Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

July 8, 2008
Reposted February 11, 2020

This collection of haiku, Haiku, is the fourth in a sextology titled Koans And So On:
  1. Not Writing: Koans In The Key Of B-Major
  2. The Last Place You Look: Koans Of Conduct
  3. I've Got Nothing To Say: Twenty Boxes Of Nearly Haiku
  4. Haiku
  5. State Of Play
  6. I've Got Nothing More To Say: Twenty Boxes Of Nearly Haiku II
in that order.

I am indebted to Werner Erhard, source and Zen master, who inspired this conversation.


Patience by Zen master and calligrapher Hakuin Ekaku.

Hakuin Ekaku (1686 - 1769) almost single-handedly revitalized Zen after three hundred years of decline. He invented many koans including the brilliant and perfectly minimalistic "What is the sound of one hand clapping?".

Haiku is a traditional Zen poetic form.

•   It's a seventeen syllable verse with three lines of five, seven, and five syllables.
•   Haiku is created in two sections, each independent of the other yet reflecting the other.
•   The first section ends after the first or the second line; the rest is the second section.
•   Haiku may have a seasonal  theme in which at least one word gives a clue to the season the Haiku occurs in.
•   Haiku is written, read, and gotten  as a complete poem, whole in and of itself, rather than as a stanza within a greater composition.

While the three five seven five  structure is important, it's only purpose is to provide a framework to showcase the Haiku Zen. No matter how accurate it may be, the structure itself shouldn't impose. It should take a back seat to the experience of Zen.

Haiku is a sparse yet assertive, minimalistic, beautiful art. When you read traditional Haiku, you may get the sense you're looking through a window at a scene occurring in the world. If I've taken any liberty with traditional Haiku, it's this:

When you read my Haiku, you should also get the sense you're looking through a window at a scene occurring in the world. Then the window should begin to blur so that soon you're no longer looking at  the scene but rather who you really are becomes  the scene ie who you really are is at play in  the scene. In other words, who you really are eventually becomes both the subject of as well as  the object of the Haiku.

Experience each Haiku in this collection in any order calmly, patiently, and attentively at any hour of the day or the night when you've scheduled quiet time to be with and enjoy your Self.

Patience by Hakuin Ekaku frog on lily pad
dappled brown splayed webbed toes tense
plip plop splash now gone
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku twig snaps under foot
autumn speaks in brittle tones to
friends of fallow fields
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku blue lavender scent
breeze swept field swaying swaying
heady floral cleanse
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku evening stroll by river
babbling pebbles click spreading
ripples lap smoothly
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku back straight legs tucked in
a sitting meditation
om  everything om
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku guilded orb full moon
high atop clear midnight sky
all asleep below
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku white waters slam rocks
spray flies high salty foam churns
sea surface boils
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku heartful adoring
gorgeousness incarnate this
sweet daughter of mine
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku gold gossamer wings
flutter by these butterflies
were caterpillars
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku soft white petals blend
in leafy green wind blown heath
delectable scent
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku two wayward geese fly
overheard honking echoes
fade away slowly
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku spartan hilltop tree
branches stroke a closing day
sketching dusk's relief
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku brush your lips o'er me
electric girl spark on this
cold night a hot kiss
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku rushing wave licks cold
feet washed pure sandy toes cleaned
filled footprints vanish
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku bees busily buzz
darting collecting crafting
honey from pollen
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku ducks glide across pond
quacking heads down tails flip up
dinner no problem
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku inky ebon night
sets slow over dry meadows
quiet covering comes
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku blonde boy on red bike
peddling home barefoot no care
nor concern just peace
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku drizzling sun drenched cool
raindrops on my upturned face
wake and soothe my soul
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku undulating vines
lush carpeted hillside rows
harvest bounty comes
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku leaf in an updraft
tumbling there flying here like
a kite with no string
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku squirrel stashing nuts
tiny paws stuff swelling cheeks
whiskers aquiver
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku sandlewood candle
lit stone chapel of the woods
invites me inside
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku eagle on the rise
heavenly height soaring free
suddenly plummets
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku black crows up a tree
caw caw keep clear caw caw-ing
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku from the depths of sleep
my passion wakes me crying
lay your heart on me
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku empty beach gray fog
muted sunlight chilly air
hands deep in pockets
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku jagged lightning arcs
thunder claps sonic crash then
softer distant rolls
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku darkness before dawn
stealthily sunrise paints light
feathering orange whisps
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku shady glen I seek
now and then when it gets hot
and I'm moved to write
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku rattlesnake rattles
slithering sideways sliding
esses in the dust
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku white clouds with rainbow
reflection on glassy lake
perfect true image
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku deep in limestone caves
symphonies in oak mature
grape juice into wine
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku snowflake on my palm
fragile crystal latticework
melts and disappears
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku when so much is made
of things to amass in life
all I want is you
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku fingers tap keyboard
characters to laptop screen
digital haiku

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