Mar 31

Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan: 7 of 8

Posted: under Reviews.
Tags: , , March 31st, 2009

by Kelly

by Kelly

Once upon a time, I took a writing class. Well, actually, I’ve taken many a writing class, but there’s this one particular one that I’m thinking of right now.

One of the women in the class showed up for a writing workshop with copies of an essay she’d written that contained a hot-and-heavy lovemaking scene.

She used all sorts of blush-inducing words like “throbbing tunnel” and “thrusting organ”.

Yikes! How in the world was our group supposed to discuss this essay out loud, stay on track, and not hurt the writer’s feelings?

And the worst part was that she — the writer — hadn’t meant to be pornographic.

She really had just wanted to write about an intimate moment, and you could tell she had tried really hard to keep it clean. That’s why she said “tunnel” instead of — well, you know — and “organ” instead of — well, again, you know.

I will never forget that instructor’s advice. He said the best love scenes were the love scenes that left something to the imagination … that the harder a writer tried to accurately describe all the ins-and-outs of sex, the dirtier it would end up sounding. The trick was to tell just enough and then …

And then let the reader’s imagination take over.

And that’s exactly what I thought of when I read Chapter 100 in the book Haiku Mind. The chapter is about love and passion. The haiku that kicks it off was written by Masajo Suzuki and goes like this:

shall we die together,

my lover whispers —

evening fireflies

Oh. La. La.

At the moment this happened, surely this couple must have been snuggling. They must have been looking up at the stars, quiet and close and kissing and touching, wrapped in a blanket together, her breathing in the air he breathed out. They must have been in love — a consuming, fiery love. I mean, after all, they contemplated dying together.

See what I mean about the reader’s imagination?

All the writer has to do is suggest the outline of a love scene and the reader will quickly jump into the act.

And since this is the case, it strikes me then, that haiku is the perfect medium for writing a love scene.

You can’t go on too long. You can’t describe “throbbing tunnels” and “thrusting organs” because, well, you simply don’t have the space. (I’m sure I’ve just invited someone to prove me wrong.)

But.

But I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. According to Patricia Donegan, the writer of the book Haiku Mind, the author of this haiku was 88 years-old when she wrote it.

Now that’s something to strive for — passion at any age.

Find Haiku Mind on Amazon:
Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart

Love and Passion haiku excerpted from Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan, (c) 2008. Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.Shambhala.com.

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Mar 31

Haiku By Two Celebrates National Poetry Month

Posted: under News.
Tags: March 31st, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Haiku By Two Celebrates National Poetry Month

Minneapolis, Minn., April 1, 2009 — April is National Poetry Month and Haiku By Two has planned a slew of activities in celebration.

Every Monday morning throughout the month of April, Haiku By Two will post an open submission topic and invite readers to share their own haiku on the subject.

Early risers can check the web site (www.HaikuByTwo.com) on Monday, April 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 6 a.m. EST to learn the haiku topic for the week. Submissions will be accepted throughout the month and posted as reader comments.

Plus, three guest haiku’ers will share their work on Haiku By Two in April.

Stephanie Watson, author of the middle-grade novel, Elvis and Olive, will kick off the month as a guest haiku’er with five petite poems dedicated to her dog, Nino.

The second guest haiku’er, Jen, will share five haiku in which she grapples with the concept of what it means to accept someone as a Facebook friend.

The third guest haiku’er, Sarah R. Bloom, is a professional photographer who will share a series of photos with accompanying haiku.

In addition, Haiku By Two will post two new reviews of haiku books throughout the month, as well as interviews with their authors.

Be sure to check out Haiku By Two throughout the month of April in order to celebrate National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Learn more at poets.org.

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Mar 31

Haiku 90

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , March 31st, 2009

by Alison

by Alison

I point to show her

our shadows but she looks up

at the sky instead

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Mar 30

Haiku 89

Posted: under Daily Haiku, Kelly's Haiku.
Tags: , , March 30th, 2009

by Kelly

by Kelly

on his back, eyes closed,

chin up, paws splayed, goods exposed.

i trust you, he says.

Comments (5)

Mar 29

Haiku 88

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , March 29th, 2009

by Alison

by Alison

eleven o’clock

and kiddo is not even

remotely tired

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Mar 28

Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan: 6 of 8

Posted: under Reviews.
Tags: , , , March 28th, 2009

by Kelly

by Kelly

This post combines two things seemingly at odds with each other: Fran Drescher and haiku.

Here’s the deal — I’ve been struggling to write this post. It was just supposed to be a quick-and-easy, short little review of a single chapter from Patrica Donegan’s book, Haiku Mind. Instead, it turned into a ball and chain.

I knew which chapter I wanted to write about, too. Chapter 75. It discusses creativity and imagination, two traits I respect, admire and hold dear as a writer.

The irony, though, is that I couldn’t find the creativity, the imagination, or the motivation to actually sit down and write anything on the topic.

