grey suddenly blue
I walk circles with the light
returning to stars
“On the Road” has a haiku prompt this week that considers the life and work of Kikusha-Ni, a Buddhist nun, poet, artist, and wanderer.
I used two sky photos I took at the beach and did some quick watercolors on rice paper, combining the elements in a few different ways.
The haiku evolved along with my photoshop manipulations.
dawning grey to blue
the sun wears orange this evening
returning to black
Table in the sun
still holding its vacancy—
the cat is not there.
Rose of Sharon flowering
through light of summer’s return.
Lillian at dVerse proposed we take a photo through one of our windows and respond in poetry. The words I’ve read have been really evocative, and of course, there’s the chance to look into another’s intimate space.
This was taken from my kitchen. For most of the time I’ve lived here, I would look out and see my neighbor’s cats, who spent many of their days lounging in what passes for my back yard, often on this table. We got to know each other well, and I still look for them, even though all of them are gone now.
Her current cats prefer to stay indoors.
like the Fool’s card—zero played
I’ve been neglecting the Secret Keeper’s prompts the past few weeks for lack of time, not interest. They are always like a puzzle for me, coming together in unexpected ways when I start to write. The appearance of the Fool, after a few drafts of ideas, was definitely a surprise. But serendipity is always part of the work I do. The end is never where I thought I was going.
I took the photos of Japanese ceramics with the beautiful window light reflected on the glass display cases at the Metropolitan Museum last spring. I was reminded of them by Marcy Erb’s post a few weeks back of a photo with reflected light on a Buddha, and I think they fit with this poem.
And I’ve resurrected a few Fools from past posts. The Fool (Zero in the Tarot) represents for me a capacity to be surprised and delighted, to leave an empty space to be filled by life. Wonder is everywhere; we just need make some room for it occasionally.
“This is what Democracy looks like.”
#21 Shih Ho Justice
the search for truth
insisting on fairness
develop balance in all things
conscious awareness in circles
cutting out illusions
exposing the center of truth
truth and integrity
actions lead to consequences
wisdom decides action
everything is connected
destruction and cleansing
rise up and cast out negatives
keep making connections
use power for the good of all
the quest for truth
stop speaking and listen
light revealing unobstructed
eyes open light shining
seeing through illusion and lies
I’ve been considering this hexagram since August. The classical name for it is “Biting Through”, and the classical interpretations are all about punishment. But the words “justice” and “truth” kept popping up as I searched through different translations and commentaries, and I think those words are closer to the spirit of the lines.
“The Quotable I Ching” actually called it Justice in one of its posts, suggesting that a look at the tarot card Justice would also provide insight. And it did.
The cinquain cycle is a compilation of ideas from the various commentaries on Shih Ho that I read though and thought about as I looked at the hexagram. As seems to be always the case, its wisdom is needed in the time and place the world is inhabiting right now.
You can see all the Beach I Chings I’ve done so far here.
My brother wanted to go to the 9/11 Museum.
We paid our money and waited in a long line of tourists for our timed entry to the steel and concrete underground crypt, complete with a gift shop (which we steered well clear of) and endless tape loops replaying the day’s events.
The new glass and steel monuments to commerce surrounding the plaza, with its beautiful pools, enclosed the space above the museum.
I found this ad from the NY Times of May 29, 2015, when I was cleaning a few weeks ago. I must have saved it, intending to do a headline haiku, but it got lost in the shuffle. Having visited the site, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
There is nothing “free” about the Freedom Tower, or the museum. Is this the best way to remember this day and those who died?
in the dazzling morning sky
surround this opening
remember to breathe
Let there be light, and air, and songs, and sky, and running water, and the living earth and new growing things. That’s what I think.
A classmate of mine put together a video of my class (Eastside High School, Paterson, NJ) which I got a real kick out of. Oh, some of those hairdos! As one classmate put it “the world is like a teen age hairdo–a blown up mess”. The world was a lot simpler then. No technology and the only girls’ sport was bowling. Still, we learned a lot and all got along well. Here’s my yearbook photo.
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
–Lady Bird Johnson
“If you could
have three wishes, what?”
I’ve been repeating that word
since I was a child.
What is peace?
Easy to say what
it is not–
not guns, not
bombs, not hate or violence.
Not this destruction.
There are seeds
but they need sunlight–
growth, to send roots; open space
to reach for the sky.
This is not
we let it–
the Earth can teach us if we
can’t find our way home.
Despite the way we mistreat it, the Earth still shares with us its bounty. As it does each summer, the Rose of Sharon tree is blooming, surrounded by concrete and the sorrows of our world.
Join in with your poem here.