underneath below…Haiku/ Tanka

.
.
.

i have known more pain

.
than i can hope to forget,

.
yet…i look skyward.
.
.
.
these eyes collect joy,
.

like a jewel thief stealing

.
moments where i can.
.
.
.
when the moonlit skies
.

reflect more darkness than light,
.

i hide behind clouds.
.
.
.
this melancholy…
.

it lays shallow in my lungs,
.

waiting to exhale.
.
.
.
battered and lonely,
.

you found me once on the shore…
.

but i crash in waves…
.
.
.
underneath below
.

the undertow i create
.

in amniotic
.

silence i know all too well,
.

a slave to the familiar.
.
.
.
.

tell me… stars have life,

.
.
find me… whenever i hide.

.
.
underneath…

.
.
below.
.
.
.

62 thoughts on “underneath below…Haiku/ Tanka

  1. tell me stars have life – find me whenever I hide….so much in these lines, thankfully you have been found…Scout found you and your readers found you. Stunning Jack. Hugs.

  2. Muddletation says:

    You have such a beautiful way of carrying the reader with you in your heart. Where this feeling of emotion washes over the reader and stays for some time. Heartbreakingly beautiful. ~x~

  3. This is wonderful….the honesty…the pain….the acceptance, and most of all, the appreciation of someone who understands it all. Very effective.

    • well, we’ve been together 13 years now, we are comfortable and secure in what we know of each other.
      this is what happens to me each winter, Scout knows now it’s better to just let me be, until i’m ready
      to come out and play again. this poem is a little hint to her. ty misunderstood for being here this morning.
      and for taking the time to write such a wonderful comment. i really appreciate it.

  4. Mary says:

    Very powerful writing, carrying us along the emotion string that is pulled and stretched.

    • hi Mary, last Saturday the title just popped into my head, and it just developed from that.
      each day i would add a stanza, the poem became more than i intended and i realized i was
      telling a story. ty so much, you are treasured here my friend!

  5. ritaroberts says:

    Hello Jack, I am beginning to understand poetry a little more now and because I am studying ancient scripts and my teacher is also a poet and sonnet writer I thought you may be interested . Name Richard Vallance http://vallance22.hpage.com/

    • hi Rita, ty for the suggestion, i’ll have to look at his work. i admire that you’re studying poetry, honestly i’ve never taken a writing class. i guess i probably should, instead of flying by the seat of my proverbial pants as i do ..lol!

      ty for being here Rita, i really appreciate it.

  6. rjl2727 says:

    hey my brother, i’ve been out of touch and trying to catch up on my reading, which i’v simplified by reducing to a very small handful of poets i care to read faithfully. yours is on top of that list. the above collection touches me at levels of experience and existential belief. masterly written, and painfully received. your words to me over that past months have been a catalyst of healing and inspiration. i’ll never be able to thank you any more that just trying to keep up with you and allowing your work to continue it’s healing work in my life. peace my man. bob

    • and if anyone ever asks me why i write, i will simply have them read what you’ve written to me here. i’m usually not short on words Bob….but i’m not sure how to ty for this, i am so glad you’re here brother. ty from the bottom of this writer’s grateful heart. peace.

      • rjl2727 says:

        well my brother, you can take it to the bank. life is too to spend reading things that are not meaningful to me, or to give false flattery, so if i say something supportive, it is from my heart. keep on keepin on brother.

  7. Miranda Stone says:

    One aspect of your poetry that I love is that even when you’re writing about pain, you also write about hope. And this stanza:

    these eyes collect joy,
    .

    like a jewel thief stealing

    .
    moments where i can.

    Wow! Simply beautiful. The imagery here is fantastic. Thanks for sharing. I needed to read this today, my friend.

    • there are few more gratifying feelings as someone who writes, then to have our words offer some comfort. and ty for noticing that i always had a dose of Hope, it’s intentional. it took 46 years to find my partner after many failed relationship attempts, and we’re together 13 years now. our meeting was so serendipitous, so unlikely i believe if we could find each other there is hope for us all to find love.

      ty for your continued encouragement and support Miranda, i always look forward to your reactions and insight.

