Welcome Grasshopper

TODAYíS HAI


We see you have finally found the tree you have been looking for. Your journey has been long. Climb many trees. You must be weary and a-thirst. Would you like a cup of tea? We grow it ourselves in caves on Bikini.

Thank you. I am delighted you enjoy it, young artist. Drink slowly, I beg.

Well, here you are, in the sacred arbor grotto of the fabled and secret Hai Gatherhood, aloft in the ancient and hidden Golden Tree, for which you have searched so long.

Do you have a question for us?

Ah. I see. That is a question numberless wise men and even wiser women have never been able to answer, young searcher. What is a hai? Many a philosophical chap has gone to his deathbed not knowing that. But you may well find out, if you continue your quest.

You see, fragrant Grasshopper, there is an obscure and many-thoughted legend that recounts the genesis of our school. But I cannot tell you if it is true. No one can tell you. It happened many, many, many, many minutes ago, so long ago we cannot be sure it ever truly happened at all. Hidden in the brittle mists of time.

Ah well.... Let me tell you that story, little big one. But before I do, may I refill your cup? Yes it is good, isnít it?

The name of this tale is:

The Sacred Lawyer

Once upon a time in middle America there was a man. He was an ordinary man, good of heart, as good in general as most lawyers are and better than many. Though his job kept him indoors, he had an abiding love of nature, and often spent weekends striding the local peaks. Like some, he was searching, and used words to look. That is, he fancied himself a bit of a poet, if only of himself and to himself.

One windswept day, high above treeline in the Rocky Mountains, he was working on a poem on pages that wanted to blow away in that wildly airy habitation. But he was a dogged writer and put stones on them to hold them down. He worked for many hours, immersing his soul in the beauty around him and pouring it onto the wind-flapped pages. Finally he had many pages full of the outpourings of his beautified soul. But he looked around him, then looked back to the pages. Something was not right. He began crossing words out. That was better. Crossed out some more words. Even better.

Would you care for more tea, my beloved mystery yearner?

You are welcome.

He sat back and looked around him at the wild vista of unimaginable beauty. He took deep breaths and centered both thought and feeling in his ever-loyal heart. Then he gathered up his pen once more and began crossing out. He crossed and crossed and then crossed some more. Page after page he crossed. Soon he was crossing out so frantically his pen heated up from the friction and began to burn his fingers. Yet he held on. Crossing onward, onward he crossed, the smell of his own burning flesh searing his nostrils.

You see, Grasshopper, that is why members of the Hai Gatherhood have the Bic logo branded on the side of our middle fingers. Here is mine. Yes, it is round.

And then, finally, he was done crossing out. He dropped the hissing pen to the ground, stuck his fingers in his mouth, then fainted from the pain.

The next morning he woke up as the sun was rising above a far eastern peak. He stood up and looked around, sucking on his blistered thumb. All the pages had blown away.

Then he heard a faint flipping sound in the early breeze. He went around a big rock and there it was, the final page, with a stone upon it. He went over and picked up the paper. Only one word remained uncrossed:

be

And that lawyer came to be known as The Saint John of the Flanders, our revered founder, the first poet and holy utterancer in our Hai school of poetry. We call it a hai because it is much like haiku, except shorter. The hai form has evolved greatly over the minutes. In the present day, these are its rules:

  1. One word
  2. One syllable
  3. The poet is only allowed one hai per life.

Oftentimes, though not always, the poet tries to catch his or her essence in the word.

A hai master may spend his entire incarnation living and learning and pondering and questioning his hai, only to utter it on his deathbed, with his last breath. It is said that those who hear a masterís hai from her own dying mouth instantly reach enlightenment.

Presently, alas, there are only four haii in existence, none by masters, doubly alas, since unfortunately in this case all the poets are still alive:

be

by the Saint John of the Flanders

way

by Holly Moyer, Screenwriter to the Gods

squank

by Tom Howe, Smiliní Joe

yes

by Sandra Jensen, Sacred Captain of Her Holy Ship

It is up to you, yearning Grasshopper, to write your own hai and add to this list. Be careful, you only get one.

Bless you and goodbye. May your daily intercourse be filled with words of your own design.

wolf dingbat

(The following 24 haii were contributed by the intrepid explorers at Diving Deeper with Sandra Jensen, a writing workshop, originally on the Gaia Network. Out of the many valuable writers who have come and gone, and the glorious ones who have stayed, I may have expected a touch more intrepid-idity, however. How hard is it to write one word? This thread was active from May to May, a whole year and we get 24 one-word poems. Thatís two words a month. What a way to make a book. We should be done in ten bajillion '03.

So I decided to open this genre to the world at large, and perhaps we might glean some more contributors. Thank you for your interest and most especially if you contribute your own hai.)

May 13, 2007

Hey gang,

Sandra came up with the idea of putting together a collection of hai poetry and publishing it in a picture book. Only thing is, since the hai production of a single poet would make a pretty short book, we need contributors.

Anybody game?

Love and squank,

Tom

nothing

by Nono, Pirjo Zeylon, on her walkabout through ages

dingbat

Tom:

Bless you, Nono, for your beautiful hai. Nothing is something I need more of in my life and in my writing. Sandra teaches the value of silence for a writer. And silence is the whisper of nothing.

Yet I couldnít help noticing you did the olí stretcherinsky thing there, rulewise. As is your wont, I imagine. Ah rules....well, we donít have any rules around here, we only have ruls. Our e ran off and joined the circuse.

A hai with two syllables Ė a daring stroke indeed, Nono. But can the form hold it? Oh, the tension.

I took it to bed with me last night to read. It was fascinating – not a page-turner so-to-speak, though it held me enraptured. Eventually, however, it got to be too late and I had to turn out the light. Got up early this morning and finished it.

Wow, that nothing sure is something! I think you did it, Nono, you pulled it off. The first ever two-syllable hai. Never thought Iíd see the day. Maybe we could call it a haii.

With Love and Gratitude,

Tom

dingbat

Nono:

So, you went in bed with Nothing... Oh, Tom!?

(just couldnít resist this open gate, sorry)

Well... my mistake with two syllables thing here, understanding the Ďrulsí are sometimes a bit wee outta my league but... this time, as you say Tom, this word is one and it has been my companion so long time and given by God in a sudden glimpse of enlighten...so itís just, itís just.... Iím speechless.

Love,

Nono

dingbat

Tom:

I really did leave a gateless gate on that one. Wide open. But never worry, dearheart, I want all my gates left wide open in this place. So all the beauty and the wonder and the terror of the world can come into me and then shoot out my pen with great vigor.

And dinna worrit, little nubbin, about your ďmistakeĒ (can you hear Sandra laughing at that one?). To me, the vital rule about the hai form is the third one. You only get one. Ever. Focuses the mind wonderfully.

And yours, as you know, is perfect.

nothing

Anyway, you got two out of three, rulwise. Not bad. If you were a baseball player youíd be the greatest of all time!

Can I get your autograph?

Love,

Tom

dingbat

Josy:

Dee

by Josy; Threshold-Girl

dingbat

Tom:

Ah, the personal hai, the tender, the secretive, and the sweet. A mystery to the reader, and yet, is that a plaintive cry, a tender call? Were there any lines between which I could read in this poem, I suspect I might see love in there.

Thank you Josy, Threshold-Girl, and God bless Dee.

May the Spirit of the Universe Fill Your Soul with Love,

Tom

dingbat

Sandra:

!Tom, you sneaky thing. Wonderful. YES.

Oh, and I would add, for all would-be Hai makers, that sometimes your Hai is chosen for you... in the sense that you might say something and not realise itís your Hai until another Hai-Maker points it out ( this is what happened for me and my Hai).

And, donít be too quick to share a Hai, sometimes your Hai could take a while to emerge, what you think is not always what you are...

Sandra

dingbat

Give

by Mike, Being of Water and Light

dingbat

Tom:

Thank you for that wonderful hai, Mike. Iíve been dwelling on it for the past couple of days, loving it. It is surely a gift. What does it mean to truly give? Itís a charged word, thatís for sure, at least to me. It has overtones for me at least of an imperative, one of those things a good person should do and wants to do, but canít find the time for. Probably my trusty guilt speaking. And yet, at its base it is the essence of gentleness and love, what we all yearn for, to give and receive in blessedness.

It did bring up a stylistic question for me, however. Should a hai be or not be capitalized? Is there a preference? I wonder if perhaps the overtone of the imperative, would lessen if the poem were displayed:

give

But perhaps you want to keep the overtone. Ah, the age-old mystery of hai.

Love and Peace and Reasons to Live, or should I say Give?

Tom

dingbat

Gabriele:

dear all, dearest Tom,

at first I thought this Hai thing was not for me (does this sound familiar?) but to my surprise it has come to me yesterday.

I didnít like it at first,
I didnít want it,
I wanted something else,
something bright and shining and cool and so on

(does this sound familiar? ;)
and yet, there is no way around it, Iím afraid,
it keeps coming back and wants to be expressed.

My HAI is

but

by Gabriele Stehle, copyright 2007

Love to all!

Gabriele

dingbat

Tom:

My Very Dear Gabriele,

At it again, I see, showing the way for all of us. Thank you for following your dangerous muse. Your hai is magical and powerful. Delicious, miraculously onomatopoetic of the experience of creating it. Fabulous!

And it has the added benefit of being cousin to the grand word butt, the writerís most valuable tool, the sacred steed we ride on spurs aíflyiní, in our flights of fancy. And the place we store our extra words.

ďWow, whereíd you get that fabulous idea?Ē

ďPulled it out my butt, oí course.Ē

But (sorry, donít mean to infringe on your copyright) let us take a moment, beloved one, a moment of silence to reflect on your glorious hai....

And now if you please, dear Gabriele, pull your magic brain kaleidoscope down from its shelf and peep into the narrow end. What do you see?

Ah...just as I thought, an ancient scene, a grotto in a garden, near a walkway and a pond. Silence is what we hear, silence and a feeling of sorrow. Under a tree near the pond lies a bed and in that bed lies Master Wu, the greatest hai master of all time – after the Saint John of the Flanders, of course – one who has spent a lifetime of legendary toils and meditations preparing for this moment, the moment right before his death.

The foot of the bed is surrounded by a cluster of his disciples. They are silent, griefstruck yet solemn and in awe. The time has come.

Wu himself is wizened and small, as Wuís generally are in tales like this, weathered like an old rock by the sea. Deep-set eyes hold deep-sunk wisdom, a wisdom of questions. Though Wu is nearly gone, hardly a spark of life, still vast kindliness shines forth dimly at times, warming the hearts of those around him. His breathing is labored and begins to falter...and then he takes one last deep breath. His disciples crowd closer. Master Wu utters his hai:

ďBut....Ē then closes his eyes and breathes no more.

The word echoes in the dead silence. The disciples look at one another in astonishment. Can this be true? Is that all?

And then, one-by-one, a look comes into their eyes, a shock of understanding, awe, and then gladness runs through them. And they are enlightened.

Unfortunately we ainít. But© we are one step closer.

Love, and Yay for Big Butts!

Tom

dingbat

Sandra:

Tom, Mike, Gabriele.

Oh, these Haiís are wonderful. We (you) will have a book in no time, it seems, dear Tom. Please please keep a back up of all of them, as well as your comments and beautiful tales about them. I feel these should be part of this little ( getting bigger by the minute) book.

Give

but

What can I say? I feel I know you both so deeply, and these Haiís can only belong to you.

I know what to say :-)

yes

Love,

Sandra

p.s. Iím not sure about the Give vs give or but vs But. Very interesting exploration. Perhaps both are used...

dingbat

Loni Love:

Alas, there is only one Hai that will do for me. This works out since I can only have one.

and

by Lavonia Kay, The One...

P.S. I feel like I am going to die from the suspense! I wish it took more than 15 minutes to be spoken!

dingbat

Sandra:

oh! Yes!

We only ever get one Hai, dear Lavonia Kay, The One.
At first I squirmed at this, only having one Hai. and
then I realised it was perfect for me, I needed no more.

Yours is perfection, it could be no one elseís.

Love,

Sandra

dingbat

Tom:

Dear Lavonia Kay and Loni Love,

This hai, as Sandra says, is perfect. Itís wise, and itís loving, and itís beautiful, and itís holy, and itís a giant pain in the ass.

Oh my gosh, youíre right, it is the only one for you! In fact it is you. Inclusive and additive. A plus sign.

My dream teacher used to say, ďLife is an and process.Ē Itís so true. I would be saying either this or that must be true and she would say no, itís not or itís and. And it is and. And you said it.

What could be more hai-like?

Plus you are young, dearheart, believe it or not, and your poem shows that. Many of us here (Iím speaking of me and my mouse, for those who might be sensitive about their age) are already on to then. Youíre beginning, youíre and-ing and weíre then-ing. It is a gift. Treasure it.

As is your hai for me, both a gift and a treasure. It is a sign and a remembrance for me. To always remember to add and not subtract, to gather in and include, to embrace and to love.

Thank you very much Loni for your wonderful addition to our little tribe of one-word poetry.

Your Loving Friend and Fellow Traveler,

Tom

dingbat

Synerjyz:

Tom. Tom. my ears, all of them, are hung in your every word here. I feel so relaxed in this grassy knoll youíve prepared for my arrival. The blades are sharp yet soft in their abundant gathering as they blanket the moist surface soiled by so many potent zaadz. Bravo for the Master Hai enlightening us all.

I crossed, then listened, then edited, then dotted, then crossed again and again. With a simple question moving mine into focus, I fell. Thunk. Quite literally my eyes (the organ I have most beloved for an eternity) fell on it.

