Greetings and welcome to The Haiku Pond. A place to ponder life through haiku. My name is Anthony Nanfito and I’m the caretaker of the Pond.
Each season I share haiku written by myself and others. Each episode features haiku centered around a pre-chosen theme. You can learn more at http://thehaikupond.com.
If you’re ready, let’s prepare for our visit. Take a deep breath and dive in.
The theme for this visit is earth and will feature haiku written by myself and others.
A Haiku & Reflection from Me
tiny speck of dust
adrift on a vast cosmic stage
pale blue dot called home
This past month I’ve been thinking about Earth’s place in the cosmos. At the beginning of the month I watched the Netflix documentary ‘a trip to infinity’ which explores the concept of infinity mathematically, but also in a physical and real sense when we look out into the cosmos and observe the universe. Later in the month, I happened to re-read an excerpt from Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’.
Among the profound ideas expressed both in the film and by Carl Sagan, one has stuck with me over the course of the month: humans are just tiny specks of dust living on a bigger-than-us but also a very small speck of dust in a seemingly infinite universe. A universe so vast and large that there are more stars and planets in the night sky than there are grains of sand on a single beach. This nearly uncountable amount of objects would imply that we are insignificant. We’re not special. And indeed this is true. But strangely, on the flipside, we are.
We earthlings (of all species and varieties) are unique in that — as far as we know — we are the only ones in the universe with the gift of consciousness. We humans are unique in that we have a higher level of consciousness which allows for us to make the audacious attempt to understand this strange, vast universe, and our existence within it.
We get the gift of being alive. Being alive to explore the world and the cosmos. To observe it. To test hypotheses about it. To confirm or discredit ideas within it. Which ultimately leads us to making wild discoveries that not only help improve our lives, but also help us to live better, more meaningful lives.
As we look up toward the night sky, gazing deeply into the vast cosmos we begin to see the true nature of life on this speck of dust. We see how insignificant we are compared to the innumerable worlds out there. At the same time this brings meaning to our lives. We can begin to recognize that the petty differences between us are not worth fighting over by waging wars.
In fact, it is those differences that are worth celebrating and embracing because of their uniqueness. More importantly, in the end all of us — no matter where or when we’re born or how much wealth we have or do not have — we all have a finite amount of time on this speck of dust. A finite amount of time to make the most of this existence.
We may look around at the night sky and see those amazing, fascinating worlds. Worlds that we long to visit, worlds that we dream about in our sleep, in our books, in our movies. But these worlds are both inhospitable to the lifeforms of Earth and so far away they are out of our reach within that finite amount of time we all have to exist on this planet. It is in this gazing at these distant, inhospitable worlds that makes us look around at our own world and realize just how precious it is. This may be a small speck of dust drifting through the cosmos but it’s our home and it’s the only one we’ve got.
It is on this speck that we must make our stand. We must take care of this precious speck of dust where it is the only place in this vast universe of uncountable worlds that we can exist. It is this speck of dust where everyone you have ever known, and ever will know, has lived, loved, and died. And to ensure that future generations have the ability and the right to live, love, and die just as we do, we must take responsibility to care for our planet, to care for our tiny speck of dust that is our home.
This is the lesson I learned from ‘a trip to infinity’. This is the lesson I learned from re-reading Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’. This is the lesson I learned from this haiku.
What lessons have you learned from this cosmic existence? How have you found meaning as a tiny speck of dust in a vast cosmos with uncountable worlds? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on the blog or YouTube channel, or send an email to thehaikupond [at] gmail [dot] com. Hearing your thoughts makes this more of a conversation and I can’t wait to hear what lessons you’ve learned.
Listener Submitted Haiku
Now, let’s hear from our listeners. Each haiku will be repeated twice so you can fully immerse yourself within it. If you’d like to submit a haiku for a future episode, please visit thehaikupond.com for details. Alright, let’s begin.
From Curt Linderman:
the land where we stand
seemingly tamed by concrete
simply bides its time
From Katherine E Winnick:
between heaven and earth
prayers for rain
From Jerome Berglund:
after bar close
blaze trail through the snow
every shell that
washes onto the shore —
the ever-shifting earth
From petro c. k.:
to become a tree
I must fall
to the earth
From Eavonka Ettinger:
too many steps on
From Tracy Davidson:
a little bit of home soil
From C.F. Tash:
digging in the dirt
a curious child
From Adele Evershed:
falling to earth
the petals of the poppy
and myself …
From Kimberly Kuchar:
reaching through rubble
after the earthquake
From Vipanjeet Kaur:
dry parched gardens
bear no blossoms.
From Michael Walters:
he was well grounded
his bare feet touching soil
future dust to dust
From Mitja Lovše:
The soil you sleep in
feeds the roots of a forest —
a spring is coming.
From Chittaluri Satyanarayana:
down to earth —
gossiping with a beggar
From Mona Bedi:
Earth day —
we leave behind
From Kerry J Heckman:
longing for a sea of tranquility
planet earth —
we’re on the same boat
and yet …
From Ali Znaidi:
climate change …
Special thanks to all the poets who submitted their haiku for this episode. It’s an honor and a pleasure to read them. If you’re listening and you’d like to connect with these poets, visit the show notes linked in the description of this episode for links to their websites or social accounts.
On Hiatus until 2023
Normally, this is the part of the episode where I announced the next theme, but I’ll be taking a hiatus from producing podcast episodes over the next few months and return after the new year in 2023. When I return I’ll announce the next theme in a promo episode, via the mailing list, and Twitter.
However, with the future of Twitter in question, I’d like to encourage you all to sign-up for the podcast mailing list to be notified when the podcast returns. It’s sent directly to your inbox and I promise never to spam you, notify you with news about the podcast such as new themes and episodes. You can sign-up at https://haikupond.ck.page/subscribe. You can also find the sign-up link in the description of this episode and on the podcast website.
Before I go on hiatus, I want to say a huge thank you to Kimberly Kuchar for your financial contributions on my Buy Me a Coffee page. I’m humbled and honored. Your support helps keep the lights on and the mic recording. Thank you so much for your support, Kimberly. And for your lovely haiku submissions.
As always, thanks for visiting the pond. I hope you continue to write haiku while I’m on break, but also take time to rest and reflect as this year comes to a close. Wherever you are in the world take care of yourself and, if you can, someone else.
Thanks for listening. See ya next time!
Thanks for visiting The Haiku Pond. If you’ve been inspired by what you’ve heard, please share the show with a friend.
For podcast updates, join the mailing list at http://haikupond.ck.page/.
For inquiries send an email to thehaikupond (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for listening. See you next time.
A Haiku Collection for Pondering Life
My haiku poetry collection is available as an ebook on 10+ retailers worldwide!
This collection contains over 100 haiku and 5 mini essays focused on Mindfulness, Gratitude, Compassion, Love & Loss, and Give & Forgive. If you listened to the first season to The Haiku Pond podcast, then some of these haiku will sound familiar. I used the same themes for both the ebook and the podcast. More details here.
Currently available on the following retailers: Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and more!
NOTE: This ebook is also available for check out in U.S. libraries using apps such as OverDrive and Biblioteca. Ask your local librarian how to sign-up.
Follow the link below to download your copy today!
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