Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Wow! What a great comments you all have given me on the last few posts. You all make me blush ... and proud. It seems like you all are pushing me beyond my limits. You all are my inspiration to write and create wonderful posts and great haiku (or haiku series) ... And I thank you all for that. It makes me proud and humble that I may be your host (and patriarch of our Haiku Family) .... thank you all for the energy you all give me to make Carpe Diem Haiku Kai even better this year. I only hope that I can fulfill your demands ...
|a little verse|
brought together a family of love -
Carpe Diem Haiku Kai
As I was preparing this haiku the first thing I thought of was the Japanese art of archery and a "novel" written by (my idol) Paulo Coelho "The Way of the Bow" in which this sacred/spiritual art of archery is the main theme. Recently Paulo Coelha made it possible to download "The Way of the Bow" as a PDF-document and I love to share the first few pages with you all here ...
The Way of the Bow.
The boy looked at the stranger, startled.
'No one in this city has ever seen Tetsuya holding a bow,' he replied. 'Everyone here knows him as a carpenter.'
'Maybe he gave up, maybe he lost his courage, that doesn't matter to me,' insisted the stranger. 'But he cannot be considered to be the best archer in the country if he has abandoned his art. That's why I've been travelling all these days, in order to challenge him and put an end to a reputation he no longer deserves.'
The boy saw there was no point in arguing; it was best to take the man to the carpenter's shop so that he could see with his own eyes that he was mistaken. Tetsuya was in the workshop at the back of his house. He turned to see who had come in, but his smile froze when his eyes fell on the long bag that the stranger was carrying.
'It's exactly what you think it is,' said the new arrival. 'I did not come here to humiliate or to provoke the man who has become a legend. I would simply like to prove that, after all my years of practice, I have managed to reach perfection.'
Tetsuya made as if to resume his work: he was just putting the legs on a table.
'A man who served as an example for a whole generation cannot just disappear as you did,' the stranger went on. 'I followed your teachings, I tried to respect the way of the bow, and I deserve to have you watch me shoot. If you do this, I will go away and I will never tell anyone where to find the greatest of all masters.'
The stranger drew from his bag a long bow made from varnished bamboo, with the grip slightly below centre. He bowed to Tetsuya, went out into the garden and bowed again towards a particular place. Then he took out an arrow fletched with eagle feathers, stood with his legs firmly planted on the ground, so as to have a solid base for shooting, and with one hand brought the bow in front of his face, while with the other he positioned the arrow.
The boy watched with a mixture of glee and amazement. Tetsuya had now stopped working and was observing the stranger with some curiosity.
With the arrow fixed to the bow-string, the stranger raised the bow so that it was level with the middle of his chest. He lifted it above his head and, as he slowly lowered his hands again, began to draw the string back. By the time the arrow was level with his face, the bow was fully drawn. For a moment that seemed to last an eternity, archer and bow remained utterly still. The boy was looking at the place where the arrow was pointing, but could see nothing. Suddenly, the hand on the string opened, the hand was pushed backwards, the bow in the other hand described a graceful arc, and the arrow disappeared from view only to reappear in the distance.
'Go and fetch it,' said Tetsuya.
The boy returned with the arrow: it had pierced a cherry which he found on the ground, forty meters away. [...] Paulo Coelho, The Way of the Bow.
of a bypassing foreigner ...
a New Year's arrow
at Yamashiro Province shrine
Ichi no Miya
there seen cherry blossoms-
the first arrow of the year