My hands no longer perched above the keys but resting in the warmth of my lap, I let my neck relax my eyes to fall in the direction just left of my keyboard on the pull-out drawer where my leather notebook sits askew atop a half slip of white paper spelling out a childís instructions, all formally laid out in dozens of black letters...but I saw only four...

draw

by Karen Lynn, Wordicle Artist...

I heard only one...my Hai...
pulling me to action... lifting for receiving...
my enlightened life.

dingbat

Tom:

Oh gosh. I never thought it could be like this. Your hai actually brings tears to my eyes, Karen Lynn. Good night nurse. From one word.

I love drawing. Always have. With a passion. The kind of drawing a little kid does. Not so much the act itself, since I rarely draw anymore and wouldnít be satisfied with it if I did, but the spirit behind it. We used to draw tanks and soldiers and airplanes and bombs going off, all the time shouting Pow and Boom as we drew, and Pchewieeowayazie! Violent, I suppose, but the kind of violence that blew up the bad guys in our psyches.

And now I have a little holy Christmas tree of Karen Lynn ears. It twinkles in the wintry light.

Thank you, Beloved Friend,

Tom

dingbat

Synerjyz:

OMZ Tom, I adore you so! You almost made me pee my pants with laughter when I heard you making fun of my ears.

and may your new cone shaped tree never twinkle out of focus. But if it does, I trust you can draw it right back, providing you use the appropriate sound effects, of course.

Be well my clever friend, for surely children draw magic today for our remembering,

XX0oOO,

dingbat

Burt:

Ha, nobody finished the sequence, so itís mine, MINE, bwa-ha-ha!

My hai is:

if

Spinning through possibility after possibility like a dog rolling in a pile of leaves, juggling them like Kali on speed, this I can live with for the rest of my life.

Deep bow to revered Master Tom.

Burt

dingbat

Tom:

Leave it to Burt to write the first-ever question hai. It makes shivers run down my spines, all of them, apparently, since Iíll follow at least for one instance the Sandra method and leave in the typo.

What...if [?]

O you wacked-out mad scientist, cackling in your lair, what have you done to us? The if is yours now for everyone to see, yours, all yours! Ah, ha ha ha! Only the future knows whether you will use your mighty power for good or evil. Only the future, and the shadow. The Shadow knows.

Your Oblivious Master-ish Kinda Guy,

Tom

dingbat

Sea:

After pondering, swimming and wondering if I should wait a lifetime to whisper a better word, like Ďgrowí on my deathbed....

my hai is

leap

dingbat

Tom:

Youíre done already? Well, so much for writerís challenge, I see.

I love your hai, Cyn. You must be an athlete, and a brave soul. I think yours is the scariest hai yet, except perhaps for Give. Itís a fabulous reminder, though, and full of so much life and hope and faith, especially faith. Somewhat reminiscent of Sandraís.

Leap is wonderful, and a gift to everyone who reads it and goes for it.

Thank you, dear Sea. Iím off to take a

leap

into your ocean. Wish me luck.

Love and Motion,

Tom

dingbat

Mike:

No one has said Hai in a while :)

dingbat

Tom:

Hey, thanks Mike, for bringing this thread back from oblivion! Never thought this challenge would be so uninviting for a bunch of writers.

ďYour homework for tonight is to write a poem.Ē

ďAww, jeez, Mrs. Persnickity, do we haveta?Ē

ďYes, you do, Dibble. Itís a poem of one word and one syllable. And itís the only homework youíll ever have.Ē

ďOh man, why do I always have to get the hardest teachers?Ē

But Dibble, after a lot of nagging from his mom, did write his one-word poem, and now has grown up to become board chairman and CEO of his own ant farm and lives like a king on a private island in his bathtub.

So the moral of this story is: a secret.

In the Holy-ish Spirit of Hai,

Tom

dingbat

Jim:

My Hai is:

go

Jim x

dingbat

Tom:

Oh boy, here we go. Iím totally flusterpated by your poem, Buck. Iíve been being done by go for the whole last day. It has so many meanings that Iím still reeling. Itís even a game for goodness sake. You are a magician in the world of hai as well Ė a practitioner of sleight-of-word.

go

This is a hai that brings the audience right into the heart of the trick, and still leaves them wondering. It makes me feel like a reporter. Who what when where and why? How? What does go mean? Ė Are you kidding, itís obvious! No itís not. Yes it is. No itís not. Yes it is.

No itís not!

Yes it is. Or is it? Makes me wonder if Iím paranoid, like a dog that knows it did something bad but canít remember exactly what it is. Perhaps itís because Iím not much of a go-er by nature, being more inclined to stayness. Do I haveta?

If I know you, Jim, and I donít all that well, as much as I would like to, you meant this hai in the best possible sense. But pretending that I did know you, I would assume you were also aware of the undercurrents a word like this might hold for the timid or chronically underachieving and take a moderate clownagical delight in this mix-up. Mystery remains.

Take Five, Will Go,

Tom

dingbat

ayla:

ah

by Michelle Bidwell, a.k.a. Ayla, Illuminated Skye

dingbat

Tom:

Oh yeah. Iím doing the Macarena over here on that one. You discovered a way to make me breathe, ayla. I think itís impossible for me to read your hai without taking a big olí breath and letting it out with a giant ahhh. And itís a happy ah every time.

ah

Yes. Thank you and bless you, ayla. What a word to carry around. The Comforter uses just such words, or at least the sacred feeling of them. Plus itís the first hai that carries with it a hint of the erotic. Perhaps itís my inner hormonal man-child speaking (if such a thing has a feminine voice) yet canít help but detect an echo of Eros in that sound, as well as the sound of contentment.

Your hai is the sound a hungry person makes after ingesting the sweetest strawberry ever. A thirsty man after water. Or when someone understands something mysterious for the first time. Or...oops, better leave that one to your fervid imagination.

Your Ah-colyte,

Tom

dingbat

Deleen:

I was a bit nervous about letting a Hai choose me when I am, God willing, so much closer to the beginning of my life than the end, but immediately one flew into my mind and will not let itself be displaced by any other.

show

dingbat

Tom:

You know, Deleen, before we started doing this hai thing I never dreamed a single ordinary word could have such power. It started out as half a joke, but now itís become completely a joke, which means itís done the old dipsy-doodle yin/yang thing and become sacred knowing. Or in your case sacred showing.

Iíve not run across you in the pod yet, beloved spirit, though my attendance has been kind of spotty lately, but sure am glad to make the acquaintance of such a brave soul. You were born to dive deep, Deleen, if

show

showed up for you. You drag us kicking and screaming into the realms of serious philosophy. Perhaps it is a personal thing with me, but this hai rips my soul.

In a good way, dear, you understand. The word is so wound up in what it means to be a writer. What was it Hamlet said? We are bound to hold up that mirror, to show the world itself. Problem is, before you do that, you have to take off all your clothes.

eek!

Itís showtime! Non-writers have no idea how scary it is standing there holding your mirror without a stitch on. Right out there in public and everything.

Double-show. Them and you.

A writer must show him- or herself buck-ass naked for any soul to shine through. No wonder we get writerís blo*k, just needed to wear some clothes for a while. Of course we are show-offs, as well. Something drives us to disrobe our thoughts. The desire to be known, perhaps, that maybe we can say something truly enough that we will be known for what we really are. And if weíre lucky, and good, our readers will know more of what they are too.

As Jim knows so very well, thereís no business like show business.

Ah Fiction!

Show Love,

Tom

dingbat

rudyan:

I read through this whole thread before saying hai, and many a chuckle I got out of it too. But I wasnít in the least worried that my hai would have already been uttered in these pages. How could it when I only just got here?

so

dingbat

Tom:

Welcome, rudyan, to the land of little poetry! Delighted you wanted to join our gathering of haiists.

so

What a marvelous expression. Itís amazing how broad a word can become when you look at it as a poem in itself. I rarely read peopleís profiles, because I like surprises, and like to learn about them from their posts, but I should probably check out yours before I respond to your hai. It strikes me as perhaps from a non-US person, since the way we often hear this word in our degenerate age is as a term of belittlement, a way to deflate an overinflated statement, or as raindrops upon a parade.

ďI just had the happiest moment of my life!Ē

ďSo?Ē

I prefer the way I first read your poem, as an is-ness, a so-ness, used as in the title ďJust So StoriesĒ. How is life? It is so.

And So It Goes with Love,

Tom

dingbat

Jim:

As Mike said before...no-one has said Hai for a while.

Iíd encourage all of you to take a look at this interesting thread started by Tom – itís a true work of genius in my opinion (and Iím not going to be humble about it either).

Itís something for everyone to consider and also a lot of fun...youíll need to start at the top of the thread and work your way down through the posts...and when you, do youíll discover those of us who already have a Hai and what our Hai is.

And now dear writers to quote my own Hai.

Go

Jim x

dingbat

Sandra:

Thanks Jim, great to bring this thread up again. When I get to my Ďrestructuringí of the pod Iíll see if I can make it more visible.

I love this thread, and as I once suggested to Tom ( it feels like years and years ago, but it canít be) I still Ďseeí these Hai in a little book one day.

Iím still trying to find where he very first mentioned the Hai, the thread where my Ďhaií was given to me ( or arose, I guess), but so far itís buried somewhere. Iíll find it, one day...and in the meantime,

yes :-)

Sandra

and... wanted to add that much of my pleasure in these Hai comes from Tomís comments on them. Thank you Tom, for your wonderfulness.

dingbat

Jim:

Yes Sandra...itís Tomís illuminating comments on each Hai that keeps bringing me back to this thread. I too, would like to see this become a little book that the pod could publish and have the proceeds go to charity...I think it would be a best seller :)

Go

Jim x

dingbat

Sandra:

Actually there is another thread buried here somewhere here dear Jim, that Tom first spoke of Hai, it was after that thread that he started this one.. Iíll have to dig deeper... ;-)

xo

dingbat

Mame:

Master Tom,

I wandered by the garden weary from all my travels and found a delightful refreshment awaiting me. A mixed and varied blend of thoughts, feelings and wonderings. I am renewed by this brew!

Here and now

Hai:

am

by Mame Burkett, Buddha Bee

dingbat

Tom:

God I love it when a newborn hai brings tears to my eyes. Am even coaxed a sob for goodness sake. Itís holy. The birth of worlds in an atom. This one is bittersweet to me right now, since my father recently died and could be perceived as amnít, though he lives still in our hearts and memories, as well as in spirit, I am sure. So he am too.

am

Oh yeah, what an awesome poem. So much a cousin to be and yet so very different. Be is what you do on the way to am. Be is active, almost searching, something you do through time – am is just there, like the sky or the earth or Mame. God bless you Buddha Bee, for your beautiful buzz. Have you ever read What the Bee Knows, by P.L. Travers? Itís total bee heaven.

And thanks so much, Sandra and Jim, for your lovely comments. I really appreciate that, and that Sandra made this its own pod. Sweet!

Love & Gratitude,

Tom

dingbat

Mame:

Thanks oh wise Tom for this place of be and am and give and go. I agree with Sandra that I love your comments as much as the hai. I have not read ďwhat the bee knowsĒ but I have read ďthe secret life of beesĒ and oh their secrets are wonderful. They are busy being and are eternally in the now. Oh sweet present, where I am at my best.

:)

Mame

dingbat

Nono:

Darling Tom, I want a new Hai, my new is as follows:

aum

Love this thread and love you too.

Nono sending you true love and appreciation.

dingbat

Sandra:

gosh, running, had to have a peek...

I secretly suspect once you have your Hai, that that is It. But lets see what the Grand Master of Haiís says...;-) hugs!

S.

dingbat

Tom:

Ah ha! A new hai eh? Hmmm...excuse me for a moment while I put on my policeman hat.

As you know, dearest Nono, the chief rule of haii is that you only get one. But rule number three is that itís only one syllable, and you already broke that one. So as we wander across the desolate rubble of our rulebook we may trip or wobble in reference to Nono.

However, there is one rule of mine that trumps all others, and that is: whatever Nono wants, Nono gets. That may sound snide or flippant, but I mean it from the heart. Nono, dear one, you are such a wonderful being of light, that if there is ever anything I can do for you, and I can do it, I will.

In this case, that creaking sound you hear is the sound of rules being bent, twisted, or otherwise rendered unrecognizable. Your new hai is wonderful, Nono.

aum

Brilliant. Inspiring. True. I feel this one in my heart. It encompasses all hais, and everything else as well. Itís a word, and a sound, and a magical essence. It is the universe and God, the angels, the devils, and the wind. Aum is the sound that resonates in my bones when I think of Nono, my poet, my princess, and the ultimate goddess of the northland.

Rules were made to be broken and Nono was born to love.

So my dear love to you, dear one, and thank you for your miraculous new hai.

Hereís hoping this is not a slippery slope. Anybody else wants a new hai, tough beans.

Love,

Tom

dingbat

Jim:

Go you Tom ... cos I knew youíd be able to say yes to that request LOL

Jim x

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rudyan:

(just) so

rudyan

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sparrow:

Ground control to Major Tom,

got one for you to chew on

FEEL

Now, my darling spouse and I once argued long and fierce over whether or not ďbeerĒ had two syllables. I said ONE and I believe I was correct. (can still hear him saying over and over ďbee-ur bee-ur bee-urĒ) Depending on which side of the fence you sit on, this hai may or may not be acceptable.

I await your ruling...

Sparronius Birdus

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Tom:

O sparrow, my sweet chirpy unit, are you hoppy today? You must be, or why would you be ground control? I love a sparrow hop. Hop hop, on the ground, pecking for seeds, inquisitive head. This is Zaadz after all, no wonder it draws sparrows, Dutch ones I guess.

feel

I must admit, dear, your powerful hai terrifies the crap out of me. This is the central thing, what I yearn for and flee from, all I really care about, frankly. There is a very basic part of me that has one question and one question only: How does it make me feel?

