The wild turkeys around here are so shy that I can only take photos from far away, sometimes through a window. If I open the door they run away. The photo here shows part of a family that includes more babies and another adult who took up the rear.
I wrote this tanka thinking about the writing of Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826) featured in the July 21 On the Road prompt. If you like writing or reading haiku and related forms, you may enjoy Suzanne’s essays on this prompt site. There are no time limits for participation.
Inspired by Suzanne’s On the Road, my haiku emerges from a memory of a retreat where I spent hours walking through shady woods on rough rock paths. I recall a clearing on a small hilltop where a stupa stood.
Monks at the foot of the mountain offered rooms, then we climbed the ridge to the temple, scrambling up through ancient gnarled pine and oak, gray smooth stones and moss. The temple doors, built on rocks, were bolted. I crawled among boulders to make my bows at shrines. The silence was profound. I sat, feeling my heart begin to open.
From Basho’s “Narrow Road to the Deep North” quoted here.
As we turn every corner of the Narrow Road to the Deep North, we sometimes stand up unawares to applaud and we sometimes fall flat to resist the agonizing pains we feel in the depths of our hearts. There are also times when we feel like taking to the roads ourselves, seizing the raincoat lying near by, or times when we feel like sitting down till our legs take root, enjoying the scene we picture before our eyes.– Soruyo
Contemplating this quote offered by Suzanne of On the Road and life as I know it, I wrote this tanka:
“I set out on a journey of a thousand leagues, packing no provisions. I leaned on the staff of an ancient who, it is said, entered into nothingness under the midnight moon.”~Matsuo Basho, The Record of a Weather-exposed Skeleton – his first travel journal.
Thinking about travelling lightly, I wrote the following haiku. Many thanks to Suzanne for her third On the Road prompt which touches issues I continue to grapple with. For those readers who did not join the Brownies or have sisters who did, ‘Be prepared’ is a Brownie motto.
It’s painful to witness an illness that cannot be cured. The only buttress is feeling the dignity that prevails. Suzanne’s second On the Road prompt helps me find some solace…nobody deserves to end their life in suffering.
Suzanne is launching a new bi-weekly prompt series called ‘On the Road—Prompts for Haiku, Haibun and Haiku.’ The introductory post explains her vision:
We are all travelling some kind of road – the road of life – the road to the deep interior – the road to nowhere – the road to recovery – the road home … Our journeys can be physical and/or metaphorical; inner and outer.
On the Road prompts focus on various aspects of the journey. Two prompts are posted each week. One on Wednesday and the other on Saturday (Australian EST).
The prompts are offered as suggestions for haiku, haibun and haiga.
The first prompt is an old Irish blessing “May the Road Rise up to Meet You”. My first response is a haiku and the second is a tanka. After I wrote it I realized that a tanka may be outside the scope of this challenge…that remains to be clarified.