Icy white mountain
Snowflakes gust to azure sky-
singing flock of doves.
As announced in Newsletter Love 004-15, this visually beautiful and flowing haiku is our selection for what came to be known as the inaugural (which suggests there may be more) Newsletter Love Haiku Challenge, formally entitled Haiku You, Haiku Me ~ A Contest of Sort.
Our contest of sort had seven participants, each submitting their work in an effort to fulfill the spirit of the contest, which was to “write a haiku that focuses on the temporal nature of all things material.” This challenge was met effortlessly by all the participants, their haiku transcendent and unique each in their own special way.
While all participants easily met the spirit of the challenge, Shmatala, Esq. with her visually beautiful and flowing haiku was able to conjure within me “that same sense of connection to the Elements, to the Earth, to the Universe, as I [feel] when I walk my country roads during the cold, when the snow swirls across the fields like tornadoes in miniature and with the sky so blue in its surreality. And I hear those same singing doves come spring. It is in both the morning and the evening that their song of mourning calls.” Consequently, it is her haiku I was compelled to select.
There is so much I would like to say about each haiku entry, but, as I am eager to introduce Shmatala, Esq. and her moving essay, I will simply say to all participants, thank you from the bottom of my heart. What joy and inspiration you all have brought to our little salon-like space of a newsletter full of love, and to me.
Shmatala, Esq. is a self-described quintessential Canadian, who over the past decade has went from Halifax to Vancouver and, now, back to her hometown of Montreal. She is a lawyer by profession but had to give it up for the time being to care for her father – and his business, which is in the “rag” trade or “shmata” in Yiddish. As is evidenced by her website’s powerful and socially aware haiku and other poetic reflections, we take her completely at her word when she tells us that “I am doing my darndest to bring some light into this world any way I can.”
It is my pleasure to present to you more of the flowing power and grace with which Shmatala, Esq. is lighting up our world.
All things are temporary. Eventually we will loose everything: all the immovable and movable property that we collect, everyone we know, and ourselves. The only certainty is change but many, on a fool’s errand, try to resist or avoid change in pursuit of certainty. We try to convince ourselves that we have some form of permanence by collecting as much as possible, imagining that our existence will extend if only we collect enough money, notoriety or Facebook friends. We hold on to everything tightly, convinced that we can control everything and some how guide change (or maybe stop it altogether) through our stuff. Ironically, ceasing to change is, literally, to cease to exist.
We can see this struggle in our political landscape. We so fear the flow of change that we have managed to keep the same people in power, the wealth in the same pockets, and the poor, mentally ill and destitute in their place and generally out of sight. We do not trust that tomorrow will still come, that there will be more (at this point, we have enough resources on the planet so that everyone can eat and become educated), but we are afraid to pull the trigger, afraid of loosing, afraid of what’s next and that we might be left behind.
Existence in a cycle of sequential endings and beginnings: Constant change. One thing must end to give rise to the next. Winter turns to Spring, the solid mountains of snow and ice will melt into the earth, nourishing new seeds. Shorter days will become longer, new life will come. One period must end for the next to begin. At the end, when we cast off our physical forms, we will all fly away, singing our freedom, cascading over a cold morning sky, redeemed: a flock of singing doves.
Please visit with and follow Shmatala, Esq. at