Thatís how I judge art and how I assess people. Even though 90% of my time is spent wandering around in my head, itís the feel of things Iím after. Hope that doesnít make me a narcissisyist. And now Iím becoming an naressayist.

What a little masterpiece. The more I feel into feel the more it opens up inside me. Taken as an imperative itís like a blow from a Zen master, a very deep wisdom.

ďBut what if Iím experiencing excruciating pain?Ē

ďThat is when you most must FEEL my son. The way past is the way through. When you flee fear it finds you.Ē

And what about the joy? Who has ever let themselves fully FEEL joy? Too much and grownups explode. Only babies know the true joy. And they donít know because they think it, but because they feel it.

The universe wasnít created from the thought of God, but from His feelings.

Itís a theory anyway.

And the capitalization of the strangely phallocentric ĎHisí brings something else to mind. Ė Thank god I get to get off feelings for a sec, and discuss pure utilitarian esthetics. Thereís a certain book being discussed that Iím a little leery of mentioning because a friend of mine is superstitious. But if I was the theoretical typesetter of this theoretical book I would set only one hai per page, with perhaps some lovely image on the facing page, or even just pure color. And there wouldnít be a capitalized letter anywhere to be seen. All letters would be created equal.

Do you know that some people consider using capital letters elitist? They might even call it colonialism. ďIím taller and bigger than you so Iím more important.Ē A power struggle on the page.

Personally I think thatís ridiculous, and a perfect example of the old saw that if all you have is a hammer, all you begin to see is nails.

But what is the purest form of the word? Iíve noticed a tendency for haiing in all caps lately, and even though itís not how I would do it, how can I mess with someone elseís art? I have no idea why people put it in all caps. It could be an important part of their esthetic statement, and for someone else to go in and alter it would not only be unethical but Ė horrors Ė in bad taste!

I certainly donít think there should be a rule about it. And sparrow, I will capitalize and italicize FEEL every time I use it. Itís a feeling word, and that kind of emphasis is appropriate, I guess.

In capital letter-land.

Sorry. Couldnít stop myself.

There I go, feeling again. Giggles are a good feel.

Thank you so much for your felt chirp, darling sparrow. It is deep and light somehow together. The perfect hai. I have to go cry now.

Love and Wow,

Tom

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sparrow:

i shrink in the magnitude of YOUR wisDom.

humble hoppiNg servant

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Tom:

Well pshaw, sparrow, the last thing I wanted to do was make you FEEL shrinky. I was hoping for expansion. Ever since you joined Diving Deeper Iíve been loving your work madly, and wanted to do what I could to make you feel at home and at ease, to effortlessly know your own power. And then I go and make you feel shrinky and humble. Ouch.

I donít know how in the hell Jim or anybody got the idea I was some kind of master or wise person. Hope he didnít give you the wrong idea. Iím dumb as a stump. Just because somebody can hook words together okay doesnít make them smart or wise. Itís some kind of quasi-idiot-savant thing with the writing, I guess.

Thatís one thing I like so much about writing: Itís easy to be smart when youíre alone. If you saw me at a party youíd be going, "So, Sally, whoís the moron in the corner?"

Wise people are those who do wise things. Those who say wise things have no claim on wisdom. Thatís only for the people who act wisely. And I surely donít belong in the second group. Vis my even mentioning the stupid capitals thing. My true self (I hope) could care less whether the words are capitalized in any fashion. Only my grabby anal-retentive part gives a hoot about the capitalization. And thatís one of the things Iím here to overcome, or at least call a draw with. So I ask for your help in that, beloved sparrow, and your forgiveness.

Weíre trying to learn not be too self-conscious about our writing, and now we have to worry about the size of the letters? Sheesh, what was I thinking?

Please donít give that a second thought.

Insert mouth, open foot.

Love & Oops,

Tom

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rudyan:

Now donít go getting too humble on us, Tom. I donít think thereís anyone here who wouldnít concede youíre ďsome kind of master or wise personĒ (and arenít we all, in our own way?). Itís not just your words, itís the feeling behind them, the empathy Ė just reread some of your comments on other peopleís posts, youíll see what I mean. Oh, and not to mention, the whole thread around your ďfatherĒ poem. In fact, I think youíre one of the caring-est and feeling-est people here, and thatís saying something. And how you encourage and keep encouraging the rest of us! Isnít that a doing?

Wise words, if they are oneís own, donít come out of nothing.

rudyan

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sparrow:

Boy, I really made you dance there, Tom.

Yippee

Sparrow

PS:

As you were busy talking about how un-wise and joe-everyone you are, you threw in the word Vis and even capitalized it. I think I love you.

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Jim:

Tom I refer and defer to your wisdom of the Hai Ė and always will ... this is genius writing and the concept is truly new ... you are The Master when it comes to the Hai ... go figure. lol

Jim x

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Sandra:

I of course, say
yes
to everything that has been written since my last post here.
I will admit to squirming a bit at your new hai dear Nono,
aum
but since you are the goddess of change
Iím looking forward to the next one. Maybe you get one of those pages that if you turn it a little it switches from one hai to another... ;-)
all for no page numbers
all for maybe just a slab of colour on one side.
rather liked the no capitals and italics
but I bow to the master of hai, his word is always the last ( and so full of love who could say no?)

Sandra

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ayla:

Oh, Master Tom, you do make me laugh!

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Nono:

Yes, Sandra (smiles)

And our Hai Master Tom welcomed a grasshopper, he seems to know little something about those jumpy creatures ;-) if I may humbly add.

I figured that I didnít want a word but I needed the word instead. The one that had it all in it. Of course aum seemed a bit glassy and overdo and newagee and way beyond, but this time i did contemplate really carefully about this.

What else word would i want to say as my last when i go over the border from body to pure soul? What word could have it all, even nothing? What would give me the connection and pull the self in harmony for the ultimate nirvana ... so i figured this rainbow ending would do, so no, none a word would make it thru Ė and yet, aum is nothing actually, I couldíve picked huii just as well.

The essence of Hai is, for me, everything we put in it, and I want to put everything in it, everything that matters and is good, pure love if I may say. What word can give me the very breath and tune of Mother Earth? And what word do I use when I connect with God Ė Iíve used this Hai for a long time. It doesnít have any disguises, any veils over her glorious face. It is the Truth Ė simply.

My gratitude is huge that Tom recognized my hearts true longing, as he also knows what Nothing had becomed for me afterwards. The grace of Tomís golden heart ... there are no words for that. My dear friend Tomís spirit will be there that day when I say it for the last time. And I know Iíll be smiling.

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Jim:

*2 small coughs* ... hai is actually spelt Hai ... thus spake the master in his first instruction.

Everything else is without a capital ...

But I still defer :Ė)

Jim x

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Islandman:

I do not have the luxury of enough time to burrow into my consciousness and retrieve my Hai. Iíve tried, off and on, for about an hour now.

And so it has revealed itself, accidentally, as I typed.

now

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Synerjyz:

This seems to be the way of the Hai my dear Is..man.

I too tried to burrow for it in my consciousness and nothing...I donít think it lives there... then when I was tired and lost there it was...right between my left hazel eye & my third colorless one hehehe ~written out in four black letters, as if it fell from big mind or something, THUNK!

Now ... a word big enough to include you.

Fabulous!

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Tom:

Cha-ching! (insert fireworks, eclipsii, comets, bangles, changles, and booms)

November 31, 2007 12:56 PM Mountain Standard Time. A moment to mark with a stone.

Iíve been wondering and hoping for the day that now would become a when, or an is. I suppose it always is an is, but it never was a hai before. I told Loni I couldnít wait for the day someone wrote now. Wondered who it would be, what wizard of time would set the space. Wondered how I would feel when I finally realized itís now.

God bless you Islandman. I canít tell you how Iíve been longing for this moment. All my life Iíve yearned for it, recognized its power and its glory, but never been able to achieve it, always wishing for better or sooner or someday soon maybe.

The present is a mystery to me. Donít think Iíve ever truly been there, unless perhaps to pop in for a quick visit when Iím in the neighborhood. I think itís a magic space, now, a place where everythingís always just right, every proportion meets all specifications, a time when every beingness is synchronous. Itís the world where God lives, so deep inside of life itís almost beyond space and time. Where everything comes from and nothing ever leaves.

Jim said go. You say now. I say great idea, thanks you guys!

Now is it. All of it. The Present is the Point of Power, as Seth said...and we all may have mentioned at one time or another in our lifetimes.

now

Freakin popwally zimbabo! Now, damnit! This is it! Ha ha! Whoowee, now is really fine, ainít it? Itís infinite and yet utterly singular. Thereís no now like the one we just had...oops, there it goes, now itís now again, different than the last time! A new now, the only now. Wow.

ďLetís live here.Ē

Loving your present of the present,

Tom

...have you ever heard the phrase Ďconfirmation biasí? Itís definitely googleable. Itís a psychological term meaning that humans are wired so that whatever we believe or agree with we tend to focus on and things we donít believe we tend to discard mentally, or actually not even notice. We are wired to see what we believe in, and our reasons figure out the reasons to agree with ourselves, very reasonably of course. One way to avoid that is to be here now. Thereís no bias to confirm, only what is.

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Sandra:

Lovely Hai, lovely comment as always, Tom.

No I did not know there was a term called Ďconfirmation biasí but it seems to be along the same lines of the quantum stuff that suggests the experimenter/scientist will affect the outcome of the experiment because of what he/she believes etc.

hugs both,

Sandra

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Tom:

Funny how those threads come together. To form a pod or a sweater or in our case a g-string made of wind. Itís also a description of your work, O goddess who is not a goddess and is. Itís that damn confirmation bias that kicks our ass every time. What is the difference between a writer who dreads the blank page and one who adores it?

Duh. One writes and the other doesnít. Guess which is which? One looks at the blank page and sees a wonderland of possibilities, the ultimate free zone of what could be someday. The other goggles in a sweat of horror at the ten-ton weight of white lead looming over their head like a brain-squisher from hell.

Ha. Dramatic people somehow seem to encounter a lot a drama, Iím afraid.

When youíre writing, the confirmation bias works two ways. It twists its grimy tentacles into the past to dredge up explanations, experiences, and learnings, perfectly rational examples time and again of why you totally suck and should throw down that damned pen for the last time (drawing from personal experience here, there may be those who bring in a past that is full of wisdom and inspiration). Or, oneís c. b. stretches its rubbery hooks into the future, to haul in bad laughter and scorn, people calling you a stupid selfish self-centered incompetent show-off and deriding the size or shape of your sex organs and hairdo.

Either way itís very possible that fear is pouring in from both sides, fear and society. A ton of shoulds per second. Holy shit. Put it that way itís no wonder Iím bl*cked.

Enter Sandra. Write in the moment. Trust the center (or centre, as she might say). Let go of those hooks, drop the confirmation bias and be here now.

Threads within threads, weaving and wondering. The quantum thread, the social sciences thread, the writing thread. Man I love that windy g-string. Itís almost better than being naked.

Now,

Tom

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Islandman:

Tom, your writing would make Frank OíHara proud. I just love those Whoowees! The vernacular, the tone, the cadence. An American Original, like Leviís jeans.

And, dammit, the Hai is legitimate. The Book of Hai, published by Doubleday, edited by Tom, (c) 2007

Goes
By G.W. Bush

Instant
By Bill Gates

Bomb
By Henry Kissinger

This
By David Bowie

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Maya:

Wow Now Wow!

what a bit of wit! I enjoy your style Tom...inspiring!

such wit!

a bit of wit

IT

IT

IT

(images of dr.suess wandering through bamboo groves looking for inspiration)

so fresh
green
tender
IT
shunned by
a bolder
IT
humbly refrains
it
viewing life from the ordinary

it
stands alone

until preceded by
b
f
l
m
n
p
s
t
w
z

simply
not knowing
how life will create

it

Self

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Tom:

The first Suessian hai. Yippee! If anyone ever asked me who my favorite writer of all time is, Iíd have to say the immortal Doctor, even though heís not my favorite anymore. He was my favorite when favorite meant everything. He made me love the sounds of words. Iíll have some green eggs with that ham, please.

Wow, now show. A new way, a true way. Thank you so much, Leia, for the playful and delightful poem around your hai. A poem in a poem, like a play within a play. Your hai is especially striking, to me, in its sound. Iíve been grooving on the sounds of them lately, and yours is powerful.

it

The sound of it is sharp and quick, nothing like draw or be. It is a sword of a sound, a flash of light and then gone. And thatís only the sound, for peteís sake! What of meaning?

It...it...it...it...lordy, what can it mean? This word is all mixed up inside language, so embedded thereís hardly any way to extricate it. Every time you talk about it, you say it. You canít even not say it when youíre not talking about it. It just comes out. It is so utterly basic. I bet it was the first word uttered at the dawn of humanity....

Gron struggles to stand upright, nudges his hairy pal, then points to something in the middle foreground and grunts out the first word: ďit.Ē

Thatís one thing I do know about it. It is not me. Or you. It is not anybody from the inside. Nobody ever points at their ownself and says ďití. I am not an it, at least from my perspective.

It is there, in a very cosmic sense. When one finally reads the writing on the wall, it will be the first thing you see. In a world of unity, what is to be made of it?

A very basic spiritual phrase: I am That.

Is it possible that I am it? If thatís the case, then....

Tag, youíre it!

