Tag Archives: blossoms

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birthdays, too,
hold misunderstood questions
alongside bright smile greetings.

at the end of the day,
I stayed late at the Temple
to water Roshi’s flowers.

oceans of bright clouds,
oceans of solemn clouds.

The final couplet comes from the words of Dogen in our school’s translation of the Ninth Precept.

Spiderman Pajamas

Standing at their top
in the old house on the hill,
it seemed a long way down
the steepness of the dimly lit stairs.

From below in the kitchen,
you called my spiderman pajamas
superman.
I thought to correct you —

but even at nine,
I knew it didn’t matter.

Driving to work this morning,
it was even more remote
from the concerns of this day
or the decades in between.

Yet there we were,
among the forsythia
and apple blossoms
in the brightness of spring.

There’s a much more involved prose piece in here; but for Mother’s Day, this is the essence.

Spring Haiku #3

blossoms emerge —
incessant rains engulf
hopes of children

I sometimes feel as if a haiku isn’t enough of a post, as if eight words aren’t worthy of a week’s worth of creative work. And then there are blossoms; it is incredible how much of our own experience they bear on their tender petals and stems.

Arrangement

The arrangement can only be made
from what is there in the garden
among the spring’s fresh birth.

Insistent rain enfolds
petals and blossoms
without hindering,
accompanies hushed birds
and muffled traffic sounds,
distinct only in retrospect.

Last summer’s basket
in which I would have laid each piece
hasn’t turned up —

holding the fresh-clipped stems in my mouth,
we carry each other.

Some taste bitter,
others earthen and whole.

Spring Haiku #2

morning carries
cold lilac breezes —
whispered and gone

When posting my last few haiku, I have described my struggle to write, how I have had to circle around and coax out the words. In contrast, three pieces have emerged in succession in recent days – this haiku, a free verse poem, and a piece of prose. While two are not yet complete, I marveled at first at the difference. But I suppose that is simply how it is – as a writer, as a father, as a husband. Quite striking and not-so-remarkable all at once. I’m looking forward to sharing all three in the coming week.