Thursday, December 01, 2016

Poetry Friday -- Haiku-a-Day In December


photo via Unsplash


Hello, December
Orion races west
Big Dipper empties

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016



Last week, I launched my Haiku-a-Day in December project for this year. I was originally inspired by Bob Raczka's book, Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole, in which Santa writes a haiku a day from December 1-25. I thought, Hey, if Santa can do it, so can I!

Others who have played along in past years have written a month of Christmas Memory haiku. I've never been that organized, going more for Whatever Inspires Me Today, and writing probably as much senryu as haiku, and sometimes just writing short thoughts with 5-7-5 syllables. 

I've been studying some Poetry Friday Haiku mentors (looking at you, Robyn and Diane), and I subscribed to David Gerard's Daily Issa. I'm intrigued by the idea of layers of meaning in haiku -- the freedom of expression via metaphor, the foundation of the poem solidly in the natural world. And then, there was that thing that happened in November. I've felt compelled to add my voice to the conversation, but how...what...where...why?

So, I looked around on Twitter, found a hashtag that was previously unused -- #haikuforhealing -- and got started with my Haiku-a-Day in December a week early. It's helping my heart already -- both the writing, and the small community that's growing around #haikuforhealing. In addition to my tweets, I am archiving all of my haiku-Tweets in a single post at Poetrepository.

Join me, if you'd like. Find your voice, and find your audience, be it FaceBook, Twitter, your blog, a rented billboard. Use more than just the #haikuforhealing hashtag if you're so moved. Catherine double tagged a haiku with #commonplacemarvels (why isn't that hashtag chock full of poetry and photos and noticings?). I used #BetsyOurLoss to join the public education community's outrage at the naming of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.

Today's haiku is a meditation on the passage of time. We can't stop it, we can't hold onto it. Better just to flow with it -- float the best we can, and when we swim, make our strokes sure and clean and powerful.

Bridget has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at wee words for wee ones. The Poetry Roundup Schedule sign-up for January - June will be posted tomorrow (12/2).


39 comments:

  1. Like you, Mary Lee, I am at a loss as to how to respond to the state of affairs in our world, one that seems so different from the one I thought I lived in. I have turned off the news. So much so that I didn't know a tornado warning was close to my parents' home in Mississippi. I hope this project will give me a new focus and a hopeful voice. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for joining in, Margaret. Let's build hope and voice one haiku at a time!

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  2. I'm so happy you've embraced haiku! I'm planning on posting once a week, on Thursday, the haiku I've written over the prior days. Here's my December 1 contribution (will be posted at Random Noodling next Thursday, too):

    December 1
    temperature plummets...
    still...the mid-day sun

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    1. Thank goodness for the mid-day sun!

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  3. Thanks, as always, for hosting this poetry project. Right now, I think I'm going to collect small kindnesses. I didn't pull off a haiku today, so a tanka will have to do.

    Frigid predawn gray
    Collarless bulldog dodges
    rush hour madness
    dog angel coaxes frightened
    creature to truck's safe haven.

    - Carol Wilcox

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    1. Whatever you can do, whatever kindnesses you record, will help you (and the world) to heal.

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  4. I haven't attempted a haiku since high school English class so many years ago, but I think you've inspired me to brush off my pens and perhaps give the haiku another try!

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    1. Just 17 syllables. You can do this. Send us hope from Up North!

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  5. Mary Lee, your mantra, "Let's build hope and voice one haiku at a time" is applaudable so I join you today at Poetry Friday as I attempt a #haikuforhealing.

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    1. I see in the #haikuforhealing column on Tweetdeck that you have passed the challenge on to others! So exciting to see the movement spread!

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  6. This post makes my heart full. Thanks for always inviting others into your ideas, Mary Lee - and I'm glad you grabbed that hashtag! I'll try to dip in at some point(s) this month. Love the image of an empty-ing Big Dipper. (I've heard on NPR this year that 1 in 3 people on the planet can't see the Milky Way at all where they live. Sigh.)
    Love your thoughts: "...a meditation on the passage of time. We can't stop it, we can't hold onto it. Better just to flow with it -- float the best we can, and when we swim, make our strokes sure and clean and powerful." Amen.

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    1. Thanks for being one of my main haiku mentors!

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  7. Swim, Mary Lee, swim! I love this project. I believe in its power. Thank you for sharing it with the world. xo

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    1. Yup. Trying to keep my head above water.

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  8. Thank you Mary Lee
    a month will rejuvenate
    hope for the future

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    1. So happy to be writing cross country with you!

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  9. There is hope if we all work, and write, together. You've started your December quest beautifully, Mary Lee. I'll try to come along as I can. Even the hashtags are inspiring! Thank you for this.

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    1. It feels good to do something, no matter how small, doesn't it?

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  10. Wonderful haiku and plan for December.

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    1. Thanks! Hope you'll join us!

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  11. Thank you, Mary Lee - now I know where to stop by for healing thoughts this December.

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    1. Healing thoughts...and likely some thinly veiled vents. Venting is part of healing, right?

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  12. So beautiful, so wise. Thank you for always finding ways to bring people together in gatherings of words. xxxx

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    1. You, too, are an inspiration.

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  13. Wonderful idea for a project, Mary Lee. I'll be checking in during the month for inspiration and solace.

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    1. Thanks, Jama. I'll have a pot of tea and some gingerbread ready.

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  14. You are a visionary and inspiration, Mary Lee. Thanks for this poem and thank you for being you. =)

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    1. Aww...thanks, Bridget!

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  15. Mary Lee, This is what I needed. Do you have a link for David Gerard's Daily Issa? I will join in this practice. I have missed writing haiku daily. And you are so right about that "thing" which happened in November. Ugh.

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    1. The Issa webpage: http://haikuguy.com/issa/

      The link to subscribe is toward the bottom of the page.

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    2. Thanks for adding that, Diane. Glad you'll be joining us, Jone. Ugh is right.

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  16. Love the image of the big dipper emptying. Thanks for putting haiku out in the world--I'm going to try to join a bit this month.

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  17. I am with you in heart and spirit. The end of November was baffling for me. I am close to some people that voted opposite of me. I couldn't convince them....and now I am watching the horrible news unfold daily as I feared it would. Betsy DeVos is a terrible pick...and that's just one of many.
    Writing a haiku a day really does help me focus on positive, focus on nature and layers of meaning. It does heal. Thank you so very much for the hashtag and the invitation. It feels like a warm hug....and that helps.

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  18. I, too, was inspired by Santa Clauses, but it took a couple years and an elf named Mary Lee to actually get me to write! Your pen strokes are as strong as your swimming strokes, Mary Lee. And if it's all the same to you, I will keep being inspired by your words and ideas and keep adopting your brilliant blog posting methodology, as well. ;)

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  19. Oops--left my comment at the Poetrepository...but yes, what everyone else is saying. Venting IS part of healing.

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  20. Mary Lee. I feel better just reading your post. I do. Your thoughts are a balm and your wisdom a comfort. Thank you for that -- and your lovely, lovely haiku....

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  21. Thank you for always being such an inspiration, Mary Lee. I love your haiku, and the idea of making "our strokes sure and clean and powerful." So appropriate for our writing, too!

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  22. What a great project! I am happy to say hello to December myself. Thanks for sharing, Mary Lee!

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  23. I love your thoughts about haiku marking the passage of time. I tried as much as I can to write in my journal every night, but have not been able to be as diligent in the past few weeks. Perhaps a haiku wouldn't be too bad. December is my favourite month of the year, so hello there too, December. :) Thanks so much, Mary Lee.

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