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walking on dead leaves

blood reds, skin tints, old fool's gold

soles on souls, clapping

Hakuin Ekaku’s well-known koan:

“Two hands clap and there is a sound, what is the sound of one hand?”

Isaiah 55:12

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

About the Author

Jane McPhetres Johnson lives in Amherst MA.

Born in Colorado, enlightened in the ‘60s and ‘70s, landed in Wyoming with two sons, one born while commuting to Vermont’s Goddard College MFA. Recent poems in Silkworm, Ekphrastic Review, and Song between the Stars. Read more in Jane’s book, Maven Reaches Mars: Home Poems and Space Probes in Four Fascicles (2020).


Dec 23, 2022

Jane---I love this haiku. It couldn't be more satisfying to read and ponder. Thank you for writing and sharing it with us.


Nov 10, 2022

This is a wonderful haiku, Jane—so evocative and thought-provoking. Who could ask more of a poem?!?


Oct 28, 2022

Oh, yes! Thank you, Jane.


Oct 25, 2022

And what is the sound of no hands clapping, only feet on fallen leaves? Thank you, Starry, Starry Kite. I like the illustration you chose.


Kathryn Holzman
Kathryn Holzman
Oct 25, 2022

Bravo, Jane. Lovely.


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