haiga, haiku, philosophy, photography, science

Mortality and Defiance

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~ Mortality #1 ~
Emergent
from dancing atoms,
life is short.
~ Mortality #2 ~
I live life
with defiant joy,
all the way.

Defiance ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #328

An earlier version of this post responded to a challenge inspired by Basho’s last haiku, written when he knew he was dying.  Contributors were asked to imagine Basho writing a haiku for his closest followers from his deathbed.  While I admired the resulting excellent sad poems, I defied the expectation of sadness and imagined Basho rallying briefly to encourage his companions with a pair of short haiku in 3-5-3.

My response to the previous challenge bungled the initial line of Mortality #2.  My first thought was that Basho might tell his followers to

Live your lives / with defiant joy, / …

Telling people like me how to live is a reliable way to elicit angry defiance, so I rejected my first thought, neglected to defy my own fondness for alliteration, and settled on

Let’s live life / with defiant joy, / …

despite some misgivings.  Hmmm.  Wish I had used

I lived life / with defiant joy, / …

as what Basho might say on his deathbed.  Hmmm.  I can use it now in the present tense because I am still fairly healthy for my age, in defiance of the odds against those who bungle things more consequential than a line of poetry.  So I use it in the revised Mortality #2 here, with defiant joy.

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haiga, haiku, photography

Sunny Day at Niagara Falls

Wet thunder booms as
water sweeps itself away.
A rainbow lingers.

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Photo of Iguazu Falls © Marcio Chagas | Unsplash
(Image has been cropped.)

My haiku was inspired by the contrast between loud rushing water and a silent steady rainbow, as pondered by Boris Glikman in a prose poem about a visit to Niagara Falls.  The contrast cried out to be displayed in the kind of deliberate swerve common in haiku poetry, often between the middle and final lines.

I wrote the haiku, searched for an appropriate image to make a haiga, and was happy to see a hover caption (on one of the Unsplash pages linking to the photo used here) that placed the photo at Niagara Falls.  I am grateful to Andrew Porteus for noticing that it’s really at Iguazu Falls and providing a much needed adjustment to the photo credit when posting the haiga to the Niagara Falls Poetry Project.

My blunder reminds me of my one point of agreement with Ronald Reagan and a great meme:

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Meme as posted by Troll Quotes on Pinterest

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flowers, haiga, haiku, humor, photography

Mountain Laurel

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Coming soon:
pink nectar chalice,
bumblebee.

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Start the day with a triple espresso?  The bee did but I didn’t.  While shooting laurel blooms in soft light, I was distracted by the hyperkinetic bee.  Neglected to force quick shutter speeds when tracking it.  (The camera chose 1/200 of a second.)  Got one shot with blurred legs but an in-focus tongue, just as the bee was landing.  Otherwise, a blurry bee was mooning me.  That’s life.  Enjoy the good stuff and cope with the rest.

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