Saturday, December 6, 2014


In haiku -- really in all of Japanese poetry -- we talk about sabi. It means to feel your own existence and to eperience its particualrity, it's edges.

the Advent disciplines of art and poetry lend themselves to expressions of sabi. Incarnation, after all, is about taking on limitation and accepting the constraints of the Earth plane. Advent calls us to the starkness of being, and being bound to time and place.

During this time we turn away from what I call LED Jesus; the bright shining transcendence who hovers over altar tables, the pantocrator on the ceiling surrounded by gold... and way, far up there.

During Advent our God has edges. God comes right up to our skin and breathes. it's close-up. Stark. And so we need a stark expression.

The haiku master Basho once talked about how other poets write in color, but his students write in black and white.

Here are some of my black and white haiku for the first week in Advent:


o come, come Emanuel
a people of hope
we want to sing, want to hope


the dark closes in
unstoppable, unyielding
where is my candle?


dark keeps creeping in
my little candle flickers
winter wind threatens


don't let the rain come
wet skies taunt me with their threats
i guard my small light


at night it goes out
then the day with its own light
i light the candle again
and again, amen. amen.
i light my candle again


can the light grow strong
when the dark is all around
when indifference rules?


On Saturday we have no haiku.
Jesus is in the womb.
It is a quiet day.

Also we are moving house on this day and we will not have time to write any haiku. But, we will have a darling little apartment and that is worth a haiku sacrifice.


  1. Beautiful, Linda. I hope your move goes well.

  2. Thanks, Mimi.
    The move was a breeze, I am happy to say. I think of you often and wish you a blessed Advent.