Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mark Hovane welcomes the year with haiku simplicity

Mark Hovane
   From beautiful Kyoto, cold in January and demanding winter rigor of visitors and locals alike, long-time resident, teacher and gifted Zen garden guide Mark Hovane, sends these exquisite images, a poem from Australian Judith Wright, and haiku from two masters.

    year's end, all
corners of this
floating world, swept

            Matsuo Basho

                                                           The new year arrived in utter simplicity-
                                                                                                       and a clear blue sky

                                                                                                              Issa Kobayashi


Old rhythms, old metre
these days I don't draw
very deep breaths. There isn't
much left to say.

Rhyme, my old cymbal
I don't clash you as often
or trust your old promises
of music and unison.                                                  
Judith Wright
I used to love Keats, Blake
Now I try haiku
for its honed brevities,               
its inclusive silences

Issa, Shiki Buson, Basho
Few words and with no rhetoric.
Enclosed by silence,
as is the thrush's call.

                               Judith Wright

From "Notes at Edge" in Phantom Dwelling
(Angus and Robertson, 1985)

Mark writes, "On New Year's Eve, people gather at their local temple to 'ring in' the New Year. According to Buddhist belief, the bell is sounded 108 times to purify us from
the earthly desires that entrap us in the cycle of suffering. The chime is deeply resonant." And continues to ring as we contemplate these images and re-read the evocative poem and haiku Mark has chosen.  You can find out more about Mark Hovane and his exquisite, deeply knowledgable Zen Garden and Temple tours via this link.

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