Poetry inspires coming to our senses

“just-washed hands/ stained again/with blackberry juice”

December 15, 2014

There is poetry, beautiful poetry, and then there is haiku poetry:

tongue whispers lip

silk drifting down

feather light stroke

I just created the above haiku in an attempt to describe what haiku poetry is or more concisely what it is to me.

I have had the pleasure and challenge to do many book reviews and several of these have been books of poetry. Only one has been a review of a haiku poetry book, produced on tiny pages. Such an elegant delight to touch it, read it and do the following review:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

December 21, 2005

Poetry inspires coming to our senses

A Shower of Blossoms: A Collection of Haiku and Images of Salt Spring Island by Elehna de Sousa,, Salt Spring Island: Rainshadow Books, 2005. $14.95

by Tanya Lester

Eventually this tiny chapbook (100 mm wide by 130 mm long) of haiku poetry and photographs will find its way to my white dresser top next to Kahlil Gibran’s Patterns of Happiness.

Not that Elehna de Sousa’s A Shower of Blossoms has the same effect on me as the words of the 19th-century prophet-philosopher does. Gibran opens up the doors of my mind to wisdom. De Souse makes me come to my senses:

evening stroll

through sun-dappled


the pungent smell of

skunk cabbage

Instantaneously, I feel, see and smell one of my favourite walking haunts — a trail between Churchill and Long Harbour roads just north of Ganges. Of course, the skunk cabbage that grows there is probably not of the same vegetative group that awakened de Sousa,s muse since she lives in the south end.

The point is: the poet uses this delicate Japanese form, along with vivid photographs, to revel in Salt Spring Island’s natural beauty:

island meditation–

again and again

the shriek of an eagle

The first of the three unrhymed lines sets the scene. The second connects to the third line, which presents the image that the poet wants us to focus on. Less is more in haiku:

just-washed hands

stained again

with blackberry juice

You need to pause, sink in to the moment and celebrate its beauty. That is why I intend to pick de Sousa’s poetry book up off my dresser top and randomly open it up to one haiku each day. It will be a daily reminder of the beauty that surrounds me; a daily encouragement to get out into it.

What better gift to give yourself or someone you care about?




To read the earliest posts in this blog, please go to writingsmall.wordpress.com

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Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader by Tanya Lester can be purchased from the author or by going to the title and author name (to read the first few pages and buy it) at amazon.com

Tanya Lester’s other books are Dreams & Tricksters, Friends I Never Knew and Women Rights/Writes. They are available in some library systems and at the Legislative Library of Manitoba.


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