A hiatus, haiku & the siren blackbird

I’ve been planning for a while to do a month of short posts just to get the feel of it rather than letting the thoughts gather into a big heap. So October – starting with All-Ireland Poetry Day – is LettersfromLadyN month.

It’s been haiku season since my last entry. I now know a lot about what is not a haiku, and am greatly encouraged by a textbook which tells me that Basho, Buson, Issa had their bad days; and their disciplies were simply struggling… and let’s not mention Western haiku.

The time came to produce a haiku-on-demand (new season at the Writers’ Group) and I was hit by an aural image from earlier in the year.  The songbirds came back in force this late spring, now that my lovely Mew is no longer here to bother them (though mice seemed to be more her thing, I’d always thought). Perhaps they were re-claiming their territory but lauds and vespers seemed to be brought directly to me by massed thrush choirs. One particularly loud member of the blackbird family clearly got its riff from the local ambulance service because I was woken each morning after five by an ambulance tearing through Church street and up onto Irish Street.. followed by contented chirping. It was almost impossible to tell the ambulance siren  and the blackbird apart, but in the evening I’d just say – most likely the blackbird. In the early hours I woke up startled – every time. I wondered what the other thrushes thought? Now I’m wondering for the first time – what happens to the songbirds? So quiet now and it isn’t such a long time ago.

The other thing that struck me while reading up on haiku was the similarity in landscape – the moon, the cherry blossom, cranes, blackbirds – could so easily be here. But then, of course, there is the wash of the translator. Would that we were able to carry the tune flawlessly like the siren blackbird.

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