Wednesday, March 10, 2010

returning geese

si bi luo yan

Four leaves of bamboo painted in such a way that they are said to be luo  yan, "like a wild goose alighting."  This is an instruction to painting students, on a page in The Mustard Seed Manual of Painting, in the chapter on Bamboo.  Each time I practice this arrangement, the wild goose/bamboo leaves look different:  sometimes pensive, sometimes free, sometimes a bit gangly!  We have returning geese in our skies every day now, and we can hear their honking above us often before we even see them.  Oh wonderful reunions.

Emerging from
the regions of the moon--
the first wild geese

(Hatsukari ya
tsuki no soba yori

I came across this haiku, by Miura Chora (1729 - 1780), in a 1995 exhibition book entitled HAIGA by Stephen Addiss.  A haiga, a haiku-painting, by Chora was on the same page with the haiku.  It is lovely, three black geese.  I hope that you and I see this haiga (again) and more of Chora's work someday.

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