Like a crystal…the Haiku shows us some important aspects of our human world gathered together and reflected as if in one brief sparkling flash. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

Br. David Steindl-Rast loves poetry, writing “May I feast on [poems] every day of my life and live each day as a poem of praise.” Over the years he has crafted countless haiku. He writes:

“The Japanese Haiku is a poem of such subtlety that it defies translation, let alone imitation in any other language. It has become customary, however, to call poetic flashes inspired by the Japanese form, “haiku”, in English too. The best among them capture a moment of intense awareness; they awake your senses. No comment by the poet; simply one given moment which is fully – and thus gratefully – perceived.”

With the guidance of Tom Clausen, cited in Poetry Matters as “one of the most original and respected contemporary poets writing haiku in English,” along with Br. David’s sublime and instructive reflections on haiku and gracefully rendered calligraphy, we created an 8-day exploration of haiku as gratefulness practice in the Spring of 2019 and invited people to join us.

This exploration convened a community of both novice and practiced poets who shared with us their discoveries, delights, and dilemmas in “brief sparkling flashes.” We were so taken by the sharing on the practice pages that we put out a call for submissions.

This treasure trove of gems is the result.

[Clicking the image below will open a full screen presentation of the collection]


We offer joyful appreciation to all those who submitted haiku for consideration and regret that, in the interest of creating a manageable offering, we were unable to share with you here all that we “fully – and thus gratefully” received.

To see the practice that inspired this collection, please visit Exploring Haiku as Gratefulness Practice: A Practice Series.

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