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MANDALA HAIKU by Tammy T. Stone

I am still in the early stages of coming to terms with writing haiku...

... though they have long pulled me in to their world of brevity, bright clarity, wisdom and naked, emotive imagery. I’m a novice! I read the works of Bashō and other great haiku poets, and am humbled by their brilliance, and inspired to live, breathe and encounter this world as I imagine they must have, to make my way toward insights and expressions such as these:

In the cicada's cry
No sign can foretell
How soon it must die.  
Matsuo Bashō

Blowing from the west
Fallen leaves gather
In the east. 
Yosa Buson

Don’t weep, insects -
Lovers, stars themselves,
Must part. 
Kobayashi Issa

Though I love writing in almost every form, from the personal essay, to short stories and other forms of poetry, there is something that keeps me trying my hand at haiku. Doing so feels only like a great writing practice but a spiritual one as well (aren’t all our practices spiritual at heart?). The haiku invites us to distill our emotions, experiences and sensory life into their deepest essence, so that we can better understand ourselves as we journey toward communicating our lived experiences with the world.

I was guided by instinct to create mandala using a computer program that allows me to use my own photographs as the source imagery. Though the original images are completely obscured, the final mandala would be impossible without them. Outer beauty meets with ethereal, cosmic source! So, too, with the haiku, that most vivid snapshot of our unique experiences, which are forever hidden outside the context of their moment of occurrence, but serve as the foundation and inspiration for the words we can then bring into shared experience.

I’d like to thank Catherine Ghosh from the bottom of my heart for holding my mandala haiku into her brilliant, creative hands and weaving her magic to make the beautiful video below, featuring the stunning, serene music of Paul Avgerinos. Catherine continues to help me see and understand that every work of art is part of a greater whole, and that we shine so much brighter through the lens of a shared vision. Thank you, Catherine, for bringing this video into life!  

The Haiku
by Tammy T. Stone

Birth of autumn
Even the wind hears it
Even the mountain knows

Languid evenings
Telling stories of
Autumn’s crisp embers

A bellyful
Of Dreams

Cicadas breathe
Morning’s song
Beneath closed eyes

Raindrop rests
On green and gold
Lilypad sutra

Soft morning sleep
Light falls on

Miles from home
Kissing the long
Long road of awakening
Sun and moon my

Soft wordless air
On ocean crests
Edging toward the horizon

The wise ones
Who say so little
Teach in being

Turning my gaze
To where the sun
Meets the moon

A love borne
Of sky chasing
Heart voyages

Beauty waits patiently
For the drama to unfold
For the fire to unleash

Rain falls
Of far off mountains
Mystic dreaming

Red shines off green
The flower’s essence
Without thought

Light guides
In shadow
We seek

Soft wind
Hushed treetops
I climb, I climb

The world
In a Moon’s
Slow revelation

Through fear
There is a mountain
Capped in purest snow

Be like a bamboo
Holy body dreams
The dawn rising

Swim on sand
Follow sun right
Into the moon

Summer rain
I sit with the old tree
In reverence of life’s
Golden light
Pouring down

Prism of our shared hope
Reflected in one
Raindrop after the storm.

(Click play to enjoy the meditational video!) 

Tammy T. Stone is a Canadian writer, photographer and chronicler of life as it passes through us. Always a wanderer, she's endlessly mesmerized by people, places and everything in between; the world is somehow so vast and so small. She feels so lucky to have been able to work, learn, live and travel far and wide, writing, photographing and wellness-practicing along the way. She invites you to see some of her recent photography here and to connect with her on her writer's pagetwitter and her blog, There’s No War in World, here.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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