July 1, 2011
Only shadows fall
on the silent new black moon.
Now is the night’s time.
So this is the beginning of a new month (and wonderfully coincidental for this year, a new moon) and the start of another circle comprising the July haiku. However, it is with this haiku that the large ring, the annual ring, starts its return back toward its beginning as it moves to the end of the year. There are two ways to make the journey back: 1. in a circular fashion in which the haiku talk across the year to their counterpart across the circle (so July 1 speaks to January 1; July 2 to January 2; July 3 to January 3; etc.) or 2. in a parabolic or pedimental fashion which is the traditional structural form used in many ancient writings such as the Iliad, the Book of Numbers in the Bible, and Rumi’s Mathnawi (see Mary Douglas’s book Thinking in Circles) and thus the haiku talk across the parabola to their mirror image (so July 1 speaks to June 30; July 2 speaks to June 29; July 3 speaks to June 28; etc.).
I found both ways appealing. The first because it matched the pattern set by the smaller monthly rings, and thus followed Hermes Trismegistos’s edict: as above, so below, with the microcosm being structurally the same as the macrocosm. The second traditional pattern is appealing because it matches what we observe in nature; the year is parabolic or pedimental reaching its growth peak at mid-year before taking its turn back toward winter’s slumber.
Both ways in fact were so appealing to me that I foolishly decided to do both. So some haiku are circles or parabolas in themselves (I have pointed this out in a few cases in my blog). But each haiku is part of three other rings: the monthly circle (for example, this haiku will speak with July 16 – “Descending”), the annual circle (for example, this haiku will also speak with January 1 – “Beginnings”), and the annual parabolic ring (for example, this haiku will also speak with June 30 – “Ringslangen”).
It is a rather ambitious undertaking as I attempt to do this and remain true to the changes in both weather and garden that I daily observed in 2011. How successful am I? It is not my place to say, but it might be worth the effort to see how the various rings fit together even imperfectly. Once in a while I will refer to the haiku that are speaking to each other in this blog to point out the connection.