Ha ha, gotcha. How do you like them beans? Now youíre it. But if youíre really it, I mean really, really it, then thatís the catís pajamas. Remember the ĎItí girl from the twenties (I think)? Was that Greta Garbo? Somebody like that. And then thereís the techno-speak IT, with which I am woefully familiar. IT It it i ....

Whew!

Love & Glad That You Are It,

Tom

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Maya:

What you wrote about it was so delightful. I was laughing. I needed it. Thanks for giving it to me.

Loved what you are doing with sounds. My first art explorations were with a voice therapist who worked with actors. Weíd spend days working with sound..the vowels and works of Graves ďThe White GoddessĒ Sound goes into movement into hands into clay faces into paper masks paints costumes, acting, streaming words cultivated poetry.

Wonderful process!

So these memories...and the inspiration of sound.

appreciation for depth and laughter Tom!

leia

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~*~Snow * Moon~*~:

I donít believe it!
Is that it?
Ah thatís how it is!
I get it...
I got it...
I lost it...
I found it...
forget it!
So, get over it!

dingbat

Tom:

ha!

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david:

i vaguely recall picking an unacceptable hai.

prolly something smartass.

how bout,

root

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Tom:

Iíll be darned. David. I think it was the name of a Sumerian goddess.

This is a deep hai, an earthy one, my friend, full of many underground branches. It brings to mind the sonance of the form. So much is sound. It is a chakra, the bottom one, a power zone.

root

Man, that is one deep sound. Vigorous, just like the poet. It has a mystery in there and ends in a thrusting T sound, like the final chord of a truncated rock n roll song. Rock n root, dude. This feels to me like a perfect base for a man, a deep root that grounds, sustains, and nurtures. The sun brings energy, but water must come from the earth.

Solid power, grow and nurture. Connect.

Thanks bro, really appreciate you joining our little shindig!

Love, Growth, and Very Cool Sounds,

Tom

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Sandra:

now I really want to know what your original Hai was, David, I do remember it being, um, different, but for the life of me I wonder where it went. No deleting happened, Iím sure, but itís just plain disappeared. Did someone steal it?

Anyway,
root is good. I like roots.
Jim may have another response as root has a particular meaning in Oz land, but Iíll let him tell you all about that himself.

hugs.

S.

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Jim:

Oh hah hah ... even with my other knowledge I still like it as a Hai and Tomís description includes it I think Sandra :)

Jim x

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ayla:

iím not even gonna ask and now Iím afraid to say that I like root

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~*~Snow * Moon~*~:

Warm greetings Tom, creator of this wonderful thread!

May I have some more tea?

Thank you!

I dropped by to share with all my ďhaiĒ

ha

~*~Snow * Moon~*~ spreader of ē smiles for miles ē

Now, I shall stretch my powerful, long legs and leap along...it is fall and you know for us grasshoppers that means it is mating season! ďHA

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Synerjyz:

Absolute perfection I thought after visiting your home page here at Zaadz dear *Snow*Moon*.

ha

I love the equality of no capital letter,
I adore the sound,
I feel itís size as big enough to hold the bounty that is all you!
Bravo.

Welcome! I look forward to enjoying your flavor here in DD.

Namasteí

Syn *draw*

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Tom:

Holy double pooterhead, what a great hai! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! God I could recite it forever. Thank you beloved Snow Moon, for making my day. Ha ha ha. I feel so good now. I love to laugh. And then you could combine it with Aylaís hai and say Ah Ha!

Illumination.

The on spot. The core of laughing. Epiphany central.

ha

And itís also the sound the Zen guy makes when he punches you in the stomach to make you wake up for once. Oh yeah.... The Zen of Groaning.

And of course I would love to pour you another cuppa, dear one. Iím glad you like it! Just one more if you donít mind. It is rather strong. Double mystic juju sauce. And we do preach moderation here in the pod, not only in the length of our poetry.

Mating season ho!

Love, Laughter, and Joy,

Tom

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Jim:

Couldnít resist it Tom ... yes, ah ha, go, now.

The bookís coming ... I can feel it.

Jim x

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~*~Snow * Moon~*~:

hahahahahahahahah!

ha

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Dave:

While this word has bounced inside my skull
Twas not til hai, the echoíd cavity leaked full
A single word of the truthís disguise
Not a certain mind, but the question...

whyz

For deep within an empty head
Fearing the word already said
Not seeing it posted on this thread
whyz the last question for itís time for bed.

dingbat

Tom:

A new Dave! God bless the saints above and all the birds and flowers too, & the eggs & seeds. Youíve got some big galoshes to fill, brother. Welcome very much. I realize now of course that youíre a completely different person, but itís kind of a revelation to find thereís another Dave here. The old one recently left us, and then voila hereís a new one, with the same amazing verbal capabilities. Itís got to be a Sign from God. The beginning of a new beginning.

Welcome, Dave!

This is the first time Iíve ever had to do any detective work in association with a new hai. You and I, my new artistic associate and fellow sprit rider, are the only hai-ists yet to bend the language rather severely. Our poems are almost English: squank and whyz.

Whyz, Lord, whyz? Wherefore the zed?

Time to put on my thinking cap, that heavy old tattered thing. One thing I know for sure, I really enjoyed the poem wherein you nested your poem. It may be, though this strikes me as perhaps a stretch, that your hai is really why, and the z is humor and expediency. It sure makes the poem work delightfully, though making the hai itself more problematic, at least for me.

Why is it whyz? Is it whyz? Maybe itís why. But why would it be why? Why would it need to be why? Why is why the only why? Whyz could be why too. Why from aleph to zed? The plural of why....

It does come with its own embedded question, which is a plus, though a little baroque, if not rococo, in the stylistic world of the hai universe. I do have to admit, Dave, that I wish it was why. Why, do you ask? Iíll tell you why. Itís because if I didnít already have squank, alas, why would be my hai.

why

Itís the only question I really truly care about, frankly, out of all the other wonderings and wishes. The big question. Why am I here? Thatís what I want to know. Why is anything? Why do I have to suffer so much? It just doesnít make sense to me and I want to know why. But as you say, it is the truthís disguise, which of course is why it has to be spelled

whyz

The mask of Zorro. And it may be a foolís question. I always figured dogs are smarter than humans, based on their collective behavior, and never yet saw a dog ask why.

A why of this kind is rarely uttered in connection with happiness. O why Lord? ...why oh why am I having this orgasm? Most existential whys are uttered in connection with pain of some sort.

And then thereís the curiosity factor. Any human child who grows up to not be wildly curious about a whole lot of things is severely limited and even disabled in some way, I think. A circumscribed life, too much knowing. Of course there are a million ways to live, but not to wonder is a damn shame. I suppose it might make things easier in many ways if you knew the answer to everything already.

I like your new phrase for a head: Ďthe echoíd cavityí. Masterful. I have one of those too. HELLO, Hello, hello....lots of echoing in there. And lots of love for you and people like you. Sure would appreciate it if you clarified the spelling for me.

Love, Peace, and Wyrd Spelling,

Tom

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Sandra:

Wyrd Spelling
oh Iím just weeping with laughter....

whyz

Yeah, I wanna know why whyz too, but,
unfortunately it is not in my domain to ask why, but only to say

Yes.

(and thank you both oh and this whole damn thread. Canít wait till we publish...)

S.

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Dave:

Tom and Madame Sandra,

Whilst we all seek whyzdom,
It eludes everything we learn
When we strive for mental stardom
Our heartís calling cries of yearn

What is this question whyz?
The humility that we know not all?
A calmed mind is the ultimate prize
Our whyzdom is the spiritís call

The path to whyz is a question
That opens us beyond the known
When we ask whyz with passion
Our soulís whyzdom is our own.

I am honored to be the new Dave,
and would love to have known your friend.
I am a man of questions,
seeking wisdom in the end.

Through the question whyz, we have the opportunity to be whyz.

Dave

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Tom:

Whyz it is, my new Dave brother, a question hai from a questioning man. It fits, dagnabbit.

A question word with a quiz built in. Isnít that how quests begin, with a question? Quest on! How about if I supervise? Iíll sit here by the fire with my pipe and ale and you guys can pop in every once in awhile for some advice, and let me know how itís going. Let me know if you find the fountain of youth, though itís probably too late for me, alas.

Damn, all this talk about wisdom has made me sad, I guess. And the question why, even though thatís only an adjunct of your hai. And loss is a sad time. Wish there werenít seven whole stages of grief. You would think two or three would be enough. And wouldnít you know it, happiness has only one stage? Pshaw. The loss of which I speak is one of virginity.

Before you boldly wrote where no man had written before, the Hai thread made sense, at least to me. Now it is the domain of the multi-sensical. Itís not nonsense, thatís for sure. It is a wild sense though, beyond my meager gardenerís hands to hold. You and the old Dave must be twin sons of different mothers, with the same name.

Growth is what I fear, and what do you know Ė itís growth all over the place.

Thanks for giving me such a great hand with my freedom, Dave. You rock, mightily, kind of like an earthquake but in a good way.

Love & Seeking Beyond the Known,

Tom

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Sandra:

In the middle of the night I got it, I did! I did indeed, just goes to show how much I need your whyzdom dear Dave.

xo

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Maya:

Master Hai
Squank Quadran

Your responses in the ever so flowing imaginary commentaries on Hai greatly over succeed the meager possibilities of any us humble readers and one word writers. Whyz do you leave us be hai nd in a cloud of emptiness to live off the dust of but a few left over words?

Left searching for wit among the brambles I have no idea how to follow in thy footsteps oh master of Hai and tread softly at the same time so I will not be noticed.

How are we, ever so humbled, able to pick up what you have left behind. And I clinging to the only word I can claim, the one I had chosen while in a sporadic frenzy while you get to ponder over so many and take them into such great depths of sensual delight.

I ask you to please implore and consider for the sake of democracy to allow us to chose again and again and again our hai and not restrain it to just one.

Please do consider perhaps after your tea you that you might make room for the freedom of hai to expand to meet the needs of everyone near and far. Oh for the freedom to let out minds THINK freely, to choose and choose again. To THINK and ponder with great depths and find our solutions in the such simple sounds and then nay to repeat again this horrid nonsense which has slipped out of the mouth of this great hookah smoking caterpillar.

(or is that grasshopper?)

One day too I will fly free. Til then. Donít bogart it my friend.

Princess of IT

dingbat

My Dearest Leia and Mystical Princess of IT,

Far be it from me to constrain you in any way. I wish, like Sandra, to always say yes. My hope is always for people to be free to follow their own muse and the singing in their hearts. I know how awesome it would be to be able to write more hais. How do you think I feel with squank? Gag me with a spoon. There are so many beautiful ones out there just begging to be written.

But I donít make the rules around here. They were handed down to us by our beloved forewriters. And if you could have as many haii as you wanted pretty soon youíd have a phrase and then a sentence, and then where would you be? Huh? Dogs and cats writing poetry together? It would be utter confusion, I assure you.

Part of the magic of the hai experience is that you have to give up all the rest of the language. The ultimate Zen-like white space, everything but one word. It is an exercise in sacrifice. How else is it to be holy? For the hai is not an exercise in writing, but one of being.

be

Of course you can write as much one-word poetry as you wish, Leia, but sadly those words can never be hais, since yours is gone now. And if you posted them here, what would happen? You might take a word that someone else wanted. Not in the collective spirit of Zaadz, perhaps.

Some choices can never be unchoosed, hasty or not. Squank was a work of seconds, as you can tell. Besides, it is pretty damn cool, I think. One of the better haii ever, to my taste.

And Iíd love it if you want to comment on peopleís poetry here. I can see where you might think itís kinda grabby of me to take up all the column space in this thread. Letís see...you get one word and I get everything else. Perfect!

So feel free to put as many of your marvelous words here as you wish. Please just hook them together.

Good luck on the not being noticed thing. Try not to step on any branches.

Love & Peace & Sorry,

Tom

dingbat

Nono:

Ooops, pooh, da dii daa duu, itís a ding ding thing so squank me ta ta dim dim and i had nothing ... bending bending bending him. Just playing with soundís (was that apostrophe in right place, canít tell really.)

I know where Leia is going or perhaps it is where she is coming from ... hmm, eh never mind. Well, I have thought a lot about these hais. They arouse many thoughts and images. Maybe the book to come will be a bit thicker if we add more thoughts around a persons hai. I think that itís a good idea. It would be great that we give every one of these haii a full thread of postings, like:

Chapter 1: Squank

and so on and so on, just wonder where that ax-mans first smart ass hai went? Are we missing a thread here perhaps ... wasnít there once 2 separate threads going on about this hai seeking business? I am almost certain that the haii where discussed elsewhere as well. Perhaps among Davie the Ax-mans own postings?

We need a thread search, so we wonít miss a word!

Nothing

aum my friends

Nono-girl in hai-land

dingbat

Dave:

What word is this, taunting hai?
Emotes truth as its prank
Spawns new mots like squank
And leaves us to ponder why.

What word is this, truthful hai?
Tis not in the letter or word,
Look deep within for its meaning,
Shout from your heart, till you cry.

What word is this elusive hai?
Squank is the voice of the soul,
Untouched by the filtered mind
Seek meaning to your answer why.

Thank you everyone, for the warm welcome, and to share with you the riddle that is hai.

dingbat

Maya:

OOOps
and that is not a hai
honest!
;-)
I wasnít going anywhere Nono and Sir Squank
It was all just play. I simply let it come out hadnít planned it. So Iím seeing that although its free flow to some degree not to mess around with the rules as a way of play.

Tom you have such a dear heart and are very caring. You all writing here are very supportive and inspiring. I sense in my writing an energy of trying to connect within and without. That will just take time to fall away likely.

trying to shake loose,
thank you
and I will keep my title here

I bid you good day!

