So, I've noticed that haiku - that sparse and beautifully light form of poetry - has returned. When I see the word Haiku I am immediately whisked back to my childhood when, at some point, it was introduced to me in school. I remember that it held great fascination for me - like an exotic plant or the whispered memory of a faraway land.
The college library where I work has a new book on haiku: Favor of Crows by Gerald Vizenor. With a title such as this I was drawn to it and the "aha!" of synchronicity went off when I read the cover and saw that word -again. Haiku.
Vizenor writes briefly of his first encounter with haiku and quotes a few examples from the Japanese masters.
I like this one by Kobayashi Issa as he remembers the death of his daughter:
the world of dew
is the world of dew
Vizenor, in the introduction to his book, speaks of the essence of haiku: "The heart of haiku is a tease of nature, a concise, intuitive, and original moment." And this statement recalls the later poetry of Ella Young - her work now influenced by her new home in California. I leave you with her words:
The moon took off her mask for me
I saw her strange face
Crouching in the jungle, too,
The leopard saw:
And stretched in haughty greeting
A scimitar claw.