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Monday, December 31, 2012

Ryoan-Ji: a haikai sequence by Alan Summers published in Presence haiku magazine December 2012


these rocks
I too float among clouds
looking for something

white gravel
each day the monks
rake ripples in time

pure pebble sound
I only know what is
and that is enough

silhouettes of bamboo
at the edge of the garden
we swap stories*

our sharp mysteries
the percussion of sand
over rocks**

falling snow moon
the slowness of shadows
caught in branches

* after the classic scenes of Ryōan-ji in Yasujirō Ozu’s film Late Spring, 1949
** after John Cage

Publications credits: Presence #47 (December 2012)


Description Ryoan Ji, Kyoto zen garden
Date May 2007
Source Own work
Author Cquest


Norman Darlington said...

Hi Alan, I enjoyed this. I notice you call it a "a haikai sequence" rather than a haiku sequence, and wonder what significance attaches?

Alan Summers said...

Hi Norman,

First of all, I'd say it's not a haiku sequence, as possibly only two stanzas could be termed as haiku.

I simply took from Basho's imaginative geography in attempting a dialogue with the immediate present, past, and future, and of his thinking about space, time, and travel.

That's it in a nutshell, and I would hesitate to call it a haiku sequence or series because of the above: I'm drawing from haikai in general.


rob said...

love this Alan...