Wednesday Evening Koan

Reblogged from forestbathing:


On one hand we have that almost unfathomable question, the one asked by disciples of various arts and I dare say scientists, too; that if a tree falls in a forest and no-one hears it does it make any sound?


In the other hand, I would like to place my favourite Habith, one of Prophet Mohamned's sayings: tie the camel first, then trust.


Is there a connection between what is in each hand? There must be, because there is a connection between everything on this planet.


In the first hand, about the tree, it is what we don't know that we know, and in the second...ah, well, it shows us that it is...what we don't know that we know.


True knowledge is defined by what is not definable.


asking the right question

does not always give the right answer

always seek the most humble

for they will not seek to impress

so do not seek to impress, either









  • I first read Jane Reichhold in the mid nineties. I read her haiku, her passion for her haiku, and read her to a Hungarian woman, an ex police officer in Hungary who was my student, and was so passionate about haiku that she moved to Aberdeen, in Scotland after I did, and got a job in the controversial Rudolf Steiner school there for the mentally handicapped. Rudolf Steiner was a passionate advocate of nature as a cure, among other more controversial things, and her haiku flowered.


I discussed haiku with Margo, my Hungarian ex student and ex police officer. And I read Jane Reichhold, discussing haiku techniques with Margo in green parks, on windy mountains, while wading across streams and on bus rides into the Highlands.


And yet it would be years before I attempted to write my own haiku. I studied haiku since those early days, but only really started writing haiku again from prompts by the Carpet Diem Haiku Kai website, run by haiku poet Kristjaan Pannemann.


Yesterday, in the early hours of the morning. I learnt Jane Reichhold had died. I learnt she had probably taken her life due to the unbearable pain caused by an illness she suffered silently with, while maintaining her smile, dignity and composure to the last.


I remember many of her haiku, and will no doubt ve referring to a few on these pages shortly. Today I chose the ooe below because of the senditivity. loneliness, sensuality and humaness in her words:



saturday rain

desire by a warm stove

for an affair



I will attempt to emulate this warm, touching haiku, with a tanka of my own.


soft evening

she remembers his touch

under the maple tree

in pouring rain

-her touch mirroring his

Kon-Tiki Man

Reblogged from forestbathing:

Thor Heyerdahl was one of the last, and one of the best, an adventurer, explorer, discoverer, which meant he was also a dreamer, a man with soul, suitably eccentric, as all explorers must be, who saw no barriers, and who lived for open spaces and distant horizons.


He was my childhood hero, and famous for making and taking a boat entirely made of reeds from The Nile in Egypt all the way to South America, just to prove it could be done, and therefore give further credit to the theory that the Aztecs, Mayans and others of the continent had originated from Cleopatra's ancient regime.


His team made the journey, and once ashore burnt their reed craft, the Kon-Tiki in protest against war, in a powerful gesture.


Thor Heyerdahl remains one of Norway's finest: an inspiration, a gentleman, a man of peace and courage. He was my childhood, in many ways, gone, perhaps, but not forgotten.


a simple boat

made of reeds

and miles of open sea

to prove people

belong to one another










Douce France

It took a childhood in France to provide a setting for Winner Takes Nothing, and the story, much based on truth, features areas around and in the French Alps at various stages. Evoking days spent in Annecy, a town near the high mountains, brought back memories of the lake's clear water that the city perches on, with peaks providing a stunning backdrop.


Divonne, a small town nearby also set on mountain slopes, though of the smaller Jura mountain chain, is where a few tense scenes take place. It took a couple of summers in Divonne to get those scenes right, and so even now the town casts a spell on me, of subterfuge and secrecy on me.


Early on in the epic adventure that is Winner Takes Nothing the action starts in Nice, a fine city on the French Riviera. The city is a key location for many young men seeking a different kind of life, and a few pages of the book should show you why.


I love France. It is perhaps the country I would first choose to defend, or even shed my blood for, and some of my friends did. But that's probably within the pages too, if I remember correctly.


Read it - for free now, and for a while, by clicking on the title of the ebook on the top right of this page. Let me know what you think. I think you'll discover a few things at the very least, and may find yourself swept on a long journey you are happy to be on. Of course there are one or two scenes reserved for those over 18; and they are not exactly 'based' on the truth, because they are entirely factual, and faithfully rendered, in appealing style I hope.


So I love France, not least because it led me to my first book, of over 600 pages, so something of a small epic, I suppose, that covers three continents and about three decades, and yes, I am anxious and interested to know what you think of it.


ah, France!

land of the written word

a scenery of emotions