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Delight Under a Cloudy Sky

“O shy moon
don’t give in to the pushy clouds
you are above them”

-one of the Haiku read aloud at the end of the evening written by a fellow moon-gazer
(I apologize for not catching the name)

We attended the Moon Viewing event at the Japanese Garden last night and I was entranced the whole evening despite the fact that the moon never fully appeared from behind the cloud cover.   This is an annual event to celebrate the autumn moon (which will be full on Tuesday).  There was beautiful music (I am now entranced by the koto), dancing, singing, launching of boats, lighting of lanterns and luminaries, and poetry, including an invitation to everyone to write their own Haiku.   Below are the ones my husband and I wrote (mostly non-575) while sitting there on the lawn in the cool night air, as well as some of my favorite photos from the evening.  Even more delightful was running into dear friends there and going to Cafe Flora for dinner afterwards (one of my favorite places to eat in Seattle where I had a delectable peach, goat cheese, and pesto pizza).  This was one of those absolutely perfect and magical evenings.


Haiku by John Paintner: 

Green leaves turn orange.
Carp, orange and gold, bob and weave.
Lighted boats gently drift.

Click, click, click
Lenses zoon, lights flash,
Memory saved.

Plush green grass
cool autumn breeze
Moon peek-a-boos.

Jets zoom
speaker hums and buzzes
cloud-draped moon


Haiku by Christine Paintner 

autumn cusp
night descends
bone globe rising

crimson clouds
cool night air
calling out the moon

lanterns and luminaries
flickering on fire
will moon burn through clouds?

moon’s full belly
spreading across the sky
giving birth to poetry


-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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8 Responses

  1. Hi Christine,
    I love these haiku by you and John. The magic of the moonviewing night certainly came through your poetry and photos :)

    fyi…mom’s speech and swallowing improve daily and she’s getting therapy to help her walk again. we are all hopeful, grateful, and positive :)

    HUGS and love.

  2. Thanks Tess, I am especially pleased with the photos of the koi. Any photo is always available for making a print or enlargement. They will probably show up in a future zine though… your book recommendation sounds lovely, I may get a copy myself!

    lucy, I thought of you too, I think you would have loved the event. Looking forward to our playdate on Tuesday. :-)

    Kikipotamus, I am not sure about the koi. It was all white but I’m not sure if that makes it an albino or not.

    Thank you eileen, I am eager for fall too. I relish autumn with great zest!

  3. I absolutely love the Haikus and the magnificant photos. What a lovely evening you have described! As night falls here and the humidity is wickedly high, I long for the cool nights of Fall.

  4. christine–
    i thought of you last night as bill and i sat on our deck with a good friend, sipping wine and tending our little bonfire. a few raindrops did not deter us. it was a lovely night to enjoy the coming of the autumn moon. thank you for sharing yours with us!

  5. Christine, I’m so happy for you that you had such a wonderful evening. I enjoyed both haku, and I am absolutely bowled over by the fish photographs. You have surpassed yourself. Are you going to make “offerings” out of them?

    By the way, I was intrigued by your first post about this Moon garden, and I’ve found a wonderful book I think I’m going to have to get. It’s called The Evening Garden: Flowers and Fragrance from Dusk Till Dawn by Peter Loewer.