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Haiku Inspiration

My book club met today to discuss “Narrow Road to the Interior” by Matsuo Basho.  In 1689, the poet Basho walked the roads of Japan’s Northern Interior, and wrote about the physical journey as well as the metaphoric journey into one’s spiritual center. He was a master writer of Haiku, and included some to help in his descriptions of what he saw along the way.  Since it was another lovely shiny breezy day in LA, we decided to go for a walk while we discussed.  The following are some photos of what I saw along the way.

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Hollyhocks, I love them.

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Cactus flower.

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For this last photo (below), I wrote a haiku to go with it.  A haiku has 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third line.

Green heads, prickly hair

poking up through golden fields

like children playing.

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If you are interested in writing haiku, check out the book, “Basho, The Complete Haiku.”  There are an endless number to read and be inspired by.

 

 

 

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Something to Marvel At

It is wondrous how nature just does what it’s supposed to do.  On it’s own.  Without our help.  Animals are the same.  When It came time for Maggie, (who started out as a foster from the shelter) to deliver her puppies, as sick as she was, and emaciated, she just did what she was supposed to do.  I have a few bulbs scattered around my front and back yard, and completely forget about them throughout the year, until a day like today. There they were, not just poking ever so slightly up from the ground, but UP.   Something to marvel at.

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I found my poem for January that I had mentioned in my last post.  It is by Alice Walker, and is about three women writers who wrote during the twenties and thirties.  At some point in their careers, each left the “career” of writing and went searching for the heart of writing, Life itself.  One lived in a one room cabin and raised her own food, another became a Quaker and country philosopher, the third, a nurse.

The poem is titled “Light Baggage”

there is a magic

lingering after people

to whom success is merely personal.

who, when the public prepares a feast

for their belated acceptance parties,

pack it up like light baggage

and disappear into the swamps of Florida

or go looking for newer Gods

in the Oak tree country

of Pennsylvania.

Or decide, quite suddenly, to try nursing,

midwifery, anonymous among the sick and poor.

Stories about such people

tell us little;

and if a hundred photographs survive

each one will show a different face.

someone out of step. alone out there, absorbed;

fishing in the waters of experience

a slouched back against the shoulders

of the world.

 

In between my mixed media pieces and caring for shelter animals, I’m trying to sketch.

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I used some watercolor pencils, which I hadn’t tried before.

Poetry, art, literature, music.  Find something to marvel at.