splendor– leaves of scarlet, orange, and multicolored ones of yellow, green and gold. The sun’s golden rays put in their two cents worth also. I shuffle my feet through the leaves, kick a few, and pick up some for examination. I crumble away the mealy part from the veins of a dry leaf and create a spidery leaf ghost. I laugh at myself playing as a kid does. I walk up to St. Paul’s church. The church is gorgeous in the fall splendor! Years ago, several friends from St Luke’s in Sequim, my husband and I attended services at the church and afterward we all went to Sunday dinner at a restaurant in the area. Sometimes we brought our lunches and ate at a table nearby. With the memories and the awesome autumn beauty, I can’t hold back the tears. I just simply let the tears fall as I soak up nature’s splendor. I walk back to the car and make the long trek home sated with beauty and peace.

    sitting on a hill
    ablaze in autumn’s glory
    St. Paul’s church

    • Carolyn, I loved following you around your walk in Ft. Gamble, a town I know well from driving through many times on the way to the Kingston ferry. The attention to sensory detail in your prose is effective. I especially liked the spidery leaf ghost, and how it was made. Fine writing.

      My only hiccup in the prose came in the sentence after “Sunday dinner at a restaurant in the area.” That was such a specific (and lovely) scene, I was confused at first by the “Sometimes” that started the next sentence, thinking that you were going to tell me something that “sometimes” happened during the dinner. Also I wasn’t sure if “we” in that sentence referred to you and your husband, or to the same group that went to church and had dinner together. If that next sentence started “On other days, my husband and I brought our lunches … ” then it would read more smoothly for me. Do you see what I mean?

      I appreciate the way the haiku connects back to both quotes — “ablaze” to “radiance,” and St. Paul’s church to its namesake, Paul of Tarsus.

      Wonderful haibun — thanks for sharing.

    • Brad Offutt says:

      I love your stories! This haiku is different without the story; then it’s about every St. Paul’s church or any St. Paul’s church. That’s very cool. God’s sunshine can light a place of worship from outside but he leaves it up to us to make it glow inside. Never would have thought of all this except for you.

      • Thanks Brad! I appreciate your thoughts. An exchange of ideas inspires us all and encourages us on our personal journeys.
        carolyn

  12. Very nice Carolyn. Your haiku ending is perfect after reading the story.

  13. CaroleAnn Lovin says:

    The ‘Radiant Creation’ quote caught my attention… Here’s my haiku:

    God’s creation —
    the radiance of seeds
    bursting to bloom

  14. Brad Offutt says:

    amber glow through waiting oolong
    turns hourglass sand to diamonds

    On a cold, rainy day I happened on a wonderful tea room in NW Portland’s Pearl District. Four kinds of oolong – wow! In the cozy dimness the light filtering through the tea I’d just poured fell on the tiny hourglass timer and made the fine sand into something beautiful and rich. Everything conspired to make this a special moment – not least the tasty scone I’d just bitten into!

    • Yumm, and I love the Pearl District.

      • Brad Offutt says:

        Thank you! The place is Tea Zone and Camelia Lounge on NW 13th just north of Glisan. Very worth a visit!

    • Thanks, Brad — a wonderful sensory scene. I especially like the scone at the end!

      In the two-line poem, what do you think of cutting “waiting” in the first line? I really like amber glow and oolong, but “waiting” diffuses the image for me. You might also consider adding an article for more natural-sounding language.

      the amber glow through oolong
      turns hourglass sand to diamonds

  15. CaroleAnn Lovin says:

    gusty winds swirl
    gold leaves far and wide —
    giving thanks

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  16. we drink til it’s gone
    and no wiping the rim here
    we’re all family

    This was from a story a friend told about her family’s gatherings. They would always end with the passing around of a bottle and drinking it dry. It’s not about nature so maybe not a haiku, maybe a senryu.

    • Thanks, Kathy — I especially like “no wiping the rim here.” And the story is great. Interesting tradition. Now that’s communion!

      Yes, technically speaking this would be a senryu rather than a haiku. And senryu are welcome here.

  17. These two readings came together for me during Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family. My siblings and I still try to gather together once or twice a year. Our children are so different from one another in many ways. And yet…….

    these faces
    some with freckles, some without
    all belong

    They have a radiance, a compelling connectedness to us and to one another. My parents would be so proud of them!

