Linked to Carpe Diem #691: Witch Hazel. This is a small bush or tree that lives in damp forest areas. Its delicate flowers unfold in November and December, and its branches used to be used for divination. The bark and leaves are useful for soothing and toning. It is said that witch hazel stands for “a part of yourself, who possesses ancient knowledge of healing”.
Here is a haiku by Hata 3 about witch hazel:
mansaku ya huruki koromo o nugi suteyo
Japanese witch hazel –
throw off cloak of
an old time
And here is a lovely haiku from Chèvrefeuille (visit the prompt to see it as a haiga) –
magic is in the air
the sun climbs to his throne
witch hazel buds burst.
And – here is a Robert Frost poem mentioning witch hazel – which ended up being the inspiration for my haiga:
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?
how soft underfoot –
the leaves of seasons past
in their dreams