Seven Day Challenge 7: Winter wind

Well, I’m proud of myself. I have actually completed a task. I’ve illustrated seven haiku in seven days, finishing with my hero Basho. We were hoping for snow today but it’s just raining. That’s very welcome here.
This work is the exact size of my computer wallpaper. If you’d like to enjoy it on your screen feel free. I like to change my wallpapers often. So next week I set myself the task of a wallpaper collage everyday.
Can I manage to complete another weeks worth of task or will I falter? We’ll know in a weeks time.

Winter solitude
in a world of one colour
the sound of the wind

Matsuo Basho

Seven Day Challenge 5: Monks and Violets again.

On my second ever post I made a little flip book. I have had to remove the link due to lack of space. As only a couple of people have looked at that post – thank you for your likes – and that this blog exists to teach me things and that I have spent the day battling with technology to create this page I feel OK about re-posting the images as today’s challenge.

So here are my collages about Monks and Violets.

A Japanese Haiku is a very short story. A small jewel of an isolated thought bubble.

The poets Basho and Ryokan had some stories to tell about violets, too. The itinerant monks who populate these stories were loners. They sought the Divine through isolation.

Seven Day Challenge 3: dVersity Haibun

Tourists in shiny puffy coats, seeking famous Saihō-ji’s Koke-dera green mosses, rush by the little bamboo ticket office. ‘Koke-dera?’ on the move shouted at the Ticket Ladies. The Ladies give back narrow eyes, gently straighten pink kimono. No bow, no eye contact, delicate fingers gesture up the steep hill. Thirty dollars entry it must be worth the walk. I’m the only one off the train who stops at this emerald gem. Tiny, exquisite Gio-ji. Eight hundred years of moss, bamboo and maples growing quietly, relentlessly. Model for my own modest garden eight thousand kilometres south. Flaming fallen maple leaves scarlet against my own green moss has been my birthday marker for fourty years. Here on this significant decade birthday pink ume snow, cherry buds and bright winter green are my compensation. Years of dreaming and saving to be here, now. Only three dollars entrance.
The Ladies keep a close eye on the white paper umbrella just inside the gate. Beneath gaudy pink struts the very first of the early spring peonies sit breathtaking in the moss. White paper, Schiaparelli pink, moss green. I stop breathing for a moment. Bashō may have stood here under my very footfalls reflecting on a broken-hearted beauty retiring from her lover’s rejection.
How reluctantly
the bee emerges from the deep
within the peony
The temple fundraising committee anticipate that such astonishing beauty laid naked must surely entice the paying customers. All winter the ladies anticipate that strident pink. Stopped at the bamboo gate, I am the bee. Camera in hand, I gaze a little too long. Stern fingers tap the price placard. Entrance price barked in a rough tone. Startled, ‘Yes’ I bark back in the same tone. I hand over the correct coins, beaming the joy of pink and green from my green occidental eyes into their dark oriental ones. Raucous laughter, teeth showing, loud, surprised into unlady-like mirth. ‘Hai’ – yes – bark back all the Ladies grinning. The emphatic, strident Japanese tone that says ‘You see the world my way.’
‘What’s this?’ laughed Father
Determined
‘Digging to China.’ Small hand waves fan.

This week I have set my self a challenge to visually interpret one Haiku each day. I’m told that setting an achievable goal is a good thing.

Today I am combining my seven day goal with a dVerse challenge. Kim’s challenge is a birthday haibun. https://dversepoets.com/2020/08/03/haibun-monday-birthday/ This is my first haibun. I had to look up what it was.
The diversity of the creative responses to a single prompt always amazes me. As does the speed at which that others can create. Have a read here: https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=28Jul2020&meme=12489

Seven Day Challenge 2: Snow Ponies

This week I have set my self a challenge to visually interpret one Haiku each day. I’m told that setting an achievable goal is a good thing.

Today Bashō and I reflect on morning.
It is snowing in the mountains just south of here. The cold front is expected to reach us by Sunday. Here in the Southern hemisphere the Antarctic weather patterns drive their icy winter lows north toward us.
The Antarctic images in my collage were taken during the Heroic Age of exploration. Frank Hurley took the pioneering colour image of a tabular iceberg. As he headed south to his undying glory Robert Falcon Scott photographed Apsley Cherry-Garrard holding Michael the pony.
Scott’s pack ponies were more than just transport. In his diary Scott got quite poetic about them:

Saturday, December 9 l9ll.
The ponies have been shot
They have done wonderfully well
Yet it is hard to have to kill them so early

Despite their wonderful work the ponies were appreciated in another important role.

Monday, December 4. Camp 30. The ponies marched splendidly to-day, crossing the deep snow in the undulations without difficulty The dogs are simply splendid, but came in wanting food, so we had to sacrifice poor little Michael, who, like the rest, had lots of fat on him. All the tents are consuming pony flesh and thoroughly enjoying it.

Sentimentalism went just so far.

Perchance to Dream: Fishes

Midnight’s pools lie still
   ‘Neath the ripples moonlit bright
   Fishes sleeping dream

This delightful haiku Sleeping Fishes Dream is by artist and poet Goff James. I’ve just read it and am immediately able to finish this image that I began years ago. Thanks, Goff, for making clear to me the story in my photo.

You can see more of Goff’s work here:

https://goffjamesart.wordpress.com/

https://goffjamesart.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/haiku-fishes-sleeping-dream-a-poem-by-goff-james/

Sleeping Fishes.
Many years ago
a grey Osaka day,
fish in quiet repose.

Not finished
I wait, also quiet.
Something will come.

Chance met words
from a stranger
complete the picture.

The sleep and dreaming of other species is so intriguing. Where can we begin to tell the stories of such alien thoughts? Basho, travelling through Akashi, was beguiled by an octopus:

tako-tsubo ya
hakanaki yume wo
natsu no tsuki

Basho and Ryokan: Monks and Violets

A Japanese Haiku is a very short story. A small jewel of an isolated thought bubble.
The poets Basho and Ryokan had some stories to tell about violets, too. The itinerant monks who populate these stories were loners. They sought the Divine through isolation.

I had made a flip book of these collages, but removed it as I needed the space. If you’d like to see the collages they are here: https://maxjoyart.wordpress.com/2020/08/07/seven-day-challenge-5-monks-and-violets-again/