#Haikai Challenge #177 (2/6/21): Still Cold (yokan)/New Year (Shinnen) / #178: Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday (2/13/21) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Kathleen Flynn / Reuters

Hope you enjoyed your moon gazing / hawk-sighting, haijin! Congratulations to last challenges’ contributors:

Haikai Challenge Participants
1. Tessa Dean
2. s.s.
3. Jules
4. Eugenia
5. Jane Dougherty
6. Sue Vincent
7. anotherKate
8. Petru
9. Goutam Dutta
10. Li/Lisa Fox of W MI, USA

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

Looking ahead:

(Author’s note: Bear with me, as I work to resume regular, weekly premiers of the Haikai Challenge)

Happy (belated) Lunar New Year! May the year of the ox flush away the waste of the past year of the rat!

February arrived. The snow of three winters came with it. At least three feet (3 feet!) rests in my yard and alongside my driveway. Icy rain last night yields to near-50 degrees (F), a thaw that has icicles on my gutters dripping. The temperatures will drop to the twenties (F) tomorrow, however, and more snow arrives Thursday.

Meanwhile, Carnival season closes with Mardi Gras today. Unfortunately, rising cases of COVID-19 cost the Big Easy it’s annual celebration. This didn’t stop the residents from decking out their homes, and, in some cases, celebrating lil’ Mardi Gras of their own. All before another Ash Wednesday, the beginning of that sacrificial season of Lent, 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter. Of course, for many of us, Catholic or otherwise, the entire year from March 2020 until today has felt like one long Lent. What does that mean for those of us on the cusp of yet another “penitential season?”

For me, it is a time to renew my own commitment to mindfulness. It means to better pay attention to the present moment. It means letting go of anxieties of the future and ruminations of the past. It is opening to Love in the only time we truly have, savoring right here, right now. It means knowing and walking the path.

This week, let’s write our favorite haikai poem (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) alluding to either:

  • Still Cold (yokan)/New Year (Shinnen)
  • Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Happy Lunar New Year! For those celebrating, enjoy Mardi Gras, as best you can, and may your Ash Wednesday be a gentle one, Stay warm amid the cold, haijin. My heart goes out to any of you, and everyone, suffering in Texas right now; may you all be well, soon!

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