Doctor, doctor

If you’re expecting a gag punchline then I’m afraid you’re out of luck. One of the reasons I’ve been a little absent has been a week of pain, not the searing sort, but the uncomfortable sort. And it arrived just in time for some paid work that required me sitting at a desk for prolonged periods …

Anyway, back to the doctor this afternoon (I’ve seen more of him in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years). He has his suspicions and I have a docket for an ultrasound. If that proves inconclusive I have a second docket for something a bit more complicated, but let’s not talk about that yet.

at the risk
of a relapse…
plum blossoms

– Christopher Patchel, The Heron’s Nest XVI:4 (2014)

My doctor told me a terrible story about someone (with what he thinks I have) who almost died! And then said that wouldn’t happen to me because I was sensible – a very heavy responsibility, given I tend to think things will be “all right” and generally only realise how sick I’ve been afterwards. What’s normal, again?

paper-bark daphne –
my fever breaks
under a crimson quilt

– Sandra Simpson, A Hundred Gourds, 2.1 (2012)

Fortunately, my doctor is a good diagnostician. He listens and he thinks and he’s not afraid to poke and prod. But he seemed a little flat this afternoon, not his usual bouncy self, so I asked if he was all right. “Yes, yes,” he said, “I’m just a little distracted because there’s someone in the corridor having a heart attack.

“Do you want to go?,” I asked (thinking I’d just been sitting there with three people and none of them appeared to be doing that). “It’s okay,” and he grinned a bit. “She’ll be fine.”

sunlight through leaves
the nurse in search
of a vein

– Alison Williams, A Hundred Gourds 4.1 (2014)

when I am unwell
how small life becomes –
pink cherry blossoms

– Kirsten Cliff, Pulse, voices from the heart of medicine (April, 2014)

Chrysanthemum season

If it’s autumn, the flower kigo (season word) must be chrysanthemum – also the symbol for the royal house of Japan which is known as the Chrysanthemum Throne. Chrysanthemum shows and festivals are held throughout Japan at around mid-autumn.

A chrysanthemum roof decoration at the Imperial Palace, Kyoto. The pattern at the ends of the tiles and along the roof ridge is also a chrysanthemum symbol. Photo: Sandra Simpson

lighting the lantern —
the yellow chrysanthemums
lose their colour

– Buson (from The Essential Haiku, translation by Robert Hass)


they spoke no words
the visitor, the host
and the white chrysanthemum

– Oshima Ryota (1718-87)


finding the moon
right in the middle
of the chrysanthemum

– Sandra Simpson (Bravado, 2010)


he leaves in an ambulance –
the chrysanthemum buds
closed tight 

– Kirsten Cliff, third place, Katikati Haiku Contest, 2010

See photos of the many types of chrysanthemum flower on the Waikato Chrysanthemum Society Facebook page (don’t have to register to see it). I have had chrysanthemum tea in China and see that it’s available in New Zealand in various forms. I recall it as being quite pleasant, although it was many moons ago.

And not forgetting a plug for the Chrysanthemum haiku journal, published twice a year from Austria in English and German.

chrysanthemum garden
in this world too
bomb makers

– Johnny Baranski (tinywords, 2013)