Notes On Attention Paid

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The Haiku of Issa

… reading and thinking about these poems as a daily practice has done a great deal to center me… they are guiding lanterns, illuminating what is truly important, not the glorious deeds of men and women, not conquering heroes and explorers, not rich men shooting themselves into space… but the fly that mimics the actions of a person praying over their rosary beads or brushing the flies away from the father’s face one last time… what is important is humility in the face of a cosmos in which we are a minuscule factor and will always be a minuscule factor…

… on with today’s six haiku…

  • the snail going through it’s daily routines with little fuss…
    • despite all the petty concerns of people, the snail just is…
    • nature just is…
    • people need to learn to just be…
  • flies imitating people with prayer beads…
    • even flies pray?…
    • but it is imitation, not the real thing…
    • is what people do with prayer beads important if the flies imitate them?…
  • something about fluids, if they were sweet, being the poet’s dew, his dew…
    • my immediate impression is of a homosexual relationship… though Issa did sleep with women, prostitutes… was he perhaps bi-sexual?… or is there another interpretation…
  • something about the sight of the ocean invoking the mother he never knew, every time…
    • his mother died when he was young and the ocean makes him long for her?…
    • the ocean is the mother he always wished he had…
  • about a summer night where even the stars are whispering…
    • is this anything more than the evocation of a still summer’s evening?…
    • all the cosmos is hushed…
    • being one with the stars…
  • about brushing the flies off his father’s face for the last time…
    • melancholy, old age, death…
    • my father is dying, if i weren’t so angry with him i might be melancholic…