their heads too full
to follow the sun

I wrote this poem a while ago and consider it successful because it means a lot more than it says about my life at the time. I was just beginning to recover from a major depression. I was relearning how to be more mindful, with less nitter-natter going on in my thoughts, especially less negative self-talk. Prior to that my head was so full that I could not even see beauty let alone my ‘way’.

Most of my haiku are much less layered than this one. Just as well. They should speak for themselves and not be obscure. But I decided to unpack this one because it is worth speaking of depression and the possibility of healing.


Carpe Diem #352, Sunflower

12 thoughts on “sunflowers

  1. Thanks. I like the depth of this one. Learning to quiet negative self-talk is a valuable thing, indeed.

    My mean monkey mind mouthed much. Maintenant (“now” in French), me more mellow. ;-))

  2. Lovely image for all the headtalk, Belinda. The sense of weightiness is there, too, in the sunflowers as they bow down. The brevity of haiku is great, but I wonder how the image would work in a longer poem where the depression element is embedded and wouldn’t need explanation. Or maybe haven’t had enough practice at reading haiku; perhaps others would see the implications?

    1. Yes Robyn, if it would make a good longer poem. I doubt that anyone would get the connection otherwise. I wouldn’t expect them to, nor would I want readers to spend their time wondering about possible readings of other haiku.
      thanks for the encouragement

  3. Oh wow…this really speaks volumes…layered indeed. I’m so glad you brought it into the light again and that you shared your thoughts around it, too, Belinda. I struggle, too. Thank you so much for this.

  4. WOW! This is a gorgeous response Belinda … I can feel the deeper layer in this one. I can remember that I once have made a haiga for my parents after the dead of my brother. They were very sad (of course) and were almost in a depression, but the haiga pulled them back to reality. I don’t remember the exact words of that haiku, but it was something like:

    there is always light
    in the darkened days of life –
    sunflowers blooming

    © Chèvrefeuille

    So I can empathize with you. Sunflowers are bringing the sun into our lives again as they open their big yellow flowers like a sun.


    1. so moving Kristjaan. nature can be so nurturing to the battered soul, can’t it.
      here we have a cold wind after days of (much needed) rain. It’s wintery and I have the blues, wabi (or is it wabi)
      no sunflowers for a while, but I can dream…

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