Princess of IT

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Maya:

I read over what I wrote yesterday

I was watching mind do its insane thinking thing when there is a decision to make..and of course no matter how deep you think there is always the opposing solution...thus the hookah smoking caterpillar, the desire to be free and the other writing that came out about decisions and the craziness of mind chasing its tail.

I just let it all come out through the writing without thinking, playing with tone and quality of feeling underneath.

I love what is happening in HAI the energy there is amazing and your responses are so much fun to read and Iím sure to write.

I wouldnít want to change a thing about it
and I love my word
I didnít think about it
it was just there
IT was a gift
as are you master squank!
PI
Hai is Working!!!

dingbat

Sandra:

I just thought Iíd check, and this thread is now no longer an oops!

Yes!!

So come on, everyone who hasnít taken a look.. have you found or been given your Hai yet?

Sandra

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Dave:

Somebody needs to grab a Hai that starts with H, and rhymes with Gaia.

Even if we donít know how to pronounce Gaia... my guess is that since Gaia is a female, it must be pronounced... Guy Ė uh?

:)

dingbat

~*~Snow * Moon~*~:

If I recall, your Ďhaií is one syllable.

Gaia would have to be gai

Or hai would have to be haia

Oh the fun to be had! :-)

dingbat

Rumi Wannabe:

As I read these luscious, delicious posts, Iíd have to say in sum,

my Hai is:

yum

dingbat

Phil:

Apologies if I intrude. All this creative print, and these old eyes, makes me

squint

dingbat

Tom:

Rumi, dear friend and fellow yearner, Iím assuming that if youíre really a Rumi wannabe, and not just a wannabe wannabe, then you canít have any objections to folks calling you plain Rumi? Not that those two syllables are plain in any way, other than in their purity.

From what Iíve read of your postings, you are well along on the path, with mountains yet to climb. Best wishes for a prosperous journey. All my heart wishes you well.

And now my stomach does too.

yum

Ah, blessed sound. A tremendously attractive hai to me, since I have long been an enthusiastic proponent of the full-body yum. I get yummies of the eyes, and yums of the ears as well. Not to mention yums of the heart and of the mind, and yes, of the soul. There is a childish quality to this poem that is infinitely endearing. It almost has gratitude built-in.

Thank you so much, Rumi, for this light-hearted and soul-wingťd hai. What a wonderful addition to our sacred collection.

Love, Peace, and Whatís for Dinner?

Tom

dingbat

Tom:

Laws a mercy, Phil, intrude? Never so. This thread is set on auto-include. Everybody welcome. So glad to see you and thanks for joining our little shindig.

Delighted to meet another fellow sufferer-from-eyestrain. Or neck-strain in my case, from peering in to try to decipher this ant-type. Iíve complained to everybody I could think of to no result. My flat-screen only liked one resolution, so changing the screen res wasnít an option.

However, somewhere I ran across the advice that you can hit Ctrl + the plus sign, more than once, to make the screen bigger in increments (at least in Internet Explorer). Then Ctrl minus, to go back down, or Ctrl + 0, to go back to the original size. It was like it was some kind of secret or something, it was so hard to find that out. The kerning of the letters goes a little wacky, and things get a tad glitchy, but itís definitely bigger. Iíve got a 30Ē screen now, so I can make the hills come alive with the sight of ant-type. Totally freakin gigantic, read it from across the room, even with my ancient-of-days eyeballs.

Gotta love the hai, though. Another sound hai. Even if it didnít mean anything it would still be a cool sound. I wonder if squint could be considered onomatopoetic? Itís almost as if the skin around your eyes makes that sound when you squint. And what else is it about

squint

?

It resonates in my philosophical bone, as if there is a message there Iím not seeing. I can hear it, but not see it. Must look closer. Some poetry must be studied to be understood.

Onward to Clarity!

Tom

dingbat

Phil:

OMG. Where to start.... First, thanks for the +/- tip! That has been very helpful.

So, currently Iím afflicted with this mental constipation otherwise known as writerís block. I hummed. hawwed. jiggled. joggled. Free association, dada, sniffing sage, turning the page. In a fit of frustration, I almost went with aaaaarrrrrgh as my hai. But the universe nudged me in the direction of squint, and so with high anxiety, and equally high hopes for approval, I made my post. I checked the thread. 10 minutes later, I checked it again. I began to feel like the miner waiting at the train station for the mail order bride to arrive. Meanwhile, my anti-virus prog expired and I installed a new and unfamiliar one. (Firewall this, protect that, no phishing, no spitting on the virtual sidewalk, canít you read the sign....) Gaia interacts with your e-mail for logon, and my e-mail was now as safe as if it were stored in the deepest vault at fort knox. So safe, in fact, that it prevented me from logging on. For five days now......Iíve been squinting at my software and manual.

Squint!

Mutter

squint!

mutter.

dingbat

Tom:

Writerís bl*ck, eh? Youíve come to the right place, Phil. Ask Sandra for a red pill.

Funny how you suddenly unblocked here while you were talking about something that pissed you off. Your writing is fabulous, the description of computer problems like something from a comedic manual of cyber-life.

Have you read Sandraís ĎNotes on the Meaning of Lifeí (or something like that...I always forget the name of the threads). Give Bad Writing a whack, or do some assignments. Nothing frees up the muse like trying to write badly. Even if you suck at it you succeed wildly.

Maybe youíve been squinting too much at your writing. Try closing your eyes and going it blind. As Sandra would say that her teacher would say, ďWrite what wants to be written.Ē

This is a spiritual gathering, remember? We love you for what you communicate, not for how you do it. Actually we love you whether you communicate or not, at least theoretically.

Tom

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Phil:

A red pill eh? At this point Iíll try anything. You are right that when I feel strongly about something, itís easier to have a good rant. Itís also true that Iím my worst critic. (well maybe not the *worst*, but the other 10 send me Christmas cards. My ex got the rejection letters in the divorce....ark ark!)

Seriously, I love to write, and now I finally have the time and inclination. I have cruised the bad writing section, and when I get up the nerve Iíll give it a whack as you say. Thanks for the word of encouragement!

dingbat

cece23:

I was pondering on the word squint myself. I think this word had to be born out of the word squeeze because that is kind of what you do with your eye muscles to try and bring things into focus. As a Hai I think it symbolizes the acceptance of our limitations as we are getting older. We can also remind ourselves that we are only as old as we feel with some other Ďsqueezeí words: squealing with laughter as you accidentally squash a snail and hear the squelching noise (ah poor snail)!

Hope you donít mind Tom that I have added my own interpretation?

(heck no!)

dingbat

Sandra:

Phil.. a good rant?? oh yes!... a Truly Bad Rant even?.... sounds just my cup of tea, especially given what Iíve read of you here, MORE please. In whatever form or place.

Sandra

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cece23:

My Hai would have to be

breathe

Sounds like such a simple thing we do all the time without thinking...

dingbat

Sandra:

Oh... lovely... and canít wait for Tomís response!!
Reminded me to breathe.. right this moment. Thank you!

dingbat

drechanteuse:

Such a very nice hai, Cece. Iím sure Tom will be around at some point to impart his wisdom upon your hai and, ultimately, okay it.

I have been thinking for a while on this one myself. I am hoping that nobody has this already. I did read the thread, but I hope I didnít miss anything. I know that in my life there has been one thing I can do to make everything better, almost always:

laugh

Tom, we await you...

Andrea

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Sandra:

Well, Iím smiling, an Ďinner laughí dear Andrea!! thank you too!

and as above.. TOM, where are you??

dingbat

Tom:

I told Sandra 5 was big these days.

breathe

Most good advice is situational, but tell me a time when this doesnít apply? Okay, underwater and in a fire, but anywhere else at any time, this is a dictum that best be obeyed. Yet to do it consciously, what a delight! And this is a long Hai, as long as a breath. All syllables are not created equal.

cece23, beloved new friend of my heart (and first-time poster in DD if Iím not mistaken Ė welcome!), you have struck the synchronicity chord in my life. I recently signed up for a breathing course, in fact have paid cash money to learn how to do so at an expert level. And Ė wonder of wonders Ė I am breathing as we speak! Serendipity, on.

Plus this is such good advice to the writer. The rhythm, the cycle, the in and the out, the taking in of experience and the exhalation of prose or poetry. A reminder to leave space between your words because they need to breathe too. A place for the essence of the reader to breathe their experience into yours.

And the sound...so very poetic.

Thank you cece23!

Love,

Tom

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cece23:

Thanks Tom for the welcome and the comments :-)

Synchronicity it is, because as I thought of the Hai it reminded me that, although we all breathe without thinking about it, taking the time to learn to breathe properly can add an extra dimension and quality to oneís life. I was hoping you would see where I was coming from with this.

Celia

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Tom:

I love to laugh, ha ha ha ha, long and loud and free! (from my favorite movie)

You make for a merrier me, Andrea, thank you so very much for this wonderful addition to our word clump! Out of all the words in the English language, you picked one of the best. Yours is the very first Hai that can actually be used to cure cancer. Iím sure youíve heard of people who laughed themselves well.

And boy howdy, I can sure use a laugh today. On three: one, two, three...ha ha ha ha!

Whew, thank God Ė like a cool drink of water after a thirsty day. You totally freakin rock.

Had one of the worst days I can remember. Two weeks ago I joined a yoga class, and today went to an "Awakening", a daylong seminarish thingy in which one awakens from a lifelong slumber and learns who you truly are, or something to that effect. I kept trying to tell my instructor it was too early. Iím not that quick of a waker-upper. Eight hours sitting on the floor for a fat guy who two weeks ago didnít go outside much because they donít have recliners there? My head hasnít been lower than my waist since 1982.

However, the morning was awesome, if at a discomfort level much higher than Iím used to. Then we did some more painful stuff that was actually very rewarding. And then, finally, toward the end of the day, in about the twentieth interminable minute of a long pose, my will snapped like a thready twig.

bink

And I was done. Failure Boy rises from the dead like a puking giant. I immediately became this huge negative wave crashing upon itself and sending ring waves of negativity throughout the previously buoyant dojo, or donjon, or whatever the fuck they call it, they could call it a pisspot for all I care.

(oops...not sure one could call that sideways anger, more diagonal, alas)

In my sharing time at the end, with us all sitting in a circle (on the floor of course for peteís sake) I said, ďI feel betrayed,Ē amongst a mini-host of other unkind things, though I hope not too unkind. Mostly just standard failure talk. And I did manage to say fark instead of fuck, but just barely. Did one good thing oh yay.

Good work, huh?

Anyway, you can tell Iím a little peeved this evening. Iím not quitting, but Iím not happy anymore. Now Iím sad. Grand to learn that my true nature is total asshole and failing loser. I think I ruined a magnificent spiritual and physical experience for one of the women there, if making her cry might be considered ruination, after she had been glowing with happiness. Lord knows what I did to the rest. Most were fine with it, I think. Ignore the whiny ass.

The interesting thing is, to me anyway, that we were doing what the instructor called Ďwatchingí, which I absolutely love (at least theoretically), and which runs throughout wisdom literature, including that of Sandra Jensenís. The witness position, beloved of spiritual strivers. And so I was able, step by grueling step, to watch my hope and happiness slowly wither, wear down and then crumble in a heartbeat into misery and failure. The watcher died, or merged with or became the watched, although thereís nobody to watch it anymore, so it just becomes the thing, I guess. The shitty thing.

But all that is an aside, for your eyes only (anyone else who has inadvertently read the above aside for Andrea, please go back and unread it). What I really meant to talk about was your chucklesome Hai:

laugh

Oh man, bless your silly heart, what a grand & glorious ya ya. And an amazing poem. You could hand it to your neighbor: Want to see my latest poem?

Thank you beloved Andrea for your true and wise and forged in fire

laugh

I Needed That,

Tom

dingbat

quietlaughter :

well, time to add my Hai here Ė given to me by the master himself
;-)
xo

la

dingbat

Tom:

Yum. Your Hai is like a warm little breakfast pie, Leigh-Ann. A delectable sound, a song in a syllable. It is a light heart and a gentle touch, a reminder, a skip, and a kiss. It speaks of childhood and soothing sounds, the songs of birds and a sweet smile. Itís got to be the coolest word ever, I swear, at least in the purity and innocence line.

la

Oh my. Only two letters can create a universe of sound and feeling. Thatís pretty powerful stuff. No wonder language is so important. Every word a dreaming wonder. Every letter a la.

La, la la, off we go, into la-la land.

I think la-la land (and Iím speaking of the generalized l.l.l., not L.A.) is highly undervalued. Many of the human raceís finest achievements have been gestated in la-la land.

La is a birthing sound, an opening into sonance, quintessentially female. In French & Spanish it denotes feminine whatchamadilly. Are you a girly girl? I do know that you are gentle.

And (sorry to say my dear, and as much as it breaks my heart to ever disagree with you on any point) a Hai can never be given. It can only be received. Besides, you already had it.

Love, peace, and a light heart skipping with a la,

Tom

dingbat

quietlaughter:

hehehehe Tom you make me smile Ė thank you. You are right, I did receive la Ė before and from you and again Ė seems like it is the little gift that continues to be received. I like that!

............am I girly girl? *ahem* no (sitting here in jeans, tee shirt, bare feet and a ball cap) but can be one if necessary ahahaha ... except I donítí have a light airy voice, Ė more like deep and low, but I am not disagreeing with you Ė la is meant to be sung and lifted upwards.

