Poetry Month #6: Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

Haibun:The messenger

Predawn dark . . . unable to sleep, I open the door and step out on to the lawn, look around the potted plants and suddenly see one pure white flower in full bloom. I marvel at its perfection and touch its petals gently . . . then I come inside and read about it.
I go outside again and photograph it to send it by email to a friend half way across the world . . . .

weaving into
that relationship once more—
one frayed thread
________________________________________
Author’s Note: The white hibiscus a perennial with healing properties is a symbol of divinity, innocence, purity and royal beauty. In Japanese hanakotoba, the hibiscus means “gentle” and it can be given to more or less anyone simply as a nice present, there are no strong emotions or questions of relationships attached to it.
 Previously published in :Haibun Today  Volume 8, Number 1, March 2014

Poetry Posts First International Contributor–Angelee Deodhar

There are ten poetry posts on Santa Fe Community College’s campus. I’m still curating them, if retired. Yesterday I walked the posts and put up 10 haibun from Angelee Deodhar in India. They speak of her many journeys, inner and outer.

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The Courtyard in Campus Center has two posts.

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Courtyard C may have an uninspired name–but it’s a lovely serene spot to the east.

The post closest to the Fitness Center has a gray water faucet on it. And a neighboring post for birds:

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Here is one haibun. But to see the rest you’ll have to take a walk!
***

Nirvana

Pilgrims, old people, lovers, mendicants, families, childless couples hoping to be blessed with offspring, all promising offerings in gold, silver, coins or paper money, all seeking something . . . blessings from a swayambhu stone phallic symbol . . . they flock to this mountain shrine every summer crossing treacherous terrain, rocky streams . . . making the keepers of the faith rich, those who could have helped but did not warn the thousands of the impending disaster, that they should move to higher ground . . . and then came the rain . . .

The shrine is surrounded by precarious shanties clinging to the mountainside, by hotels, houses, shops selling everything for worship . . . whatever one needs to appease the gods . . . flowers, coconuts, tinsel, veils, saffron, incense, betel nuts and empty plastic bottles to take the sacred waters home . . .

Sudden flash floods following slashing rain brings down the dwellings hanging by a prayer . . . the deluge furious washes it all away except the black stone shrine housing god . . . the brass Nandi remains upright facing the lingam . . . after the raging torrent subsides the debris of rocks and boulders are interspersed with dead bodies plundered by those left alive . . . sadhus steal from the dead . . . those with a few rations left steal from the living . . . the river accepts the human sacrifice and rushes on . . . and then the rain . . .

touching wood
on her wall and desk
the primeval forest

Swayambhu means “self–manifested” or “that which is created by its own accord”.

The lingam, meaning “mark”, “sign”, “inference,” is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples. Sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa (liberation), the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation. Sādhus often wear saffron–colored clothing, symbolizing their sanyāsa (renunciation).

Nandi is now universally supposed to be the name for the bull which serves as the mount (Sanskrit: Vahana) of the god Shiva and as the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati.

In June 2013, the North Indian states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, some regions of Western Nepal and their adjoining areas experienced heavy rainfall that triggered devastating floods and landslides. Damage to bridges and roads left over 70,000 pilgrims and tourists trapped in various places many of whom were rescued but more than 1,000 people have died with many more are still missing.

Beam Walking By Bill Waters

Beam-Walking
 
When I was little, I asked my brother what was in the attic. “Nothing,” he said, and added that you had to keep your feet on the beams or you’d fall through the ceiling.
 
The only beams I knew of were sunbeams, which filtered through the air vents on each side of the house. I wondered how they enabled you to walk without falling through, and I worried about what would happen if the sun went behind a cloud while you were standing on them.
 
don’t look down!
this high-wire act
called life

Haibun by Angelee Deodhar–Posted in honor of the Hindu New Year

jan-14
Click to enlarge

Haibun :Dharavi

An Om symbol painted on one adobe shanty with a corrugated tin roof stands close to an identical green painted one. An old man smokes his hubble- bubble pipe while reading the local paper in Urdu. Bollywoood music blares from somewhere far away, drowning out the Christmas carols in the hut opposite. Urchins run to catch the wind with their kites. The smaller children play with spinning tops or make things out of mud, gods and goddesses and houses for them.

