Haiku

with Kevin McLaughlin

Death-Song

Bhikku Bodhi writes of spiritual enlightenment in a manner that would be familiar to any poet who has written a poem that has used all the best words and all the correct images. The writing of your perfect haiku, which may well differ from mine, results in ecstasy.

In The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End Of Suffering,  Pariyatti Publishing, Bodhi writes, “As energy increases, the fourth factor of enlightenment is quickened. This is rapture, a pleasurable interest in the object. Rapture gradually builds up, ascending to ecstatic heights: waves of bliss run through the body, the mind glows with joy, fervor and confidence intensify. But these experiences, as encouraging as they are, still contain a flaw: they contain an excitation verging on restlessness. With further practice, however, rapture subsides and a tone of quietness sets in signaling the rise of the fifth factor, tranquility.”

Beginning with mindfulness, with being free of distractions and delusions, Bodhi has depicted the states of mind that come to a poet who has written a verse he or she would be well content to consider their Death-Song.

 

the brief squall passes

one drop of water glistens

on each pine needle.

 

In samsara, the conventional world, we each have the delusion of existing as discrete beings, like separate H2O molecules, and have a sense of duality with the world around us. But at the ultimate Big Mind state of being, we are fungible, indistinguishable entities like the drops of water in the streams, rivers, and oceans.

scooping warm vomit

from a dying man’s air ways:

EMTs arrive.

-K. McLaughlin

 

Cherese Cobb is a professional writer and photographer from Maryville, Tennessee. When she's not printing copy for newspapers, blogs, and magazines, she splits her time between family, nature, and cat-worship, chugging coffee to survive all three. 

 

origami,
my heart,
folded in his hands

Published in Shemom.

 

cupped,
in the tulip
honeybee dance


with dawn's first rays
she slips on her
shadow

jigsaw puzzle
our hands lingering
on the same blue sky

Published in Frogpond.

headwind—
sharing my short-lived love story

with cherry blossoms

campfire,
from my canteen,

I drink in flames

Published in The Asahi Shimbun.

 

-Cherese Cobb

Devon Richey, from Vidor, Texas, casts an exacting eye over phenomena ranging from acorns popping underfoot to zig-zagging dragonflies in a panorama of beautiful imagery, infinity, and an appreciation of everyday life.

gentle summer breeze—

the barren acorn refuse

popping underfoot

 

dawn's lilac shade parts

revealing golden glimpses

of infinity

 

upon cold steel door,

the household's lost happiness

outlined in crayon

 

rolling summer fog—

children ride their bikes beyond

slanted window shades

 

above august flood

the dragonflies zig-zagging . . .

youthful innocence

 

my pulling the plug—

a child holds his mother's hand

at the county fair

-Devon Richey 

 

 

James Babbs is a poet from Stanford Illinois. In these haiku a well-crafted winter theme links to the final poem, a resurrection verse that would delight Christians, scientists, and pre-Christians alike. Mr. Babbs displays every bit of the rapture and tranquility described in the first paragraph.

 

cold wind

leaves dance across empty fields

almost winter

 

dusting of snow

grass still showing

drinking my sweetened tea

 

Sunday afternoon

watching snow fall

listening to the wind

 

snow-covered car

sleeps in the driveway

dreaming of summer

 

all the snow melted

birds in the yard

pecking at the grass

 

bare trees

winter skeletons awaiting

the resurrection

 

(An especially meaningful verse!)

 

-James Babbs

 


Bob Whitmire is a motorcycling ex-journalist, retired social worker, and ex-soldier who has learned to pack the unabashed joy of living into three lines on a sheet of paper. Clearly, Mr. Whitmire has learned profundity lies in happiness, not some form of existential angst.  It is always a pleasure to see his work in my inbox.

 

flip-flop half buried

on a beach in Florida

someone wears one shoe

 

she is barely four

my granddaughter’s shoes sparkle

I wish they were mine

 

polished silver pond

mirrors a sweep of pale sky

the loon submerges

 

how I dream to see

the polished silver moon

through veil of soft rain

 

steam rises from the bowl

two poached eggs float serenely

on a sea of grits

 

-Bob Whitmire

John DeCesare is a first-time contributor who attended Montclair State, earning a degree in Economics and Pre-Law. He currently makes his home near Lake Wallenpaupuk in Pennsylvania. He enjoys inventing and has had his work patented.

 

one legged heron stands

looking for early spring fish

that don’t yet exist

 

dark nights still water

I am startled by a splash—

two ducks, one landing

-John DeCesare

Joseph Davidson seems to be free from the bondage of rigid thinking. Such a person’s mind retains its natural spontaneity and is unencumbered by illusion and distractions. This will manifest in the poet’s work.

 

blushing hibiscus

sweet caress of summer rays

little bee buzzing

 

wordless poet’s moon

teases senses through silk clouds—

last light of day fades

 

leaf drifting on pond

floating down from heaven’s bough

echoes washed away

 

fire ants mounding high

rising above fresh mowed lawn:

summer rains begin

-Joseph Davidson

Angie Davidson also possesses a direct insight into how the world operates. I particularly admire the second haiku, the daylight moon lingering in a body of water.

 

cloudy spring morning

misty rain on the mountains

echoes of nature

 

white moon up above

the daylight is here now

moon reflects in water

 

-Angela Davidson

 

 

Colin W. Campbell escaped from his day job in Scotland and now writes short fiction and poetry in Sarawak on the lovely green island of Borneo and also faraway in Yunnan in Southwest China.  He can be reached at www.campbell.my. By his own acknowledgement, these three haiku have a wee cheeky quality.

locusts hide the sun

everyone has to eat quickly

soon be nothing left

 

firefly in the dark

when lights can follow the path

with your bright rear end

 

terror in the night

mosquito comes to the light

and bites my backside

 

-Colin W. Campbell

 

Be Mindful…every poem you write could be your Death Haiku!

Yet once more I encourage all haiku writers to share their work, their insights into the nature of all things, with fellow poets and BTS readers.  

For those interested in haiku, I recommend you cast back into the BTS archives and reference the September 2016 column.  It provides a pretty thorough explanation of the basic format.

 

--  Kevin Mclaughlin

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