Posts Tagged ‘cherry blossoms’

Things are looking up

February 1, 2013

It’s been a grey rainy week here in Vancouver, but downtown today, I had an unexpected glimpse of cherry blossoms and sunshine ─appropriate for the start of National Haiku Writing Month (February, the shortest month for the shortest poetic form).

blossoms-downtown3
early blossoms─
a new spring
in my step

Click here for more info on National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo).

Celebrating Cherry Blossoms -Vancouver style

April 9, 2012

This year’s Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival got off to a perfect start Thursday, April 5, with sunshine and cherry blossoms both cooperating. The Akebono cherry trees alongside Burrard Skytrain station (site of the festival kick-off) were in full bloom!

The event included Taiko drumming and other performances of Japanese music, as well as energetic Bollywood-influenced dancing that got the crowd joining in (led by Shiamak dancers, who are choreographing a flashmob umbrella dance to happen April 14).

The blossoms, people, and multicultural celebration inspired this haiku:

downtown Vancouver
oasis of blossoms
welcomes everyone

(Note: the festival also hosts an annual international haiku contest)

The celebration of blossoms continued at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden over the weekend with Sakura Days Japan Fair.

Signs of spring?

March 2, 2012

I spotted the first cherry blossoms (and bees) in my neighbourhood on February 7, and soon after came the snowdrops and crocuses. It seemed that we had seen the last of winter and that there was plenty to inspire some spring haiku. What better timing than February being National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo)?

I had been looking forward to NaHaiWriMo (writing a few short lines a day seemed much more do-able than the word output required for National Novel Writing Month!), but was struggling a bit with throwing out the 5-7-5 syllable structure (see this NaHaiWriMo post for background on why 5-7-5 is no longer considered correct for haiku in English), and just wasn’t finding myself paused in any haiku moments. That is, until the very last day of February, and the return of snow.

Was winter finished, or not? Were blossoms covered by snow a negative or a positive image? The seasonal ambiguity and my current mood of life evaluation (partly prompted by turning a certain age I won’t mention) inspired me to play with a glass half full/half empty theme. The result is maybe not worth sharing, but here it is (with all thought of syllable count tossed aside):

blossoms

under late snow

buried hope

or

blossoms

under snow blanket

wake

It Takes a Community to Bomb a Cherry Tree

March 7, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I helped a cherry tree blossom early. Knitters, crocheters, authors, book-lovers, and other supporters of Joy Kogawa House gathered to festoon the bare backyard cherry tree with hundreds of hand-knitted and crocheted blossoms. The Sunday afternoon event and several knit-ins leading up to it (including one held at Vancouver City Hall) was organized to help draw attention to the heritage site and the Joy Kogawa House writer-in-residence program.

The house was the childhood home of Canadian author Joy Kogawa –until WW II, when the house was expropriated and the family  forced to move, along with other Japanese-Canadians, to an internment camp in the BC interior. Thanks to the rallying of community members and a national fund-raising campaign (2003-2006), the house is now owned by The Land Conservancy of BC, a non-profit land trust, and a writer-in-residence program is operated on the site, helping to connect authors with the local community and encourage an appreciation for Canadian writing (see the Joy Kogawa House website for more info).

Joy Kogawa mentions the house in her novels, “Obasan” and “Naomi’s Road“, while the cherry tree itself is the focus of Kogawa’s picture book, “Naomi’s Tree.”

As an appreciator of cherry blossoms, books, and yarn-bombing, I couldn’t resist participating in the blossom event and sharing some photos:

Blossoms were created at local knit-ins lead by knit graffiti artists Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, and were also mailed in from other locations.

. . .

Participants at Sunday’s event crocheted chains, knitted “bark,” and attached the knitted and crocheted blossoms to the chains while authors read from their works.

. . .

Outside, others sewed “bark” around the tree’s trunk and tied blossom chains to the tree.

. . .

Vancouver Firefighters attached blossoms to the highest branches.

. . .

Overhead, an eagle soared.

. . .

All in all, a beautiful day and a beautiful event.

. . .

More photos of the event will be posted at Yarnbombing.com.

Blossoms will stay in place on the tree throughout the month of March, so if you’re in Vancouver, stop by 1450 West 64th Ave to have a look.

. . .

(Hidden among the blossoms in the final photo are three that I knit, and there is also a glimpse of the “bark” I knitted for a very skinny branch in behind.)

Skateboard haiku challenge

April 17, 2009

In honour of poetry month, I’ve been asked to start off the skateboard haiku challenge over at the blog of Darby Speaks.

I haven’t had a lot of time for writing anything this month, as I’m busy preparing for a trip to Japan. I leave in a few days. Once there, I’ll be talking about my books and Canada to five different groups, plus touring around and doing research for a possible future book. I hope I wont be too distracted and full of new ideas to start back in on finishing off my current novel when I get home again.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to post photos while I’m away, but I’ll try to at least post a few updates.

In the mean time, the cherry blossoms are finally out here (about a month behind)! I’ve got to enjoy them while I can, as they’ll already be finished in Japan.

blossoms_09

haiku

May 1, 2008

petals on the sidewalk

 

petals on the ground

crushed by passing feet

too quickly spring ends