Utabukuro – how it all started – June 29, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUtabuku:  Use a favorite haiku or tanka and explain why it’s so special for you and to write an all new haiku (or tanka) inspired on your favorite. No prompt or something, but this time a theme “how it all started”.

In my youth I discovered impressionism and fell in love with it, as I grew up I discovered Zen and fell in love with it … now in my autumn the two have come together in the form of Japanese poetry.  I love the essential quality of haiku and tanka – the brief outlines that create images and sensations in the reader (and indeed in the writer as well).  It’s hard to choose one haiku and describe to you why it’s particularly special for me, basically because each haiku takes on a different meaning each time I read them.  Among my first haiku then, you’ll find many about birds.  I also love to write about the rain, the lake, sunsets and of course dawn.

The haiku I’ve written that I enjoy the most are usually those about birds …

in a laurel tree
noisy chittering sparrows
awaken me

G.s.k. ’15

fancy head-dress
the fashion king shows off
before heading north

© G.s.k. ‘15

morning concert
bright finch and blackbird duet
sparrows in counterpoint
then in the distance ravens
caw syncopated laments

first gift of spring
beauty wrapped in a sunrise
morning birdsong fest

spring morning sunrise
fills the world with gifts of light
gone empty darkness
sad thoughts of impermanence
melt with the warmth of birdsong

© G.s.k. ‘15

I’m fascinated by the birds … I hear them each morning before the sun is fully up, they chatter and sing – taking the place of the cars and other human sounds that usually fill a day.  I like to observe them as I walk in the woods or near the lake.  They’re love games in spring outside my window fill each morning with wonder.  The second haiku was about a grebe I observed on Lake Garda last spring.  I’d never seen one on our lake before and his presence and that of members of his group was fascinating .. I loved watching he bobbed and dived into the water fishing.

This morning the sound that greeted me was that of a tiny sparrow like bird (here they call them robins, but I’m sure they’re not what we’d call robins) making a desperate peeping call followed by chattering and then he’d peep again.  I say he, because he’d fly out of the trees in the courtyard in front of my house and sit for a second on the roof then fly back into the trees and I recognized his distinctive white cap on his red head.  Close by I heard the peeping of another of the same species.  It seemed almost consolatory.  After a while he seemed to calm down.  I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on …  had a cat attacked their nest – later I discovered that like with the swallows, here two the babies were taking their first flight out into the world.  This haiku comes to mind:

early dawn
the robin peeps and chatters
from roof to trees

frantic calls at dawn
a lone robin

baby robin
with brown ruffled feathers
trapped in the loggia

© G.s.k. ‘15


Carpe Diem Utabukuro #3 how it all started

12 thoughts on “Utabukuro – how it all started – June 29, 2015

  1. Awesome post Georgia. I like how you have explained your love for haiku and tanka. I think every haiku poet/ess has his/her favorite themes. To me those favorite themes are mostly plants and flowers, like honeysuckle, but i also like to bring deeper layers into my haiku. Thank you for sharing your story about the robins.


  2. Oh Cara !! This is such s great post. Your love of art , nature and waka has always drawn me to your blog. And you drew me into haiku. I especially enjoy your pre-dawn posts You bring the skies to life And all that you see around you. Chapeau ma chère !!


  3. Pingback: when Haiku and I first met (haibun) | Tournesol dans un Jardin

  4. Pingback: falling in love with Haiku (haibun) | Traces of the Soul

in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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