Sunday, January 27, 2008

Although no snow in Florida

For Haiku: One Deep Breath Week 87 Theme, "Winter Wonders"

even the child
painting, makes snowmen—
where no snow falls

DW Bender
Haiku, January 27, 2008 (rev.)

Notes: In Central Florida, we do not see dramatic winter miracles of snow and ice. However, I experienced a small wonder last week: a bright male cardinal scavanging food on a dry wintering lawn, which became the subject of a haiku in an earlier posting. This month my husband and I enjoyed viewing Japanese hanga, or woodblock prints at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs. Two favorites were shin-hanga snow scenes. This weekend, I have been viewing the wonderous drawings and paintings of children for my own artistic inspiration.

My all-time favorite winter haiku is by the late Owen Burkhart of Dyer, Indiana, who I knew through the Shiki mailing list, and World Haiku Club. He published a book of his poetry, A Single Breath:

first snow
only very small

Owen Burkhart (1930-2005)

Here is one of my older digital artworks with a Western-styled rhymed poem constructed with a haiku-like winter sequence (from around 2001):

The Grocery Cart

Debra Woolard Bender
Written loosely in the style of haibun, January 27, 2008
Haiku: One Deep Breath theme for Week 86: Vision

In a dark time, the eye begins to see. — Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)

My son, having less than three years left toward his second decade in the Air Force, recently volunteered to go to Iraq. His intentions were toward an open teaching position. A leader and instructor, that is what he does. His motivating desire is to give something of value to the Iraqi peoples. To give their military his knowledge-tools for rebuilding that they may become more self-sufficient. To use his teaching skills built through his field of work and experience. But last Tuesday, he was called to a four month stint, a duty not of his choice, and not in his field of expertise. That is the way of the military.

He will be leaving Georgia on Friday en route to the base in Iraq where he will serve. Originally, he was ordered to fly out only two days after notification, which didn't leave enough time for preparation. Although both work full-time, money has been too tight for my son and his wife, and this tour of duty will provide extra pay to help them meet expenses. He had been praying for an opportunity to add income in some way. He feels that this is the way of God's answer.

Later, in the afternoon of the day he told me the news, he phoned again. In the course of conversation, he told me about a quick trip to the grocery store with his wife and baby daughter to buy milk and bread. Before them, in the checkout line, stood a black woman and a white, retarded boy waiting for the cashier to ring up the total.

"Mom, the boy was so happy just to push the cart. Just pushing that cart made him so proud and happy." My son grew quiet, and I could hear him sobbing. It took awhile for him to gather his composure. To be able to speak. His voice came out strained. Completly broken.

"She told the boy, 'We don't have enough money for everything. We have to put some things back.'

"Do you know what they were buying?...What she had to put back?... Laundry I wanted so badly to buy it for them. I didn't have the money to... . I had to buy food for my own family... . I couldn't...even... ." Driving home, he told his wife they had to find some way to do something for others who are in such need in their town when he returns from Iraq. Such is the way of my son.

frosty window
two abandoned cats watch me
prepare breakfast

Note: Please read the referenced, linked Roethke villanelle poem, In A Dark Time.

Update: February 1, 2008 - My son's deployment date was bumped up a week. This morning he was notified that this change in dates brought about another change. The Air Force powers-that-be reviewed the position, decided it was not critical at this time and therefore, his orders were cancelled. In many ways, he is disappointed not to go, although his family breathes a collective sigh of relief. Thank you Debbie@piacere, and those who have been praying for Mark and the family. Your prayers have been answered in this unexpected way.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

January 26 - a male cardinal sighted

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight" (Luke 12:6).

withered grass, yet
here even the cardinal
has found a meal

DW Bender
January 26, 2008
winter haiku

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 23, 2008 - tanka

dream on, dear one,
only I am wide-awake
this winter night...
how silence gently seeps
around our limbs

DW Bender

and older modern haiga image:

winter haiku 1-22-2008

smoking chimney...
walking sticks at rest
beside the door

Debra Woolard Bender
Winter haiku, 1/22/08

an older haiku:

leaf rake
leant against that wall
since winter

onaji kabe tate-kake-rareshi kumade kana

Debra Woolard Bender, 2001

(Romanji translation by Susumu Takiguchi, UK, World Haiku Club)
Selected in WHC's Second Hoshino Takashi Kukai, August, 2001

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter haiku & digital art (Socks)

(Please click image to enlarge and view)

chill morning—
we all go to dancing
on the roof of Hell

DW Bender
Winter haiku, January 2008

The above is an "allusory haiku." It refers to the following haiku haiku by master, Kobayashi Issa (1763 -1827):

yo [no] naka wa jigoku no ue no hanami kana

in this world
over Hell, we promenade,
gazing at flowers

(translation version, mine)

Read more of Issa's haiku at David Lanoue's educational website, Haiku of Kobayashi Issa. David has a different translation of Issa's above poem, with notes on its Buddhist meanings.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tanka, January 18, 2008 (HODB Theme: A Childhood Story)

Untitled Tanka
for - Haiku: One Deep Breath
Week 85, Theme: A Childhood Story

paper snowflakes
that Daddy taped at every
the twinkling hush beyond
drifting whitely through time

DW Bender
Janauary 18, 2008
untitled tanka

The warmth of friends - Winter haibun

morning and late afternoon brings visitors—two tomcats—to my front door for free meals. Both the strays have something like a code gratitude, expressing affection to me before eating, and often between gulps of food. I have given both names to which they respond. One is a hefty young adult; judging by the state of his orange coat, he's a fierce warrior. His beguiling golden eyes are pink-rimmed, matching his nose and skin color. The other is nearly a year old, a muscular, velvet-gray foundling, who was apparantly adopted by my next door neighbors after being discovered as a tiny kitten — according to their other next-door neighbor. A friend of our indoor-outdoor male longhair, the graycoat prefers human attention. Unlike the orange tabby, the gray comes indoors when invited, to warm and rest himself. He has taken up as temporary residence, the main bathroom.

chill-damp night
into which sound has fallen—
slumbering deeply

DW Bender
Friday, January 18, 2008