Notes On Attention Paid

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The Haiku of Issa

… studying and trying to interpret the Haiku of Basho, Buson and Issa, and trying to write my own micro poems has had an interesting effect… it has led me to begin withdrawing from Instagram and Facebook and to reconsider the attitude with which i make art… i have decided that it might be better simply to make and let the universe decide what will come from it…

… on with the Issa haiku…

  • napping at mid day, the song of rice planters, shame…
    • are midday naps a luxury in a world that requires our labor to make order in chaos and put food on our tables?… planting rice is a spring activity, so this is a spring poem?
  • melons don’t notice the intentions of thieves…
    • human motivation is of no concern to the greater part of the cosmos…
  • a pretty girl munching and rustling wrapped up rice cake…
    • for a heterosexual poet, a pretty girl is always worth paying attention to…
  • warning the cricket that rolling over is immanent…
    • crickets are symbols of good fortune in Chinese, Japanese and Native American culture… nobody would want to kill one, intentionally or accidentally…
    • Buddhists tend to honor all living things…
  • an old dog listening for the songs of earthworms?…
    • not sure what to make of this one…
    • sleeping on its side on the ground?…
    • a poem about old age and death?…
  • a crow walking along the field as if it were tilling it…
    • hmmm… the crow acting as if it owns the field… following its nature?…
    • could it be any other way?…
    • crows are about transformation… they move in and clean up the carrion of battles…
    • crows are message carriers…
    • all birds are opportunities for awakening and becoming present…
    • the crow is an autumn and winter bird…
    • the crow is a dusk, or end of day bird…
    • the crow might therefor be associated with old age, and since often thought of as bearers of messages and symbols of rebirth, might have something to do with the wisdom of old age which moves through the fields tilling them for rebirth in the spring…