A Time for Every Matter

Salal Blossom and New BerriesFor everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven.

— Ecclesiastes 3:1

♦ ♦ ♦

Nothing great is produced suddenly,
since not even the grape or the fig is.
If you say to me now that you want a fig,
I will answer to you that it requires time:
let it flower first, then put forth fruit,
and then ripen.

— Epictetus, Stoic philosopher

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with these words from wise ones. 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


  1. I’m grateful to Carolyn Temte for suggesting the verse from Ecclesiastes for this Lectio+Haiku posting.

    Today in my neck of the woods, it is the season for salal blossoms to fall.

    In the coming months, the tiny pink berries left behind will swell and turn purple, and finally provide food for deer and other creatures of the woods. Each day, each moment, has its season.

    new-mown grass…
    who was she, really, that friend
    from a former life?

  2. This is from Marybeth, copied over from last month’s posting:

    from tree tops
    crows toss cherries
    not yet ripe

    on our walk
    my dog devours them

  3. this earth we live on
    betoaded and cawified
    naked heart and toes

  4. Carolyn says:

    a quiet stroll
    at sunset
    mossy headstones

  5. CaroleAnn Lovin says:

    Hi! Here’s a haiku sequence in response to the first quote:

    There Is A Season

    winter hibernation:
    life naps in the silence

    spring exuberance:
    life dances to lullabies

  6. carolyn says:

    father and son
    skipping stones on the pond
    mirror image

    • I agree with ayaz, Carolyn — this is a lovely — a good image for the month of Father’s Day. Thanks. Brings back memories of my father teaching me to skip stones on the lakes & ponds of Ohio.

  7. lovely image

  8. I received this haiku from Marybeth Bland, who’s having technical difficulties and couldn’t post it herself. Marybeth, I hope you see this and can comment soon!

    a pause in traffic
    we hear a junco trill

  9. Marybeth Bland says:

    I am back on. ThanKs for the help, Margaret

    Sometimes I like to spend time just listening. Friday was the one this morning who pushed me out on the deck before breakfast to just be.

    we hear
    the train whistle blow
    a crow call

    a cherry land on the deck
    a breeze ripple the leaves

    • Marybeth, I’m glad you’re back on!

      Thanks for the wonderful collection of sounds. You are inspiring me to go outside and listen. I like all the sounds you list — my favorite is the cherry landing on the deck.

  10. carolyn says:

    flickering ears
    behind my mulch pile
    newborn twin fawns

    • Congratulations to all concerned — mother doe, baby fawns, and mulch pile owner!

      Carolyn, I like the flickering ears. What would you think of changing “my” to “the” in the 2nd line? That helps me enter into the poem … makes the image as much mine as the poet’s.

      • Carolyn says:

        The change to the works for me.
        Thanks for the congrats. I put all my petunias in hanging baskets so the fawns won’t become petunia eaters and I won’t be aggravated at the fawns.

        • Marybeth Bland says:

          Wonderful sight and poem. Is there a picture of any of this?

          • Carolyn says:

            Sorry Marybeth, I didn’t get a picture. Boy the fawns are really little. I didn’t get very close —mama doe was probably close by and I didn’t want to agitate her.

  11. carolyn says:

    While Melissa was on retreat in Idaho, she found an ailing creature. When it succumbed, she performed a fitting memorial service for it.

    a robin’s grave
    at the foot of the statue
    covered in lilacs

    • Carolyn sent in a lovely photograph of the statue, which I have added to the Poet’s Gallery. There’s a link to the Poet’s Gallery in the sidebar, or here: http://www.inthecourtyard.com/poets-gallery/

      Carolyn, my favorite line is the 3rd, “covered in lilacs.”

      • carolyn says:

        That is my favorite line too. I love Melissa Layer’s photo also.

        • Marybeth Bland says:

          Twelve years ago we moved into this house. That June I saw a spectalir wild life that no one else saw. They were not around. I took it as a good sign. Twelve years ago when I saw it, it was sitting under a tree staring in the direction of my house. Well at least I though it was. It has returned over the years. I am sure it is not the same one. Only I and my service dog bared witness. Yesterday it was Friday and me looking out the window before breakfast ,

          In the morning
          a great blue heron
          strolls around the pond

          It pauses
          then slides in

          • Marybeth, how thrilling. And wonderful that it’s a private viewing. Every once in a long while, I see a coyote cross the meadow outside my office window, and it always moves my heart.

  12. Carolyn says:

    iridescent wings
    catch the wind
    baby’s first flight

    • Carolyn, this is a belated comment on this poem!
      You know, this poem puts two images in my mind. One is of a newborn dragonfly, flying for the first time. And the other is of a human baby WATCHING the newborn dragonfly — and having its first experience of flight.
      I like both images.

  13. Poets, if you are following this thread in the comment stream alone, note that I have posted a new Lectio+Haiku for September (it will probably last us through the rest of fall, at the rate I’ve been posting!) It’s called Beautiful Words, and you’ll find it at the top of the home page, http://www.inthecourtyard.com.