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…
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