I am all for lalala land, where dreams are born ;-)

now, you have made me hungry for breakfast pie... hmm la!

much love to you my friend,

la

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drechanteuse:

la,

I really do love to laugh, but I thought of you after I declared ďlaughĒ as my hai, and wanted to let you know, since you are Quiet Laughter, that if you want it, you had it first. I think la is very fitting, though. Itís quite lyrical, actually.

Andrea

dingbat

quietlaughter:

oh donít worry Andrea Ė I donít own the rights to laughter ;-) la is my hai Ė courtesy of mr. Tom. Quietlaughter is a name that I have had online for about 9 years, also was a gift name, but I donít think that it qualifies as my hai (being two words not one). Anyway, la is actually a name that was given to me in my teens Ė so it fits just as well... la suits me fine as my hai.

:-)
xo

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Tom:

Wow.

Thatís not a Hai but itís damn close. Months of introspection and now this? What a marvelous cornucopia, a garden of delights, a superabundance of golden riches, and all in three words. The more I read this form of poetry, the better I like it. In fact, I think I will write in nothing but hai style from now on, one word at a time.

Huh? I already do that? Oh, nevermind.

Ha. It sure makes you realize the power of a word, though, and how involved and luscious every single one can be.

Before I respond individually to our new and ultra-beloved haiists (all hail the blessed ya ya and super mofos!), I wanted to issue a news bulletin.

ē Iím planning on posting this thread on my new site ē

Iíll ask everyone if itís okay, and if you donít want your poem or commentary shared on my site I would understand and leave it out.

Still donít have the final details worked out, but it will link back here. And the general public will be able to submit haii if they want.

Love & Peace,

Tom

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David:

Dear Tom,

I have been pondering now for an hour, fully focused on my hai, waiting to release the arrow. And I have released it....

pling!

Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to focus.

Love,

David

dingbat

Tom:

O David, you dirty dog. Another un-word as a Hai. Though we do like to go by the rule of thumb that if it appeared as a sound graphic in a comic book, itís not a neologism and is acceptable. And I think I saw it once in Green Arrow #23.

pling!

Actually, itís brilliant, my dear friend, a singing sound, vibrato and hum, the release point of every arrow. Itís very Zen, and is a good centering koan. ďYes, my son, meditate on this one for awhile: pling!Ē

It reminds me of Jimís Hai: go. Itís the start of a journey, the swift beginning of a true course. The inverse of the target.

And, as is often the case with you, your originality breaks bounds. Weíve never had any punctuation included in a hai before. They are not mentioned in the rule book Ė but as you know, everything not mandatory is forbidden. Iím afraid we may have to lose the exclamation point, since a word consists solely of letters. A contraction would not work as a hai either, since itís two words technically, with punctuation in between.

Would that bother you? If it would, then we can keep it, though we would have to break with custom, tradition, morality, and law to do so. Of course, that wouldnít bother me in the least.

Your Loving Fellow Archer,

Tom

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David:

Master Archer Tom,

I have meditated further, and have managed to reduced my truth to the eye of the ox:

!

I am aware that this is perhaps also against the rules, but as you know, I have difficulty with rules, so if you could make an exception for me I would be most obliged.

Howe-ver, if the order of the monastery is not to be disturbed, I am prepared to retreat in all humility and choose the word,

chunk

This is not only a non-word (see Batman #457) but it is also a word too.

I leave it to your great wisdom!

Apprentice Archer David

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drechanteuse:

After fighting with my newly-turned-squirrely internet since last night, I am now finally able to reply.

Yes, I have chosen a hai that can cure cancer and many other ailments, or at least, make them much easier to live with.

I was happy to be at your service in your time of need equipped with a laugh for you, whatever type of laugh you chose Ė deep and loud, uncontrollable, or a small chuckle. Even just the turn of a smile or an inner-hahaha.

i admire you, Tom, for trying to bend your body like a pretzel in such an open forum, for I know I could not do it. Though I am flexible, there are just some poses that, well, my body donít play that. My right shoulder would dislocate, and I would scream in pain, and well, not pretty. You are braver than me, for I wouldnít have dare Ė aha, I recall an assignment that is close to this...

So I stick to the gentler poses, and mostly to kavi yoga Ė bending words and phrases in poetic motion as taught by the great Master Sandra. I also do a lot of Feldenkrais work and dance, it just somehow works better for me. Donít give up, dear Tom. Find the right system of movement that can take you to the place you want to be. I support you in your journey.

And remember, when all else fails: laugh.

Love and pretzels,

Andrea

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Tom:

I love your new truth, David. Itís awesome. It is the eye of the ox. Actually I like it better by itself than I do in most prose.

Man I hate being the guy in charge of making people follow rules. Not a position Iím used to. Usually Iím the one breaking them. But if we donít follow the rules we donít have a game. This is after all just a game, a lark. Weird that it needs to have strict rules. It doesnít really, since itís not all that big a deal. Who cares if non-words are included in our list?

So my ruling is that pling! stays, if thatís okay by you. For me to take away the target right when you loose the arrow smacks of archery torture. And pling! sure beats just a plain exclamation point, no matter how apt and enlightening, at least for wordliness. Plus I donít want people put in the position of having to write a second hai, thatís for sure. Supposedly that is impossible.

Especially when you put so much time into creating yours. My hai was a work of seconds, and, alas, is more of a sound than a word too. I am such a bad example, but at least I remembered where I saw it on a page, as squank was actually really from a comic book I read, a Zap underground comic, and it struck me as very funny in 1973, a take-off on the mainstream comic book sound words like POW and BOOM! I donít remember the action in the comic book that was supposed to make the sound of squank, but it was funny too, the perfect action for the sound. I am sure it came with an exclamation point in the original black & white, but, paragon of modesty and understatement that I am, I left it out.

Humor haunts my days,

El Rulo

...I take it pling loses its sizzle for you without the exclamation point? Exclamation points are huge on the internet, in fact I almost feel like Iím insulting someone when I donít use one sometimes, as if what I say is insincere unless I add considerable punctuation to it. ďI love you.Ē could be taken as sarcasm on the internet unless you add an exclamation point.

However, I have gleaned from my extensive reading (believe it or not) in how-to-write books, the pros donít have a very high opinion of them when used to add punch to a prose statement. Exclamation points are reserved by the prim or anal or craftsmanlike in my opinion for actual exclamations like ďhey!Ē, words that look weird without the punctuation mark. They prefer adding emotion with words. So a purist of serious fiction would generally say ďQuick, grab the handbook,Ē he shouted. Ė rather than ďQuick, grab the handbook!Ē Trying to impart an emotion or intensity with punctuation rather than diction is considered a shortcut or almost like fudging, a less than expert use of oneís punctuatory toolset, although most certainly allowable in informal communications, if not to the extent extant on the internet. However, like most structural strictures in the postmodern era, no doubt this rule has been loosening recently. And with writing, as always, itís what works that works.

Itís silly of me to go into this like this, but Iím trying to let you know where Iím coming from without hurting your feelings or making you feel wrong. Undoubtedly Iím failing miserably. Iím playing bad cop bad cop.

I so admire your work here, David. Youíve given me so much uncritical wisdom. The brilliance of your art is a balm to my soul. And youíre always kind and nice to everyone. Well heck. Hopefully you can just chalk it up as good practice for your suffering. And if you ever need to suffer some more, remember Ė Iím here for you, my brother.

Anyway, back to twisting the knife, discussing the esthetics of exclamation points is something that should be reserved for the Craft Room. It takes a pretty serious writer to even care.)

dingbat

Maya:

Hi David

I like your Pling very much :-)

What I find most amazing is how many words Tom used to say ďnoĒ.

luv ya

maya

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David:

Maya, thank you for your support, but in defence of Tom, it is hard to say no when all you have is chicken soup to write with. Tom is the TLC guy, but he is also the Man from Hai and as such his wont is to be brief. So, if you want him to write more, you have to try to get him to say no, and itís worth it for his words are truly cucumbers for sore eyes.

It strikes me suddenly (pling!) that ďhaiĒ is the sound emitted by the human species when true essence first contacts true essence: see Master Tomís future meditation manual ďZen and the Art of FriendshipĒ.

If he says that pling! or even ! are out, I will abide by that. I humbly accept ďplingĒ, although my soul truly resonates with ď!Ē. Just ďplingĒ leaves me wondering whether I have been left with the bathwater (issues of craft aside) but I trust Master Tom knows best (I leap in faith).

dingbat

Tom:

Hey David, pling! is not out, itís in. I wasnít saying no, I was just whining for a while. Old habit.

pling!

must sing.

For any resonance in Davidís soul echoes in mine own.

Tom

dingbat

David:

I love you Tom; I was just teasing.

pling!

Love,

Fellow Archer David

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Sol:

Hehehe, why havenít I been here before...This is such a sweet place, Tomís house, house of plings and plangs and heheheís...and laís and haís and yumyums and yes (but no swoosh, a word I use fairly frequent)

So just one word eh?....hmmm, will be very difficult for me, with my Piscean mercury running in all directions at the same time...

I see that pling! is taken, a very Aquarian word..It doesnít dawn on us, it suddenly appears, like an epiphany, which I might consider for my hai...

hmmmm....maybemaybe that sais it all...off to ponder..That word is like a flower, I would love to have it as my name...

dingbat

Synerjyz:

you have me in the palm of your hand Ė waiting for Hai to land perfectly in place. I will be back to see what next dear Sol, or shall I call you epiphany Ė the flower.

dingbat

May 12, 2008

End of thread generously donated by writers at Diving Deeper with Sandra Jensen

wolf dingbat

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dreammmmmmm

by Katrina Kern

dingbat

2-6-2009

Tom:

How come everythingís so perfect all the time? Thatís what I want to know. Even the screwed-up horrible things somehow turn to gold in time. Seven months since surly, seven months of sin, seven months, through more than I ever dreamed, comes this unformal hai, the first of the newth; truly such a song may be called a ku. Seven ems for seven mes.

dreammmmmmm

Katrina, you are the raw goddess of my imaginal spirit, the Hurley-Witch of Yevergond, Mistress of Mysteries, Queller of Quenching. Wielder of Wilding-Hands, World-Woman of Fear and Love. A female Fool whose pixie eyes are steel darts to infinity, looking way beyond any place I could ever see, or even dream to be. Bless all the powers you are here with us at this time, and thank you for coming. Welcome to our dreammmmmmm, and bless you for creating it.

Bliss, on.

Oh my, what can one say about such a dreamy poem? Itís the longest hai on the planet, and I thought I was going to hate that you added a bunch of ems to the actual word, but when I saw they totaled seven I went, mmmmmmm. A dream but not a dream, a dream beyond dream, or in it.

How can this not be a dream since crappy stuff is so perfect? If life was real, crappy stuff would suck. But no! Itís how we learn and grow. If it wasnít for crappy stuff we would be totally hosed.

Dreammmmmmm to the skies
Dreammmmm to the shores
Dreammm to the center of the earth
and the stars.

Much Love and Gratitude,

Tom

[A note on the format: The first rule of the hai genre is One Word. Such a simple rule is bound to cause confusion, for the simple fact itís made out of words. What is a word? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, itís ďA. n. I. Speech, utterance, verbal expression.Ē Wordís first recorded appearance as a word in Old English was around 1200: ďSwa wass filledd opennli att word tatt śr wass cwiddedd, if ye get my drift.Ē

Stupid me, I thought a word was one of those things in the dictionary, so I mistakenly assumed that any hai that was not at least in print somewhere, if not in the actual dictionary, was kind of fudging. But since it turns out that they are only speech, utterances, or verbal descriptions, then I guess itís open season on the dictionary, alas.]

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grok

by Rex Ungericht

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7-14-2009

Tom:

The first hai in Martian! Thanks Rex, you are the master of the offworld hai. Sure do appreciate the fruits of your creative frenzy. A brilliant work, truly.

How can a soul possibly grok grok? One would have to read the book, first of all. A short quote from the master might help: ďThou art God, and I am God and all that groks is God

To my mind grokking is a lot like understanding, except with every part of oneself, not just the intellect: the kind of knowing that a woman has of her children before they become teenagers: a knowing that is as truly physical and emotional as intellectual: the knowing in the soul of the mammal: a knowing so close itís more like being. I am therefore I know.

It takes a lot for that to happen. I donít see a whole lot of natural-born grokking going on these days. Not by me, not by anybody. No doubt there are those who grok more than they say, but thatís probably why they donít say it. Words ainít grokking, only actions. I know somebodyís grokked something when they do it.

There may be some of our mystic order who balk at

grok

but I say let them balk. Itís postmodern, a pastiche, derivative of previous art, so that it is making art from art. I grok that. There is no ruling in the gatherhood for the use of alien languages. Therefore there is no ruling and grok stands. One word. One syllable. One amazing poem.

Grok,

Tom

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love

is the word that resonates with me.

It has been my only purpose since I was given life because of LOVE. My biological mother and father truly loved each other.

I was given away to a family where I was severely abused.

The word LOVE became a part of my vocabulary at a young age. It has always been my purpose. It has never forsaken me. I was being called Princess of LOVE by the time I was 9Öthere was no Princess Leia in 1959 just ME.

What is love to me?

LOVE is everything.
It is God.
It is the angelic realm.
It is you.
It is me.
It is the planet.
It is the Universe.
It is the oceans.
It is the rivers.
It is the wind.
It is the trees.
It is the flowers.
It is the lessons.
It is the pain.
It is the joy.
LOVE is everything.

When we learn to see love, we then become love. When we love ourselves first, we have more love to give.

Since the moment I learned to follow my heart, life has blessed me everywhere I go. It is as though the Divine Director is setting me up for LOVE.

I hope those of you who read these words hear that love has healed me and set me free to be all that I can be.