  8. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Me too, I agree with Miranda. “these eyes collect joy, like a jewel thief stealing”. Tears welling. So full of despair and fight. I want to collect these lovely poems and read them in a book you know. Imagine a book full of ones favourite poems. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • hi Nomzi, what a wonderful thing to say. a few of my friends have suggested a book, but i guess it’s never been a dream of mine to be published though i never thought i’d be writing poetry either.lol!

      that little Haiku is my favorite from this poem too, and i have no idea where it came from. what a mystery poetry is. and ty Nomzi, for putting such a smile in my heart tonight.

      • Nomzi Kumalo says:

        Aw. No worries. It is true. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Me neither. I never thought I would be writing poetry. Lol.
        It is a beautiful mystery. It is magical when it works. So perhaps it will gather itself into a book one day. Mine too. For now we can write. Have a beautiful weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. stacilys says:

    A great depiction of swaying between hope, brief moments of joy, melancholy and… perhaps desperation?
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    • hi stacy, ty so much for taking the time to leave a such an insightful comment. desperation?, yes absolutely. ‘I’ve overcome a lot in this life, seen more than my fair share of pain but i’ve always had a belief that somehow i’d finally get it right. no matter how dim that Hope was at times, i just never gave up trying, until one night i finally met Her at a party either of us were invited to. a gift from the Universe.

      and here we are 13 years later….

      • stacilys says:

        So this ‘Hope’ is a person then. Lovely.
        I know how it is to have battles, especially inner ones, throughout life. My childhood was very difficult, filled with anxiety and fear. There were the rebellious teen years; very tumultuous time. My 20s I went through the wringer. A whirlwind of emotions, so to speak. A time of deep inner healing and changing of wrong mind-sets, and essentially finding out who I am. My 30s eased up on me somewhat, thank God. And now at 40, thanks to hanging on with great faith (yet, sometimes by a thread), and beautiful hope, I have never been more content in my life, with who I am as an individual and all that this life involves.
        Many blessings to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. SirenaTales says:

    Very beautiful, my friend. You paint so effectively many compelling images–the stars, the jeweled moments, the ocean and her undertow (and, yes, they are personal favorites :)). Thank you for the poignant, vivid beauty.

  11. Your poem has a beautifully enchanting melody and rhythm within your words, and it just keeps me riveted to the end, and i had to read it a couple of times…because its a true gem…thanks for sharing my brother…it is a beautiful piece of writing!!!! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Wendell, i really appreciate you feeling the rhythms in this poem, it was written to the tempo of a song and as always it affected the writing. also the 5*7*5 Haiku syllable count has an internal rhythm if you select the right words, it’s one of the beautiful mysteries of that form and why i love it so much.

      ty so much for taking the time to leave such passionate reactions, you always plaster a smile on this mug and in this heart!

  12. This so reminds me of a conversation I just had with my best friend. I’m going to send your words to him.

    Thank you.

  13. haelanra says:

    This is so lovely. The glint of broken pain that glimmers through your simple, unassuming, but beautiful words are terribly touching! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Geo Sans says:

    amniotic … silence
    ~
    power
    full

    • hi Geo Sans and a very warm welcome to you this morning!
      my natural default setting is alone in my silence,
      there’s always been safety there, it’s womb like.
      ty so much for being here and your follow,
      i really appreciate the encouragement.

  15. lumar1298 says:

    Love Haikus especially the way you write yours… Take care, Lor

  16. When I read this I long for the “love” button. In this poem alone, I think the petition would be granted. I feel you words deeply and I love them so dearly. They are a wonderful telling of turmoil and inner battles; a story that I am fond of telling myself. So I greatly respect it, in you. Your perspective of this is cherished. Thank you for a wonderful read, as always, Dear One.

    ~Holly

    • oh Holly, how i thank the Universe for sending me an angel in you. and that inner turmoil …it rages some days more quietly than others, i’m just wired that way i guess. i marvel how some folks move so effortlessly through life, without a care or regret. and there are days i wish i could do that, but i know i never really could. please know you are treasured here, it’s not often i feel such comfort and recognition.

