this breath alone


clear water
the stillness of reeds…
nag champa
rising on the wings of breath
this heron mind


this breath alone
leaf by leaf the maple
fills with sky


hint of cool…
the weight of a harvestman
in my palm


The Zen Space  winter showcase



a sky so blue
I can still see yesterday…
in the hospital grounds
a butterfly lifts
from its shadow


American Tanka, issue 20,  A Few Feet Away,

January 2012





5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kirigirisu
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 15:42:45

    A beautiful selection, Claire.

    I haven’t thought of the scent of nag champa in a long while. How I want to possess a heron mind and the bird’s uncommon stillness.

    Your haiku is perhaps one of the most affecting I’ve read. It reminds me on some level of a recent gogyohshi by Aizu Taro:

    I was born in colour
    I live in colour
    into transparency I’ll return
    on my departure

    Ah, to lift from this life like your butterfly from its shadow, simply and silently…

    So many of my dreams and meditations embodied in these poems. Thank you.



    • Claire
      Jan 12, 2012 @ 21:39:24

      Ellen and Brian, thank you both for reading and being kind enough to comment.

      Brian, it is always so validating to read your comments and thank you for sharing Aizu Taro’s wonderful gogyohshi. I’m glad my haiku spoke to you.

      It’s an emotional week, the 31st anniversary of my Dad’s death today, my birthday tomorrow … many conflicting emotions as has been the case these last three decades. I’m heavily involved in editorial duties, so life’s full, but the Muse is still whispering from time to time, especially just before dawn.

      Forgive me if my posts, and my visits to our ‘circle’ are a little sparse — then again, I might surprise myself!

      Thank you for being here with me, breathing the nag champa 🙂


  2. kirigirisu
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 16:39:33

    Happy be-lated birthday, Claire. You and your words are pure light. I’m am grateful for your presence in the world.



  3. sanjuktaa
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 10:52:29

    This is absolutely beautiful, Claire! How i want to breathe that nag champa!


    • Claire
      Jan 14, 2012 @ 21:02:37

      Sanjuktaa and Brian,

      Thank you both for visiting — and for your birthday wishes, Brian. You are both an inspiration and I am delighted to know you as poets, and friends.



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