LOVE IS THE STRONGEST FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE

Love,

Leia Phillips @awriterchick

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9-1-2009

Dearest and most lovely Princess Leia,

Thank you is what I must say, because thanks is what I feel, along with love and plenitude. I wondered why it took so long for someone to write this hai, and now I know, because it was waiting for you, someone who can do love justice.

Thereís not much I can add to your brilliant evocation of the most powerful force in the universe. The perfect one-word poetry. I will just quote the master:

All you need is love.

~ John Lennon

Thank you, Leia, for speaking in the voice of The Beloved,

Your friend Tom

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As for my Hai (I loved that story, how deligtful to cross out until all that remains is BE)...thatís a tough one. My first thought was love...then heart, soul, share, and then help...ultimately, I have chosen my Hai. Mine is:

free

That is my one and only life hai.

Free.

You may play Freud if you would like. ;-)

Here is why my hai is

FREE.

To be free, truly free is the greatest gift one can have. To love freely, to be freely loved, to be freely truthful, to soar free as a bird, unencumbered, uninhibited. Free from the past, free from negative thoughts, free of pain, free from depression Ė free.

People think that because I am such a joyful person I must have always been so, or had the greatest life ever Ė but that is not the case. I grew up in a prison with a mother who hated me and I was severely abused by her. She abandoned my sisters and I was when I was only 15, and I was left to care for a 13 and 11 old. I did not speak to her again until I was 27 Ė 12 years later when I decided to be free from the pain of anger. My father was absent Ė my mother left him after she caught him getting me high when I was 5. His family story is a tragedy that does not need to be shared; imagine the worst and there you have it Ė a sordid tale that ends with 7 of my 10 aunts and uncles being dead by their own hands. The survivors may as well be. I do not speak to my father, and have not since I was 15. When I needed his help, he made sexual advances toward me.

So when I see someone wallowing in pain, I truly care about people and their stories. I have such compassion and love and want to lift them up, for I know they can be free, because I am free, and I am nothing special Ė I only made a conscious choice to write the rest of my own story Ė not let someone do it for me. I long to be free and have made it the mantra of my life. Free. I am free. I am continuously freeing myself Ė itís a daily effort.

xoxo Cheryl @urbancrafter
http://www.urbancrafter.typepad.com


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Dear Cheryl,

Wow, that is some super hai. Thank you so much for sharing that, and thank you for surviving such a horrific past and still keep the ability to free yourself and free up the spirits of those who read your words.

Have to disagree on the special part, since Iíve known you on Twitter for awhile, and youíre a big bright light, shining online.

free

is a tremendous poem. Our entire country is based on that word, and as a writer it is what I yearn for and hope to achieve. Its sound alone is a song of hope and a birdís wing soaring.

God bless,

Tom

(Iíll leave playing Freud to someone else.)

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eye

There is an eye to see out with
There is an eye to see into

There is the eye of the soul
There is the eye of the spirit
There is the eye of the mind

My words form an eye for others to see into me.

eye

Thank you so much....

Yuko (emma_zero on Twitter)


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9-29-2009

Dear Yuko,

What a beautiful poem. It helps me see. And Iím talking about your lovely and farsighted hai:

eye

Your other fabulous commentary lines help me see even farther. There are many eyes, looking both in and outward, and they are all one eye, the eye of the Oversoul, all-seeing and all-loving. This hai turns me on so much Ė since Iím an intensely visual person Ė that Iím breaking with tradition and including an illustration. Hope you like it. Much as your poem is, itís a minimal thing yet very expressive.

Love and vision,

Tom

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trounce

by

Jacob Gest


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10-2-2009

Hi Jake,

Ah, the antiquarianís delight, a hoary sound, trounce, and yet so full of zest and bounce! Kicking ass the old fashioned way.

trounce

is a beautiful hai, the sound alone is jaunty and cheering. Itís a traveling word that sends the hearer along the way in thought, almost too long to be a hai, and still itís just a syllable. A very interesting choice and one that makes me wonder about the poet. What kind of man chooses trounce as his hai? Someone with poetry in his soul and still vigorous, still an angry young man looking to right some wrongs, but with humor and gentleness besides.

I love it. Thanks!

Tom

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con

by

Don Kraus


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10-8-2009

Ah, a con game hai. Pro does need its con or there would be no pro. Light needs dark and yea needs nay. A worthy addition to our collection. We needed some negative hais, just to keep things in balance. It fulfills all the requirements of the genre, and goes beyond many of its sister poems with its courage and truth. Mystery is the con, the olí bait and switch, but here there is no switch, there is only the bait, a sadness to be swallowed.

Thank you, dear brother oí mine,

Tom

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Hai Tom,

A message and submission for the tree to share with you some of me. I have chosen my word or has it chosen me?

Not sure, no matter, I think, indeed it does flatter....

yet

That is the Hai for me. It describes so much of what is to be. It holds inside it hope and great mystery.

Enjoy it please....

Amy Kiel (@Abeeliever)


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10-14-2009

Dear Amy,

Oh my! Thatís a beaut, thank you. A very vigorous word and a lovely poem. I love saying it with a strong T at the end.

yet

You are right, it does hold great mystery, the mystery of all the future to come, and yet it has so much more. Itís a connector: not an and and definitely not a but. It is somewhat like a but, but not. It travels more, adds more, is not an opposite, but a posit, a challenge, a tiny three-letter hope that can expand into major possibilities. It reminds me of the word (and early hai) yes.

Brilliant work, Amy, O poet of the teensy!

Bless you,

Tom

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tea

by

June OíReilly Twitter: @LunaJune


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1-13-2010

Dear June,

My, my, what a tasty little snippet of a poem. Youíve shown me again, June, how evocative and spicy a single-syllable word can be. Ė A lot of history in those three letters, a lot of flavor for the mind. Thereís an old saying that two people never read the same book, meaning of course that we all bring our own selves to anything we read.

And so it is with tea. For me it brings a sense of comfort and peace, a gentle time apart, sitting together and sharing daily life. And I hardly ever drink tea.

Thank you and Goddess bless,

Tom

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soup

by

Delores OíReilly


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1-23-2010

Dear Delores,

It seems you have started a new sub-genre: the food hai. One very cool thing about this poem is when you form the word with your mouth, it goes into exactly the shape one needs to spoon the actual thing into your mouth. Not only onomato-poetic, but physically poetic too! A word that gets you ready to eat itself.

soup

Yum. Thank you for this delightful addition to our collection. Itís a filling poem, just reading it makes me feel nurtured by the earth and warmed from the inside out.

Much gratitude,

Tom

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no

by

Linda Legacy


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1-28-2010

Dear Linda,

This one geeks me out. I may be off on this, but wonder at the facility of the average male in dealing with this poem. I have the feeling women may have more affinity than I or many men do with such a hai. Just a general observation.

no

My most hated word. I go out of my way to make sure I donít hear it too often, mostly by not requesting for things unless I have to. When someone tells me no, I wonder if thereís something wrong with me. I know, thatís ridiculous, but thatís no for you, from a male ego perspective. Testosterone and the male ego form a volatile combination, making a no akin to the Hindenburg explosion. ďOh, the humanity!Ē

Which is what makes it such a powerful and beautiful hai, for me, a healing meditation. All things must end. The O sound is generally felt as an opening sound, a home thing, but in this poem it is an end, the closed O. Such finality is seldom found in such a short work, but no is so.

Thank you so much for your disturbing yet evocative handiwork, Linda. Now we have the polar opposites at work, the yin and yang of decision, Sandra Jensenís brave yes and your extraordinary no.

Tom

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still

One by one, each word ceases its vibration until there is only still. And when still ceases its vibration, we become it.

by

Liz Johns


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12-3-2010

Dear Liz,

What a marvelous way to evoke the purity of stillness, to turn it into a poem of itself. I feel so peaceful contemplating your work that itís hard to say anything, I just want to be

still

Tough to come by, such stillness, in the midst of our busy changeable world. One good thing about the hai genre, it will never go out of style. The poem still will never be dated. It will stand always as a reminder to be quiet and stop thinking for a while, to let all words drop aside, all tensions and yearnings go, and only be, in quietude.

I think that silence and stillness must be at the heart of art, because I look at your hai and feel very artistic all of a sudden. I feel a stillness waiting to be born.

God bless your quiet self,

Tom

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Dearest Grand Master of the Hai Tree,

Greetings of the early morning to you. A word for the Hai Tree.

I thought of light, but that wouldnít be fair; everyone is their own light, so to take the word as mine seems selfish. Long? Maybe, but it could be easily misunderstood. I would only want it to be read as a verb, as in ďI long for you and my heart aches with that longingĒ, the context of which offers two other words I interviewed and decided against Ė heart, and ache. Hearts sometimes break, and aching hurts, and I would never want that to happen here at the Hai Tree, or anywhere else for that matter.

This morning over coffee and the dawn, the word yearn danced for me for a bit, but no, I know yearning well (see long) and as long as the possibility exists that what I yearn for may someday be a reality, then it would become yearned, so, not yearn. Kiss? No, attached to long and yearn and at some point one must come up for air. Melt? No, heart? No, not heart, to much surgical potential, and I wouldnít want to cut anyoneís heart; I would only wish to listen to its beat as I rest my head....No, heart brings in long, yearn, and ache.

Reminded once again that the Hai must stand on its own and may very well be the last sound to pass through my lips as I kiss this life goodbye, and not being one who is gifted with words such that they flow like a river giving way to snow melt, but being one of simplicity and quietude, I cannot offer the Hai Tree a word, but only an utterance.

Master of the Hai Tree, I humbly offer into your branches a mere utterance, unspoken and yet enough to change the world. Would you please accept this?

sigh

by

Andrea Jean


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12-18-2010

Dear Andrea,

Greetings of the early morning to you too! Is this a morning sigh, or a nighttime one? What a languid, lonesome and lovely addition to our collection, thank you, my dear poetic soul. A poem with a difference, a word of sound, not meaning. That is to say every sigh has its own meaning, but

sigh

is all of them, a world of pain and joy in a single word. I know what you mean about longing and yearning and all. I think sigh sums it up nicely. The burn to yearn. You neednít have worried about saving any words, Andrea, but your concern for others is noted as a good thing that we need more of.

Yearning is the heart of the morning. And only an I can sigh.

God Bless!

Tom

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Darling Master of the Mystical Hai Tree,

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a 2011 filled with an abundance of blessings, laughter and love.

I have thought long and hard about my Hai. There was one that always stayed at the forefront of my thoughts, and in light of this very special day, I present to you the one thing that has kept me seeing the light on even the darkest days.

hope

Hope represents a willingness to believe.
If you believe, you will take risks.
If you take risks, you can find the path toward changing your stars.

Hope floats.

With Affection,

N.J.T.


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12-25-2010

Dear N.J.,

My oh my, what a powerful poem. Thank you for that stunningly beautiful and open-sounding hai. A perfect time of year to utter it, since today is Christmas, a day of tremendous hope. The traveling H sends the open O to realms of spirit undreamt, with the P to power them out. Your heart soars softly out your mouth with this one. A word that ends in a kiss.

I

hope

one day something soon....

And boy do I ever. Had a guru-ish type person once tell me she did not favor hope, saying it means you arenít living in the moment, which is the be-all for gurus and advanced spiritual types. A good rule of thumb for gurus, I reckon, but for us regular folks, we need hope like we need air. At least I do.

And your hai gives it to me, as purely as it can be given. Thank you so much.

Hope on,

Tom

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yah...

is

as I chant

Sanscrit saying

gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā

meaning:

ďGone gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, all hail!Ē


by Claire Born


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12-28-2010

Dear Claire,

Now thereís a poem that is what it is. And what it is is is! Ha, I must be the luckiest writer on the whole planet. How many people get to say is three times in a row and have it make sense? Only me, I reckon, lately anyway. Thanks so much for that fun gift.

Two letters. Two letters for everything. And the sound of ssss. Very airy, this poem, despite its profound significance. It

is

what I thought it was, or is, I mean. Thank you for that lovely thought-provoking (or is it thought-reducing?) hai. An awakening!

Namastť,

Tom

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12-29-2010

Dearest Tom and fellow-sister and brother Haiists:

Our haii have inspired me to do this for us all. Enjoy!

Namaste,

Claire


in order of appearance on the hai tree,
they fell to page in lines orderly,
and here they sit for you to see
all haii in splendid company.

Karma-Shave sign

be way squank
yes.

nothing, Dee
Give but yes and
draw if leap.

go ah...
show so am aum...
FEEL
now
it.

root ha, whyz yum squint...

breathe, laugh

la
pling!
chunk

dreammmmmmm

grok love
free eye
trounce con, yet...

tea soup no,
still sigh

hope
is

dingbat


Thanks Claire, that was lovely! It's great to see them all at once. 47 by my count. A nice-sized poetry collection, but a short book.

Blessings be,

Tom

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A one-word poem?

There can be no other than this ó

horse

The one word embodies all that is sacred, beautiful, integrated, wise, intuitive, feminine and masculine and ideally Ė free.

Corinne Brown


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12-30-2010

Dear Corinne,

I should have known you would write horse, if you could, and now you did. A lovely work, I must say, lively and yet solid, the kind of poem that is ten thousand things and more, for everyone has their own inner vision of what that word embodies. Years ago what a horse meant to many was work, certainly power. And thatís what this poem gives to me, the power to embody. It has a singing sound, despite the rough resonance of Ďhoarseí, a coursing soaring sound that begins almost guttural, like a sacred utterance or a war cry. And yet it sails away, clopping hooves, in a different direction for every imagination.

