desire, spring kigo apparently, but it’s autumn


that tree skeleton
on the hill top
in the dusk

no one for miles —
I draw with a stick
in red sand

the beach empty
but for one old dog
that limps

It’s Autumn. Early, but even so, trees are turning and leaves tumble across the ground. It is a confused season here, because the summer is so hot and dry that there is a surge of new growth and seeds sprouting, green after grey. Even the wild plum out my window put forth a few flowers.

Traditionally Autumn is full of longing. Things are leaving you, dying, becoming dormant. It is midlife and the movement into old age. The fallow of winter approaches. But not here. Here it is a season of regrowth and hope.

I don’t know why desire would be a spring kigo. Except perhaps one’s heart wishes it could join the dance of life, is stirred but impotent. Desire is every season, at least according to the Buddha, who stated desire is the basis for suffering and said ‘All life is suffering’, and that’s true eventually. Even the things that give us the most joy will end in suffering because, even if there is no other reason, they end.

But in the meantime, let’s dance. Buddha said the way out of suffering is non attachment, and it does do the job. But I’m quite attached to my attachments. And who wouldn’t be attached to spring growth for example, which won’t last. Perhaps that is why it is down in Jane Reichhold’s A Dictionary of Haiku as a spring kigo.

in the open face
of a single flower
all my dead



Carpe Diem #437, Desire

5 thoughts on “desire, spring kigo apparently, but it’s autumn

  1. Belinda, I don’t even want to get started with superlatives…wouldn’t know where to stop! But the ending haiku is beyond superlatives anyway — (superlative of your choice)! Jane does have “desire” listed as a spring kigo. AND…she also has it listed as a fall kigo (pg. 171, two haiku). Who woulda thunk it!

    Ron — computer problems big time!.

  2. I am enjoying your explanations. I was not taught traditional words for haiku. Just the basic counting of syllables. So I have never really followed season words. Just telling a brief accounting of whatever I fancy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s