Michaeline: Tsukimi

It’s inspiring still: Golden moon in times gone by. One glimpse, and I’m sunk. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Tsukimi, or the moon-viewing night, was last Thursday, and I almost missed it.

What is it? It’s a ritual that was enjoyed by Japanese aristocrats in the Heian era (approx. the 900s). They’d go out in boats and watch the moon on the water. Or sometimes just sit on their veranda, and catch the reflection of the moon in their teacups, and write very, very short yet poignant poems. (Wikipedia)

This time of year was considered the best time to view the moon, and I have to say, the moon has been just gorgeous as it rose into the night sky this week. Continue reading

Michaeline: Autumn Haiku

A young woman in Greek costume sitting on a crescent moon with an owl.

Autumn! The days are cooler, the nights are longer, and the imagination can stretch all the way to the moon. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Sunday night is Fifteenth Night in Japan. It’s not a national holiday—that was the Autumn Equinox last week. But many people all over Asia will stop and try to catch a glimpse of the harvest moon.

 

If the night is fine, I will make a cup of tea, and try to catch the full moon in my cup. Then, I’ll try to catch the moment in a haiku.

My English haiku
Are clumsy things compared to
The moon’s beauty.

But I’ll try anyway. Sometimes, I don’t make it, and the full moon catches me by surprise, like last year.

Driving home tonight,
My parking lights are blinking.
Stopped by a gold moon.

By the time I got home, clouds had covered the sky, and my last glance at the moon was a golden globe, hanging in the blue sky you get about 30 minutes before sunset, over the freshly tilled autumn fields.

Japanese kids are trained to have a special fondness for all of the seasons, but it seems to me that fall has the most nicknames. They call it Foodie Autumn, and Arts and Crafts Autumn, and one of my favorites, Reading Autumn. After all the busy-ness of summer, it’s nice to sit down and reflect before we go into the hibernation of winter. The longer nights give us a chance to sit down and relax.

How about you? It’s a little early, but would you like to give haiku a try? This link from Wikipedia is a good refresher course. (-: And of course, limericks will not be turned away, either.