A Grain of Sand: Simon Hanson

cropped and resizedThe Oneness of all things embraces ideas and insights that I cherish. A fan of science and philosophy, I have been irresistibly drawn in recent years to haiku, one of the briefest of all art forms. I admire its attempt to touch on moments of connection in as few words as possible, and those words plain and simple at that. Although, as we know, the subtleties of haiku are elusive, and I am likely to continue along its way as a student for a while yet.

Though in awe of the immensities of space and time, I also love the details and intricacies of nature. The happenings inside tiny spaces never cease to amaze me and I am often struck by the wonder of ordinary things.

over the dunes
in a grain of sand

The invitation of haiku to experience the world deeply is most appealing. Sensing the elements of the world to be entwined at every point, I strive to abandon the myths of separateness, to dispel notions of subject and object, us and them.

                 dissolving edges and boundaries the softness of ocean mist

How welcome is the diverse experience and unique responses of others with whom our words may continue to unfold in new ways. For one who is rather reserved, it is a pleasure to offer these small gifts that might live a while in their hearts and minds. And likewise, what a delight to enjoy the art of others . . . sharing a few moments along the journey.

lighting their faces
stories around the fire

I relish the invitation to presence . . . although to be genuinely present in the here and now is something of a challenge to say the least. In the larger scheme of things, spacetime forms a single entity, so while revelling in my immediate environment, I enjoy many connections with ‘distant’ places as well. In my neighbourhood there are no luminous fish but a few have found their way into my writing because of the excitement I’ve felt watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet; their meandering lights live in my imagination.

that dream again
luminous squid
rise from the deep

I also relish moments of connection with other times: yesterday’s interaction with the cat, a childhood memory come to life; and older memories, like gazing into flames prompting reveries perhaps thousands of years old. Our DNA, fundamental to mind and body, winds its way back through ancient forests and into primeval seas; the elements of our flesh come from the earth, from the stars. We are all woven into the fabric of the universe while living as we do in many varied local environments. Haiku for me involves engaging in our connectedness with all that is.

deep tissue the pulse of electrons

out of the darkness
the rumble of waves
further out


Simon Hanson
Secretary, AHS

“over the dunes”, previously unpublished
“dissolving edges”, The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku ed. Robert Epstein (Createspace, 2014)
lighting their faces”, Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 2, 2013
that dream again”, Heart Breaths: Book of Contemporary Haiku, (Cyberwit, 2016)
“deep tissue”, Under the Basho, 2017
“out of the darkness”, the zen space Summer 2014 Showcase


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