From the Cutting Room Floor

I’ve decided to enter some haiku,senryu, and haibun in an annual contest at the haiku society of america, or HSA. Here are some that didn’t make the cut.


Haiku


early June pond, 
not quite as heated
as a month ago

Afternoon
Sun breaks
Cottonwood snow

Wind rippling leaves;
Waterfall


Senryu


Morning little league 
Barn swallows
Steal second

took me 'til 
thirty-six to have a steady flow
of clean socks

I used to think 
This was cleaning...
I'm just hiding things. 

Languid...
A  whole Summer passes
On Sunday evening

Haibun


There’s an old Asian lady living out of her car, she parks on my street. Every time I pass her she’s not moving, but she is in the middle of doing something; getting something from a bag, making her bed, staring. I’m pretty convinced that she is a buddha, lost in such deep states of conservation that she’s actively preserving energy by moving so slowly, like a slug.

walking the dog
under half moon sky—
tracing chemtrails


Practice

I was sitting on the couch the other day, slouched, when i happened to notice my belly bobbing; up and down, up and down. For some reason it struck me, so i stayed with it, trying not to take it over and make a ‘good’ breath happen, i just watched and felt. This is it, this is breathing. This is what i was doing while watching tv, while flipping through my phone, while occupying my time. This is it, just this. And the moment went away.

I do that a lot; try to make a good breath. What is a good breath? Is it one where i feel all tingly after, is it one where i watch it going in and then trail off into thought as it peaks only to retrain my focus on the out and then think, yeah i watched it that time, that was good. I can try to take control, i want to take control, but it rarely turns out the way i like it, there’s always something that needs to be tweaked, so that i can attain to something that perhaps isn’t even there. I always have another reason to take over, to make my breath fit into my definition of a good breath, but it turns out awkward and unfulfilling.

I’ve noticed this in my daily life as well, be it with myself, my kids or my wife; i have an expectation and try to take control of the outcome so that it fits within my definition of good, though the outcome always ends just like my breathing, and so i have to look within, and ask what is the intention and are my actions in line, i have to drop my idea of the good and recognize that control is an illusion, that there will always be something to tweak, and that regardless if things turn out the way i wanted i will still be left feeling a little unsatisified.

Habitually taking control -loosen up and let things happen.