    • Barbara, what a wonderful image! I especially like “these faces” as a first line for this poem. It draws me in. And I like the freckles, of course.

      Nice link to “radiance.” Thanks for posting.

  18. Brad Offutt says:

    I’m back in Portland and in the Tea Zone on NE 11th. I walked here on dead leaves wet by rain on this somber day. But it is so peaceful back here in the lounge, and I wait with anticipation as the tea steeps. I pour the tea and the slanting light makes it all so lovely. The tea seems to shine with its own life. All of a sudden I think: tea is dead leaves wet in water. The difference between leaves is in my experience of each. And if I see God in the tea, he is in the sidewalk leaves as well.

    dead leaves
    reborn
    in a tea glass

    Margaret, I have no idea how to classify this effort, but I wanted to share the moment. There’s a picture too, which I’m e-mailing you.

    • Brad Offutt says:

      I seem to have a lot of trouble with the Tea Zone’s address! It’s on NW 11th, just north of Glisan.

    • Brad, I tried to paste your photo into a comment … I’ve had success doing that in the past … but it didn’t work this time. So instead I’ll just make a new posting and put your photo, text, and poem together there.

      The text and poem together are a haibun … and if the poem was super-imposed on the photo, it would be a haiga.

      What are all three together? I don’t know if it has a name … but I know that I like it.

      In your poem, your use of “reborn” is interesting to me just now, as we’ve entered Advent and are heading to Christmas.

      Readers — to see Brad’s photo with this text, check out the posting at http://lectiohaiku.inthecourtyard.com/2012/12/03/god-reborn-in-tea-leaves/

      • Brad Offutt says:

        Margaret, thank you! I love your title for the new post. Yes, I was thinking too of the season during this special moment. For me the greatest of the Christian mysteries is that God came among us – is among us – and is in us and in everything. Except I keep losing hold of this elemental truth and he keeps reminding me in the most wonderful ways – like drinking a glass of assam. And yes, I had a scone with my reborn leaves!

  19. Received this in snail mail from my friend Marybeth, who is currently laid up & not able to do her own posting. She is making observations through the window in her hospital room.

    one puffy cloud
    floats beyond the tall tree
    as sun turns to rain

    Sending best wishes to Marybeth for comfort, rest, rain turning to sun, and swift recovery.

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Marybeth, draw strength and joy from knowing how many of us are pulling for you. I love all the things you write and post, and trust that you’ll be back home and at your computer before long! It is raining where I am right now, but the sun is peeking through too – there’s always light to be seen somewhere.

  20. Marybeth Bland says:

    Hello all haiku mates. I arrived home Thursday . I went three weeks without feeling natural air against my face. It is so good to be home,

    Home again
    my mind at ease
    my heart in peace

    I breathe deeply
    exhale

    What happened was a freak accident, I has a spiral fracture of my right leg. Extremely painful. I had a metal rod placed inside the bone. Then two weeks of boot camp rehab. Walking a little but in wheelchair mostly. More outpatient PT to come. Should be close to normal in three months. Nickel spent all day with me at rehab and went home with Tony to sleep

  21. Here are a couple new haiku by Marybeth that were accidentally posted on Margaret’s Bench instead of this page. I’m moving them here so you haiku-ers can see them too. (For my comment replies, see the comments in the post “The Voice We Need to Hear” on Margaret’s Bench on this site.)

    An old cedar falls
    New roads are built
    Marsupials gone

    And this:

    The moon speaks to me
    It’s brightness shines on my bed
    I am of this world

    Marybeth says: “I witnessed the full moon rising over a tall cedar tree when I was in the hospital trying to sleep.”

  22. Marybeth Bland says:

    Squawking
    high in the sky
    …ducks

    This haiku is from Sharon and I . She wheeled me on a half mile walk around my neighborhood with nickel walking beside. We also spotted what looked like a pussy willow tree with buds ready to open.

  23. a billion stars
    shining in the heavens
    one spirit

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Carolyn, that’s just beautiful! I like the juxtaposition of “billions” with “one.” You make me think, too, that all seven billion of us on this planet can see the same stars and share the same spirit. Thank you!

      • Thank you, Brad. Mainline religions and splinter religions — still one spirit is amazing and what humans do in the name of that one spirit is even more amazing.

