Vic Hummert has written many haikus. That hasn’t made him famous or rich; It hasn’t even made him popular. He once told me of one Japanese purist who objected to his writing haikus at all. Particularly since they don’t praise nature in the “appropriate” way.
Instead, the haikus tend to shame us and challenge our assumptions about the Earth, who we are as people, and how we take (buy, sell, steal, trash, objectify?) the planet’s wealth. That is: Hummert’s haikus are political barbs in poetic dressing.
I was reminded just yesterday how much I care about this man, former priest, and Louisiana prison minister when the following appeared in my in-box:
If we were tenants
Earth as landlord would evict
Most of us today
That one was numbered something like 8,256. If you’re not scared of reading god with a capital “G,” dive in at his website. Or just enjoy one more here, one with a explanatory nugget for further meditation:
Discarding styrofoam plates
Like blizzards on trees*
*The proverbial story of a snowflake which broke the branch of an evergreen tree weighed down by so much snow. With over 200 million people holding celebrations during which billions of disposable plates, cups, forks, napkins and trinkets being swept into ever-rising mounds of garbage, Earth has already reached a saturation point. The continued use of non-biodegradable throwaways will only harm Earth’s ability to nourish life.
[oh, and that image up top? it’s from another thoughtful, more “Thoreauvian” writer, the Street Librarian. hope he doesn’t mind…]