Haiga #2


sunshine –

that’s all she needs

to cook


A/N Just in case you were confused or worried, the gas stove is the only place which gets sunshine 🙂

Haiga #1


empty nest

fussing over

the new baby


A/N Haiga is a Japanese concept for simple pictures combined with poetry, usually haiku. Thanks to Suraja for the inspiration and help with the haiku 🙂



Poetry for No Rhyme or Reason

Since as long as I can remember I have been at loggerheads with poetry. I admired the rhyme but could often find no reason. Prose was my cup of tea I decided. I tried writing poetry but always felt a sort of disconnect with it, as I struggled to understand them and worse never really enjoyed the ‘hassle’ of penning them. I struggle with prose too but it is never a chore, I can sit with it for hours – just like I have been at this post!

But then I came across a post by Theresa, which forced me to re-look into my antipathy towards poems. And understand that poetry is not about understanding but about feeling.

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. T.S. Eliot

I had the first inkling of this when I came across the Shiv Tandav Stotram by Ravana, which he composed to appease Lord Shiva. Ravana is a Hindu mythological figure and that he composed a song is in itself mind boggling – did he actually exist? And then comes the poem, in Sanskrit, a language that I don’t know. Yet the song, the poem with its onomatopoeias and alliterations resonates and never fails to pull me right into it, leaving me exhilarated, uncaring and unmindful of the world and its shenanigans. I finally understood why Lord Shiva forgave him. Anyone who can compose like this, deserves another chance, and another, and another….

But that didn’t stop me from dissecting poems, struggling, scoffing, scorning until Theresa introduced me to this poem:

Introduction to Poetry

by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem

and hold it up to the light

like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem

and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room

and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski

across the surface of a poem

waving at the author’s name on the shore.

but all they want to do

is tie the poem to a chair with rope

and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose

to find out what it really means.

I was stunned – I was guilty of doing exactly the very same thing! I should technically be ashamed and embarrassed but I am too relieved and flying high to be any such thing 😀 Thank you Theresa! Do visit her blog for the complete post and more amazing poems.

I would also like to share with you with a poem written by the French poet, novelist, and dramatist Jean-Pierre Simeón. It has been translated into English by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, and illustrated by Ollivier Tallec.

The poem is about a little boy Arthur, whose fish Leon is dying from boredom. His mother advises him to give Leon a poem. And thus begins Arthur’s journey to find a poem. He meets and asks several people and finally returns with this to Leon:

A poem
is when you have the sky in your mouth.
It is hot like fresh bread,
when you eat it,
a little is always left over.

A poem
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.

A poem
is words turned upside down
and suddenly!
the world is new.

Click here for Leon’s reaction, the complete poem, illustrations and original links. And while you are there, you may consider subscribing to Brain Pickings, a goldmine and a must read for all 🙂

PS: I am very pleased to tell you that the Haiku queen penned another commended haiku for the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2017.

our baby
between us
a new distance
                                                                                                                                                              Suraja Roychowdhury, USA

Congratulations Suraja – look forward to many such pearls 🙂

The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. Dylan Thomas

Thank you for reading – wishing you all a wonderful weekend, Happy Easter, Happy  Baisakhi, Happy Vishu and Shubho Noboborsho and anything else I may have missed! 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 132

Haiku Season

It’s awfully hot (470 C/117 0 F with 60 % humidity) and there’s no sign (or hope) of any let up. I wonder how long people (and the birds and animals) can keep up in the face of this relentless blistering blazing sun. Something is surely going to give and soon. So far electricity is on our side (touch wood and fingers crossed) but with demands and loads soaring, a breakdown not only seems inevitable but imminent.

And somewhere I feel guilty – it wasn’t this bad just a few days ago. Methinks the sun got a bit cheesed off on my obvious partial and support for the amaltas and decided to show  who the boss actually was. As a result, despite me bragging that I wouldn’t miss the unfolding spectacle for anything, I am now ensconced in the darkest corner of my house, curtains tightly drawn to keep out the sun, light and view.

