Your Better Angels, a haiku poem

Your Better Angels
A Haiku poem by Jenny Bienemann

Your better angels
want you to know they are there
watching over you  

Every heart must learn
to fly and fall and not break
so they send you birds

Birds will sing your heart
right back into your chest, home
like it never left
Very suddenly
what could never be made right
dissolves into hope

That’s just what they do
those better angels of ours
we hardly notice  

When you can’t believe
what is happening to you
look for the feathers  

tiny little signs
all around you, all the time
for you, only you

So many ways of looking at the world.  And each way has its own way of working with your heart and mind. 

For this Sunday, I started with the idea of a message from our better angels. 

Especially when I write the Sunday Haiku Milieu haikus, I ask my muse to think about my readers.  What do they need to hear?  What can I share about what I truly think, that would bring comfort, meaning or peace to them?  

I loved the idea that our better angels were trying to get a message across, and was thrilled when the line "want you to know they are there" had seven syllables!  The next question was: should I use the phrase "looking out for you" or "watching over you?"  Ultimately, that was determined by the image, and I used each in different ways.

While I can't imagine that I will never NOT love the line and motion of black ink on thirsty paper, I could not have imagined how much I would enjoy drenching the ink drawings in color, and experiencing how it changes the meaning of the image, ultimately influencing the haiku. 

You can see the progression: drawing, color, haiku. It is OK if the image and haiku are not written together, or at the same time, but they do have to WORK together.  This is why I ultimately chose the simpler image. I thought it worked better with the haiku.

When you're a songwriter, everyone asks, music or lyrics first?   People have started asking me: image or haiku first? 

And all I can say to both is: YES. 

Both are first sometimes.  They influence and depend on each other.  But nothing is final until it is FINAL.  I changed every stanza of the "Your Better Angels" poem, and played with the size of the image that whole entire time.  I think I'm done now...but let's see.  By the time I post this, I may have changed my mind!

And as much as we might wish that the ideas arrived fully baked and ready to serve...that is rarely the case.  You have to figure out how to stay present for long stretches of time and lean into not knowing if and how and when it will all work out.

Spoiler alert: it always does. Eventually Even when it doesn't.  :)

Thanks for being with me on this journey!  I love hearing from you.  Want to get on the Sunday Haiku Milieu train?  Sign up here:


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