The haiku form is intriguing; it lets the writer express but a single
thought. The poems seem to write themselves once aim is taken at that thought.
The verses above conform
to the meter of haiku, but they abandon the traditional subjects. They are
seasonal, but they are not about nature.
This collection began inadvertently. “Day after Thanksgiving” resulted from thoughts about the madness
at the mall. (Do not miss the ambiguity of the last line.) Writing it lead to composition of “Advent.” Both poems were
written in December 1996. The
collection has evolved over nearly seven years, and, although it addresses
most highlights of the church year, I might continue to expand “Haiku Meditations”
as inspiration strikes.
“Easter Vigil” was written in
November 1997; “Ash Wednesday,” “Palm Sunday,” and “Maundy Thursday”
were written in April 1998; “Good Friday” was written in February 2000;
“Epiphany” and “Christmas” were written in December 2000; and “Shrove
Tuesday,” “Pentecost,” “All Saints’ Day,” “Trinity Sunday,” and “First
Sunday after Epiphany” were all written on Ash Wednesday 2001, in a sudden
frenzy to “finish” the collection. I made some minor editorial changes in
April 2002. “Trinity Sunday” was completely rewritten the day before Trinity
Sunday 2003. The original verse was:
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
The current verse better reflects my
understanding (or lack of understanding) of the Trinity.
I borrowed shamelessly for “All Saints’ Day.”
Most Episcopalians will know where from.
“Day after Thanksgiving” is an odd
opening verse, both because it lacks the liturgical references of most of the
other verses and because it is, technically, out of order—the church year
begins with Advent, two days later. As a practical matter, however, the verse captures the
mindset of most American Christians as they face the beginning of Advent. (I
hope I have solved the problem of the opening verse by calling it a prologue.) This poem and “Shrove Tuesday” (and to a lesser
extent, “Christmas”) make it clear that church of the title is not the Church
Universal, but the local church and the lives that revolve around it.
On Good Friday 2017 (4/14/2017), I added “Easter,” a poem whose absence no doubt
seemed odd to some readers. The new poem, like others, emphasizes the local
church and the fact that some members show up seldom but are usually seen on
It does not fit here, but “Ordination”
is a related haiku about an irregularly scheduled church event.
— LED, 10/3/2005, rev. 4/14/2017