The girls help their mothers cook the sweet jiggery rice pudding for the New Year’s feast and also in painting a rice paste kolam just outside the entrance to their humble home. Today they don’t have to go to their sewing classes or take tourists around to see how and where slumdogs live .

soft clay on the wheel
the potter’s hands
shape mine

railway mosque –
a flash of blue
a kingfisher takes off

Notes from the author:
Haiku previously published Frogpond, Vol. 37:2, 2014 and in http://creatrix.wapoets.net.au/Feb 2014

Dharavi is a locality in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.[1] Its slum is one of the largest in the world;[1][2][3][4]  Dharavi is currently the second-largest slum in the continent of Asia Dharavi is also one of the most densely populated areas on Earth.
The Dharavi slum was founded in 1882 during the British colonial era, and grew in part because of an expulsion of factories and residents from the peninsular city centre by the colonial government, and from the migration of poor rural Indians into urban Mumbai (then called Bombay).[  For this reason, Dharavi is currently a highly multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and diverse settlement
Kolam (Tamil-) Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots. In South India that is drawn by using rice flour/chalk/chalk powder/white rock powder often using naturally/synthetically colored powders .It is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their house

image by Leonara Enking 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi#/mediaa href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi#/media”>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi#/media</a>/File:Shanty_dwellings,_Railway_tracks_and_Mosque_in_Dharavi_Slum_Mumbai_India_February_2010.jpg

Ekphrastic Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

getpart
Click to enlarge. The text is also replicated below for ease of reading.

Ekphrastic Haibun: Remnants

For months my friend and I have exchanged quotes, jokes and news of our families. On more than one occasion she sent me cards she had made herself… a collage of paper flowers, lace and sequins on stiff card paper. I marvel at the suppleness and dexterity of the hands, now stiff with arthritis of this former concert pianist, who sends these miniature works of art, half a world away.

I am reminded of a postcard by Charles Spencelayh, an English painter, around 1920. Its title is “The Lacemaker (Mrs Newell Making Lace)”. Recently ,I sent her a packet of different scraps of coloured lace and some U.S. stamps to cover the postage she would need to send some more cards.

crickets –
koi swim through
lacy blue clouds

Fleece by Gary LeBel

Fleece

Toward evening the asphalt glitters with mica. Out of a flurry of rustling leaves, they step shoulder-to-shoulder out of the forest and onto the tar, five in all.

Twitching tails and intensely curious, they lengthen timid necks, wiggle their ears and widen their nostrils for a fresh appraisal, their huge brown eyes never leaving us, Beauty having draped them with her finest bolt of russet fleece.

Sensing that our intentions are amiable, the young deer move shyly past us and continue on across the road and to wherever twilight is leading them.

With footsteps nearly soundless,
they vanish as they first appeared, as one thought fades into another or into dream,
or memory or sleep

blows
through the flowering goldenrod
every breath

Two Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

                                      Haibun:  Akshya Tritya
 
Today it is five years since he left us…meanwhile a grandchild ,now three years old is here to share our lives. He attends kindergarten ,watches Peppa Pig ,while sitting on my lap he rocks back and forth, dances to the beat of any music. We clap and sway together. When it’s cooler he leads me on to the grass as we follow an erratic path between pansies, dianthus ,phlox, portulaca and hibiscus.or chase soap bubbles,or splash like hippos in the tub. When he sleeps, I wait for him to awaken so we can continue our games.
 
summer moon-
a silver medallion
in our wine glasses
 
Note :The word “Akshaya” means the never diminishing in Sanskrit and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is a holy day for Hindus and Jains.

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Visionary Art, Baltimore. Photo Miriam Sagan.

    
                                              Haibun:                                                   Haibun :The Waltz
 
Vienna in summer,is a magical place of musical dreams.a day spent in the Schonbrunn palace gardens,taking photographs,sharing my lunch with squirrels,geese and pigeons;admiring the Greek statuary,mingling with tourists from all over the world.
 
On the second evening we went to the opera  to see a play by Puccini.The grandeur of the opera house,the magnificent paintings,the statues of the Muses ,the grand staircase worn smooth by generations of elegantly dressed people,overwhelmed me.
 
We left during the interval as my host ,a handsome gentleman in a linen suit and a crimson silk tie and I wanted to get some fresh air and see Vienna in the evening.We made an interesting couple,my European host and I in my Oriental dress, an emerald green silk  saree.
 
We walked past old buildings and fancy new ones , past cafes ,stopped to listen to street musicians.Suddenly one of my sandals broke,literally came apart at the seams and I sat on a stone bench and told my host we would have to take a taxi home as I could’nt walk in broken sandals.
 
He said ‘ Why don’t you take them off …you could walk barefoot.’ Seeing my shocked expression,he added,’ I will take off my shoes also and then we can both go barefoot’.

This made me laugh and I quickly took off the other sandal and wrapped them both in my cardigan and explored the city.Nobody seemed to notice my shoeless state, perhaps my silk saree distracted them from my feet.I felt very much at home,and even now when I think of those warm cobblestones against my feet,I smile 
                                                            
                                                     scent of pine
                                                     in the hazy moon-
                                                     another birthday

Previously published in Haiku Canada Review, 2005

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Visionary Art, Baltimore. Photo Miriam Sagan.