Category Archives: Haiku Moments
Sunday our parched region experienced an all day rain. I walked in it for an hour at dawn, and again after church. This rose caught my eye as I hunted for micropuddles in old downtown Plano, TX.
Micropuddles fascinate me. They exist in liminal space: at the threshold of a new experience. They contain shining truths and epiphanies.
I hover over each one and imagine diving into another universe.
This micropuddle shone in an old stone sidewalk:
I found this micropuddle in a magnolia leaf:
This one was on top of a rock wall:
These lovely geometric shapes formed in a brick sidewalk:
This oval shimmered in stone steps near a wall fountain silenced by the drought:
And finally, a micropuddle shining in stone stairs dating to Plano pioneer times.
Last week I was in the Hall Office Park in Frisco, Texas taking photos of micropuddles. I found this shovel, handle-less and covered in concrete and rust. I filled its bowl with water and took its portrait.
This week I returned and the shovel was still there. I claimed it as my own.
It rained all day Sunday. After church I took the shovel to my own office park and took it’s portrait in various poses.
Here it is gratefully receiving the runoff from a storm drain:
On some blooming monkey grass:
Atop a holly bush:
Embraced by Asian jasmine:
On Colorado River rocks:
Under a crepe myrtle:
And on a bed of lantana:
I now keep the shovel on the front seat of my car. I keep a jug of water in the car at all times so that I can take its portrait when promising venues present themselves.
One day last year I found a micro-puddle in a stone step at the Fort Wort Japanese Garden. I felt like I could dive into it, into another universe. Here is a photo of it:
I have continued to look for and photograph micro-puddles. I found this one when leaving the Dallas Arboretum one day last spring:
I found this puddle last week in Eureka Springs, Arkansas when leaving Thorncrown Chapel:
I found this micro-puddle in a downtown sidewalk in Eureka Springs:
I visited a meditation center in Eureka Springs and got the next three photos:
This puddle was on a storm drain the morning after rain last week. It reflects buttermilk clouds:
I found this micro-puddle in a sidewalk near my house. The wide end of the puddle still holds part of the wood that shaped it:
My neighbor’s sprinklers don’t reach his boulders, so the yellow and black lichen on them is free to flourish:
This morning when I visited a sculpture garden nearby I was walking along a retaining wall made of huge limestone rectangles, in search of micro-puddles. In the dirt beside them I found a cement covered shovel with no handle. It was so camouflaged by its coating that I am sure it had lain there for years, unseen by maintenance. I laid the shovel on a limestone block and poured water into its bowl. You can see the dawn clouds reflected in the water.:
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed my portraits of the micro-puddles that have fascinated me. Maybe one will transport you to a new world!
I started doing photography as a girl. Dad was a medical photographer at George Washington University Medical School in DC. We had a darkroom in our basement. Every third week, I’d get to go to work with him on Saturdays and I had access to his lab at the med school.
Here I am with my grandfather and my b’uncle Joe. You can see one of my first cameras around my neck.
In high school I was Photography Editor of the yearbook. I shot and printed half of the photos. I was a great photo processor. I could make my negatives sing.
Tragically, my dad got very sick when I was a junior in high school. He never was able to work again. Somehow the loss of my dad as I knew him got all mixed up with photography and I laid down my camera for decades.
When I got an iPhone in 2005 I began to take photos with it. I didn’t photo finish them at all. I didn’t even crop them.
These last few months I have begun to photo finish my iPhone photos. I have used iPhoto to work on several hundred of my photos. I have been most interested in adjusting photos that I might use to illustrate my haiku. I am an active participant in 3 Facebook forums that have daily prompts for haiku (2) or tanka (1). Tanka are five line poems.
Something clicked in me yesterday. I suddenly had the knowing and body feel that my photofinishing was just what I had been doing from age 7 to age 17. It all clicked.
I still have a lot to learn. And I must learn to use the new camera I bought a month ago. I pulled out the manual for it today. (No one ever accused me of rushing into things!)
I went to the Dallas Arboretum today and took a hundred photos. And photo finished them after I got home.
I still have a lot to learn.
All of my previous work was with black and white photos….
Here are a few of the photos I made today:
This one is a star magnolia. I am crazy about “tulip magnolias”.
This one is a Professor Einstein daffodil.
This one is a beautiful silvery-blue foliage plant spilling over the edge of a container.
I’ve started and ended this post with cherry blossoms, two kinds.
I hope you like my photos!
Ever since I was a girl I have been fascinated by the art of Japan.
I have done Japanese flower arranging, ikebana. I am also an internationally known and published haiku poet.
A few years ago, I took up painting enso, circles, with sumi paint. I bought wonderful, flat porcelain trays of the sumi ink at the gift shop at Nepenthe, in Big Sur, CA. I drew a number of enso to illustrate some of my haiku. Yesterday, I photographed the enso.
The one above, one of my favorites, is made by dipping the soft rabbit’s hair brush into both metallic gold and metallic silver and then brushing the circle in one breath.
I find it meaningful that haiku are also one breath poems.
Both art forms remind us that we have only the now. To live in the now.
I painted this one to illustrate a poem about peeling an orange.
This one will illustrate poems about the sun.
And this one the moon.
This one was drawn to illustrate the moon rising behind pine trees, but this morning I used it to illustrate this haiku: lipstick on his collar/ thunder/ rattles the bedsprings.
I hope you like my enso!
I already had an opal pendant, made for me by my Aunt Katherine thirty years ago. I stepped a few doors down the street from the jewelry store to a bead shop and bought these pearls. I went back to the hotel, fired up my computer, and ordered the opal beads through Etsy.
Today I had time to sit down and string them all together. I will wear them with the pendant which I will hang on a short gold chain. The pearl necklace hangs longer. I know my Aunt Katherine would be thrilled.
Katherine worked in my dentist-grandfather’s office during the Great Depression, along with Mother and the other three sisters. Katherine was the crafty one so Grandaddy Doc taught her to work in gold. Back then “filling” were done with gold inlays on the tooth. Katherine continued to work in gold and silver until her death at 84.
Katherine died the way I want to: with her boots on. She had gone to an “old folk’s home” to teach a jewelry class. She went back to her car for something she’d forgotten, sat down on the car seat and died.
I looked up while I was stringing and saw my neighbor’s maple tree blazing over the rooftop. I wrote this haiku:
stringing pearls-/ over the roofline/ my neighbor’s blazing maple.
I visited the Rock Barrel in late morning in search of some peach pearls. I wanted to make a bracelet to match the multi strand pearl necklace I’d finished yesterday. I had enough pearls left over to make a great beginning to the bracelet.
After picking up my pearls I stopped at a Burger Street I visit about twice a year, for an Olive Burger. Over the last twenty years I’ve enjoyed Olive Burgers from that location. I always have parked under an tall cottonwood, rolled down the windows and listened to the music of the wind in the cottonwood.
Today, however, I found that there was a brand new driveway to a brand new gas station where my cottonwood had stood. Sigh. I found a spot to eat my Olive Burger. It was great. But I missed my cottonwood symphony!
Here is the necklace! I got lots of the high luster peach pearls on my recent trip to Santa Fe for Continuing Medical Education.
Here is a cottonwood haiku I wrote when I was in Santa Fe:
Abique autumn/ the goldenrod sings a duet/ with the cottonwood