Is yearning the disconsolate sigh deep inside the crimson heart of the rosebud, heard only by the waiting butterfly? Is yearning the lone silver tendril that wraps around a reluctant sunbeam as fevered breath shivers in the arms of a winter night? Or is yearning the bent crease of an origami moon that watches its reflection in the depths of a single star-flecked tear?

Would that this, our world,
Might be ever as it is!
What a lovely scene!
See that fisherwoman’s boat,
Rope-drawn, rowed along the beach.
(by Kamakura no Udaijin in Clay MacCauley’s translation of the anthology Hyakunin Isshu-93)

Or, perhaps, yearning is just time bent eight different ways to make portable skies, with acquiescent clouds of tomorrows and yesterdays, that smell of crushed strings of jasmine and flutter like the golden patterns of woven silk sarees in the uncertain lamp light.

inside the cuckoo’s song
wet moonlight stains
on new mango leaves

Linked to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai where the prompt asks for a haiku/tanka that inspired us as well as an all-new haiku to go with it.

9 thoughts on “Yearning

  1. Beautifully constructed, and I noticed the difference between your richly-textured and searching words compared to Kamakura no Udaijin’s, where smplicity is the key. The contrast is interesting, startling, and makes both styles stronger. A very mysterious haiku,


    1. Rightly pointed out… it’s important to learn to paint pictures with very simple ideas and words… minimalist writing is also a function of how much clarity and honesty the writer has, I suppose, that is why I struggle with it. 🙂


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