Haiku Reflections: Coloured Water and Leaf Stains

Today was a day for reflections.

As I walked around the lake, I thought of my old friends, the haiku masters of ancient Japan: Basho, Issa, Buson, Chiyo and so many others. I have always loved the distilled objective beauty of their poetry and the discipline of writing in tightly structured syllables. Now their words comfort me in different ways. I understand their need for solitude and their attention to almost imperceptible moments. They remind me that nothing matters and that everything is significant:

azaleas in a bucket –
in their shade, a woman
tearing up a dried codfish
(Matsuo Basho)

Azaleas and dried codfish are part of the same picture – Basho gives equal importance to the beautiful and the edible. Odd, poignant, commonplace and ephemeral things are worth noticing. So today I reflected on reflections and I wrote a series of haiku to illustrate my solitary Autumn walk around a lake in my city.

I thank all those wise Zen poets who showed me that enlightenment comes in tiny flashes when we least expect it….

Autumn colours tipped
like paint into glossy depths
of steel smooth water.


Bronze, rose, sepia,
crimson, honey, cadmium,
burnt sienna, gold…


An artist’s brushes
dipped and washed in a jar of
silken lake water.


Copper branches dance
in a pewter shimmer while
leaves rustle above…


Ducks plop and paddle
on a watery canvas
of autumn colour.


Clouds float – white on blue…
Do they know whether they glide
through sky or water?


Leaf stains pattern the
concrete pavement under a
web of bare branches.


© Anita Patel, 2015

3 thoughts on “Haiku Reflections: Coloured Water and Leaf Stains

  1. These are lovely Anita … haiku and photos. Sorry I haven’t popped in before. I followed your blog but didn’t notice that the follow didn’t automatically give me email notification. I don’t use Reader. Anyhow, hopefully I’ve fixed it up now.

    Liked by 1 person

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