The morning chill steeps into my tea, hands cupping the bowl slowly start to warm, but my toes are still freezing. In this predawn quiet along with the muzzein’s litany I hear a crow call, then another and still another while an all enveloping opalescent mist rises beyond the widow makers.
In the harvested field I see a haystack with its belly open, excavated, hollow.
I am reminded of the 25 canvases of ‘Haystacks’ painted by Claude Monet in 1890-91 in Giverny to show the difference of light in various seasons. The one which attracts me the most is ‘Wheatstacks (End of Summer)’. It was one of the paintings discussed by the docent on our free Seniors Art Tour Day at the Art Institute of Chicago. Monet’s genius with the subtle colours displayed there are the same as those I now see in India.
Then Van Gogh’s last painting ‘Wheat Fields with Crows’, also painted in 1890, comes to mind and a deep desolation engulfs me as I look at the dark lowering sky with crows over a wind-whipped wheat field. I wonder what angst drove him to shoot himself that day.
It is time for the Shradh to begin. For the next two weeks we will fast, pray and give offerings to the Brahmins, birds and animals in their name seek blessings from our ancient ones. This year, I will add Monet and Van Gogh to my list of souls.
autumn equinox –
above the lightening
the last koel’s song
By Angelee Deodhar
Shradh is one of the most significant times to remember our
ancestors and pray for the departed souls to rest in peace.
Angelee Deodhar’s latest book, Journeys 2015, an anthology of 145 haibun, by 31 international poets is available on Amazon. The book also includes articles by 3 poets on haibun, including Ray Rasmussen on the history of haibun in English.
Dr. Ms Angelee Deodhar is an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in India. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites. She does not maintain her own website.
To promote haiku in India, she has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi. These include: If Someone Asks: Masaoka Shiki’s Life and Haiku (2005), Haiku: A Master’s Selection, edited by Miura Yuzuru (2006), Ogura Hyakunin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets (2007), Children’s Haiku from Around the World-A Haiku Primer (2007), Indian Haiku (2008), and The Distant Mountain: The Life and Haiku of Kobayashi Issa (2009) and a 2014 anthology of haibun entitled, Journeys.