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What's the link between Haiku poetry and good human contact?

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

There's a lot of talk about humans having good boundaries, but good contact seems to get a lot less press. While the boundaries piece is about making sure that our organism is protected and its life is preserved, the contact piece is about the quality of our connection with others in our lives.


Safely held by this

hand that holds everything.

Bigger than my mind





This contact with others of course is inseperable from our contact with ourselves: The point of contact is like a threshold where inwardness and outwardness encounter one another. This is where I think the focus on boundaries can get a bit stuck when it outlasts a crucial time when it may have helped to get us out of some tricky and unsafe places. By over-focusing on the need for asserting clarity of intentions and/or deflecting unwanted attentions from others, we might forget about the need for enjoyment of our life force and all its possibilities, including the capacity to be awake to our surroundings and participating in new experiences.


What we pay attention to is a kind of food we take in. And its very hard to think about protecting yourself and enjoying yourself at the same time.


Haiku are short focused Japanese poems that connect the reader with a moment in time, and often that moment is happening in the natural world. There is direct contact to the present moment built into these poems, which can even have the potential to suddenly wake us up to that capacity in ourselves. Traditionally these poems have a 5-7-5 syllable structure in their three lines.


Here's a translation of a famous haiku from Matsuo Basho writing in Japan in the 1600s. His words seem to cut right across the laws of space and time.



The Old Pond


An old silent pond

A frog jumps into the pond-

Splash! Silence again.


Did you see that pond and frog? Feel that splash? Did it make contact with you? And did that help you contact your own felt sense?


If you're getting an inner 'Yes' to any of this...take a look around you wherever you are reading this. What lands in your own perception? What creates a 'splash' of aliveness in your body, right now? Why not write a three line poem capturing it? Celebrating it? You dont have to be a poet, only to use your own words to name what you notice right now in the simplest way possible. .


Here's mine. (Ive taken license with the 5-7-5 syllable tradition because it didnt work with what I'm taking in here as I'm writing) Maybe it can bring you close to my present moment? Im no Basho, but maybe it can contact me with you from here, across time and space:


Witches in a picture

by the lamp switched on.

Cat warming my leg.


There's a strong ethos in everything that The Soul Shed offers that waking up to this kind of contact with ourselves experiencing in the moment is a good thing! That it wakes up layers and openings of our life force energy and its creative possibilities. These might in turn inspire decisive action, or deep restorative rest, or creative endeavour, or intimate contact with another, or productive work, or playfulness or an act of self-care. But the point being that the quality of aliveness we bring to whatever comes next is influenced by our deeper witness and awakeness to it. That the present time is the moment to contact ourselves and wake up in our lives.


When you chose your imagery for a SoulCollage® card, or find the image you need in your Deep Mapping, it's this kind of immediacy of impression that can guide you. This contacting takes us to a place where we can know ourselves intimately, and from here we can authentically reach out and contact others in our lives.



Ive been in deep appreciation of the connections between SoulCollage® and Haiku and you may have been to a SoulCollage® and Found poetry workshop here already. But not so long ago, I realised that some of my SoulCollage® cards were crying out for the simplicity of being expressed in Haiku. Like any good relationship, they enrich one another, and like good creativity, they nourish and re-source their makers - you or me!


So, from this place of joyful discovery in my creative practice, i would love to share this event with our community once again.


I would love to share soulful creative time with you then.





SoulCollage® and Haiku:


I am Frog poised and

ready for jumping beyond

this river-bed's edge.















References: Picture of Matsuo Basho by Hokusai. 18th-19th Century from Wikepedia Commons.

Other images and Haiku from my personal SoulCollage® practice

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