January 14th 2016

At the intersection of 89 & 91, I saw dozens of crows, a whole congregation, silhouetted against a purple and reddish sunset. Some filled the trees, the rest blotted the sky like inky rags. If I could have stopped to listen to their gaggle and gossip I would have.

Serving a guest hot tea in January, our conversation is disrupted:

····my guest, speechless—the missing


One of my all time favorite haiku is by Oshima Ryota:


····the guest, the host, the white


I’m guessing that I misread the spirit in which it was written—maybe. I’ve always seen the humor in life. Patricia Donegan, in the haiku mind, treats the haiku as depicting a moment of Zen clarity during a tea ceremony—a moment of sublimity and seriousness. I, on the other hand, read it as depicting the instant after something has so disrupted the conversation that even the chrysanthemum is speechless. Something like that happened to me today. What-not in the next room crashed to the floor during a conversation and I was immediately reminded of Ryota’s haiku. My own haiku has a little fun with that. The chrysanthemum is an autumn flower-kigo; but since the season is winter, we can’t have any speechless chrysanthemums.


69: January 14th 2016 | bottlecap

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