I’ve just been reading a poem by James Longenbach, a lyric poem called Allegory, in which he ‘met his heart’ on a path; it seems to me that I stumbled against haiku one day in the 90s, and it’s been a rocky relationship ever since. Haiku seems not quite ready to forgive me for not instantly becoming a more intimate and devoted friend, for not being more aware of his or her depth, intelligence, wisdom and silence. Of course, it is all my fault―I have not been quiet enough, or patient, diligent in caring enough for the few haiku I’d written to kiss their bleeding when they came to me after falling from their skateboards, and were hurting badly. Most of mine hurt badly. I did not have much trouble admiring the fine haiku of others, but my own have always suffered with ego problems. I do plan to take concrete steps to rectify the situation. Perhaps take haiku to more poetry readings, praise haiku more often than I do, have more fun with haiku and haiku’s friend, senryu. Not a ball game, for it would know I was faking it, but a visit, maybe to the Museum of Man and Nature, side trip to get a Dairy Queen milkshake, hot dog, and side of fries. Maybe I’ll remember to remove the ipod earbuds too, and listen, really listen to a few more trees and squirrels, pay more attention to the places haiku likes. My back yard. The space inside the cup of a loved one’s relaxed hand.
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