EN340 / IN350 Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks
Spring 2005
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Nick McLenighan

haibun collection

kasen renga: Dream

A collection of Haiku


Nick McLenighan

Taoism and Zen Buddhism have become a large part of my life over the last four years. The concept of balance and harmony is one of the major teachings of Taoism and Zen and I have attempted to follow these teachings in order to maintain balance and harmony in my own life. This philosophy seeps into every portion of my existence, and I found my self drawn into writting about occurances that resemble instances of harmony between man and nature, nature and man, and myself and the entire world around me, both man and natural.

The haiku I felt best exemplified this sense of balance and harmony is my signature haiku:

The cat is a graceful animal with mystical powers and a perfect primal sense of balance. In this balance the cat finds strength and agility unknown to the rest of nature. The cat also depicts the Taoist notion of Wu Wei in its almost carefree attitude towards life. In many of the haiku presented in this collection, I have attempted to capture the balance of not only the cats physical nature, but of the cats lifestyle as well. Extending from this, many of my haiku deal with Nature touching the human world, and the human world encroaching into the natural order. Not only do I find this delicate balance pertanant to existence in general, but I also find it an amusing collision of two world, struggling to find peace and harmony with one another. —Nick

the toned black cat
on its back
life is a fake mouse

frozen garden
cloud of dog's breath
from the bush

encroaching darkness
empty plastic sled

underneath the porch
becomes headquarters

writhing joy
empty bird seed barrel
full of garter snakes

whispering pew
two children fight
over who’s dirtier

bright dawn beams—
licking between her toes
the black cat

frantic purse search
a black and white cat
slowly around a corner

rainy spring day
blue laundry basket
my new drum set

exhausted in the car
seat...tilted... down
Ursa major

quiet moment
after a showers refreshment
one bulb burnt out

©2005 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors