he answers my fire
he answers my fire
at your eyes
(See this post for an explanation of what’s going on here.)
“This is a technique that seems to happen mostly without conscious control. A writer will make a perfectly ordinary and accurate statement about common things, but due to the combination of images and ideas and what happens betwen them, a truth will be revealed about the Divine. Since we all have various ideas about what the Divine is, two readers of the same haiku may not find the same truth or revelation in it. Here, again, the reader becomes a writer to find a greater truth behind the words.
– Jane Reichhold, Writing and Enjoying Haiku
Jane played a terrible trick on me by adding a new technique in her book (Writing and Enjoying Haiku — get it, read it). In addition to the 23 previously published in her online essay, she tacked on this one, which is a problem for me because in the strictest sense I don’t actually believe in any Divine.
I mean I believe that there are things in the universe that are a lot bigger and more important than piddly little human beings, but I don’t think they’re supernatural, or conscious, or in any way direct or guide any of the affairs of heaven or earth. I think that most of what there is to know about the universe we don’t, can’t, and will never know, and I am in awe of the unimaginable complexity of it all, but I don’t think that just because our tiny brains don’t understand it and can’t explain it we must invent some other entity that does understand it.
Anyway. Enough of my heathen metaphysics. I felt that if I wanted to complete this project, I was duty-bound to attempt to write some kind of haiku that referenced or implied the existence of some kind of divine entity. But I was utterly at a loss for how to do this. So I decided to cheat. (See, I told you I was a heathen.)
I turned to my trusty friend the Book of Psalms (King James Version), one of the world’s great literary achievements, reasoning that somewhere in there must be something that resembled a haiku in some way … right?
You tell me.
turned into the drought
out of the miry clay …
upon a rock
unto deep …
the noise of waterspouts
the noise of the seas …
of the people
the trumpet …
the new moon