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Haiku Friday: Forever

Philosophers

Today my haiku is from January 23rd of my new book A Haiku Book of Days for Philosophers, Scientists, and Other Ponderers, one of a 7-book series. You can now purchase this book on Amazon here.

The haiku topic for today is “Forever”:

look around right now
there is nothing more than this
forever is now

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here.

Writing Tip: Dogs Already Have Spirit

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.59.04 PM
Alex Terrgi here. Instead of taking me on a leisurely evening walk on Wednesdays in February, my human will be leaving me alone in our house with just The Cat for company. (And if you knew The Cat, you would know her company is no consolation.)

My human says this is just because she is “facilitating” a class called “Writing as a Spiritual Practice.” If you live where we do (near Seattle) you can sign up for this class here.

Trying to make me feel better about being left alone with The Cat, she said one writing exercise she’ll try is to ask her students to “write about yourself in the voice of your pet – your dog, cat, bird, hamster, or goldfish. What don’t they understand about you? What do they know that no one else does? Let them tell some of your secrets.”

Well, maybe that will be good for the other humans in the class, but I don’t see what good it will do me – my human already writes about herself in my voice, and she knows that I have plenty of spirit and don’t need to practice.

(She doesn’t write about herself in the voice of The Cat, though. I think that’s because she’s afraid of what The Cat would say. The Cat can be really nasty.)

And I don’t see why she needs to “facilitate,” whatever that means. Sounds like one of those fancy human words that really just mean “talk a lot.”

But all it means to me is that the Wednesdays in February will be lonely.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: What is Better, Dogs or Sheep?

AnimalsAlex Terrgi here. Yesterday my human read me this haiku for her Animals book:

breathe deep, get ready
rich smells of distant rabbits
thick upon the ground

Isn’t that beautiful? Rich smells of distant rabbit … it made me drool with happiness and then it made me sad cuz I thought of my sister Goody Beagle, who can’t smell rabbits anymore because she’s dead. She loved rabbit smell – actually she loved all smells, and I miss her a lot. Sigh.

So then today I was ready to be happy and sad again when my human read her haiku to me, but instead I got this:

the Hill of Tara
sheep graze above Irish bones
white blobs in gray mists

 I met a sheep once. It was big and stupid and smelled bad. I don’t understand why the human would write about one. The only thing I liked about this haiku was the bones part. I like to dig up and chew on most bones, but I don’t know what Irish bones are, maybe they are bad for dogs, like my human says chicken bones are, every time she throws them in the garbage. I don’t think she’s ever had Irish bones for dinner, though.

I must have looked puzzled over the sheep and bones haiku, because my human smiled at me and said, “You’ll like tomorrow’s haiku, Alex. I’ll read it to you now.” So she did. This is it:

learn life from a dog
curl up at the feet of love
all your needs are met

Wow. Just wow. She does know how important I am! She knows why I’m here, in her life! She really sees me. I felt so good after she read this haiku that I rolled all over the carpet and made happy sounds.

She promises to read me this again tomorrow. January 20th will be a good day.

If you want to read more of my human’s poems about dogs and other creatures, you can buy A Haiku Book of Days for Students of Animals, Birds, Insects, and Other Teachers here.

Haiku Friday: Guilt

Philosophers

Today my haiku is from January 16th of my new book A Haiku Book of Days for Philosophers, Scientists, and Other Ponderers, one of a 7-book series. You can now purchase this book on Amazon here.

The haiku topic for today is Guilt:

no judgment. no guilt.
no should. no musts. no have-tos.
wouldn’t that be great?

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here.

Writing Tip: Writing as a Spiritual Practice

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.59.04 PMI love to teach because teaching teaches me. One of my favorite class offerings is “Writing as a Spiritual Practice, a 4-week, once a week class I’ve been facilitating for about 15 years now. It’s always surprising when you delve deep – and this class does that. My short term goal for the class is to communicate my passion for writing so others might share it. My long term goal, grandiose as it sounds, is to do my bit in healing the world by providing a conduit and space for the many varieties of storytelling.