  17. I just love the rhythm of this, Jack. It is just so you. ((Love that I finally know your name…I am never sure if I should ask because of anonymity reasons–It fits you perfectly)) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ty and hello dearest Skye, aahhh the rhythm…another poem written to music,
      i just didn’t include it this time .lol. oh and the name, i was christened Jack by
      my friend Jen (ramblings of a mum), ’cause she was kinda’ tired of not knowing
      my name, wanting to address ‘someone’ when she left a comment.

      the sad truth is i never liked my real name, and when i began this blog i didn’t
      really expect to have anyone following me and leaving comments so i didn’t plan
      very well for an adequate screen name. but i like Jack, a lot. i think it fits too so
      i think i’ll keep it. it seems to be catching on! lol

  18. T. Coffman says:

    This piece. So much depth. It’s dumbfounding to me that you are relatively new to writing poetry. Maybe inking it down has been new, but you were born a poet. x

    • oh Tiffanny you’re making me **blush**, maybe it has something to do with knowing sadness at such an early age, living a life inside my head to escape what i knew. melancholy is always just below most of what i write, and she
      is such a constant source of poetic inspiration for so many poets. whatever it is, i’m grateful to have found poetry.the skin seems to fit…so i wear it. not so easy to do as get older! lol

      ty, Tiffany and ty for being here. it means a lot to me.

  19. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    we live within the light of the stars as I think we are the shadows they reflect from,maybe they are the hope within the hope we have…since most seem to drop the connection every once in a while..
    I see more in the Winter when I am lost ….sometimes hard to shake off the cold…
    This is beautiful Jack..(though for some reason I think you should be called Jackson ? ๐Ÿ™‚ )
    .I think combined emotions of sadness, lost and hope whisper the best thoughts to carry to paper…
    Thank you for sharing…again
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • i’ve struggled mightily this winter too, and it’s still not done with us here in Chicago,.
      i’m shaking off this hibernation bit by bit, poetry saved me from going full blown
      depressed and i’m so grateful to have found it.

      ‘sadness, lost and hope whisper the best thoughts to carry to paperโ€ฆ’
      oh i so agree maryrose, it’s my default setting! lol but even as i struggle with
      whatever inner turmoil happens to arrive, i’m always looking for the diamonds
      in the dark for some reason. ty for being here maryrose, it means a great deal
      to me that you take such time and care to leave such engaging comments.

  20. Kenne says:

    this melancholyโ€ฆ
    .
    it lays shallow in my lungs,
    .
    waiting to exhale.

    I love your image of anxiety living rightly in the lungs… I can feel the sadness and desperation here… I love how you carry my emotions in your poems through poetic landscapes I would rather forget but cannot forget.

  21. Noora says:

    I have MISSED reading your work, my friend. I’ve been really busy lately. This is so profoundly beautiful, raw and yet hopeful – and so much more. I love how it flows.

    • oh, mr mom understands the BUSY sweet Noora, no need to apologize.
      if i needed more than 4 hours of sleep a night, i couldn’t possibly do all
      that needs to be done! ty, and know your presence is always treasured
      whenever you arrive.

  22. This poem is stirring. It actually describes in a sense a place that that I frequent far too often. This is the part that really struck me:

    “these eyes collect joy,
    .

    like a jewel thief stealing

    .
    moments where i can.”

    Collecting joy in that way….such a cautious painstaking process that must be used and also frocked with danger. That was a brilliant choice of words.

    This part is powerful and thought provoking:

    “but i crash in wavesโ€ฆ
    .
    .
    .
    underneath below
    .

    the undertow i create
    .

    in amniotic
    .

    silence i know all too well,
    .

    a slave to the familiar.”

    I have used the word “undertow” in one of my acrostic poems. The word contained a “U”, and I used the phrase “untoward undertows”. What is interesting is that you come from the perspective of actually creating that. I am more reluctant to take the responsibility of owning that. Then again, sometimes it isn’t our fault.

    I read this poem once or twice before, but moved on quickly, because of the effect, but it is just so great that I had to read it again and comment.

