Many of my haiku moments are experienced visually and are expressed by me through photography rather than words. Journal 8 is devoted entirely to haiku photos. In this case they all relate to walks taken along the beach in Helensburgh during the time of Covid lockdown.
There’s a movement in Tai-Chi called ‘Behold the Moon.’ You slowly turn your torso and extend both arms sideways at an angle of 45% with lower hand palm upwards and upper hand palm downwards.
Most of my haiku moments occur in nature and the outdoors, but here’s one from an antique shop in Helensburgh.
Autumn is the time of year when flowers and leaves fall into my garden pond. They drift in constantly shifting patterns and juxtapositions of colour – amazingly beautiful natural happenings – each one a haiku moment.
There has always been an unresolved tension in gardening between the extent to which we feel the garden belongs to nature and the extent to which we feel it belongs to us: whether it is an expression of nature or of human artistic aspirations.
Most of my haiku moments involve nature. But recently I was watching a recording of the cricket match between England and Pakistan. A young batsman by the name of Zak Crawley was making his début appearance for England. The grace, timing and balance of his flowing stroke-play produced in me the same kind of joy as might watching my cat’s supple, acrobatic leaps.
The shadow of a berberis bush projected on my upturned kayak. The white hull and the black, angular shadows are like an ancient Chinese ink wash painting.
I was doing Tai-chi on the lawn at 6.30 on a fresh sunny morning when a cloud, a flock of birds (which I think were sparrows) rose above a bush, followed its contours, swooped down and then rose again following the outline of the next bush.