It’s an experiential class in which we do in-class writing exercises (yes, I mean “we” because I do them too), and reading aloud what we just wrote. Reading aloud yields somewhat paradoxical results – it allows you to claim your voice as yours, and it also allows you to let your voice go free, without attachment or judgment. We get to explore who we are, at our core. What could be more exciting than that? I can hardly wait to teach it again.

So if you live in Washington state, I’ll be facilitating “Writing as a Spiritual Practice” at the Woman Spirit Center in Bellevue on 4 Wednesdays in February, beginning February 4th, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Get more information here

Compost: Lists

listsHere’s something I wrote a few years ago, about what to do when your mind goes blank. Don’t tell me yours never does, because if you do I won’t believe you. Here is one way I deal with that awful blank page or screen, when suddenly your mind is as blank as the screen.

What to do? Be like a Boy Scout – be prepared. If you know this will happen to you (it happens to every writer), one thing that might help is to have a prepared list of things you are interested in. Make this list when your mind is NOT blank, but teeming with too many subjects that interest you. What is actually on the list doesn’t matter, as long as you have an interest, and preferably a passion, for the subject. Don’t elaborate, just write them down. Then save this list!

Here’s a list I made a couple of years ago. Some of the subjects I’ve already written about, others I no longer have an interest in. But others are still fertile ground waiting for me to plow through them.

Bee-keeping. Paganism. Candle-making. Hippies of the 1960s. Growing large zucchini and making zucchini boats. Spider webs. Starting a new business. The role of grandmothers. Aromatherapy. Community softball. Bungee cord jumping and those insane enough to try it. Television sitcoms and what they show about us. Siamese cats. The psychological effects of constipation. What you can learn from Alzheimer’s victims. Square dancing for round folks. True love and what it doesn’t conquer. The long shadows of lies. How Google is eliminating wonder. The sex lives of worms.

What is on your list?

Haiku Friday: Pattern

PhilosophersToday my haiku is from January 9th of my new book A Haiku Book of Days for Philosophers, Scientists, and Other Ponderers, one of a 7-book series. You can now purchase this book on Amazon here.

The haiku topic for today is “Pattern”:

set down a pattern
acts of kindness and of strength
keep your pathways clear

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Camels

Animals

Alex Terrgi here. My human reads me one of the haikus from her book about Animals every day. Unfortunately the animals she reads about are not always dogs. Sometimes they are even fish or bugs. What makes her think I will be interested? It’s not too bad if the haiku is about squirrels, you know, something that I could chase and catch. Who would want to catch a bug or a fish? But if it makes her happy, I listen to her because I like the sound of her happy voice.

Today the haiku was about a camel. It goes like this:

camels don’t like us
they will spit in our faces
better treat them right

Now I don’t know what a camel is, but I hope it’s not some kind of bug like a flea that crawls onto you at night when you’re asleep and instead of biting you and sucking your blood, it spits in your face and stops up your nose or something, unless you “treat them right” – but I don’t think even my human knows how to treat bugs right. So this is a pretty scary haiku, don’t you think?

I had to wonder why anyone would want to write a poem about such a creature. I hope my human keeps the camels away from our house.

If you want to read more of my human’s poems about dogs and other creatures, you can buy A Haiku Book of Days for Students of Animals, Birds, Insects, and Other Teachers here.

Haiku Friday: Fog

 

Today my Philosophershaiku is from January 2nd of my new book A Haiku Book of Days for Philosophers, Scientists, and Other Ponderers, one of a 7-book series. You can now purchase this book on Amazon here.

The haiku topic for today is “fog”:

there be foggy nights
don’t worry if you get lost
follow yourself home

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here.

 

Compost: Whatever’s In My Head

Disorganized

When I was organizing my 2500+ haiku into themes, there were many haiku that I liked very much but which did not lend themselves to categorization. They ranged from haiku about food (one of the most fun subjects to write about) to money (a category that inhabits my mind way too often) to housework, bad guys, squeaky noises, or to whatever else popped into my head on the day they were written. Those are the haiku that I lumped into A Haiku Book of Days For the Happily Disorganized and Others of Jumbled Mind.

Sometimes my jumbled mind even had a deep thought or two. For instance, here’s the one for today:

December 29
learn to forgive and
love without understanding
it’s the only way

You can purchase this book on Amazon here.