On my daughter's insistent demand that it's time for me to enjoy my retirement, I moved to a senior community place euphemistically called Leisure World. On the early morning of that first day, I thought I smelt the aroma of a freshly brewed coffee, so half-awake, I hurriedly walked to the kitchen dreamingly half-expecting a homey breakfast with my late wife.
Unfortunately, I accidentally bumped my head on the bedroom's slightly open door and felt blood oozing from my forehead to my eyes. I sidestepped to the bathroom, snatched a bunch of toilet paper and pressed them tightly over the wound. With my right hand on my forehead, I used my left hand to dial for help.
A paramedic examined the wound and, obviously to lessen the gravity of the situation and put me at ease, he proclaimed with impish grin and studied flair that it was only a cut and no stitches are needed. He then cleaned, dressed and bandaged my head wound, while softly humming a tune.
Blurting repeated thanks while escorting him to the door, I glimpsed a shaft of early morning light gradually piercing and bathing my sleepy neighborhood.
Staring tomorrow, August 14 to 18, the 2013 Haiku North America convention will be held at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. More than 100 haiku enthusiasts will be coming from as far as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, India, Canada and the United States from north to south, and east to the western shore of California. At the book fair event, one of the many activities lined up, I will be displaying my 3 books, Rustle of bamboo leaves, Haiku and Tanka Harvest, and ABC to enlightenment. Here is a link to the site of the convention:
As member of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, I warmly greet and welcome all the participants and guests.
In addition to social ills and human violence there is another theme which inspires Victor’s poetic sensibility – death. The most painful and saddest of all is the death of his own beloved wife which occurred in 2003. Sad as it is, Victor has been brave and strong enough to sublimate his sorrow and pain into creating deep and serious poems (haiku, tanka etc.) about death itself. They are far from being sentimental or morbid. Most others run away from this taboo of all taboos.
her roses bloom
side by side with weeds
to her grave
The life Victor has built in his adopted country for his family he raised with his late wife there and for himself is full, free and peaceful. Beyond his share of vicissitudes Victor seems to have earned tranquillity and serenity. It is a remarkable achievement...
the smell of clean earth
after the rain
Victor is probably more of a settler than a traveller. His job as a librarian must have given him intellectual detachment and the power of keen observation. His humility and honesty have opened a shortest route to truths. They also seem to have made him able to accept “the unknowable” and “the undoable” calmly. All this, without being armed with Zen, Oriental mysticism, or cumbersome Western haiku theory and rules.
thinking of what ifs
and what might have beens
Luckily for him, Victor is a natural for haiku. However, that is only half the story. The other half tells us that he makes tremendous efforts to be better, listens attentively, observes like a scientist and opens his heart to what is there for everybody to see.
In answer to my question he says, “Haiku enable me to see the world as it is, warts and all, and embrace any and all happenings both in nature itself and human nature, with me remaining non-judgmental yet involved. It requires discipline yet makes me aware of macro and micro happenings around me.” And whatever happens around him, Victor’s heart remains with his late wife.