Alexander and Haiku
In my hands a branch of plum-blossoms,
Spoke the greetings
Of the New Year. *
We have regular Friday meetings, some in person, but most on Google Hangouts with everybody spread out over the Southeast. We are a leadership and organizational transformation consulting company.
That IS a mouthful, not a simple haiku.
Making new futures
At the meetings, when things get hot or we hit a dead end or we might have drifted to complacency and looking at our iPhones, I have been reading a simple haiku. Just to bring the mood of awe and gratitude, or just cause it is there to do for no reason.
Dead silence or talking all at once
Read a haiku.
I had a stack of haiku books out on my wrapping table before Christmas and grandson from a wise old universe, Alexander, 9, picked one up and started reading it to me.
So simple, he said, a big meaning in so few words.
So I gave him one of the books and he read to us at the Christmas table.
Reading, wrinkling his brow
Looking up at us.
A little devil and an angel. Later, he picks up my meditation bowl and hits it with the stick and listens and waits for the end of the ring, vibrating to silence, shaking his head as if he is listening to rock music.
We have a one-minute meditation practice.
His Guardian angels visit
Do I have them too?
His answer his 4th grade test questions.
This book was his favorite gift after his potato shooter and remote control gasoline car.
With both of those, the shooter and the car, they are HIS, HIS turn; the language of mine and your turn is not yet.
With the haiku book, he is eager to share; it belongs to all of us.
As he grows and the shooter and car are long gone, haiku will be here.
By the tree
He reached for the toy
His book tucked under his arm.
The grownups frustrated
Kids are working it out
Generation after generation
Learning to debate and stand up
Learning to agree and make up.
Taunts, teasing and tempers
Doing what kids must do
Grownups sigh and frown.
Disapproving of this behavior, scornful.
What would be scorned in my behavior?
if I had a big person watching me?
Interrupting, being impatient, overeating, over talking?
I ask the boys about fighting and they explain with great patience and reason and obviousness. That is what boys do.
And what do grownups do?
Talk too long, you and my daddy.
Explain too much.
You let us do stuff
Put the mattresses on the floor in the living room and make forts and jump and play on them
And the trampoline too.
Make us French toast
And make a cooking show video
Soak the good bread a long time
Then tell us stories late into the night about what our dad did when he was a boy.
*Peter Washington pocket serie