Shuushi, haiku, and other stuff

This started because I was asked if I could post kanji for the Romanji words I use sometimes for a word in the Japanese language.  And that was because of the work “shuushi”.

Okay, I’ve been studying Japanese language for about 20 years and often get thrown back on my butt. I am not a scholar and I don’t want to offend anyone or anything. this isn’t a lecture or learned’ treatis –  just an observation by a Westerner and a Southerner to boot.  Obvious:  The Japanese language isn’t just about words: it’s the culture in toto and over a vast amount of time.  Same word, different symbols, different meanings, different points in time or activity.

I was asked for the Kanji for a poem I wrote: Shuushi – Autumn contemplation. Well, there’s like 12 or 13 meanings for the word and how it is used. It runs the gamut from Master’s Program to a religious tenet. Tucked in there are things about accounting (income and expenditures), doing something from beginning to end – consistently, to the meaning I used for shuushi: autumn contemplation, melancholy thoughts about autumn.

And then you have Kanji, Kiragana, and Katakana: three different ways of writing the symbols for a word. Oldest way to most contemporary.  Many times, because of all this, I just use the Romanji form and dang, it is still confusing!!!!

I’ve been working on a post about rain for about a year. Oh yes, simple, hey? NONONONONO. The Japanese have about 50 words for rain depending on type, season, when in the season they occur. and that brings us to true Haiku – not just a short poem with 17 symbols many people write and call “haiku”.  The “shuushi” I used is a kigo – a Japanese season word. And while this has 17 syllables:

“Potato salad
Fried chicken and string beans -
A Sunday dinner”

it is merely a short something or other with 17 symbols. There is no season word, no cutting word to delineate between two different scenes.  It is not haiku.

So at last Sarah, here ya go:

autumn contemplation

autumn contemplation

Master's Program

Master’s Program

income and expenditure

income and expenditure

You all are of course encouraged to question or comment.  But I will not get into arguments or long debates about this.  I am not a scholar as previously stated, just a plain ol’ Southern girl doing the best she can with concepts and culture way over her little 4’10” head.  Maybe in the next 10 years, I might just complete that post about “rain”.

Posted in Haiku, Musings, Public Service Announcements | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vegetable Pot Pie

free Wikipedia image

free Wikipedia image

Where’s the meat???? Well, you don’t need any for this recipe. Vegetable Pot Pie is healthy for people and animals. If you must have meat, add some chunks of cooked chicken. But honestly folks, you don’t need it. Lots of veggies in a warm thick sauce nestled between two pie crusts, making the house smell so good and driving away that cold weather outside.

You can add other veggies of course, but this recipe has classic pot pie veggies and what’s so good about it, you can use frozen bagged vegetable mixtures to save time and effort. And if you are really driven for time and want to simplify it even more, add the equivalent liquid amount of cream of mushroom or celery soup. Not as good and considering how easy it is to make a roux and add liquid, it would be a shame to take the canned soup shortcut.

If you have to cross over from vegan, a good extra touch is about 5 minutes before pulling from the oven, sprinkle a nice amount of grated parmesan or cheddar cheese on the top crust and allow to melt. Serve this with a hearty appetite. Get warm and comfy on the inside and smiley on the outside. Yowzer y’all, it’s good.

Vegetable Pot Pie
1 cup thinly sliced carrots*
1 cup frozen green peas*
1 cup small diced potatoes*
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery*
1/2 cup finely chopped onion* OR
*4 cups of comparable frozen vegetables
1/2 cup butter substitute, or heart smart type margarine
1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper – a few good grinds
good pinch of celery seed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth (I use the water I cooked the vegetables in)
2/3 cup almond milk (unsweetened, unflavored)
Two 9-inch unbaked pie crusts, lard free (I use ready made from the dairy case, room temperature and dusted with a little flour when rolling out)

Preheat the oven to  400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil to place the pie on before cooking; it will keep any filling from dripping into the oven and burning. In a medium saucepan, combine the vegetables. Cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in the butter substitute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, celery seed and garlic powder. Cook for 2 minutes to get the raw flour taste out. Slowly stir in the broth until smooth and then add the almond milk. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the drained vegetables. Roll out one of the unbaked crusts to a 13-inch diameter and place in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Pour the mixture into the bottom crust. Roll out the second pie crust and place on top. Seal the edges and cut small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. If the top of the pie becomes too dark, loosely cover with foil and continue cooking. Cool for 10 minutes before serving

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You may be right, I may be crazy…..