God bless you and ride on, rider,

Tom

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here

is the word. Everything is here and not there. After an inquiring evening in my dreams, I heard my mind trying to get out of here and then finding out that it is impossible. Even astral travelers who think they are going somewhere are actually traveling within Ďhereí. Even if we could occupy each otherís perspective we would still be experiencing it all from Ďhereí. So, everything is here, not there, nowhere but here, and all else is imaginative foolery. Here is immense and Here is confining. Here is like being in a paper bag and fighting to get out, only to find that once out, one is still here.

by Hyam Knot Shure


dingbat

12-31-2010

Dear Hyam,

Thank you so much for that very fine hai. You make a good case for immanence with your words. Now we have the holy trimuvirate in our hai collection: Be here now. Remember that old saw from the hippie days? Well, duh. Kinda tough to be there now. You can only be there tomorrow or the next day.

Yet, no matter how much I play with your hai in my mind, it wants to go down into my body, settle in and get comfy. Our cells are always here, our bodies never off worrying about tomorrow, even though they pay the price for our worries about what might happen there.

There is something mystical in such a prosaic presence. It is

here

that I shall make my stand. And nowhere else (since there is nowhere else, that I know of).

Lotso love,

Tom

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A one-word poem? Mine, the sound of contentment, comfort, healing. Restful slumber. Peace. For the Hai Tree, my Hai is:

purrs

by @vlb

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1-1-2011

Dear Vicki,

A cat person, I see! Yours is the first hai in animal language, and I love it, thank you. Excellent choice, leaving the es on the end for a little extra vibrato. That does impart an extra edge of contentment Ė if contentment can be said to have an edge. I donít think it does, contentment is too broad for edges.

This is a very healing poem for me, just reading it is calming and happy-making...peaceful. Ahhh. Were I a cat, I would be purring right now, over and over, in just the right relaxed rhythm. All I need is somebody to pet me and Iím golden.

Cat bless,

Tom

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I choose

path

as my hai.

Humbly,

James Fish

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1-2-2011

Dear James,

Love it! Have to quote the master pathster after this one:

The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.

~ J.R.R. Tolkein

Humble feet bless the path they walk on. Thanks James, for that word, a plain word that leads to eternity. Choosing a path is one thing, choosing

path

is another. Your path has never been trod before, and never will be again. It is yours. Man I love that hai. Hope you donít mind if I watch you walk. Go man go.

Excelsior!

Tom

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might

For the depth and breadth of its meaning.

~ Alyson Doneau

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1-3-2011

My very special Alyson,

That is one mighty poem you just wrote, my dear (or should I say might-ish?) Thank you very much. I can tell a lot of thought went into it, and a whole lot of experience, much more than can be found in the ordinary everyday one-word poet. Yet there is a whimsicality in it that speaks to me of a little girl singing, one who

might

be home for dinner, or may set up a clandestine tea set for her bear, her bunny, and her doll. She is funny, this little girl, she likes her mights. It might be might, sheís not sure.

Mostly though, what I get from the depths of it, from the deep fury and the power of it, is a condensation of strength in utterance. Not fury in an angry sense at all, but from the feeling of the blast of power through that word, the impetus that gives it sustained strength over a long time, and the brawn to move large things far away. This hai is almost too much for me to contemplate so deep. I donít know why. A lot of God in that word.

It might be because Iím not mighty enough right now. I need to own your poem.

Happy New Year and God bless,

Tom

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1-11-2011

Dear Tom,

Depending on the day, the hour, or even the minute, I might be either that ďfunny, little girl,Ē the one who carefully may set up a ďclandestine tea set for her (imaginary) bear, bunny and doll,Ē or better yet, a full-grown woman who knows herself well; most especially the part of her which lays claim to a powerful might, powerful enough to indeed, ďmove large things far away.Ē

Today, especially, I like my poem very much, for I realize it is not so deep in fury and has not been for many weeks. Mostly I realize my poem is good for your very hint of ďmight-ish.Ē It might be a light might today but tomorrow it might be mighty brawny. For its depth and breadth of meaning; its sheer flexibility, it is a rather mighty poem.

One day might just might be mightier. Might might become so mighty its sheer power will help me be mightier than Iíve ever been. It is on the day I realize my poem becomes mighty mighty, that I might write to you to thank you again for reminding me we all have one life, one primary purpose and one hai. I love my hai.

In deep gratitude. My best wishes for you to have a mighty fine New Year. God Bless.

~ Alyson

dingbat

1-11-2011

Dear Alyson,

Itís a powerful thing to be taken so deeply into a single word. A whole language in one syllable. Very much more a body thing than mind, I feel. So glad youíve found such insights in your hai, Alyson. God bless you too, my dear!

Ever your friend,

Tom

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My word is

to

There is no other word for me, but itís not about me. It is me, and it is you. It started as a thought, then brought it to where it needed to be. It brought me to you. It joins all things. It allows all things. It makes all things possible. Oh, to see. It is always moving. Always connects. It may go back to its origin for a moment, but will not delay, if grasped. There is always something to do, somewhere to go, even if I take a stand. It brings all things to be. I come to you. How else would I do that? It grants permission. What would my love be, if I could not give it to you?

Edward

dingbat

1-4-2011

Dear Edward,

Youíre right, it isnít about you, itís about me! Ha, and about every other me you ever gave a gift to. Though this is the first time Iíve ever been given an actual to. Have to say I like it. A lot. Thank you.

Boy howdy, I am so excited to talk about your poem I could pop. I need a super-quasi-hemi-plasma-hepto machine or something to slap all my thoughts onto the paper before they run away. But then I would have several reams of stuff to rummage through, so nevermind.

I see youíre a poet in the long style too, from your moving and beautiful explication. Sometimes I wonder if maybe hai poetry is better left to itself, then I read something like that and go nah.

to

moves. And thatís all I have to say about that.

Other than this: the first thing your hai brought to my mind was Shakespeareís being song Ė to be or not to be Ė the most important question, and really the only one fit for the soul, for we commit suicide in teensy increments, as every day we fake ourselves to fit in, taking away those bits of us that are really us (just donít tell anybody).

Who is left? Heck if I know. To heaven with it. If anybody wants to talk about the poem to, for hours on end, I got the time and inclination.

Move on to more, wise friend,

Tom

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5-20-2013

Tom,

I found

one

but itís not mine to keep.

Carl Ingalls

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5-22-2013

Dear Carl,

I think many poets would agree that poetry is something one finds. Can we create poetry? Well, kinda-semi, though itís strewn so madly amongst the language and the landscape and the mind and the heart that its discovery is much like creation, if arrangement can be called creation. Found or created, I still believe it can be yours, at least until your readers get ahold of it. We discussed this poem briefly on Twitter, where you said, ďWe can only have one in a lifetime, but this oneís not mine. It must belong to someone else.Ē

This highlights one of the conundrums and glories of the hai format, our teensy poems are so embedded in and enveloped by the language that we canít discuss them without quoting ourselves. ďWe can have only

one

in a lifetimeÖ.Ē

Oh my goodness, what truly solid work, Carl: thank you so much for bringing my attention to your lovely poem. The sound alone is magically sonorous, it almost contains an echo inside itself, a word with no echo but interior sonance, the closed O that bounds the sound with an en. One, one, one, oh my, what fun!

And then the meaningóor meaningsóas surely this is a poem, and all poems fracture or perhaps fractal meaning, if youíll excuse me for using fractal as a verb. One is such a wholesome word, and gladsome too, of unity and beginnings, the start of something wonderful and the all-encompassing end of everything. As a writer, Iím kind of a lingo type guy, and to me the proof that everything is one is linguistic, and irrefutable.

Everything is one.

Okay, disprove that. You canít, because thereís no such thing as everythings. The word everything can be none other than one.

As far as not being able to keep one, itís true that a poet is only allowed a single hai in her lifetime. But there is no rule that others canít have the same hai. And in our world, everything not expressly forbidden is gladly allowed.

Yay!

Tom

dingbat

Tom,

I know that One does not belong to me.

But I sense it, and it seems to be waiting for me to realize that I belong to it.

One is infinite patience.

Carl Ingalls

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11-5-2013

id

Tina Coleman

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11-6-2013

Dear Tina,

A lovely work, Tina, thank you. I like to start my exploration of a new hai by listening to the sound of it, as poetry is the music of words. This is an ultra-short, round, almost spherical-sounding poem, shorter even than ďIĒ, if there were such a hai. The sound of id is an exotic one to me, evocative of Yiddish and Tribbles and a round tin of fine chocolates.

It is unique in my experience as being the first hai poetry that calls out for a definition, since it is rather obscure, especially in our postmodern culture, in which everything not pop is obscure. Let me trundle over to Wikipedia and clear things up a little bit, for anyone not familiar with the basics of Freudian theory.

ďId, ego and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freudís structural model of the psycheÖ. The id is the disorganized part of the personality structure that contains a humanís basic, instinctual drives. Id is the only component of personality that is present from birthÖit is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The id operates according to the pleasure principleÖ.Ē

How cool is that? Pretty cool, Iíd say.

Thanks,

Tom

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11-5-2013

My initial hai was Feel, but I saw that it had been taken.

So my hai is:

in

It is much like ďfeelĒ for me. To be inóto feelóis to be in sync with everything around me, to be aware of my surroundings, and everything that breathes. To be a poet, I must let my surroundings consume meóbe conscious where I ought to be, to vaguely invoke the great T. S. Eliot.

Lolita

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11-8-2013

Dear Lolita,

Thanks Lolita, youíve written a wonderful poem. I love your description of what it means to be in, that is to be aware of that which you are in of, somehow almost to be eaten by life, to make of oneself an offering, a sacred sacrifice of Self, to be consumed by all that is outside us, so that we are within that matrix and are a feeling, living part of it. It seems to me a holy thought, to be in in such a way. It strikes me as safe, that the universe is our cosmic womb, and if we just let ourselves be feelingly in it we will be totally protected, utterly safe, until our birth into wonders undreamt before.

This hai also holds something precious, the heart of mysteryóa present not yet unwrapped; a mine as yet unplumbed; a pie before being et; a pregnant woman before birth. What is in there? We do not know, not yet. It is a mystery.

And yet there is a lightness to your hai, a windy in-ity to the sound of it. Odd that something so inside could feel so light: itís as if the i is going inside and the n is there, and happy to be there, floating happily inside everything. It has a breathy sound, a breathing sound, and in and out and all around sense of moving magical peace to it despite the solidity and static sense of place inherent. Truly a mystic hai. What a delightful addition to our little collection!

Thanks again,

Tom

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11-5-2013

Dear Tom,

word

Regards,

Jeff

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11-11-2013

Who knew? The one true literalist amongst us. You not only follow the letter of the law, brother, you are the law! The first rule of hais: One word. Duh. Guess that about wraps it up. Nowhere to go from here. You have written the one and only natural hai.

(Guess not. Negative wrappage, upwise.)

This hai has it all: wit, warmth, humor, wisdom, understanding, beauty, empathy, magic, all the elements one might wish a poem to have. It is deep as well as wide, encompassing as it does the entire language and all of humanityís feeble attempts at communication. It is even a greeting. Bird may be the word, but word is the bird that flies as far as any single word can go.

I have it on good authority that Ďwordí was the utterance God used to crank up the universe back in the day. In the beginning was the word and the word was word.

Feel like I could write mounds and mounds on this poem, but would say the word word so much that it would just become a big wordy tangle, so in the word of our holy founder, The Saint John of the Flanders, Iíll just let it be. Thanks so much, Jeff, you totally freakiní rock!

Word out,

Tom

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11-11-2013

Hi Tom,

Mine is a work of joy & elation, surprise sometimes & for those better skilled in grammar & tone there can even be ridicule & sarcasmóare you ready?!

ha!

Regards,

Maurice

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11-13-2013

Dear Maurice,

Thanks my friend, youíve introduced for me an element I was missing in these artistical brevitiesóthat I did not seeóhow the poetry works visually, the actual letters on the page. If you look at the exclamation mark as a semi/possible i, well hey, your hai is hai! Ha! Marvelous, is it not?

Surprise, for sure, is in this work, as is elation, and for me, happiness. Laughter is the finest expression of happiness that I know, and ha is the beginning of ha ha ha.

Yet there is a darker element to the poem, which you mention, that it can be the pointed tip of scorn, the rapier of ridicule that drives deep into the heart of every dork and twink and turd. Oh, to be scorned with laughter, what a bitter, bitter fate!

Like so much in our language, and in poetry worldwide, intrepretation is all. What does this poem mean? It is up to the reader to decide. Brilliant work, Maurice, we are all of us in your debt.

Always,

Tom

 

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11-12-2013

soíshhĒ

it is: the calm sibilant breath, of the littoral (for shore!), the quiet from inside that is leaves in wind & white noise

Gary Barwin

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11-14-2013

Dear Gary,

Ah, how very lovely and evocative, as may be expected when an actual working poet opens up the hai genre. Thank you so much for this, Gary, it sweeps me off my feet onto an unknown shore, where waves wash and wash and wash againóor into the lost land of my pastówhen leaves in autumn skittered past my childish feet and lifted me up into wonderings and yearnings and a dry, quiet hush of spirit, of rustlings and restless roamings, into wishing for something sad and somehow happy so.

That wind, that wind: those waves, those waves, ah me! soíshhĒ is a journey in a word, a sibilance that signifies. So much like leaves in autumn, that twirling tittering knik knik knik of a thousand tiny points dancing on the tarmac and sending my spirit yearning for that missing thing just beyond reach, that thing of seasons and mysterious ends.

And yet it is so peaceful too. I can rest in this hai, and breathe deep and sigh. Content.

Welcome,

Tom