Monday, March 1, 2010

late winter

winter . . .



a day of fog and melting snow

in the woods a silvered silence

the yellow flags of leaves still waving
tree trunks like candles reaching skywards
. . .

in a time long before this one
the haiku master issa saw this and wrote . . .

"i see them now . . . how they were ... bare winter trees"


inside a similar moment the japanese haiku master ikkyu wrote;

"the world before my eyes is wan and wasted,
just like me.
the earth is decrepit,
the sky stormy,
all the grass withered.

no spring breeze even at this late date,
just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut."


even closer to the ground
the tall grasses of summer
bow down under the weight of the winter snows

issa wrote . . . "the mountain hermit's fire is rising... winter rain. "


i love to connect
my world
with the worlds of people
long past
and yet entirely present

21 comments:

Penny said...

Having spent many happy weeks visiting Japan over a period of years I love this and I am too very fond of the old Japanese Haiku but not so much of the modern stuff that is around today.

Delwyn said...

Hello Steven

your grasses in the snow do resemble Japanese or Chinese ideograms, and I love the way that you have drawn the physical world to the calligraphy and wrapped it in Japanese poetry. Thanks for your ongoing creativity...

Happy days

Elisabeth said...

Steven, I once posted Thomas Hoover's Zen definition of Haiku on Issa's blog, because it has helped me make sense of the joy of haiku.

'the mind is struck as if with a hammer bringing the senses up short and it releases a flood of associations'.

This is what your postings do for me every time. It's a wonderful achievement.

jinksy said...

That's communication on a soul level, and no mistake.

Pauline said...

and you connect so beautifully...

silvered silence is a lovely turn of phrase and tree trunks like candles make a marvelous mind picture

steven said...

hello penny - the old masters had insights that reflect their attunement with themselves and with nature. they seem to have used the words to paint a picture of that bridge. steven

steven said...

hello delwyn - that's heartening that what i wished for came true!! thanks very much. steven

steven said...

elisabeth - i'm grateful for this generous comment and especially grateful for that amazing descrption of haiku. it truly is like a hammer that releases a flood of associations. wow! steven

steven said...

hello jinksy - i would wish for that but the masters of haiku writing have lots to teach me!!! however, i can be on the same digitized page as them!! steven

steven said...

helo pauline and thankyou. late winter walks have that feeling of thin shiny silence for me. there are sounds that colour it further - like the deep brown and gold sound of trees rubbing against each other, or the blue-grey of the wind through tall trees. have a lovely day. steven

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

And you do so in a way that resonates deeply with all that is alive and all that has been.

ellen abbott said...

And you do a good job of it. This winter has been endless. Usually we get a couple of days of cold interspersed with a couple of days of temperate weather. not this winter though. It has been consistently cold and wet and dreary. I don't know how people take long really cold winters.

Dan Gurney said...

I concur with others who've left comments that you do share the sensibilities of Haiku writers of Japan long ago. Your sensitivity to the natural world is really a balm for our troubled world. May you long continue to bring us pleasure and relief through Golden Fish!

willow said...

Love the frozen kanji grasses. Happy Monday, my friend!

The Weaver of Grass said...

The simple beauty of those grasses in the snow and the simplicity of Japanese characters - very beautiful steven.

steven said...

bonnie - it's a large part of the magic of living in this world. and then not of it. steven

steven said...

ellen last winter was endless for us - it ran from mid october to mid april. the volume of snow and sunless days was overwhelming. i wish for both of us to see the spring soon. steven

steven said...

hey willow - those grasses were just near here on the outskirts of a little park. it was hard to pick which ones to photograph. lucky me!!! steven

steven said...

hey dan - on my walk home this evening i was thinking about why there aren't more city shots or street shots or building and people shots and it's because at this point i connect my own existence with nature much more readily. that all might change and i might accept more of the human world. thanks for your thoughtful comment dan. steven

steven said...

thankyou very much weaver! steven

Kathleen said...

I feel as though I am often "reading" the grasses whose tips bend to the snow and dip delicately below. But you find their meaning.