  24. Yesterday was a great day. I took a friend up to Bellevue Square (a large high-end Mall near Seattle about an hour drive from home) for a day trip to the “big city”. She brought her big fat Pug Rex with us. We borrowed a dog stroller from my daughter for him to ride in as we prepared to stroll through the Mall. Once we arrived and found our parking spot in the garage, she proceeded to try to shove Rex into the stroller. This event should have been on video. At least 4 times Rex squirted himself out of her arms to escape the dreaded stroller. Apparently one dry run down the street at home the day before was not enough to get him resigned to this idea of being confined. Finally she got her hand on his flat face and pushed him down while she zipped the screen shut as I tried to hold the stroller still by the handles. That was a struggle with the fight going on at the front end. We breathed a sigh of relief as that was a huge accomplishment but then we found that about 4 cars down from ours were the steps up to the sky bridge entrance to the Mall. Up to that or down to the street level, either way we had to release the dog. We got the empty stroller up the stairs and had to start the process all over again when we got inside the building. Yet another fight ensued with the uncooperative Pug, only this time with an audience. I had better control of the back end this time from my previous experience of loading the stroller in the parking garage.
    Even through the screen people noticed Rex in there and wanted to stop to see him and ask questions. After a while of browsing around, a clerk in the Oil and Vinegar store wanted to pet him. His confining screen was unzipped and being the smart Pug that he is, he took advantage of that open space, quickly escaped and proceeded to snort and lick up every leg within reach until his mom could grab his leash and reel him back in. Now he had clerks and customers alike fawning attention all over him. Rex was in heaven. We decided to just drop our purses in the stroller and let Rex roam free as far as his short leash would allow. Trying to wrestle him back into the stroller in this store would surely have resulted in some broken glass.
    All the rest of our stroll through the Mall and in the stores he was the bell of the ball. Once outside we got him shoved back into the stroller again in an attempt to try to hide him when we went to a restaurant for lunch, but with that flat face pushed against the screen from the inside, the waiter spotted him right away. We thought this would be an issue, but the waiter said they have dogs in there all the time and enjoy them. So, Rex got to sit on the seat in the booth with his mom, being very well mannered and took a nap. Twice during the day we took him out to the trees along the street and he watered the grass quickly and unnoticeable like a little gentleman.
    One of the things we noticed on our trip around town was how lovely the dormant trees lining the streets looked wrapped in tiny white lights. Especially at night they are so festive and pretty. The decorations inside the Mall are extravagant to say the least, but noticing the simple white lights decorating all those trees combined with our friendship and spending this wonderful time just being together which of course included the fat little Pug was enough to make us smile with a warm peaceful feeling. We didn’t need to have any money to spend to feel rich, content with only the simple spirit of fellowship and enjoying things around us.
    The lighted trees outside along the sidewalk were the main attraction for me on this day. One only needs to take a second look at a dormant tree to see there is beauty even when the leaves are dropped to allow the tree to rest and new buds form over the winter with expectation of new growth again, fresh in the next season. In addition to the bark which can be striking, the beauty in a dormant tree is the shape, all the bare branches thick at the base spreading and thinning out to tiny twigs at the tips. With a background of the cold winter sky, evergreen trees or even the broad side of city buildings those graceful and wispy shapes are a thing of beauty, but wrapped in lights for a short time midwinter, they are spectacular.

    Bare trees
    Dressed for the holidays
    Delight

    • An epic journey! Thanks, Sharon, for sharing your mall adventures.

      I loved the way the people at the mall responded to Rex, once he got out of the stroller. And it was very interesting that Rex being out of the stroller wasn’t a problem. That made me wonder about why your friend was so determined that he must be confined in the stroller in the first place. Did she think that dogs weren’t allowed in the mall? (I would have guessed that they weren’t allowed, but evidently that guess is wrong.) I’d like to hear more about the reasons for all the struggle, and then how you and your friend reacted to what happened. In other words, I’m interested in the human motivations, surprise, change in feelings, and so on, that run through this scene.

      Two other brief notes. With longer passages like this, the haibun form works best when haiku are interspersed between relatively brief passages of prose. It’s like the haiku are leaves or flowers floating in the stream of prose. The rhythm works better when they are scattered throughout. You might break this piece up into shorter paragraphs, with a haiku between each paragraph.

