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Winter 2007, vol 5 no 4


Shisan : The Labyrinth’s Core

Composed on 20th June 2007 as part of the weeklong workshop “Writing from Within: Haiku and the Spiritual Dimension”. The workshop, led by Maeve O'Sullivan and Kim Richardson, took place at Anam Chara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat in Beara in West Cork, Ireland ( ), which contains a grass labyrinth within its grounds.


third journey
to the grass labyrinth’s core —
sun breaking through…1


open window gently swings
the sounds of rush hour


eight o’clock coffee
bitter worries queue
behind your eyes


* * * *


festive lights beckon
as the last son hurries home


anniversary cards
litter the doormat
in our absence


empty corridors
echoing lost love


* * * *


harvest moon
on mountain ash2
sweet jelly for meats


a late rose petal falling
through my montbretia


canal water
supports floating debris
where does it go?


* * * *


a moment of stasis
as the lock gates pivot


surging sap
suddenly blossoms
hide my village


not yet time for sadness
with summer still to come


1 One of the awareness exercises on the workshop was to take the same walk five times, concentrating each time on a different sense (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste). The hokku emerged from that process.

2 Mountain ash (rowan tree), under which Diarmuid & Gráinne are said to have sought refuge. Its berries were reputed to be magical, restoring youth to an old person. For details of the myth, see the webpage:



Carmel Heaney (Ireland)
Nora Hussey (Ireland/USA)
Rosemary Kemsley (UK)
Mary Lee (Ireland)
Michael McLoughlin (UK)
Hazel Newman (Ireland)
Bríd Ní Mhóráin (Ireland)
Sharon O’Sullivan (Ireland)
Kim Richardson (UK)
Judith Tobin (USA)
Maeve O’Sullivan (Ireland) - sabaki


Copyright 2007: Simply Haiku