I was raised in stone built churches on country lanes. Visited four or five times a year, more often late than on time, flanked by my parents and sister. I prefer the old hymns to the new, the silence of reverence to the cries of praise from a congregation, and the arch of oak beams far above me, over the neat square faces of twentieth century municipal buildings thrown up in towns.
My Grandmother would say that God is always with her, no matter the place. When I told her I wasn’t sure I believed in him, she explained how he came to her whenever she was in need. How each time she opened herself to him, he was there. Even though she failed to seek him out when the storm clouds passed. I envied that faith when my own was a rickety boat threatening to drown me at sea.
Elizabeth The First is quoted as saying she did not want to make windows into men’s souls. I have to take sides with her about that. Poetry has a way of carving the essence out of you. Presenting it on a platter for the world to see. Something almost tangible in the way it tells you who you are. My faith is more like water. It runs through me like a stream, babbling in the background, but slipping through my fingers when I reach to grasp it. It is a part of me I still don’t know.
“This is wrong.” Hannah said, aiming a kick at an especially infuriated column of white cloud.
“I know this is all a shock,” said her Grandmother, “but you will get used to it. We were all surprised by the aneurism, none of your lot saw it coming and even I thought you’d have a month or two more.”
“But this cannot be it!” shrieked Hannah, her voice coming out as a whisper despite her vocal chords straining; why would anyone need the ability to scream where she was? “An eternity of bliss will send me mad; its just too peaceful!”
I am trying to write a Haiku for every day of this month. I wrote Summer Birds on the first day, yesterday I wrote:
Leaf mulch and bare bark.
Faith went the way of Winter
without Spring for hope.
and today I have:
You’re my thunder dusk
following heat clogged daylight.
I listen for you.
I find writing haikus a little bizarre. Why?
I don’t actually know if I like them…
Haikus never feel as if they hold enough when I read them of write them. I can find some crackers and think “wow! I really like that!” But it remains the same for the vast majority of haikus, I simply feel that they don’t suit me.
So I’m trying to write one every day for a month to see if my opinion changes.
How about yourselves? Are there any poetic or prosaic forms that simply stick in your pen? I would be interested to hear if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation.