Haiku and Aurora Black

Last month, always obsessed with haiku, I read Pandemic Lent, A Season in Poems by Jayne Moore Waldrop, a series of poems written in 2020 from February 26 through April 12.

Jayne wrote in her preface:

For the 2020 Lenten season, I adopted Br. Paul’s habit of writing haiku as a commitment to find stillness and awareness of the world around me.—Jayne Moore Waldrop, ISBN 978-1-64662-486-7

☮ →Note: Brother Paul Quenon is a Trappist monk living at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. Thomas Merton lived there once upon a time. Brother Paul, too, has written haiku. You can download a free digital copy of his wonderful Exquisitely Small: A Mad Monk’s Haikus Through the Seasons here.

The haiku form is meant for such commitments. Pandemic Lent is a beautiful, if slight, volume that journeys through the early days of COVID-19.  For March 30th, Jayne wrote:

Life pares down to bare
necessities: Breath. Food. Love.
A pod for shelter.

The superficial
falls away. We’re left with what
we are, what is real.

—excerpt from Pandemic Lent, “March 30, 2020,” p.34, Finishing Line Press, ISBN 978-1-64662-486-7

Poetry can both shine a light and aid in healing, finding perspective through our trials. Jayne Moore Waldrop’s haiku fulfills that measure.

Month-Long Poetry Challenge

If you’ve been looking for a poetry writing challenge, this August is the Poetry Postcard Fest, POPO, a fundraiser for the Seattle Poetics Lab (SPLAB). July 18th is the last day to sign up to participate in POPO.

What do you do? Well, POPO provides you a list of names and addresses to send a postcard to. Each day in August you write a poem, take one name off the list and send that person your poem on a postcard. Read more here and here. There is a small fee to participate. This will be my first year participating. Some people have been participating for several years. Pretty cool project. Come join in.

Aurora 2Cart Update

Last month I wrote about how Waterman ink was the only ink I could use in my vintage Aurora 2Cart. Other inks overwhelmed the feed and caused my handwriting to feather.

My contemporary Aurora 88 came with a bottle of Aurora Black. That’s an ink I used years ago thinking, what’s so great about it? I was a Noodler’s Black fan for a time until I stopped using black ink entirely. But many believe Aurora Black is the quintessential black ink.

It took a lot of effort to open the Aurora bottle—running the cap under hot water to break up the ink that had glued it shut and then prying out the plastic stopper underneath the cap. Jeez. Perhaps a high-altitude problem? Dunno. I hear stories about Aurora bottles.

Aurora 2Cart writing with Aurora Black, Rhodia No. 8 paper

Anyhoo, the Aurora 2Cart loves the Aurora Black even more than the Waterman. Sometimes the manufacturer’s ink works best in the pens they’ve made. Years later, the Aurora Black seems elegant and distinctive. Go figure.

Looking at the 2Cart’s nib through a loop, it’s old, of course, but looks as if someone may have taken a razor blade to the nib at some time in its life. The pen writes well, even so. It’s a sweet pen, and I’m glad to have it.

A closer look at the 2Cart nib

Thanks for reading. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t. Do it for those you love, ay? Do it for those you come in contact with who are carrying health burdens you cannot see. The pandemic ain’t over until it’s over for everyone.

Sending you much love. See you anon.