      Finally — and this is the really challenging part — by convention, the haiku in a haibun avoid repeating facts or feelings that are already explicit in the prose. Instead, the haiku and the prose complement each other, and come together to make a complete picture. (As an example, here’s a link to a haibun in the online journal Haibun Today: http://haibuntoday.com/ht64/h_Day_BlueEyedGrass.html)

      Your last two paragraphs describe the lighted trees and your feelings in some detail. Then the haiku says pretty much the same thing. I think this piece would be stronger if you cut the last two paragraphs of prose, and relied on the haiku to convey the feeling. Then all the prose is about Rex, and the poem opens up the scene to the whole day.

      I like the first two lines of the haiku very much. Rather than state the feeling in the third line, I wonder if it could refer to the action: an outing with a friend. Or … ??

  25. Brad Offutt says:

    We saw “Lincoln” yesterday to celebrate our anniversary and today, I realize, is the anniversary of the day when the 13th amendment went into effect. And today we learn that a South Carolina Republican will become the first Black Senator from the South since reconstruction – by appointment, not election. And I know people younger than I who will not see an African American as a neighbor to love. Could Lincoln know it would take this long?

    dog so peaceful
    by the fire
    loving everyone

    • Thanks, Brad. I like the way this short piece weaves past, present, and future. And I especially like the turn to the dog by the fire in the haiku. A particular image that universalizes the piece, taking it beyond human nature. Nice.

      (We’re hoping to see “Lincoln” before it leaves town — I’m looking forward to it.)

      • Brad Offutt says:

        Thank you, Margaret! It was some of your guidance here that opened my eyes to this way of expressing my strong feelings when reflecting on the movie. I sometimes think that the Biblical “knowledge of good and evil” means that, unlike our pets, we have learned how to BE evil. Hatred seems so often to be at the base of many human evils. Do see “Lincoln.” It is both moving and highly informative. And the sets are amazing.

  26. A note to the haiku-ers — Not sure why, but some of the haiku this month are getting posted on the page for Margaret’s Bench, under my sermon “The Voice You Need to Hear.”

    To share your haiku with the haiku crowd, be sure that you are posting on the Lectio+Haiku page. And to read haiku that have been posted on Margaret’s Bench, check the comment stream here: http://margaretsbench.inthecourtyard.com/2012/12/10/the-voice-we-need-to-hear/#comments.

  27. CaroleAnn Lovin says:

    doves coo
    encircling the olive tree —
    prayer for peace

    Wishing y’all LOVE, PEACE and JOY
    this holiday season and all year through!

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Thank you, CaroleAnn – right back at you! I really like the image of a bunch of doves around an ancient olive tree. Maybe they’re foraging for leftovers now that the hectic olive harvest is over and all is peaceful.

    • Thank you CaroleAnn,

      LOVE, PEACE and JOY back atcha!

      I especially like “encircling the olive tree” in this poem.

      And — God bless us, every one!

  28. a radiant light
    burning in the eastern sky
    hope for mankind

  29. Brad Offutt says:

    one same light
    through every window

    Not my original thought, of course – very much at the heart of our fellowship. But it’s become mine now, especially during this special season!

    • sweet scents
      wafting through the house
      anticipation of the birth

      • Wow, Carolyn & Brad, you’ve written three linked verses, with Brad’s two-liner linking back to Carolyn’s “a radiant light,” and then Carolyn’s “sweet scents” links back to Brad’s two lines in “through the house.” Very cool!
        (By the way … These linked verses anticipate the online linked verse class later this spring, when we’ll write links like these, along with other linked verse forms.)
        Thanks for this creative collaboration.

  30. In honor of the solstice, and radiance, and the way things work:

    longest night
    friction lights the match
    that lights the candle

  31. bells pealing
    through the frosty darkness
    Christmas time

  32. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Window blinds
    slice the pale yellow sun
    kitty naps

    reworked from a previous haiku

  33. This haibun comes from Sharon:

    Each day when I look out the window I see things that are remnants of last year’s gardening. Some things I have not cleaned up yet. The cold damp weather has driven me inside to pick up softer crafts I save for the long welcome reprieve from the heat and the summer work a gardener commits to. When I see the remains of these outside projects I sometimes feel guilty about leaving them unfinished. Then I turn to weaving words on the computer or creating baby items with my knitting needles that end up as donations to the hospital. This convinces me that indoor projects are as important and my crafts have seasons also.

