We’re at the nature center on a hot day in May. Our boisterous group scrambles through tall grass and wildflowers to the frog pond. A ridiculously narrow walkway curves around one side, right beside the water. Our guide immediately tells us to sit down and listen. She pulls armfuls of long-handled scoops and small flat pans out of a shed. Her instructions are simple: either sit cross-legged or lie on your stomach to scoop water from the pond, then put the water into your pan and look closely. See what you can find.
One child refuses to sit down or even stay on the walkway. He runs up the path and watches through the trees. Another child just sits and stares at the huge bullfrog in the middle of the pond, wondering how long of a stick he needs to knock it off its log. A few other boys decide it’s a lot more fun to stick their hands directly in the water and pull up muck from the bottom. The rest of us plug happily along with our scoops, doing what we are expected to do.
Soon the complaints of heat and boredom turn into exclamations of wonder. There are things in the water that we have never seen before – tiny, almost transparent beings. Our guide tells us to think of a name for these new-found creatures. We gather in a circle to share our pans of water, to help each other see what was hidden in the pond. This child puts down the muck. That child comes out of the trees. They decide with loud voices to call the new creatures “ghost worms.” Adults look at each other, whispering “Shouldn’t she teach them the real name? How is this educational?”
In the end, she did teach us the real names, for those and all the other creatures we saw that day, but I don’t remember the scientific words. I do remember the patience she had with us and the sheer joy of everyone in our group when we discovered something that had always been there – but we had never taken the time to look closely enough to see it.
And with that, I offer you the Summer 2013 Showcase. I’d like to thank everyone who jumped in and made this a great experience for me, and I thank Marie for making this guest editorship possible. So, go ahead — stick your hands in the water. Let us know what you find.
into the abyss
in the garden
my daughter’s voice
rain the white sky
scent of moonrise
I wait too long
through marigold alleys
she’s almost gone
Mark E. Brager
earthshine . . .
in the pine’s shadow
the weight of the sky
in your wings
morning mist . . .
the mountain slowly
cracked sky . . .
the storm echoing
shades of white
a brief silence then
rainbow . . .
teach me the essence
stream the clouds weight
I put my morning tea
in the refrigerator
hanging from the ancient apple tree
a ladybug clings to the windshield
through the open window
that stiff line of-
her blind date–
not enough spice
in the ratatouille
through the moss
i thought dead
pine boughs waver
with each bird
crows // hip hop from the mailman’s van
too many thoughts all at once and the frantic wind chimes
whatever life throws at me // appleblossom&hailstones
after the rain // trees dripping with birdsong
revealing each other // dust motes and a shaft of sunlight
incoming tide // sunglint in the spin of the angler’s reel
resolving itself around me shingle beach
you remind me of someone i used to be // hillside stream
*Due to the idiosyncrasies of WordPress, these offerings are not quite as originally presented by Mark. MM.
the geese split
into smaller V’s
first day of planting seed moon
of the old curb
tiny shadows between
the piano keys
a worm wriggles
out of my fingers
I take my pills
all at once
the scent of pine
Notable publications received:
Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years
Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, Allan Burns (editors)
2013, New York, W W Norton & Company, pp.439
A New Resonance 8
Jim Kacian & Dee Evetts (editors)
2013, Winchester VA, Red Moon Press, pp.175
The next Showcase at the zen space will be Autumn 2013 which will be released, subject to karma, on 1st October 2013.
Please note the copyright of all written work and images used in this showcase and elsewhere in the zen space is held by the creating artist/author, even where not explicitly stated, and may not be used elsewhere without permission.
Would anyone whose browser makes any part of this Showcase look peculiar please get in touch.