More Than Words


 

If the words of our new mythology need to provoke spiritual feeling…

Then perhaps we should consider this haiku:

The sky is high:
the tips of tendrils
have nowhere to cling.
        — Takahama Kyoshi (trans. Bownas/Thwaite)
 

When I first read that haiku, I felt the straining, the reaching…

…the upward yearning of those tendril vines, coupled with their uncertainty.

I felt and then, naturally, I began to think.  I became a theologian.  I begin to write my ideas.

So where did all my clever thought, all my writing, lead me?

After around 500 words, I ended up dangling—like those tendrils  My thought had fizzled out.

What remained then was the feeling—the feeling of the haiku.

So I ended where I’d began—with the haiku poem.  I’d made a circle…

…and the words, the thoughts, that lay along that circular path now seemed like just a bunch of stuff…

…head stuff.

Unlike the words of the haiku.  So that’s what I’m giving you—the haiku, the feeling of the haiku…

…a feeling that goes beyond words, and yet, is expressed in words.

(The Takahama Kyoshi haiku was found in The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse, translated by Geoffrey Bownas & Anthony Thwaite.)

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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