Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Five Sunflowers

Today fits strangely— as wearing an undersized shirt, too tight in the collar and too constricting across the chest. Everything is out of the regular pattern of the week. It does not help that I forgot to post verses for two days; little chaotic events of mundane living interrupted my habitual records. Momentarily I even tried reworking closing phrases on my current project— but the words fell flat, rushed. One of the valid comments I received from an on-going workshop session stated that the ending sounds contrived... and I think I see what she is referring to in fact. Yet, feelings of claustrophobia inhibit the writing process.
The poem below approaches the tanka creation concept in a different direction than usual. In this case, I took a finalized haiku sentence and supplied fourteen additional syllables of phrasing. The resulting tanka (169) then overlaps with the previous generated haiku (566), acting as a blurring of personal memory, bridging the two verses as one idea— the way that recollections emerge into the waking consciousness without warning while one is in the middle of a casual act: washing a dish, closing a book, noticing the hour.

At first, I thought this action would lessen the precept of the exercise or make allowances for passive constructions— yet, I do like the manner the two projects work together as one developing series of thoughts: declaration and secondary observation, or in some cases, point and counterpoint.

Five Sunflowers

168 / for no apparent reason, you recall her dark hair in morning light— how she always arranged sun flowers in clusters of five—


  1. Put the Project to one side for a wee while. Come back to it in a day or two. Let it tumble in your head without conscious thought and effort. Sometimes we are too close to our own work to see clearly. There's a line in (my personal favourite) the Seamus Heaney poem ('North'): 'keep your eye clear as the bleb of the icicle; trust the feel of what nubbed treasure your hands have known'. Your Project is becoming that nubbed treasure - but whilst you are too mindful of it your eye will not be clear.

  2. ps I love your sunflower tanka.