Category Archives: Blog

In Robert Epstein’s “The Haiku Way to Healing”

Pleased to see Robert Epstein’s anthology is out! “The Haiku Way to Healing: Illness, Injury and Pain” is a significant contribution to haiku literature, a testament to the power of this very short form of poetry to express and share even the most painful of moments.

Honored that my work is included in this collection.

Here is one of my poems from page 207, initially part of a haibun published in “Contemporary Haibun Online” 17.1, and recently included in my juxtaEIGHT article ‘Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku’ (pp.37-61)

dyskinesia…
how tall grass
sways

healing

Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku

Juxtapositions

 The eighth issue of Juxtapositions: Research and Scholarship in Haiku is out. JuxtaEIGHT is a themed issue on “haiku and wellness,” with several articles, interviews, and resources addressing this theme. And it includes two contributions by yours truly: the article “Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku” is now available to download (pp 37-61), as well as a description of Haikupedia from the Resources section of Juxtapositions: Check them out here https://thehaikufoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/juxtaeight.pdf

I copy below the Abstract of the Parkinson’s article:

Parkinson’s Disease (PD)—the fastest growing neurodegenerative condition worldwide—affects a wide range of motor and nonmotor functions. At present, there is no cure. Only symptomatic treatment is available, aiming to improve quality of life and slow progression. The aim of this paper is to recommend haiku as a therapeutic tool helping with symptoms and, potentially, rate of progression. To this end, following a brief description of PD, and its symptoms grouped under two areas of loss resulting in life diminishment, I touch upon the general role of art and literature in augmenting pharmacological treatment of the disease, before focusing on some of the qualities of haiku (in the process of writing as well as the created poem) that collectively make haiku a containing vessel that can hold and transform the distress associated with the disease into a more bearable experience.

Gardening, table tennis, Parkinson’s…and haiku

Starting to prepare the garden and plants for winter. Several plants will be taking refuge in the greenhouse, where a heater will be protecting them from the frost’s cruel bites. Others will be toughening it out in the beds, with only a thick cover of straw.

For the first time, I will be planting garlic. I got the reading done, added a bed just in front of the greenhouse, and in a week or two, I will be planting. In the greenhouse, there will be potatoes growing in pots, salads, and herbs. Oh, the excitement! The excitement!

Having written an article on Parkinson’s and Haiku (Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku), I am playing with the idea of sequels. Such as? Well, Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Gardening; Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Table Tennis; Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Felting! You get my gist. Between planting garlic, practicing serves, writing, and soaping wool there’s no time for apathy. Right? For now, at least…

he fills his calendar

.

soon to retire
he fills his calendar
with seed starting charts

If you are wondering what happened to the greenhouse…here it is! With its shade net hat, as it is very hot here, reaching 93 Fahrenheit or more.

Still work to be done to the surrounding area, but the greenhouse works already. We’ve sown various seeds in eggshells and egg boxes, planted rosemary cuttings, tomato and cucumber plants…Well worth the time and effort …

.

.

City Farm Augsburg

Today, it was Open Garden Day in Augsburg. I visited private gardens and enjoyed seeing what others do and think about their gardens, gardening in general, the climate…Everyone I spoke to is thinking of a future of water and energy shortages and how to adapt their garden to survive with less water (no, nobody mentioned planting cacti!) and energy.

Back home, looking through the photos I took, I see mainly sheep and hens! And the City Farm Augsburg, one of the participating gardens, and the one I enjoyed the most. What a fantastic collection of plants, herbs, vegetables, weeds, animals, all growing happily together! Ildi, our guide and co-leader of the project (the other co- being Bennie, her husband) presented the garden project and their efforts to make it self-sufficient. The farm has neither water nor electricity. They collect rainwater for all their watering needs!

And the best part: for the last month, I had been looking for a comfrey plant for my garden. None of the garden centers I went to stocked it. Some didn’t even know of it, or thought of it as a weed. But here in the City Farm, it was flourishing, growing masses of flowers. When I declared my interest, Ildi dug out two plants, one flowering blue and the other purple, for me!

https://cityfarmaugsburg.wordpress.com/about/ the garden seems to have grown since the video.

What a good day it was!

LandArt, Bonstetten

From my Sunday walk in the Augsburg Nature Park, Westliche Waelder (Western Forests), in Bonstetten.

Hama Lohrmann created an art trail as part of the “LandArt Project, Bonstetten.” He positioned nine installations, unique and constantly changing due to the influence of time and weather, across the six-kilometer circuit through the forests surrounding the village. He collected the pieces of wood for his works on his walks through the forests and used them as they were, without cutting, sculpting, or in any way shaping them.

Explorations in transience, humanity, fragility…and more, esp. for me, as I managed to get lost in the forest (but was soon back on track)!