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Poetry Friday -- Haiku 3
What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.

-- Issa

Lighting one candle
with another candle --
spring evening.

-- Bason

A cicada shell;
it sang itself
utterly away.

-- Basho

When I got married, one of my sisters-in-law gave me a book of haiku -- Hass' The Essential Haiku --
as a gift, the day before the wedding.
At the time, I thought it was a lovely gesture.
Something like being given a flower that would last awhile.

But recently I've thought about how appropriate it was as a message, a symbol.

When we make families there is something very pure at the center of the implulse.
Something simple.
Like love.

But the reality is that life instantly becomes a whole lot more complicated.
Decisions that previously might have been singular must now be weighed and shared.
Where there was previously one family, now there are two.
(Or rather, three, if you count the newly formed one.
Which, considering the occasion, I guess you ought to.)
And, sometimes, the transition is quickly followed by others (like home ownership... like parenthood)
that come bearing big responsibilities.

So, haiku on the eve of marriage says, "Don't forget to clear away all the overwhelm sometimes. To notice the cherry blossoms and cicadas. To light the candles." Haiku says that on the eve of marriage, the morning of a meeting, the Friday afternoon of a very long week. Don't you think?

Haiku 3

Oh, furtive bluejay
helping yourself to cat food;
today is all yours

-- Liz Garton Scanlon

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I love what you said about the meaning of haiku on the eve of a marriage. I'll be pondering that.

I just love the way your mind works.

And I love the haiku too...the image of the bluejay darting in and away for his meal.

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I like the idea of haiku serving as a reminder to find the simple, uncluttered moments.

This post was a lovely respite from an otherwise hectic week. Love your bluejay!

Tanita Says:

Clear away the overwhelm... such sound advice on the eve of a marriage and beyond.

I can't think of a better gift on almost any occasion. Next wedding I go to I'll bring a haiku book gift!

I am holding your bluejay image for today.

I've gone back to read all of your haiku (is haiku the plural of haiku?) so far, and this one is my favorite. I, too, will give haiku as wedding gift (maybe even baby shower gifts) from now on, but what I love the most is that all your deep thinking about poetry and family ended with the bluejay stealing cat food: a pure crystal moment of everyday life. Which was what your post was about all along. Paying attention.

Happy birthday, Liz!

I hope you and your lovely family have a day filled with wonder.

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