A Second Wind

The haiku seems fit for the use I have in mind. A sort of catalogue of moments of presence here in this new place, the Pacific  North West. I have come to this region after many years on the East Coast, where I was closer to Europe than Asia, and yet my last series of poems, written in Portsmouth New Hampshire, was based on ancient Chinese poems and their Zenist orientation. So now I am at the Western end of the continent and exploring it through haiku. American landscapes have always been metaphysical places, starting with the Native Americans, then the Puritans, then the Romantics with their sense of apocalypse. This eschatological sense of place has political aspects, especially with Evangelical Christians. White Nationalists camp in Eastern Oregon.  Oregon is historically the end of the way West. Eschatology and apocalypse mix with rather dramatic rivers and mountains, so I may get a second wind of the energies flowing through the pond songs. The complex psychology of certain schools of Zen seem almost native to the place thanks to Gary Snyder and respond strongly to the disfiguring of the landscape by apocalyptic schemes.  Czeslaw Milosz with his profound engagement in European religious ideas was certainly affected by these facets of the local reality.  Potent stuff.

 

Between immanence

and divine transcendence this

day of cool bright mist

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Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Portland OR and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. His blogs include poemswithoutborders.com He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

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