    Dead tomato vines
    Against the barn wall
    Thoughts of spring

    • Sharon, I really enjoy this piece. I like the insight in the prose (and I share those conflicted feelings when I look outside at this time of year). And the striking image of the dead tomato vines against the barn wall makes a nice cap to the haibun — appropriate, without repeating an image from the prose. Nice job!

      Your haibun conveys the rightness of different tasks for different seasons, and gives me a feeling of peace. Thank you!

  34. Another from Sharon:

    Birds hide
    chilly wind blows
    soup for lunch

  35. Dear poetic friends,
    I’m taking a few days away from the computer this week.
    Wishing you all the joys of the season, and peace at home and on earth.

    frost at dawn
    a box of chocolate cherries
    on the doorstep

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Oh, there’s nothing like cold chocolate cherries – a favorite from my youth! As my dear Greek friends say, poetic mentor and friend, may you and yours experience a Beautiful ChristBirth!

  36. Marybeth Bland says:

    Merry Christmas everyone. I have been so busy getting stronger I have forgotten to check into this site.

    My nature journal is also keeping me busy these days. Eight hours and twenty eight minutes was the most daylight we had on Dec 21. Now we gain a minute a day. For those of us living in the Pacific Nortwest a minute more of daylight is precious considering the days are usually dark and rainy.

    I am busy watching the activities around my huckleberry bush. So far not many birds coming to nibble. Right now there only appears to be one.

    A fat belly Robin
    watches me
    watching it

    The fence in our backyard finally gave away. It is our neighbors but it keeps Nickel where he should be, on our side.

    The fence crumbles
    An invitation to explore
    What wonders to see

    A new world opened
    Much to smell
    Much to taste

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Marybeth, Merry Christmas to you too. I love your haiku about Nickel’s expanded world. Would you ever consider e-mailing a picture of Nickel exploring to Margaret so she could post it and we all could see?

      • Marybeth Bland says:

        Yes. I will, The picture has me in it also,

        Here is a silly poem for the holiday

        Driving thru the streets we go
        Looking at the houses all aglow

        Santa spotted on the roof
        Rudolf looking all aloof

        Presents scatter everywhere
        As Santa heads way out there

        Merry Christmas to all
        And to all a good night

        Tuck your kids in tight
        It’s going be a long night

        adios

      • Hi Brad & Marybeth — I have Marybeth’s picture and have been trying to post it in a comment. Not working. I’ll send email with another idea for pictures from contributors.

    • Marybeth, I especially like the crumbling fence, and the fat belly Robin watching you watching it.

  37. Marybeth Bland says:

    I just read all the haikus I missed. Everyone writes so beautifully.Thanks for sharing.

    Marybeth

  38. Amazing how many rough drafts I tossed before deciding on these six simple words. Maybe it still needs revision.

    snow falls
    evening comes
    bread bakes

    Sharon

    • Hi Sharon, I like this scene. You have the time of day, the season, and the baking bread evoking a sensory experience, especially of scent. My only suggestion, to make this adhere closer to the haiku form, would be to see if you can revise so that it has a single break after one of the lines, rather than a break after both lines. Right now the poem has three parallel parts. It would be more haiku-like if it had two non-parallel parts.

      evening snowfall…
      the house fills
      with baking bread

      I’m trying to say that the scent fills the house without saying it directly … don’t know how successful I am. Might be trying too hard! But you get the idea.

      • Yes I do like this better, My usual problem is with too many words so I worked on getting a picture out with less this time. I see what you mean though with the last two lines flowing together. Thanks, I will revise my notebook, this is good.

  39. Full moon strains
    Through the clouds
    An eerie glow

    • Brad Offutt says:

      Sharon, I like both “pictures.” So – did the snow stay? Did the moon shine (or glow) on that snow?

  40. Marybeth Bland says:

    Thanks Sharon. I like the haiku about the moon and snow.

  41. the moon and stars
    align
    clamming time

    • Wow, Carolyn, that is a very interesting poem.

