At the beginning of the year, I committed to writing haiku on a regular basis. It was cold and dark, and I was desperately seeking inspiration (which, apparently, can not be found in the personals section of The Stranger). Often, when I’m depleted of creativity, I search for words or images that stand out for me, and words and poetry can feel like food for my soul. So, I embarked on a renewed practice of haiku.
After just a few days of evoking images through haiku, haiku became a way for me to see the world- envisioning nature in a cadence of five, seven, and five. I found that I more often than not had to set foot outside before finding my haiku voice, and that when I did, I was muttering to myself and taking my hands out of my pockets to count syllables on my fingers (this must be done on bare hands- mittens ruin the experience). Through my daily haiku practice, as I worked the parts of my brain specially reserved for math and poetic inspiration, my heart felt like it opened up a little. The small act of filtering out nonsense and attempting to capture a moment in seventeen syllables was (and is) an incredible experience. And, some might say, this practice can lead to enlightenment (there’s always hope).
So, with the Spring Equinox just a few days away, I thought I would share my winter in haiku (to be read in reverse from present day to New Year’s Day). Some sweetness, irreverence, and nonsense to fill a page. My initial hope was to have enough lines to form a haiku mala, but I decided this was enough. Because it certainly isn’t the end of my haiku love affair. Just another practice that I continue to keep in my toolbox of goodness.Shiny drops of rain Balanced upon blades of grass How do you do that? Dreamt of pilgrimage Ancient forests, distant lands And woke up inspired Little pink blossoms Under stormy winter sky Beautiful and strong Another cold day Anything is possible With warm gloves and love Drops of winter rain Forming puddles in the street How I long for spring Tiny hints of chive Peeking out from wintered pot Delicate yet strong Dark clouds hide the moon Shifting patterns in the sky Where is the bird song? Sea glass colored sky Exchanging the moon for sun So begins the day How the sun still shines The world moves on and birds sing Your presence is missed Glistening water Under sprawl of snowcapped range My sweetheart and me Beautiful sunshine Glistening frost covered earth Drink it up and smile Beautiful morning Sound of breath mixed with birdsong My bicycle bliss Brisk winter morning Sound of tires in crunching leaves Love song for my bike Chilly winter rain Slowly melting hints of snow Cookie for breakfast Early morning chill Made bearable by music Shake my hips and smile Fresh snow upon ice Upon snow upon more ice Grateful for warm socks City sounds muffled By snowfall and wooly hat Early morning joy Multicolored clouds Laughing at the snow nonsense Everything changes Search for snowy owl In naked winter treetops Found: my happiness This feels like winter Icy streets and garden snow Memories of home Early morning snow Falling softly to the earth The sky in prayer The voice in my head Seems to think she knows so much And maybe she does The smell of her neck Moments after I arise My heart knows of love Another sunrise As unique as this moment The beauty of change Frozen bird feeder Attracts little chickadee This promise of spring The frost covered leaves Capture the light of the moon This, too, is yoga Full moon peeping out From cover of morning clouds The courage to shine The city is lights Reflecting in the dark sky Why am I awake? Early morning stroll Listening to winter birds Sweet old dog and me Early morning stretch Before the rush of the day Old dog under feet Under a dark sky The world seems a quiet place Kettle screams inside Multicolored sky Blazing on a New Year’s morn Reminder of peace