The irony of it didn’t escape me:

googling images
amaltas bloom
outside my window

The only good thing is that I managed to come up with a half way decent haiku! And get the stamp of approval from the reigning Haiku Queen herself (after a bit of rewriting of course).

Wondering who the Haiku Queen is?

She is none other than our very own smr. She won this year’s grand prize winner of the prestigious IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2016 (no surprise for me – I always knew she was brilliant).

sunny afternoon
a shadow
on the mammogram
Suraja Roychowdhury, United States

Her submission was chosen as the best one out of a record 680 submissions from 60 different countries. My heartiest congratulations to her and best wishes for many more such finely crafted gems.

The other submissions are pretty awesome too – if any of you enjoy haiku it is worth it to check out the link above. And if you like, you can read more of smr’s awesome haiku and even better tanka (and some pretty cool poems) at Allpoetry.com. Registration (though free) is mandatory.

On to Calvin now  – he is feeling pretty neglected I can tell especially what with Hobbes ragging him no end.


Quote for the day:One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”  JW Goethe.

I know Moonshine does quite measure up to any of the above but still if you insist 😉 here is Chapter 60: Making Dreams Come True

As usual, I look forward to your comments and smileys 🙂

Poetry anyone?

No don’t worry I am not planning on offloading some of my quite pathetic attempts at poetry on to the unsuspecting (and precious few) readers of Stories and more.big grin But yet I couldn’t help sharing some lovely pieces penned by my dear friend Suraja. She is an awesome poet (among other things) and pens all sorts of poems, but I admit to being partial to her tanka and haibun.

Tanka refers to a popular form of Japanese poetry consisting of only five lines, with restrictions on syllable count for each line. These short ‘songs’ not only focus on painting crisp clear images yet are also capable of evoking intense emotions such as yearning, intimacy, love and loss, through the subtle use of implication and suggestion.

the promises we made

the promises we made,
kept, broke, laughed and cried over
such drama
the sky bruised at sunset
with oranges and purples and reds

By the way, did you note the first three lines and the last three lines are stand alone poems and images? And yet when read together, a completely different image leaving one gasping at the apt and evocative parallel between relationships and ‘sky bruised at sunset

Moving on to the haibun, this is also of Japanese origin. Haibun is the combination of prose and haiku (a three lined poem).

Planting Marigolds – A haibun

Planting marigolds in the heat.  I scoop up a shovelful of soil and a pink shiny earthworm wriggles out.  Not a speck of dirt on it, I muse, even though it lives and burrows in the mud.  I scratch my arm with my muddied glove absently, leaving a streak of black.  No earthworm am I, grinning to myself. Another scoop, and a hairy root pops out, like a quivering straggly mustache.  What if there’s a face under it, I think ghoulishly.  A bead of sweat grows on my forehead and settles like an ache between my brows.  I tilt my head forward and will it to run down my nose.  Will it?  Or won’t it?  It does, to my triumph and I giggle as I gently shake my head back and forth to let it drip into the hole recently vacated by the earthworm.  My giggle echoes back….I look up to see two young girls walking by, laughing at the crazy woman shaking her head at the earth.

flying back and forth

Isnt that simply awesome ?

If you like, you can read more at allpoetry.com for free.

Before you rush off, how about a look at Calvin? Perhaps even Chapter 38

A few thoughts about poetry:

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. – Rita Dove
There is something about poetry beyond prose logic, there is mystery in it, not to be explained but admired. — Edward Young
There is poetry as soon as we realize we possess nothing. – John Cage
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. – Carl Sandburg
To be a poet is a condition, not a profession. – Robert Frost

Until Friday then and oh, don’t forget to exercise your fingers 😉

Aims & Objectives

To See
To Read
To Live
To Love
To Smile
To Laugh
To Sing
To Give
To Forgive
To do Right
To Write
To Appreciate
To Understand
To Accept
To Wait
To Go On
To Perhaps Give in
But Never To Give Up