NaPoWriMo Day 14

puddle janrae on pixabay haiga

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to contemplate our “inspirations and forebears.” In the art of haiku, the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho is widely viewed as the original master, inspiration and forebear.

In 1686, he wrote a haiku that became instantly famous, and remains so to this day. It has been variously translated, but this seems to be an accepted version:

the old pond
a frog jumps in
the sound of water

Some translations have the last line as “the splash of water” or even “plop!” which I actually like best, because it makes me smile.

Basho’s ability to capture a single moment was brilliant and distinctive. His twin talents of writing and teaching drew people in. At his cottage, he hosted contests and renga gatherings–poetry parties (yes, poetry parties!) held for the purpose of writing collaborative, linked poems.

He took long journeys, walking hundreds of miles on four separate trips over the last ten years of his life, either alone or with a student/apprentice. In one of his travel journals, “The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel,” he wrote that his mind “knows no other art than the art of writing poetry, and therefore, hangs on to it more or less blindly.”

As he grew older he grew more frail and reclusive. (I can relate to that.) After his last journey, he wrote:

falling sick on a journey
my dream goes wandering
over a field of dried grass

My photo haiga is intended to reflect the spirit of these two haiku of the master Basho, albeit updated, in my own voice and reflecting on my own life. I hope I have succeeded in paying homage.


Image by janrye from Pixabay

This artist has many photographs and masterful artistic manipulations posted on Pixabay. Click on his name to see them all.

The Way of Love – Going


crosses haiga

The Way of Love is the daily devotion I am following during Lent, along with my sister. The theme for Friday was “going.” This refers to Jesus’ practice of engaging diverse individuals and groups as he went along the path of his ministry. It’s not about travelling, rather it’s about who we encounter, and how we engage with them.

As part of our study of The Way of Love, we were challenged to ask God to help us see the world the way God sees the world. My first thought was that, if God wasn’t omniscient, She would be really confused! So many times throughout history, even now, we humans have touted God as the reason for violence, prejudice and worse. How many of us know people who distrust those of a different religion?

How do I think God sees the world? I thought about this all day Friday and prayed about it, too. I think He views it with disappointment as well as hope. Some people I’ve encountered view the world as hopeless, on a tragic path toward ecological and spiritual death. But most seem to accept the uncertainty and try to make things better by treating people and the environment with loving care.

I view the world with hope as I see young people caring about the earth and the people on it.  They are inventing technology to treat disease, clean up the environment, communicate, educate and entertain. They are hyperaware, motivated, dedicated. And so, so smart!

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”     – 1 Cor. 13:6-7



The Way of Love – Blessing

everyday blessing — friendship and a side of wine


The Way of Love is a way of looking at the practices that connect us to God and to each other. Some are spiritual and some are practical actions.  During Lent, we are looking at one practice each day of the week.

Thursday’s theme was blessing. This is not about “counting your blessings,” although that’s useful in so many ways. Instead, we are challenged to pass along the blessings, to share something with someone that will be a blessing to that person, to engage them in conversation, to listen to and dignify their stories and to share our stories with them. I thought of sharing a pizza with my neighbor. It may not seem very spiritual, but it’s definitely practical! Meals are a time-honored way of making human connections.

One blessing I’d like to share with you is a series of podcasts  on The Way of Love. The hosts interview Bishop Michael Curry, who is so warm, funny and relatable that he lifts my spirits whenever I hear his voice!

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your readership. You are indeed a blessing to me.


NaHaiWriMo – Day 28

National Haiku Writing Month is almost over! The prompt for Friday is “feather.” As Lent starts this week, it seemed fitting to picture the dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I plan to continue my daily writing practice throughout Lent, and I hope you will enjoy the results.

the way of love…
turning to the Spirit
for hope

“Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”   —Mark 1:10


NaHaiWriMo – Day 21

Prompt: Landmark

lunch counter
an ordinary act
of quiet heroism


The February One Monument on the Campus of North Carolina A&T State University, honoring the Greensboro Four, David Richmond (from left), Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and Joseph McNeil, as they left the Woolworth after their first sit-in on Feb. 1, 1960. Sculpture by James Barnhill. Image by Cewatkin (CC BY-SA 3.0)

NaHaiWriMo – Day 6

NaHaiWriMo (Prompt: fireflies, glow-worms)

Note: “skyglow” is just a pretty word for “light pollution,” or the encroachment of city lights on the natural habitat of fireflies and glow-worms. The ambient light of human civilization interferes with the communication of the males who are trying to find a mate by flashing light in a specific pattern. They only have one mating season in their tiny lives, and it is only a few weeks, so anything that interferes with courtship is a real problem. Add this to the effect of pesticides, herbicides, and deforestation….