Danielle (Dani) A. Durkin and Maria Ayoob located in Pacific Palisades, CA and Albany, NY respectively are doing a project together called HaikuDawg.

Dani explains, "Each of us submits a haiku a day using the 5-7-5 line format. All topics are acceptable. D.D. is trying to juxtapose the constant yet ever-changing reality of pain and suffering in her/the body compared to seasons and celestial movement with a Buddhist-inspired philosophy. M.Y.A. wanted a break from observing herself and a reason to pay more attention to the urban, weather-afflicted, oddly beautiful landscape of Upstate New York—But finds herself reverting to observations of her inner landscape.

Suffering daily,
Body and mind churn, twisted;
Stillness invites peace.
—D.D. #62 5.7.11

In my dreams home is:
Vinyl records, clean linens
Open windows, dusk.
—M.Y.A. #62 5.7.11

Why did you decide to do this project? We started this project to both stimulate our creativity and engage in a sort of poetic conversation with one another. "Making something," or "being creative" is integral to both our lives, albeit in different forms. As longtime friends who currently live on opposite coasts, we welcome the opportunity to participate in one another's world despite the geographical distance. We both yearn to express our creative selves and feel that sharing this aspect of ourselves is fun, challenging, and pretty darn cool. And we are nothing if not cool.

Wracked with guilt. The crime:
Failure to delight in a  
Sunny Saturday.
—M.Y.A. #55 4.30.11

Friend close to my heart,
Our struggles are the same,
As is our deep joy.
—D.D. #54 4.29.11

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? D.D.: As a poet and writer suffering from a serious illness (recovering from  Cushing's Syndrome and Adrenal Insufficiency), having the energy and  optimism to write a poem a day has been healing beyond measure. Lacking the  cognition or "chi" to engage with the world for some time only deepened my  compassion for various life challenges. Making art, making poetry, and  connecting with someone I love are all things I cherish now more than ever. Working on HaikuDawg with M.Y.A. is a part of my continuing recovery; a tribute to our special friendship; and fun. Fun is healing! And so is the  expression of my creativity. It's especially satisfying to watch the poems  accumulate and connect to where we've been over time. M.Y.A.: I’ve often shied away from “creative pursuits,” although I would define creativity broadly and I create at work, in my relationships, in dancing, in looking for the absurd in the every day. But “making art” and having my voice and thoughts displayed and recorded is outside my comfort zone. At this particular time in my life, however, I want to stretch my comfort zones as much as I can. Engaging in this with D.D., my dear friend, makes this pursuit safe; engaging in it with D.D., writer and poet, makes it a little intimidating! It turns out that putting words to some aspect of my inner and outer daily life, and playing with language, is somehow calming to my busy brain. And having a daily “conversation” with D.D. in an unexpected and lovely turn in our relationship. We haven’t talked this much since college.

I didn’t know this:
The more love you give, the more
Easily love grows
—M.Y.A. #40 4.15.11

Crepuscular wind
The spreading, waxing moonlight
Love dawns as ever.
—D.D. #40 4.15.11

Read all of Danielle and Maria's haiku HERE.

1 comment:

Leora Skolkin-Smith said...

This is amazingly touching...beautiful