2012 Year In Review Haibun

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This poem is in approximate haibun style. Haibun consists of haiku interspersed with short prose pieces. This poem consists of Haiku-like poems interspersed with verses written in the rhythms of ordinary speech.

Ma 60.jpg

2012 year in review

(Actually beginning from December 15th 2011)

Thanks to TS Eliot for verse 15)

Five birthday cakes

A total of sixty candles

In Britain I would be a pensioner.

It was the year I knew I was growing older,

A year of struggles and triumphs

As perhaps all years are

But more remarked

Because of the sixty candles.

Menorah kindling at Rhoshelyg

Caroling in the mud

Christmas pudding flaming.

It was the year I went carol singing in a Welsh village

The year I saw a mother grizzly bear with two cubs,

The year we were pulled over by the Washington State patrol

Going five miles an hour over the speed limit

And Sarah was thrilled, because it was like the movies.

Willow tree of life and death

Springs anew and green

Beside Goose Creek.

It was a year when trees befriended me.

I stood inside a hollow redwood,

Camped amid sitka spruce and mountain hemlock

And meditated beneath an ancient English oak.

Brilliant Mars with Mercury and Saturn

Venus and Jupiter conjunct in Western sky

Night falls on Bluestem trail.

It was a year of celestial events.

The perihelion of Mars lit our evening hikes.

We watched the transit of Venus in the alley

With binoculars, printer paper

And our physics graduate neighbour.

Dormant for years

White orchid awakens

Delicate, breathtaking bloom.

It was the year I worked late nights and early mornings

Compiling twenty years of herbal studies

And the year the first white-robed students

Flowered as Ayurvedic doctors.

You have received everything.

Keep practicing.

Lama's last words.

It was the year Tenge Rinpoche shed his nirmanakaya form

Meditating for three days after death

And the year Juba and Julie exchanged vows

Witnessed by squirrel and vulture.

Scent of pine smoke fills the air

Flames leap on the mother mountain

Beloved home of bears.

It was the year winter was like spring

And Summer was an inferno

Fires blazing to North, South and West,

Smoke burning throat and lungs.

The wounded surgeon plies the steel

That questions the distempered part;

Beneath the bleeding hands we feel

The sharp compassion of the healer's art.

It was the year I sprained my ankle

Five days after the doctor told me to exercise more

And the year I travelled to Hammersmith hospital for thyroid surgery

At the height of the London Olympics.

Rose perfume in my hands

Rose quartz around my neck

Unbidden, unforeseen generosity.

It was a year graced by the kindness of stangers;

The family who shared their Ramadan fast-break food with me,

The Arab woman who filled my hands with perfumed oil,

The Jesus tower builder of Antonito,

Who gave me a rose quartz Navajo necklace.

Winter Solstice twenty twelve

World didn't end

Or did it?

It was the year the Mayan calendar ended

Polar ice caps melted

And New York subway was flooded.

The year we began to notice

That our fate lies in our own hands.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on January 11, 2013 4:24 PM.

    Endings and Beginnings was the previous entry in this blog.

    Remembering Menuhin is the next entry in this blog.

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