Travel Haiku – The Shenandoah Valley

Rich, rolling farmsteads
Pressed into the mountains’ lap.


Antidepressant – Haiku / Senryu / Reflection

Underground rivers.
Feelings flow beneath my ken.

Today I attended a funeral for a child on the cusp of being a young man who suffered far too much and whose life ended far too soon. I did not know him well, but his eulogy sketched out the portrait of a sensitive, creative, loving soul. I do, however, know his mother and father and know that their grief has been overwhelming, as well as that of the boy’s older brother. There were several times during the service today where I was aware of the fact that I normally would feel deeply about a particular stimulus. It was not that the awareness of sorrow was not there, but the accompanying welling of emotion and tears was not present. That was the genesis of this haiku. Such is the trade-off sometimes of taking antidepressants. Just now I am grateful for their sway in my life, even given this somewhat numbing effect. There may come a day when I may need to dial them back a bit, but perhaps being aware of the way they in which they work and knowing cognitively that I am empathetic and sorrowful is enough for just now.

Mist on the River Des Peres – St. Louis, Missouri

My title to this blog post makes this river sound rather romantic. In truth, it is perhaps anything but. This river meanders from St. Louis County, under Forest Park, and then down to South St. Louis and the Mississippi. In fact, this is the very place that it comes out from underneath the ground after traversing Forest Park. Yesterday in the rain it was steaming, perhaps because it may have been mixed with some sewage. Here is one story with lots of pictures and here is another describing its negative environmental impact. The second image is of some apt graffiti for a rainy day.

“The thing about hearts” – Senryu / Haiku

The thing about hearts
On sleeves, beating wildly, they
Can be such a mess.

No, this is not a pre-Valentine’s Day senryu/haiku but rather a bit of processing about applying for a job that I learned this week that I did not get. It was in a Northern clime, at a Christian college, and presented some cool opportunities to reflect on art and culture in my free time, all things that made me excited. Of course I would have had to leave St. Louis, which was going to be a tough thing. I realize, though, that in the application process and especially in my phone interview I did engage my heart pretty hard on this, which is good even given the outcome. So, I have been a bit glum, but it is time to press on.