Here we are, traveling off in a different direction once again. And yet, this time the destination feels like coming home.
There is joy in the moments of immersion in a good book, poem, or story. And where there is joy, there is presence. If you are immersed in a good piece of writing, you are not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. You are in the present.
Speaking of good writing, check out this amazing poem titled Heritage Unwound by Jennifer Chiu. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Over a decade ago, but not quite two, a professor commented on my potential as a poet. I carelessly dismissed the idea. It all came too easily. Or so I had thought. Now, all these years later, I am finally embracing a craft about which I still have much to learn.
The difference between now and then?
Pleasure. Presence. Patience.
I now create poetry for the pure joy it brings me. Each moment is sharper. There is nothing to rush.
In poetry, particularly Japanese forms such as haiku and senryu, I am finding a place to rest.
haiku: a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.Source: Lexico
In poetry, and in haiku in particular, I have found the perfect symbiosis between my love of nature and my love of the written word.
Both nature and writing have been a constant in my life. They are like my breath. Sometimes I pay more attention to them than other times, but they’re always there when needed.
Presence + Poetry
In the journey to presence that this site is dedicated to, I add poetry to the overhead compartment. Like nature, poetry brings me home. It makes me intensely present. It quiets the mind. It organizes my thoughts, simplifying them into something manageable and pristine.
Each month the Poetry Pea podcast provides a topic for submission. I recently submitted 10 poems on the topic of joy. Two were accepted. The following one was read and published on the Series 3, Episode 16 podcast on August 17.
sliver of blue sky
after yesterday’s grey day
a magic carpet
~ Trey Treeful
I composed that haiku upon seeing a crack of blue between clouds after many days of rain during monsoon season in Korea. In fact, this summer, Korea has seen record rainfall. The crack didn’t widen for many more days.
Poetry and Joy in Nature
Each of the poems below came to me while looking out the window. The magnolia tree stands in the yard outside our apartment in Seoul. The children’s voices drift over from the playground on the southwest side of the house. The orange petals belong to the neighbor’s Tiger Lilies. And last, but not least, the cat is one of my favorites of about 9 strays that wander about the perimeter daily. They are bearers of both poetry and joy.
I hope the these poems brighten your day. I’ve included images that captured the moments that inspired two of them.
As a side note, while traditional Japanese haiku are written in 3 lines of 5/7/5 syllables, linguistic differences negate this requirement in English.
blossoming a second time
upon orange petals
orange flower petals
upon summer breezes
under green leaves
If you’d like to read more of my short poems, follow me on Twitter @MosquitoPoet, where I post regularly.
If you’re interested in how to cultivate more moments of presence in your life, follow me on Twitter @commit2presence.
If you’re a writer who struggles with direction or perfection, you might enjoy this next: Create Consciously.
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If you want more insight into the pairing of haiku and cultivating presence, you might enjoy Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart by Patrica Donegan:
Find what makes you present.