Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wildflowers, Haiku and Impermanence (Change)

Always too much of a hurry I'm in.  The rush towards finish line and next project contributed largely in part to my aortic dissection (along with genetic tendencies).

Haiku and Wildflowers, both are forever evolving, Kevin Songer
Being present in the moment and Zen are practices I am still learning of, wanting to tap into their health benefits.  Health practitioners speak of cardiovascular, mental and life quality gains to be had through focusing on breathing and the here and now.

And so writing short verse opens doors leading to an understanding of life's meaning.  Being still and knowing the cosmos are magically penultimate. 

I use the word 'magically' to mean 'ever changing, not-constant and unknowable.

Life is refined daily through natural selection processes.  Nature does this.  Humans do this too with hybrid crops and domestic animals.

Perfection doesn't exist.  There is always an unfolding.

My haiku, or short verse also teaches me about constant change.  It is hard to imagine seventeen syllables would have any relation to infinity, eternity and constant change.  But they do.

First of all my wildflower short verse poems have deep roots.  I generally spend a couple days researching each plant's botany, medicinal uses, growing requirements, wildlife value and historical references.  This is after I've familiarized myself with the plant while out on my nature hikes.  I mean how can I seriously write about something I'm not truly familiar with?

Once I've assembled several pages of research scribble summaries the wildflower information can be distilled into a number of 'tags'.  Simply put 'tags' are phrases describing interesting wildflower thoughts.

Tags form the basis of each haiku line.  Some are suitable for five syllable lines, others for seven syllable patterns.

Once seventeen syllables (plus or minus) are compiled the natural selection process begins.  As I read and reread the short verse I am also constantly substituting and rearranging words to refine the one breath poetry into the meaning I am trying to convey.

When the haiku sounds 'ok' it is set aside until the next day.  Day two sees more changes as do all the days over the next weeks, months and years.

It is so interesting to see how short verse grows in beauty with time and reflection.  Like plant and wildflower natural selection, haiku's existence blooms in charm over time through refinement.

And like life, my haiku never reaches perfection.

Heraclitus' saying, 'there is nothing permanent but change', perfectly describes the birth, life and transformation of my haiku, wildflowers, life and the cosmos.

I can read a haiku written two years ago and experience the lightbulb moment where a new word or phrase seems to best convey meaning.  Then the next day another phrase appears to be more suitable.  Over time and with change the verse reads smoother and conveys vivid thoughts. 

Wildflowers (and all life) evolve in the same way.  One gaillardia seed may randomly produce a color array with more attraction qualities to pollinators.  With the seasons this hybrid is more suitable for continued existence.

But neither haiku nor wildflower stay as they are.  They always change.  And this is life.  And this is good because it is.

There is no permanence.  There is only change.

And so when I read my haiku, poetry and short verse I don't flinch when I see a need for change.

For this is my verse following the ways of the cosmos.

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