A Tricycle Poetry Club Discussion
Welcome to Haiku Corner!
Savor haiku … Buddha … your life; these are not separate.
"Everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention." — Jane Hirshfield
No matter if your practice be Vipassana (“Notice what you notice”) … Zen (“Close to the nose”) … Pure Land (“Everywhere, hear the Buddha Vow calling us to our true home) … Vajrayana (“Take a kindly attitude toward your mind”) … Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, indigenous, humanist, pagan, or nonpractice. From age 9 to 99. Published, pre-published, or doodling flowers in the margins. Here is Dharma Art, par excellence. Haikuyana.
You don’t have to be Buddhist, nor Japanese, to like haiku, anymore than being Jewish to like bagels, nor African American to dig the blues. Haiku teaches how dwelling in the present is to grow intimate with Presence. This shortest of literary forms opens onto the immeasurable. In her spare time the compassionate heart of the universe jots down haiku, and we can too.
Do you write haiku? Read haiku? —Same difference! Haiku enlists our active, imaginative participation. Our co-creation. Yesterday, I called haiku a creative training in deep listening / loving, living language. Tomorrow, I might say haiku is an unrepeatable formula from the source of creation. But criticism can be to haiku, like ornithology is … for the birds.
Haiku is … eclectic … democratic … empowering … educational … and fun . Don’t be shy, introduce yourself. Where do you live ? What’s your day like ? Share a favorite haiku with us.
For those just tuning in to haiku, or who’d like to add to our awakening wisdom, please visit our haiku wiki, in the garden alongside the teahouse. (What looks like a lock on the gate of brushwood twigs is only snail.)
Sweet community supports our growth. From time to time, we might focus on a topic or theme. Or zero in on a haiku for work shopping (play shop, as Paul Reps calls it). Some nights, people elucidate fine points, or share links. Some mornings, people from around the planet share a haiku moment, waking up, before going to work. From time to time, threads of haiku spontaneously cascade.
It’s a wonderful sangha! For easy reference, here are three haiku. One is by a classical Japanese master. One is by a contemporary American pioneer. And one is by …
Yrs truly, Gary Gach palms joined
A flash of lightning
… the jagged screech of herons
flying through the night
— Yosa Buson
A bitter morning:
Sparrows sitting together
Without any necks.
— James W. Hackett
ripples of heat waves across spider webs of last summer
— Gary Gach
Gary Gach is author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism (Silver Nautilus Award); editor of What Book!? : Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop (American Book Award); and translator from Korean of three books by Ko Un, SSN. His poems and translations have appeared in Big Bridge, Bottle Rockets, BuddhaDharma, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Lilipoh, The Nation, The New Yorker, Tricycle, Turning Wheel, and World Haiku Review . He’s taught haiku at the Asian Art Museum, the Randall Museum, Stanford, San Francisco Zen Center, Spirit Rock, Venice Buddhist Temple, and Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts. He hopes to write two or three really immortal haiku in his life time. Home page: http://word.To
[sThe Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism (third edition). Preview 2nd edition: http://bit.ly/11Uqae Order: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781592579112 Bonus: watch a talk at Book Passage Bookstore, Free Nirvana: http://bit.ly/AxlWK
Flowers of a Moment by Ko Un, SSN (Northern California Book Award for Translation) Preview: http://bit.ly/3ija7V Order: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781929918881 Bonus: hear a 20-minute reading (at Moe's Bookst0re) http://bit.ly/YbQcf
(IndieBound.com provides online ordering through your local, independent U.S. bookstore.)
If haiku is one of the 84,000 gates to Dharma, there are likewise 84,000 gates to haiku: as many as moments, and people. And as with Dharma, haiku is a process, not a thing.