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  • Cedar Koons, LCSW

Mindfulness of Joy--A Haiku a Day


Haiku is a poetic form from Japan that delights us with its brevity, seeming simplicity and elegance. In English we usually render haiku as a three line poem of syllabics, five syllables in the first and final lines and seven syllables in the middle line. Traditionally, haiku is grounded in present moment awareness and includes details of nature viewed from a close, personal perspective. The best haiku usually present a contrast or twist that creates a moment of surprise.

I enjoy writing haiku as a mindfulness exercise. It rarely takes more than a few minutes to tune in to what I am observing in the moment and produce a poem that satisfies my desire to describe being alive now. I rarely know what I will write when I sit down to do it and what comes out almost always surprises me and gives me small but real joy.

Just after the new year I decided to develop a haiku a day practice as an addition to my daily meditation practice. I committed to try it for one month and here are a few of my efforts for the month of January. I share them with you as an encouragement to consider adding the joy of haiku to your daily mindfulness practice.

1/4/19

Cat observes sunrise

Winter birds coming to feed

Make her chin tremble

1/5/19

Icicles drip light

Afternoon warmth makes drifts steam

Spring comes for an hour

1/8/19

Old woman on ice

Mindfully picks her route home

That woman is me

1/9/19

New moon night blue/black

Orion goes a hunting

Bright dogs at his heels

1/10/19

Once in the hot tub

I never want to get out

Horned owl hoots three times

1/11/19

It is worth the walk

Through deep wet snow and cold dark

To soak in this heat

1/12/19

Beaver tracks in slush

Elk tracks and scat in mud

Bunny feet in powder

1/13/19

Hundreds of horned larks

Fly just above the snow field

Hungry yellow throats

1/14/19

Bright winter sun warms

A greenhouse full of lettuce

Off comes the down coat

1/18/19

An algorithm

Birds from privet to feeder

In pattern unsung

1/19/19

Confined to the house

I name the rooms by the sun

Careening through time

1/29/19

Picuris Pueblo

Deer Dance, snowfield, drumbeat

Mute tears fall freely

1/30/19

Morning yoga stretch

Sun comes over the mountain

Heart begins to sing

1/31/19

Dawn: zero degrees

River silent under ice

Teacup warms my hands


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