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Mantrash zinkin flow Illustration: Alejandro Cuervo. Illustration: Alejandro Cuervo.

haiku music

Music is a vibration capable of modifying our being; its rhythmic characteristics recall our way of passing time: whoever walks marks a rhythm, whoever sits down to sing creates a padded sound; the melodies create the way for us; the harmonies form the landscape; between the two they create our avatar that walks in that direction. The life is music. If we are present, the information from a symphony to a sunrise does not change, only in the way of arriving. 

Where does the music come from? This very familiar concept of organized sounds, how was it born? So that? What is human music really for the natural environment of the universe we inhabit?

In the immensity of a sky

no shadows or nooks

the lark hides

This is a haiku, a Japanese poem in which an observed moment of the present moment is captured in three lines. Haiku has a centuries-old tradition, and has served as a path of meditation and understanding of nature. 

The haiku in question was written by Rikuto. It speaks of a place in the empty sky, where there is only one bird. Far away we can see it, since the poem reveals its hidden existence. But we cannot hear the calm wind that allows the lark to rise into the invisible. Is there a music in this sky? Just by imagining, I lose the elements that surround me, I take off towards silence, emptiness. Only here the first sound arises. 

The sky, mystical space, ruler of the earth and of all beings that inhabit it. It has the void. That's how it sounds. A wing of feathers that does not exist, a rusty iron that we cross without realizing it. How much music has the void! What fear causes discovering it, being part of it...!

I think that's where the music of the water comes from. Sometimes I have slept by the sea, and my dream has been a trip to the rhythm of the waves. Here is a music that is not silent and that, from being repeated so much against the stones, acquires enormous wisdom. Blessed is he who understands its rules and compasses, its harmony...

give up the night

to the rocky shore it approaches

A jellyfish

I know you're not talking about the sound of the sea. But I think about the movement of the jellyfish, how it approaches slowly, in a dance, going back and forth. I hear the waters hitting the stones, the sky is clearing and I meditate, impressed by the eternity of this music. O sea! Your sharp waves, like a whisper that drags on the sea mass, your serious waves like a roar that hides in the depths and those drops that break off from the foam, raised by the wind. For what, for whom is your music? While a thousand deaf seagulls screech. As the humans drive away on a noisy engine. How do the snails understand you, the sea cockroaches, so many years without moving among your songs? Or the crab, which is little more than a skeleton, and raises its claws, looking at you? Haijin Buson wrote the score with three elements: a receding night, a rocky shoreline, and a jellyfish. Just by meditating you can get to the theater where the play never stops, and it happens inside you, because you are already part of the sea as much as that jellyfish, as that night.

Water encompasses various musical genres in the infinite theaters of the Earth. Master Basho wrote another score:

Ah, the spring rain

water droplets run

the trees down.

There are only four stages in which haiku is exhibited: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The Japanese always include an element (kigo) that locates you in the season, changing from one poem to another the color, the weather, the sound, the type of clouds, the wind, the mood of the poet-spectator. 

While reading this haiku by Basho, I appeared in a forest of tall, thin trees, with a clear, cloudless sky, from which many brilliant drops are falling. In the trunk of the trees there are many colors, subtle but very present. And the grasses on the ground breathe, greening up. In this haiku I see myself standing up, my arms hanging down and my neck resting on my back, my mouth open waiting for the drops. The drops run through me too. I also have colors. I have the same life as a tree, and I can listen to the music... There are thousands of drops, among the leaves, on the grass, they go down like a river through the channels of the wood, they reach the ground and create a puddle where the next sounds continue to sound. that keep falling. The coolness of rain lifts the vapor of drought. But there is still another music: the water going down deep swallowed by the earth, and absorbed by the roots, which rises through the veins of the tree to the leaves, while they vibrate, change, thank. There is a bird that sings, shuts up and sings again. 

When I discovered haiku, I took it on as a spiritual path. I walked along abandoned roads looking for three elements that would allow me to write the moment. Thus, in the pure present, he forgot the sorrows for hours, the longings, the need for virtuosity that Western poetry demands. Just observe... the verses arrive, short, simple, and in them an instant is captured that can resonate in any terrestrial soul. Two other friends accompanied me on the adventure, we wrote haikus to each other, and it felt like a very spiritual communication. It became a custom, or a path.

It happens that when someone discovers himself as a haijin, the search becomes obsessive and his life changes, seeking the purification of unnecessary words, the rubbing of elements that spark or aware, as the Japanese call it. The practice cleanses the spirit of many burdens that could weigh on our traditional poetry, even on our way of life, from a Taoist perspective, a philosophy that influences this practice. Haikudó, or the path of haiku, is the spiritual practice that emerges from this poetry. In our language it is still evolving, and it is being reinforced thanks to haijins and scholars committed to this practice. One of them, the Spaniard Vicente Haya, is the translator of the haikus that I am sharing with you, and the teacher who has shown me this path thanks to his books, which I am recommending. 

One of the first Cuban haijins is Eduardo Benet:

the old bridge

creaks from looking useless

over the dry creek


I know a stream that dries up more than half the year, because it is dammed. It's a magic place. This haiku takes me to him, to the calm that reigns among his trees during the drought.

The absence, the non-being of some element is fundamental in haiku writing. In this case, the absence of water gives way to emptiness in the channel, an element that the Tao observes and venerates, and assumes as a creative source. I have watched the empty riverbed for many hours, like an interpreter of Benet's score. On the bridge, the creaking boards in the shade of dense trees. The wind in the bamboos to the left, the dark path to the right, the conversation of the birds. Suddenly the raindrops awaken the song of the frogs. The sun sneaks in staining yellow. A lizard does the dance with its neck and tail. The royal palms sound. The footsteps of some animal, cows, a calf that also observes, humans talk far away, cars pass, leaves still rustle, and birds...

This type of symphony was of great influence for Beethoven. Even after her tragic illness, he continued to listen to her with his soul. Bach must have had to observe nature a lot, since he found its fractal form and translated it into a human language. In Africa, the first music of the first civilizations continues to play today and reproduce the rhythms of nature. The Latin American song with its beauty from the hills, pilgrims with the birds. And in Asia, this wise and solid civilization of the Japanese managed to structure a score that transcends the musical, takes the viewer to a space where the total existence is represented in a few elements. It requires you to keep your connection with the universal rhythm awake.


I began this writing with several somewhat pretentious philosophical questions. It is not my intention to find an answer. I think that because we are part of the universe, we sound like him. We live within its rhythm, we are its music. The organized vibration of the whole, balanced and mother of existence. I meditate and discover that all music is within us. Our veins sounding like rivers, our cells electrified like lightning, our whole soul like the sea.

Avatar photo Abel Lescay An animal (laughs). More posts

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