From a series, Japan in Australia, (c) June Perkins
Tonight my son was looking for a poetic form for homework. The poem had to include many of his spelling words. He was able to finally write some when we talked about Haiku. Rhyming and other kinds of poem were just not working. He liked counting the syllables in Haiku, and they were short enough for him not to have to look for lots of words. This made him concentrate on his ideas. He ended his homework session very happily after feeling terrible about the overwhelming nature of a project – called poetry.
Deep thoughts about Japan came out for him and my dear little son wrote this
Language of Japan
Children speak in scariness
Hope to recover…
By my son
My youngest son inspired me to take the same themes of recovery and fear and rewrite a cyclone poem I had in a draft as three linked haiku.
Sometimes working in any poetic form makes us find more discipline with our words. It strips away the unnecessary, and makes us find the heart of a matter.
Glittering in flight
moving beyond noisy night
I need my wing’s sight
Healing dragonfly wings beat
Returning green dream
No more lies to fear
Gone is nights cyclonic hell
Life’s sparks make me laugh.
I enjoyed writing the above haiku. I am sure as I write more they will take on more images and ideas until the story becomes clear. I think I would like to write lots of healing haiku and have others join me- especially children who care about Japan!! I will talk to my friend Junko and see what she thinks. Sometimes children show us the way! It would be lovely to have all the haiku illustrated as well. Each Haiku could be a little pool of light.
I don’t think they would be too hard to translate. Even if the number of syllables change, they would still have the economy of the structure.
Project — collect 1000 healing haiku for Japan —and send these or post them for mothers and children of Japan to read (maybe by snail mail!), with some translation.
Logistics – should be uncomplicated, heartfelt, and most of all the struggle for words to really convey the depth of what’s happened can be restrained within the form and kept to just a few words. Sometimes when you suffer a disaster you don’t want a lot of words, just a hug, a warm blanket, and to know you are loved and not alone.
Will you join me…. write your haiku and blessing and put the link here for me on this post . . . and I will begin to see what happens, we need so many, for so many people, just a little pool of light opening in words, in art. Maybe my son and I could try write a thousand, but many hands make light work, and many haiku. Imagine if each person wrote one Haiku each day for a thousand days to think, reflect, on how we are all connected, and how we can heal from disasters of any kind. That is 1000 days of meditation and intense feeling. And for it to be converted to any act of kindness, now that would be special also. I am sure the way will become clear, but for now I begin each day with at least one Haiku – today four Haiku, one from my youngest and three from me.
I think of Junko visiting schools here and sharing her culture. I think of words from kids here visiting her back home.
Junko visiting a school in the Cassowary Coast, to share a taste of traditional Japanese culture.
As for Yasi recovery, today my daughter, who is tired and sick quite a bit at the moment, said she missed all the green trees. She felt sad looking all around, and sometimes strange inside. Other times she felt like we were going back in time to our old street, which we have now returned to, she felt younger in some ways. Yet she felt older too.
I wonder how the children of Japan are feeling with all that is going on in their country. We see glimpses of their faces, and letters to the parents who work in the nuclear plant on the news.
I will think about my daughter’s words. Maybe they will turn into some haiku or maybe another form of poetry – that will suit the story of her sadness and longing for those beautiful trees and the vulnerability that comes with grief.
I will think also of the children and mothers of Japan, and dream that there is a green belt of light – of optimism that will come to heal them soon. Can we surround them with 1000 Healing Haiku…..?
(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved, words and images. except for poem (c) my youngest son.