I’ve done it…..I now have a totally separate blog for my poems.  I like choices.  If you don’t like my meanderings and musings and recipes, but you do like my poetry, then Aki no Koe is an alternative.

Aki no Koe:  voice of autumn.  I was born in November and am a true Scorpio.  Uh oh.  Danger! Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

Aki no Koe is the voice of autumn, poetry for the seasons. Because I write a great deal of haiku, not 17 syllable poems but, haiku – I use many of the Japanese words for the season, events in the season, plants, people, food, weather specific to a season.  Kigo is seasonal word and is used in all haiku.  I’m not getting any more technical than that.

I don’t want to sound like a pretentious and learned’ ass because I now have a pooooooo-eh-tree blog.  I just want to separate it out for, like I said, those of you who don’t want or like the other stuff.

Those of you who like Kanzen Sakura, all I can say is:  Thank you.  This blog is my first blog and is dear to me as are all of you.  If you want to check out Aki no Koe, it is:    And probably, as usual, the link won’t work.  Links seem to hate me on WP.

Again, thank you all so very much.  You, each one of you, make my day, every day.

Grins and God bless you all.

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Shita no hō o mitsumeru


One of the few poems with which I have been satisfied. :-)

Originally posted on kanzen sakura:

Across the way from our home is a field. During autumn, it is full of wild golden flowers: golden rod, heliopsis, wild sunflowers, coreopsis. There are also tall seeded grasses, tiny orange flowered morning glories twining around the stems of the tall goldenrod and occasionally, the site of quail and always squirrels and sometimes finches clinging to delicate seeded grasses, munching away as they sway in the gentle breeze; tiny feet hooked tightly, they ride the grass as a surfer rides his own great wave.

Ogon no senshi means, Golden Warrior. I was walking through this field, entranced by the tall golden rod all about me, many of them six feet tall. At 4’10”, it was like walking among a forest of golden spires or, to my fanciful mind, ranks of ancient golden Samurai.

I stopped and looked up at one of the taller goldenrod…

View original 85 more words

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Wordless Wednesday: Aki no Sora

photo by Kanzen Sakura copyrighted image

photo by Kanzen Sakura copyrighted image

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After studying and studying and studying, I took my exam and passed with a 98….yowzer.  Now I can get back to real life – you know, blogging, commenting, replying….LOL

I have caught up on reading things in my Reader but my LIKE button doesn’t like me.  So I am sorry, yet again.  I hit Like and go back and it’s…..duh. Like I didn’t read it.  So please forgive me if it seems I haven’t read the 1000 posts I’ve had sitting there for way too long.

I read, them really!!!!  thank you all for reading my posts, for liking, for commenting.  I did my 485 post today.  I cannot believe it…so far away from the first one.  Three years and counting.

thank you all from the bottom of my heart and my frenzied little brain.  Again, you all are the bestest….

free image public doman

free image public doman

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Writing 101 Assignment: Who am I? who who, who who?

You can find most of what you need on my About page. I’ve been blogging for three years.

I blog because I enjoy it, because it gets things inside me that need to come out.

I do this because I enjoy meeting new people, reading their work, looking at their art, making a connection, hopefully spreading some light and kindness about.

I am not worried about how my blog looks. The two changing banners are: a photograph I took of sakura during hanami and Ryoan-ji in the spring. The peaceful dragon is my heart home. it is partially because of this, I am writing. the peace I found there during the first snowfall of winter is something I will carry within me forever.

I am a southern woman with a heart for Japan, my family and friend, my southern heritage.

I wrote my first haiku when I was six. There is a post about that.

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