To prove my point, I’ll tell you that it’s Saturday right now. It’s 2 pm. Yet publishing this entry was on my list of things to do for Monday afternoon. I’ve managed to push this off for five whole days.

But now I’m back on track, or at least I’m catching up, and I have Fran Drescher to thank.

She came through Minneapolis the other night, on a speaking circuit, and I went to hear her talk. One of things she talked about the process of developing “The Nanny”.

Apparently, just before the show performed its pilot episode, the producers got a call from an advertiser who was willing to buy a bunch of ad slots if the writers would change the nanny character (Fran) from being a Jewish girl to an Italian girl.

Fran refused, but not on the politics. She refused out of creative integrity. She could have played an Italian girl, she said. She could have pulled it off, but …

But not for the long-term. Fran Drescher as an Italian nanny wouldn’t have been as authentic, and in order for the show to have any chance at going the distance, it needed to ring true.

She said: I had to listen to the voice inside me because the voice inside me is the closest to my creator.

As soon as she said these words, I immediately connected them to chapter 75 in the book Haiku Mind, the chapter that is all about creativity and imagination.

The haiku that starts this chapter was written by Diane di Prima. It reads:

the inner tide —

what moon does it follow?

I wait for a poem.

The inner tide. The inner voice. They are flip sides of the same coin. The inner tide brings a wash of ideas; the inner voice communicates them. And each is as mysterious as our creator.

We wait for these messages from the beyond — for these ideas, these sparks, these words of guidance — knowing that they will come, but often left wondering exactly when they will show up.

If only we could put a lease and collar on our inner tide so that we could call it up at exact moments whenever we needed a little bit of extra juice.

Instead, we must learn that inspiration strikes in its own time. Our creativity doesn’t always peak when we want it to. And sometimes, words of wisdom are frustratingly silent.

But they come. They all come. In due time. They always do. The trick is, we have to keep ourselves open for their arrival.

Find Haiku Mind on Amazon:
Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart

Inspiration haiku excerpted from Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan, (c) 2008. Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.Shambhala.com.

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Mar 28

Haiku 87

Posted: under Daily Haiku, Kelly's Haiku.
Tags: , March 28th, 2009

by Kelly

by Kelly

Flooding in Fargo.

Nightmare for them, for me. But

when I wake, I’m dry.

Comments (2)

Mar 27

Haiku 86

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: March 27th, 2009

by Alison

by Alison

working moms, single

moms, stay-at-home moms, let’s stop

the competition

Comments (4)

Mar 27

Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan: 5 of 8

Posted: under Reviews.
Tags: , , March 27th, 2009

by Alison

by Alison

Chapter 62: Wonder

a stick goes over the falls at sunset

– Cor Van Den Heuvel

An ordinary event. A stick goes over a waterfall and it is wonderful. And of course this makes me think of Kelly.

Kelly and I have had some unusual experiences, together for sure. But sometimes the ordinary is just as grand. And it was on one of our first outings together in a tiny little suburb outside of Buenos Aires, that I saw Kelly become entranced with a doorknob. And trace the outline of a doorbell. And the stately knocker as well. All giggles and wiggles, Kelly was fascinated by the intricate design and elegant presence of these door ornaments. I think she stood there for ten minutes, smiling and marveling over this doorknob in a small town that I can otherwise not remember.

Damn, I wish I had a picture of that doorknob.

But let me get to my point. It was just a doorknob and yet Kelly noticed it. And when she pointed it out, I had to admit – It was gorgeous! And we stopped to contemplate the wonder of some anonymous craftsman putting all that work and artistic integrity into a doorknob. Humanity seemed quite amazing at this moment.

Now let’s contrast this experience with my first two minutes visiting the Grand Canyon years earlier. I got off the bus and walked to the railed edge, looked out into the vast canyon and felt…. disappointment.

This is not THE doorknob but a wondrous doorknob, nonetheless.
This is not THE doorknob but a wondrous doorknob, nonetheless.

Disappointed that it would be hard to imagine anything more amazing, and yet…. I couldn’t connect with it anymore than a postcard. I was expecting, I think, to feel an epiphany. Was it expectations that interrupted the wonder?

Well, it took me a while to get past my expectations. It wasn’t until I left the vista and started a 5 hour trek down into the canyon that I really started to feel entirely blessed to be there. And truly see the WONDER.

And this is why I feel blessed to have Kelly as my friend. Spend a day with Kelly and you will witness a person who sees and feels wonder beyond what I have experienced with any other person I have ever met. It’s a beautiful quality to be around and completely infectious. And it is a reminder for me to open myself to the wonder that is out there – in a canyon, in a stick floating in water and even in a doorknob.

Find Haiku Mind on Amazon:
Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart

Wonder haiku excerpted from Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan, (c) 2008. Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.Shambhala.com.

Comments (4)

Mar 26

Haiku 85

Posted: under Daily Haiku, Kelly's Haiku.
Tags: , March 26th, 2009

by Kelly

by Kelly

Prayer Twist — yoga pose

or off-beat request for God ?

Which carries more weight ?

Comments (4)