Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saryu's haiku

"willow tree"  calligraphy

Without a brush
The willow paints the wind.


We brushed this haiku in class Tuesday.  My calligraphy here is somewhat willow-like, breeze-lifted.  While we were in class, outdoors there was great wind.  We were under a tornado warning!

Saryu's surname and his lifespan's dates are not known, evidently (unless you know them).   This haiku is from a book from The Art Institute of Chicago,  Zen Haiku, selections and translations by Jonathan Clements.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

blue flags

blue flags in the field

Blue flags are a wild iris that grow around here.  They are small and fine, delicate.  Yet, they are tough, they will not give up their patch of  field easily, and they can spread if they have enough water.  The ones I saw were almost hidden, surrounded by field.  Here, the painting has lifted them high in the field, undaunted by the grasses or the woods beyond.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

woods and flowers

rhododendron and woods

Back and forth between the cultivated and the wild:  most of us like to go there:  you too?

This little painting started as a site sketch at the large garden of a nearby school called Aquinas.  The painting, mostly pastel, also looks emblematic of the site where our friends S and Fr live on Cape Cod.  Their house's yard is surrounded by very large rhododendrons, and the yard verges in the back up to 800-plus acres of protected woods.  We have been much thinking of our friends this month, so this scene, rhododendron and woods, getting through onto my paper as two places, not one, shouldn't surprise me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

in the deep heart's core

William Butler Yeats wrote The Lake Isle of Innisfree in 1895.  He was in London, pavements all around, when he heard the sound of water lapping in a fountain and thought of his boyhood/ island/ the sea.  Here is his poem.  Here also is a link to Yeats himself reciting the poem:  .

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
  And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
  And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
  Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
  And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
  I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
  I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Often I call upon this poem and say some lines and, hearing the words, I am calmed.  This past two weeks I have been in two great cities, Chicago and Boston.  There, amid great strength and beauty; still, Yeats's poem has wafted to me at times, clearly, with music, with magic.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gillian's wonderful poem

On the drifting roof
survives a Tsunami dog
hell crossing to sing--

     -Gillian Huang-Tiller
Gillian is brushing up to Issa, which makes her own poem even more layered, wonderful.  Here is Issa (who lived in Japan from 1763 - 1828):

in this world
we walk on the roof of hell
gazing at flowers