For day 23, a haibun.
As I enjoy the colours of autumn, it also reminds me to let go of old paradigms, worn and tattered beliefs, past-its-expiry-date relationships, outdated concepts that no longer serve. Yes, it’s hard. For don’t we all love the old and comfy, whether it be things or thoughts. The security blanket of the tried and tested.
Autumn sings hymns of
dissolution. Quiet death.
Spring smiling sleeps.
So, just like trees need to let go of the old and dying, lay bare their branches and go through a period of rest and slumber, for new buds to spring forth and life to begin anew, we need to empty ourselves of the old and outworn, so that life can replenish us with the fresh and the new.
We were young and grieving when we met.
Pain had sat on our smiles like wounded birds, afraid to fly. And shone from our eyes, like rough-cut diamonds. It must have emanated from our being, white-hot and searing, drawing us together like moths to a flame. Like little girls, we had giggled, eating candy floss, as though we could pluck joy out of the cool, night air with sticky fingers. Maybe we laughed because we wanted to cry. Maybe we realised that pain can be transmuted into joy. Our hearts cut open and the pain billowing out with our out-breaths allowing joy to flow in with our in-breaths.
That night, at the fair
Joy was sweet, light candy floss
You woke up smiling
I dare not think what I would be if you had not come into my life. It’s like imagining a rainbow with colours missing. Or music with holes in it, the heart searching, in vain, for the missing parts. Or spring without butterflies, afternoons heavy with torpor. I am grateful for the pain that brought you to me, bound us together and then set us free.
What do I call you?
for some things there are no words
just joyful silence
Over at dVerse Poets Pub, Bjorn and Hamish have set the challenge for Haibun Monday – to write a Haibun inspired by Khalil Gibran’s words. The edict is to write only one haiku, but I am a rule-breaker, and also, the second one just prostrated itself on the page. What to do? I couldn’t kill it. Sorry, Bjorn.
What do I say about Gibran? The heart swells up with joy just thinking about his words. The lyricism, the melody, the grace, the soulfulness and of course, the simple truth in them. I am eternally grateful to the person who introduced me to Gibran.
It is with great sadness that I write this haibun –
A couple of weeks ago I watched a programme on TV featuring penguins. Penguins roost in colonies on the Antarctic ice and when they have young ones to feed, the adults make several trips to the sea everyday, catch krill, store them in a sac in their throat, trudge back to the colony and regurgitate it to feed the young ones. However, due to global warming and the receding ice cover in the Antarctic one penguin colony found itself very close to the sea. In a way it was good for the adults, they didn’t have to make long journeys over the ice, to and from the sea carrying food for the young ones. But, one day the ice under their colony melted. The adults could swim to safety but the young ones had not yet shed their fur coats, which had been keeping them warm. And immersed in water the fur acted like sponges, soaking up the water and pulling them down. Unable to swim, they drowned to death.
The melting ice
earth dropping under their feet
The penguins’ main source of food is krill that live in the hundreds of billions in the waters of the Antarctic. They feed on phytoplankton that blooms in the nutrient-rich, deep-water upwellings at the Antarctic Convergence during the 24-hour southern summer sunlight. Krill are also believed to be important in removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by eating carbon-rich food near the surface and excreting it when they sink to lower, colder water to escape predators. But, global warming and overfishing has reduced their numbers by as much as 80%. Whales, penguins, seals, albatrosses and petrels depend on krill. So one can only imagine the effect on these animal populations if their main source of food is depleted.
bears a heavy burden
keeper of balance
Antarctica was that pristine, virgin space which had so far remained untouched. But humans, driven by only one impulse: insatiable greed, after ravaging the rest of Earth, are all set to rape and plunder this final bastion, until more species of animals are pushed to the brink or beyond of extinction.
the greed of man
many tentacled hydra
For today, a haibun.
One of the great joys of life for me is gardening. I have spent several happy hours this summer fussing over the flowers and planting and tending the veggie patch. Of course, weeding is painful, because democratically speaking, the weeds have as much right to grow as the veggies do, but it seems they like to overgrow and smother the rather more delicate domesticated plants. So, at the altar of self-survival, they have to be sacrificed. On the other hand, it is always with a sense of wonder that I watch the seeds put out shoots, then leaves, and grow and grow until flowers begin to appear among the masses of green.
nourished by water
and whisperings of earthworms
And then the bees arrive. Busy little fellas. The elation I feel on the sight of all those flowers nodding in the breeze is further heightened by the buzz of tiny wings, flitting from bloom to bloom. Such a beautiful example of symbiosis. It fills me with awe, wonderful dance of the elements, this magical alchemy wherein the sunshine, rain and generous helpings of sheep pellets call forth life sleeping within seeds. What was once possibility slowly takes form and shape and literally bears fruit.
it must be love
that turns earth into fruits, like
the kisses of bees
Needless to say, my joy is complete when I pick the beans, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, chillies, blueberries and strawberries. The mandarin, lemon and pumpkin flowers are still being serenaded by those yellow and black striped busy buzzing super workers.
seeds sprout in earth’s womb, I reap
the fruit of the earth