      The other night, I noticed an alignment between the moon and a particularly bright star (must have been a planet). In this poem, I like juxtaposition of the moon and stars aligning, and clamming time. It feels mysteriously right … as though the “sea” of stars is aligned in some way with the earthly oceans. The short middle line works well, and the break after the 2nd line. Nice.

      • It has to do with the tidal conditions and when one digs razor clams, The poem is a natural.

      • I think the poem also points out how everything is tied together — one body, how we can’t have one thing without some other thing. For me it is truly amazing how the moon and tide can be connected.

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      Carolyn,

      I love this. Are you a clammer? My cousin earned money for college clamming on the Great South Bay back on LI new York. He had a clam boat and let me help once. Not a girl job ib those days

  42. Marybeth Bland says:

    Toes digging in wet sand
    we search for clams
    eager for dinner

  43. I like this subject of clamming. I can’t do the digging, but find the holes for the rest of the crew, Both good haiku.

  44. Marybeth Bland says:

    Berry filled bushes
    Invite all birds
    we watch with joy

  45. Marybeth Bland says:

    I should add that these bushes are outside my kitchen window, every time I sit down to eat I watch the activities, . First it was just the fat belly robin,. Now all are here. I try to figure out why they arrive when they do. Is it the cold, rain, etc. some years they start before Thanjsgiving, this year they all arrived yesterday. Such mysteries

    • That’s interesting, Marybeth, that the birds arrive to eat the berries in the winter. If I hadn’t read your comment, I would probably think of this as a summer haiku. I wonder if you can get the season in the poem. Since the birds came so close to the end of the year, you might use that:

      New Year’s Eve–
      berry-filled bushes
      invite all birds

      (Okay, I cheated by one day…)

      Or you might name the berry. If I don’t know the berry, then I imagine it’s something like blackberries, which are a summer fruit. If you name the berry, I might know that it’s a winter scene.

      • Marybeth Bland says:

        We don’t know the name of the berries or the bushes but I think they are huckleberries.But the berries are never ripe until at least Thanjsgiving
        when do huckleberries ripen?

        on frosty days
        berry-filled bushes
        Invite all birds

      • We have red huckleberries in the woods around our house. They ripen in summer. I think that black huckleberries are also summer ripening.

        I like your revision. The only thing I’d suggest is to make it a specific day, and maybe even a specific time of day, since that gets it closer to the haiku ideal of expressing the feeling in the heart of a moment.

        this frosty morn–
        berry-filled bushes
        invite all birds

  46. Check out the Poet’s Gallery, with a new picture by MaryBeth to go with one of her earlier poems this month. (See the link in the sidebar on the right at the top of this page.)

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      . I lost the connection. After I write this I will tap on the notify tab and see if the connection works again. That is why I have been missing posts.

      We are celebrating néw years eve listening to Joni Mitchell and Carole king and watching the ball drop from times square.

  47. a hawk
    swoops through the air
    little birds scatter

    • Carolyn — I like the image of the hawk swooping through the air very much.

      About the haiku form: The juxtaposition between the hawk swooping and the little birds scattering shows a cause-and-effect relationship. It’s a clear moment (good) with a single break between the 2nd and 3rd lines (also good), but because the relationship between the two parts is so predicable, the poem lacks resonance.

      You might get a little more juice by thinking about how the hawk swooping makes you feel. Then look around in the moment for something else that evokes a similar feeling… or that gives you a contrasting feeling. Or something happening in your life right now that echoes the feeling of the hawk swooping. Then use that for your third line.

      In fact, might be an interesting exercise to do that with the hawk swooping, then do the same thing with the little birds scattering. Examine the feeling that comes from the little birds scattering, and look for another image or situation that resonates with that feeling. You’ll end up with two haiku: one with the hawk, and another with the little birds, each juxtaposed with an image or situation that’s not cause-and-effect.

      • Margaret,
        Very good lesson here, I have printed this to add to my file. I always appreciate your responses to our posts, and take note of them even if it is not for me

      • Thank you, Sharon, for your kind & supportive words — you lift my heart at the start of the day.

  48. Dear haiku poets,

    I have absolutely loved our long poetic conversation inspired by Radiant Creation and One Spirit.

    And … today I started a new conversation, with a posting for January, called “Just As I Am.” I’m looking forward to where the creative spirit leads us!

    Check it out at http://lectiohaiku.inthecourtyard.com/2013/01/01/just-as-i-am/

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