Category Archives: poetry

High Coo – Dec 4 – Animal Blessings

Who blesses who? Who loves who? Who rescues who?

It’s been three days since we said goodbye to Lexie. Today I say hello again and look forward to the day we all will meet in the Pure Land aka Rainbow Bridge.

Below are a couple of quotes from the excellent book Blessing the Animals by Lynn L. Caruso (c) 2006 to comfort us in the meantime.

The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.Kevin E. Mackin, OFM referenced on p.23 Blessing for Cats

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.Albert Schweitzer referenced on p.31 Blessings for Cats

May all creatures be freed from their suffering. May all creatures be freed from their illness. May those in fear be comforted and those bound be set free.Buddhist prayer adapted by Lynn L. Caruso Partings p.180

Today’s humble senryu: Lexie

we will not forget

our love for each other – we

will reunite soon

Leezy (with caramel-colored feet) and her sister Lexie (with white feet)

High Coo – Nov 24 – Thanksgiving Day Wisdom

I am thankful for life and for the wisdom to appreciate life. Here are a couple of thoughts that come to mind for me today:

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart https://internetpoem.com/meister-eckhart/quotes/

Psalm 92: “It is good to give thanks. Does God need to hear my praise? No, I need to express it. To awaken to wonder, to holiness, to God, I must transcend the ego-centered drama I pretend is life. To shatter pretense, give thanks. Each thank-you reduces the false you. When I give thanks, I embrace others. When I give thanks, I move from drama to play and discover the aliveness that Is when I stop playing God and discover that God is playing me. It is good to give thanks for through thanksgiving awakening lies.” Minyan – Ten Principles for Living a Life of Integrity (c) 1997 Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro http://rabbirami.com/#Perrenial-Wisdom

“Religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or say as well in another; and the more languages you speak, the more nuanced your understanding of life becomes.” http://rabbirami.com/

My humble senryu: Thanksgiving Day Wisdom

I’m grateful for you,

for us, for all beings and

this day to say THANKS

Three granddaughters with Nonno Photo taken by my daughter Mary

High Coo – Nov 23 – Thankful for My Dog Day

“Big dogs, small dogs, yappy dogs, fluffy dogs, all kinds of dogs deserve our love and affection every day, but most of all on Thankful for My Dog Day.

In Western society, people highly value dogs because of their characteristics of friendship, protectiveness, loyalty, and affection. Dogs are also widely used in animal-assisted therapy. This type of treatment helps to relieve anxiety, pain, and depression in people with a range of mental or physical health problems.

Show off your dog today. Post photos and videos of your pupper on social media and say how proud you are of them. Also, tell your dog you love them when you’re with other people — animals understand when we’re pleased with them.” https://nationaltoday.com/thankful-for-my-dog-day/

Today’s haiku: Thankful for My Dog Day

In ev’ry season

dogs point out nature highlights

let’s follow their lead

Here’s a few photos from our household:

Please post photos of your dog(s) below.

High Coo – Nov 22 – Humane Society Anniversary Day

Jean Chung/For HSI 2017

Humane Society International, (HSI), is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting animal welfare. It addresses animal cruelty, including inhumane practices and conditions affecting companion and farm animals, illegal animal trade, animal slaughter, and use of animals in research and product testing.

Humane Society Anniversary Day, celebrated on November 22 every year, signifies the establishment of Humane Society International, the world’s largest animal protection organization. Did you know that every year, Humane Society International saves hundreds of animals from cruelty cases? Humane Society International strives to promote the human-animal bond, protect and rescue animals, and more across the world.https://nationaltoday.com/humane-society-anniversary-day/

Why care about non-human animals?

  1. “Violence against animals has been linked to a higher likelihood of criminal violence and domestic abuse. So, violence against animals must be stopped.
  2. According to statistics, one animal is abused every minute in the world.
  3. Annually, over 10 million animals in the U.S. die as a result of abuse.
  4. The U.S. has over 10, 000 known puppy mills.
  5. Despite the fact that most animals are fully capable of surviving in the wild or in cities on their own, they are subjected to a great deal of cruelty and abuse. We can be their voice.

One thing we can take home from the Humane Society Anniversary is that not only humans but all creatures are created equal. We need to treat all animals with compassion and love.https://nationaltoday.com/humane-society-anniversary-day/

http://www.hsi.org/issues/dog-cat-welfare/

Today’s senryu: Happy Anniversary HSI

multiply caring:

together we accomplish

more than one can do

High Coo – Nov 19 – Giving and Receiving

nicepng.com

As we approach the giving season, a couple of wise sayings come to mind:

“Some people spend their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious, and yet grow poorer. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others and you will be helped.” Proverbs 11:24-25 http://www.goodnewsbible.com

“If you knew, as I do, the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing some of it.” http://www.quuf.org/the-buddha-on-the-power-of-generosity/

While generosity is a common topic across religions, it is also a subject for academic research. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK6xbsn1jfw and The Science of Generosity at https://generosityresearch.nd.edu/

Whomever or whatever motivates you, please consider giving a little more this year.

Today’s senryu: Giving and Receiving

if you see a need

then contribute what you can

what goes ’round comes ’round

https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/showing-generosity

November 18 – Remembering A Deceased Loved One

Memorial site for a traffic accident on a country road

Remembering a loved one doesn’t necessarily need to end at the memorial service or the death site. Both of these actions are appropriate responses yet more may be desired to keep the loved one’s memory closer to home, closer to you on a daily basis.

