Saturday, June 2, 2007

Mango Haiku

My friend Michelle Karlskind recommended The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan. It's written by Abigail Friedman, a U.S. diplomat stationed in Tokyo. It seems an odd book for me to be reading in Mexico, but Abigail found in haiku a means for synthesizing moments and personal feelings in the face of a foreign culture. I would classify it not only as a "how to" book, but a spiritual autobiography as well. I've put a link to it in the column to the left.

Haiku has rules -- which people who "do" it feel free to ignore. And of course "doing it" in Japanese is somewhat different than in English, because in Japanese you get the visual impact of the symbols, as well as the written text. But basically in English you aim for a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. Only seventeen syllables! Every one of them should count!

Abigail's book has inspired me to take a stab at haiku. My friend Bettye Givens tried to strong arm a bunch of Lubbock, Texans, to give it a try a year ago a celebration for my niece's graduation. I just didn't get it then. Neither did most of us. But I think I'm sort of opening up to the whole concept. Thanks Michelle, Abigail and Bettye. For you: here are some Mexican (i.e. I wrote them in Mexico) haiku of the season:

Baby yellow mangos
Splattered open on the rocks –
Ripe sunshine with seeds.

Rusty red leaf-scythes
Protect mango civilians.
Green shoots. New troops.

Overripe fruit bombs
Cluster ready to drop.
Watch out below!

Mangos, bananas
cinnamon and vanilla --
Liquid pumpkin pie.

The month of June
Suspended like a mango
Waiting for the rain

Roadside seduction:
Wood crates of baby mangos.
Take us home with you!


Wendy DeBoer said...

Thinking of you now,
reading your blog inspires me,
We will be back soon.

Hoping you feel well,
Warm sun, hot days, muggy nights
All part the package.

June twenty's the day,
We will be there for a week
Can't wait to say hi!

OK Susan, there is my haiku! Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I am thinking of you now. We will have Kristen's graduation on the 16th and then be down. Can't wait to be in the neighborhood with the silence of the season upon us. There is something very special about that! You take care and we will visit soon. Love, Carlita DeBoer (Wendy)

O Susannah! said...

Wendy! Just found your comment. I need to learn to check these things daily. Sometimes I forget that people are actually READING this blog!!!! Can't wait to see you. June 20 our friends Dee and Warren are coming out for a day trip. Don't be shy about coming down the street and meeting them. Dee's an artist. Would love to have her see the progress on your "sweet spot" house.