This morning’s walk with my dog was spectacular! Even though the sky was darkened by a flat grey ghost-mist, the hedges, railings, plants and fences were glinting with dew-laden spider webs. It was as though the spiders were putting on a spectacular show at the edges of morning consciousness.
Before writing today’s haiku, I did a little research about spider webs. As a result of my research I learned where the term “cobweb” comes from. It turns out that coppe is the Old English word for spider 🙂 .
Yesterday’s attempted viewing of the Harvest Supermoon has inspired today’s haiku poem!
The haiku-writing process is orienting my attention towards nature, and it’s making me curious about it too. As I was looking up at the moon, the question arose “How does the moon shine like that?” So, today I got on the case and was as thrilled as a constant-why-asking 3-year old to discover the answer (which sounds familiar in a very hazy way .. like I may have actually been 3 when I asked my parents this very question!)
So, I hate the break the news to you : the moon does not shine. What we’re actually seeing is the reflected light from the sun bouncing off the moon. In other words, the moon is a mirror.
Oh, and when the moon is full, and especially when it’s a supermoon, its “shine” is bright enough to obscure other objects in the night sky. If you wondered where all the stars were on Monday night, they were still there, but they were being outshone by the moon.
Anyway, less about heavenly bodies and more about heavenly haikus 🙂 . Today’s haiku is called “Supermoon” and you can read it here. I also read the haiku out loud in today’s video-blog.
Yesterday’s mushroom-hunting adventure was so exciting that I leapt out of bed this morning, keen to get to work on a fungus-based haiku. Only it seems that my imagination had other plans :P.
Returning from my early morning walk with my dog, I went into the kitchen and opened the blind to let in the light. The window looks out onto a patch of grass. The grass caught my eye : that patch of green stuff really looks like it’s doing exactly what it wants to, in spite of any gardener’s urges to control it or keep it in any kind of order.
I stood still, just gazing at the grass for a while, when a haiku just appeared (that’s exactly how I experienced it, like a flash of inspiration!)
My research into haiku revealed that the traditional form was not only an attempt to capture the essence of something in the natural world, but was also a skillful way of drawing attention to an aspect of the human condition. In today’s haiku about grass, the words ring as true for grass as they do for any of us who have experienced the messier side of human relationships.
It seems that this whole process of writing haiku poems is not only connecting me to nature, it’s also connecting me to my own nature. I’m beginning to see myself in nature. I’m beginning to really feel part of it. And because I’m beginning to feel part of it in such a real and alive way, it’s changing the way I feel about it. I’m in awe of it. I respect it. I think it’s clever, brilliant and beautiful. I think we should protect it, nurture it and nourish it. We should be in it more. I think it’s real. I think it could teach us a lot. I think it will help us to remember what we’ve forgotten.
You can read “Grass” here ; I also read my haiku out loud in today’s video-blog.
You know what? I’m really enjoying my poetic adventures : I’m enjoying taking pictures, I’m enjoying learning about nature, and I’m enjoying the experience of super-slow presence.
Whilst I was taking my dog for his morning walk, I noticed how one of the trees (it’s a common lime) is racing towards autumn. Many of the tree’s leaves are already golden ; some of the leaves are already on the ground.
I wondered what it would be like to be a leaf on that tree. I wondered what the “younger” leaves might say to the “older” leaves as the inevitable fall approached.
Today’s haiku (which is an attempt to translate the autumn rustle of leaves into words) is called “Leaf,” and you can read it here. I read the poem out loud in today’s video-blog.
For today’s poetic adventure, I had to do quite a bit of detective work. With the help of “Birdwatching For Beginners” and BBC Radio 4’s Tweet Of The Day archives, I was able to work out which bird I’ve been hearing at dusk throughout the summer : it’s the long-eared owl!
You can hear the call of the elusive long-eared owl here; you can read today’s haiku about this nocturnal bird here; and you can listen to me read my haiku out loud in today’s video- blog too 🙂 .
For the last couple of weeks “our” farm robin has been very noisy indeed! Listening to BBC Radio 4’s “Tweet Of The Day” I learned why that might be . The robin’s autumn song is distinctive, and it is very different from its song earlier in the year : the purpose of the new song is to defend its winter territories.
Robins often make their hones in hawthorn hedges and, since the farm is surrounded by such hedges, this mighty-small creature must feel at home with us!
I’ve not been quick enough to get a picture of the robin or to record its “tweeting” ~ it’s worth checking out the Radio 4 link to listen in (I expect it will sound familiar to many of you!).
Today’s poetic adventure was inspired by the honeysuckle on the side of my mother-in-law’s house : the agile shrub seems to be attempting to climb its way out of the turn of the season. It’s doing a really good job too : it’s trumpet blooms are still eye-catchingly healthy, and it’s still reaching skywards to the fading sun.
I’m really enjoying using this poetic form. It requires the creation of a dense and compressed essence , and it really helps to know a little about the element of nature you’re describing too (beyond its appearance). So, it’s encouraged me to learn more about the world around me ~ I like that 🙂 .
Today I learned that honeysuckle is also known as fairy trumpets (I can see why!) and woodbine (it winds and binds itself in the hedgerow). According to folklore, if honeysuckle grows outside your house, it’ll protect you from evil. If you bring it inside, it’ll bring wealth into the house. Although you’d think that everyone would want to take it into their house, some people don’t because they believe the sweet, pungent aroma causes “racy” dreams!