now blowing emotion to the air
lungs and fingers and the flute
sobbing the distance between you and me
I want to be the sweet air
I want to be the wind dancing with the tree
then laughing
my want goes mute
for I am the wind dancing
with the bamboo flute


I wrote the above poem when I was only twenty. It pretty much sums up, or at least hints at, my spiritual understanding of reality to this day. I had no knowledge of Buddhism at that time, or any other spiritual learning; the understanding was innate. Or perhaps I’d been blowing that flute too long and was about to pass out!

When I saw today’s prompt on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the haiku by Soen Nakagawa reminded me of my old flute poem

One note of the shakuhachi
resounds endlessly
piercing the winter clouds

(c) Soen Nakagawa

But to today’s prompt, the idea is to write a haiku in the same tune, sense and spirit as the Soen Nakagawa haiku above. Tanka suits me better for this. 

forever along
the chamber of the gorge
a single
throaty note
from the flute

and I have to add a Butcherbird

through the gorge
from a high crag
the flute song
of a butcherbird

Butcherbirds have amazing voices and melodies that they change and improvise with. Just an ordinary black and white bird until they open their throats. As in this link, they often choose to sing in the spot with the best resonance.

9 thoughts on “flute

  1. Love, love, love “Flute!” The whole poem is wonderful but line 3 “sobbing the distance between you and me” is breathtaking, and the last 3 lines are divine!

  2. lovely words and I love the sound of butcherbirds, there’s a creepy little minor third in there sometimes that adds an extra haunting quality to the sound.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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