Rain, A Crow, and Falling Stars: Haiku Love Reborn

image of a crow on bright green grass with rain and yellow stars falling
“Rain falls down kissing the crow on the bright green grass, yellow stars falling" - Powered by Dall-E 3.

Haiku is the traditional Japanese poetic form which captivates readers with its brevity and evocative imagery. I first created a created a haiku in the 1990’s and I have been mystified by their conciseness and beauty ever since.

Yesterday (26.05.2024), I attended a haiku workshop called “Nature’s Meditation”, facilitated by Nora D’Ecclesis and organised by Thane Lawrie, and it was a truly empowering experience of our own individual sensory journeys on a dreich Sunday lunchtime.

Surrounded by other members of the Aberdeenshire Soto Zen group that I attend (albeit on Google Meet) who were also interested in this concise art form, I learned about the power of observation and how to condense vivid imagery into a mere 17 syllables. The workshop fuelled my creativity and left me with a newfound sense of poetic achievement.

After a great dive into the history of haiku and Buddhist influence, and the techniques and styles used in this poetic form, we were given the opportunity to create our own piece of concise beauty from our newfound skills. I was really surprised how we were all able to create such beautiful lines in minutes.

Here is what I came up with inspired by my view out of the patio window of my “Zen Den” during this workshop:
Rain falls down kissing
the crow on the bright green grass --
Yellow stars falling.
My haiku paints a vivid picture with a range of sensory details and a touch of mystery, so let me try to break it down (retrospectively I add because I had no idea when I actually wrote it how marvellous it would make me feel).

It opens with the soft sound of rain, creating a calming, peaceful atmosphere, but the rain isn't just falling; it's "kissing", personifying a gentle and tender touch. This kiss lands upon a crow perched on vibrant green grass, suggesting a symbol of natural life in the setting of a flourishing spring with a vibrant colour emphasizing the freshness of the scene.

Then a most curious finale appears; yellow stars falling. Are they actual stars falling, or something else entirely? The ambiguity adds intrigue and allows us all to inject our own interpretations, sparking our own imaginations. The falling yellow stars are basically whatever you want them to mean.

In essence, the haiku depicts a tranquil moment in nature. The rain cleanses, the crow finds solace, and the "falling stars" add a touch of magic to the scene.

Crows can symbolize wisdom or solitude. The crow's comfort in the rain suggests a quiet acceptance of the world, and leaving the nature of the falling yellow stars ambiguous creates a sense of wonder and possibility.

Using the formula, technique and style guidelines we learnt from our lunchtime with Nora, all the haikus offered a glimpse into a vivid world and provided us with thought-provoking images. It reminds us of the power of mindful observation and the beauty that can be found in everyday moments.

Invitation to Explore

Haiku is a wonderful gateway to poetry. Why not try writing your own haiku? Look around you, pick three evocative details, and see if you can capture them using the traditional 5-7-5 syllable structure.

With great gratitude to Nora, Thane and everyone who attended. It was a wonderful experience and one that I am still integrating!


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