    I noticed this poem did not have a selection of music to go with it. There is a song that came to my mind. The mood and melody would complement it. It is “Wuthering Heights” by Pat Benatar. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blessings,
    Theresa

    • ‘undertow i create’…oh i definitely own it Theresa, suffering for the longest time at my own self sabotage, scuttling plans and relationships along the way. i’m much better at recognizing the early signs of this tendency these days.

      being alone is my default setting but sometimes i burrow and remove myself when i’m feeling depressed or overwhelmed. this usually happens in the winter which i suffer greatly. this poem was written during one such times, and i am asking my partner to NOT let me disappear, to find me again as she always does.

      ty so much for taking such time and care in reading my poems,
      and always leaving such engaging comments. i’ll have to listen
      to that Benatar song, ty for sharing. i kinda’ hoped the words
      might be enough to tell the story in this poem, that music would
      have gotten in the way a bit.

      • My heart really does go out to those who suffer like that. I’m in a season myself where I am battling depression, and winter is hard. You see my husband of over 26 years is losing his battle with glaucoma. It has been a time of profound sadness.

        I have enjoyed reading your poems, and this one although sad was written so well that I got carried away in appreciating it. I’m sorry.

        Blessings,
        Theresa

      • oh please no apologies, it’s a pleasure to talk with you Theresa. it humbles me greatly that you might be drawn to my poetry, that it might resonate.

        geez, i’m not even sure what to say, i can’t imagine not having my sight.
        i’m so sorry, it must be a weight of profound proportions, and my heart goes out to you both. it humbles me greatly that

  23. these eyes collect joy, like a jewel thief stealing moments where I can… The entire poem is brilliant, but I’m particularly drawn to this line. Joy is there, we just have to look-but do we deserve it, is it for us? Be well. ~Karen~

    • hi Karen and a very warm welcome to you. ty for your kindness, this is becoming a secret favorite of mine. the title just popped into my head one day and the whole poem developed from there. and the line you cited, well…i’ve seen more than enough strife to know joy is not an everyday occurrence, and i’ve finally accepted myself and believe i deserve joy when it arrives.

      heh, i’ve learned that aging does have some benefits..lol

      • Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to exploring your blog. That’s what usually happens with me, as well – random thought or line enters head, brain commences writing and playing around said line. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Yes, you do deserve joy, however fleeting, we need to hold it, touch and feel it, so we don’t forget. Till it sticks.
        I’ve nominated you for the Shauny Award (for excellence in blogging). It’s much deserved!

      • oh ty and thanks for telling me, if i here a noise i’ll know it’s you rummaging around in my attic..lol
        i love when friends find pieces i haven’t read in a while, i rarely if ever go back and read my writing.
        i’ll have to visit your blog soon to read your work, and ty for the award. you are too kind.

  24. You are most welcome. Embrace the “joy.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. lionessawake says:

    Your perseverance is inspiring as is your choice to “collect joy” where it can be found. But I connected most with the end and the plea to come find you. Reaching out and reminding the one you love that even in your melancholy and hibernation, especially then, their light is appreciated and in fact needed.

    • hi D, ty….i don’t know what it is in me that keeps thinking things can and should be better than i knew, considering the mess on my plate i was given as a kid. i justnever settle for ‘what is’, keep chipping away until it is. i’ve had a lot of help along the way, many outstretched hands picked me up when i fell…and i always fall, always ‘crash in waves’lol…Scout knows this about me, i lean on her a lot to rescue me and she always does.

  26. Lulu's back says:

    Love the simple words connected with deep meaning.

    • it amazes me how poetry presents itself, the title popped into my head one afternoon
      and it just connected with feelings i wasn’t even consciously having at the time.
      i guess i have a pretty good vocabulary, but i use simplicity to ensure my poetry
      is understood. it’s important to me that my readers relate somehow to what i’m writing
      and feeling, i just don’t see the point in being obscure. and ty Lulu, ty very much.

  27. Mary Kendall says:

    Somehow I found my way to your blog this evening, and I’ve been poking around reading here and there. I am a poet, too, and am really captivated by these haiku for their powerful images. I love that you can capture darkness (literal and figurative) and still offer hope as in “…yet I look skyward.” Well done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s