Two writings offer some helpful advice. First is an article by Allison Grinberg-Funes (https://www.eterneva.com/resources/memorialize-loved-ones) in which she offers Ideas for Memorializing Deceased Loved Ones:

  1. Turn their ashes into a cremation diamond
  2. Visit their final resting place
  3. Do something they enjoyed or you did together
  4. Have a memorial release with balloons or butterflies
  5. Listen to their favorite songs or watch their favorite movies
  6. Look through old photos with friends and family
  7. Plant a tree, shrub, or flowers and visit it
  8. Create a memorial website or Facebook page
  9. Donate to their favorite charity
  10. Eat or cook their favorite food
  11. Write them a letter, poem or song.

The second writing is a section from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book How To Live When A Loved One Dies (c) 2020, Parallax Press called Making An Altar For Your Loved One:

“When we have lost someone we love, we often feel the need to express our deep love and gratitude to them…and we want to keep their memory alive…Making a shrine or altar is a concrete way of expressing our love and care, and of helping us feel connected to them. We can set up a small table and place a photograph of our loved one, a candle, some flowers, and other meaningful things on it.” p.133 http://www.parallax.org/product/how-to-live-when-a-loved-one-dies/

Check out both sources for more information.

In the meantime, here is today’s brief poem: Remembering A Deceased Loved One

our lives together

made great memories for us –

thank you forever

bentmetalworks.com

High Coo – Nov 17 – Losing My Attachment Figures

https://theawkwardarchaeologist.wordpress.com/2019/03/11

Attachment theory is a very popular concept among psychologists and has been for a few decades now. It states that humans – in fact, all mammals – have an innate drive to seek out close emotional relationships with other people, who can become our ‘attachment figures’. Humans seem to have developed a particularly flexible attachment system. By this, I mean that we can become emotionally attached to a wide number of other people, from relatives to friends to romantic partners. Even non-humans can be our attachment figures – think about the bond you might have with a beloved pet, for example. Even inanimate objects can be attachment figures – the notion of a child and their teddy is a common attachment bond in many Western countries.” Maddie Bleasdale, aka The Awkward Archaeologist (see link above).

A recent Animal Chaplaincy class discussed how a loved pet (aka companion animal) can be a traumatic event for someone, especially when that loved one was a “primary attachment figure.” The guest speaker, Janel Griffieth, a Senior Director for CARE (Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (https://careawo.org/about-us/) gave a powerful presentation about her personal experiences and why knowing more about trauma, resiliency, hope and the Attachment Theory can help animal chaplains be more empathetic when humans are emotionally devastated by the loss of their trusted non-human companion.

Today’s poem: Losing My Attachment Figures

the moment you died

I was sad, lonely, bereft –

I walk with you now

The book below, by Thich Nhat Hanh, has been helpful for me, perhaps it may be helpful to someone you know. https://www.parallax.org/product/how-to-live-when-a-loved-one-dies/

High Coo – Nov 16 – 3 Questions at Rainbow Bridge

Today’s senryu: 3 Questions at Rainbow Bridge

Together again?

Secure attachment regained?

Trust in the Pure Land?

Today is one of those days when big questions collide for me. I’m trying to sort out a few of them and would appreciate your insights.

This bottle-fed young moose has developed an attachment to its caregiver (at Kostroma Moose Farm). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory Might this attachment be mutual?

wshs-dg.org

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and wellbeing of both.” https://vetexplainspets.com/human-animal-bond/

The Rainbow Bridge is a meadow where animals wait for their humans to join them, and the bridge that takes them all to Heaven, together.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Bridge_(pets)

Pinterest.com

“It is only because of our misunderstanding that we think the person we love no longer exists after they ‘pass away.’  This is because we are attached to one of the forms, one of the many manifestations of that person.  When that form is gone, we suffer and feel sad.  The person we love is still there.  He is around us, within us and smiling at us.  In our delusion we cannot recognize him, and we say: ‘He no longer is.’  We ask over and over, ‘Where are you?  Why did you leave me all alone?’  Our pain is great because of our misunderstanding.  But the cloud is not lost.  Our beloved is not lost.  The cloud is manifesting in a different form.  Our beloved is manifesting in a different form.  If we can understand this, then we will suffer much less.” Thich Nhat HanhNo Death, No Fear

https://movemequotes.com/quotes-from-no-death-no-fear/

High Coo – Nov 15 – Senryu to You Two

Dr. B and Dr. C from The Two Doctors https://thetwodoctors.uk/

As a life-long learner, I appreciate great teachers, those who love learning and love helping others learn. Dr. B and Dr. C are role models worth meeting.

Most recently, Dr. B, has introduced his readers to Senryu (pronounced sen – rye – ooo). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJmzsBmog_Q

Senryu is described as “a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 or fewer syllables in total. However, senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are serious.” https://www.languageisavirus.com/poetry-guide/senryu.php

Another good source of information on senryu is a blog called Failed Haiku at https://failedhaiku.com/2022/11/. Editor Bryan Rickert with founder and now Video Editor Mike Rehling offer regular publications and contests for participants.

My first knowing attempt: Senryu to You Two

wonderful teachers

encourage exploration:

who are you, again?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karai_Senryu