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Cherry blossoms in Kyoto. Photo by Kathleen Franks

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto. Photo by Kathleen Franks

Bejeweled

a petal falls
you
across the table

Steve Sanfield

The following is an excerpt from Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan:

[...] as in the Zen oxherding paintings, the herder has to return to the marketplace and be in the world, in relation to others. Ultimately, of course, we are never out-of-relationship, since we are interdependent, part of the Hindu vision of the world and universe as “the net of Indra,” in which each person is a jewel point in each corner of the net, reflecting all the other jewels.

[...] since we reflect each other and cannot hide who we really are when dealing with “the other” sitting across the table: the old raging father, the sad lover, or the whining child or cat. This very moment without escape, a petal falls, and there we are facing each other.

Steve Sanfield (b. 1940) is a fine American haiku poet, at home in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Sanfield is a storyteller, folklorist, and editor of Zero: A Journal of Contemporary Buddhist Life and Thought. His collection of poetry includes, A New Way, Only the Ashes, and Crocuses in the Snow. He calls these poems “hoops” rather than “haiku” because they include the “season of the heart”, as in the Native American’s sacred hoop or circle.

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Cover photo by Kathleen Franks

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