Mercy Center



APRIL 20, 2013

Attending: Anne Rees Anderson, Jane Benson, Barbara Campitelli, Mary Joyce, Melodie Mellor, Sarah Paris, Janet Schroder, Pat Tompkins and Mark Werlin; joined by David Keim, a long-time friend of the East-West community; Daniel Raskin; visiting from Boston, Mass., Teresa Grignon, and from Oslo, Norway, Ellen Kristvik. Melodie invited Teresa, and Sarah invited Ellen and Daniel, who participate in the Poets on Parnassus group at UCSF. Our small meeting room was packed to capacity (lucky 13!) and full of good haiku energy.

Following rounds of haiku readings that emphasized Spring sounds, Anne shared her observations and insights from Eckhart Tolle's recent conference at Asilomar. Tolle's spontaneous enlightenment experience, the subject of his book "The Power of Now", offers parallels to our practice of mindful haiku writing. Primacy resides in the experience of the moment; we suggest and evoke the character of that "now" experience in the compressed haiku form.

The writing exercise Anne provided stimulated good haiku production around the table. Writing need not be a solitary activity – the energy of other people's concentration can help sharpen focus and encourage a more authentic and spontaneous choice of words.

Pat drew our attention to the Canadian haiku website NeverEnding Story, the first English-Chinese haiku journal. NeverEnding Story seeks previously published haiku, and posts in the original English and in Chinese translations.

Set your calendars: Summer meeting will take place on July 27, 2013. The suggested theme is "Eat." Fall meeting will take place on October 26, 2013, theme to be determined.

Some of the haiku shared at the April meeting:


spring morning
the woosh
of a bicycle race
Barbara Campitelli
on a busy street
suddenly a deer
brakes screech
Anne Rees Anderson
opera goers
swish past homeless man
Jane Benson
The autumn wind
Leaves wrestle
Life wanes
Teresa Grignon
a father
pointing to the moon
the child's eyes
Mary Joyce
Hummingbird sits
on a cherry branch
one, chirp, three
David Keim
In the chorus of birds outside my window
such a familiar voice
perhaps on his way to Oslo
Ellen Kristvik
old pond transforms
fractured canoe
Melodie Mellor
This morning: clear
but cold. The house finch
too busy to sing.
Sarah Paris
Eight teens in a row
Winter light photo shot
Bus arrives, all gone
Daniel Raskin
rain sounds
drip rhythmically
silence no more
Janet Schroder
watching Avocets
under a bright spring sky
still the angry heart
Mark Werlin