Noticing a Fly
Haiku Roundtable Fall 2008
As I read through my collection in search of inspiration for a title, I reminisced back on the book we read in class this semester, Zen Art for Meditation by Stewart W. Holmes. I remember that my haiku
noticing a fly,
my finger slips
was a response to Tenet 9 from the book: “Being a spectator while one is also a participant spoils one’s performance.” As I reread my haiku, I realized that out of context the middle line, “noticing a fly,” had multiple meanings to the art of haiku-writing. First, it implied what I had originally intended—that simple distractions can interrupt one’s performance. On the other hand, though, I became aware of the importance of that fly—a miniscule creature—in creating a haiku moment. This reminded me of yet another one of Holmes’s tenets, Tenet 2: “Everything exists according to its own nature. Our individual perceptions of worth, correctness, beauty, size, and value exist inside our heads, not outside them.” When this thought crossed my mind, it dawned on me that this was essentially my main goal for haiku writing this semester—to focus on noticing the world around me, to focus on noticing all of the haiku opportunities that surrounded me. In my collection, I have included a handful of haiku which represent some of my favorite “haiku moments” from the semester.