A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2005, vol 1 no 2

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Geert Verbeke


Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, I am sitting on the doorstep of an illustrious man versed in the forbidden writings, the famous historian of the future: Michel de Nostredame, born 14 December 1503. He died on 2 July 1566 ...

I try to see things as they are, without yackety-yack about closely guarded haiku secrets, coded quatrains, the gift of prophecy and fulfilled divinations. Don't give me that crap!

Matching up Nostradamus' work as a Rosicrucian initiate is not my aim. Consulting numerous history books and erudite literary and geographical works to codify his secrets is at right angles to my attention. Even in a former life, I did not believe in reincarnation, and I prefer the haiku world with its objective, image-centered and one-breath' poems.

doctor dreamkeeper
hear my incantations
for bass and bowls

Twelve o'clock, new haiku are in an embryonic state. I can write verses about astrology or a Sphinx meditation. My singing bowls are messengers, giving me the possibility to note my emotions, during the recording session at Studio Sonart in Brussels. In close cooperation with my (bop)friend Roger Vanhaverbeke on double bass, I realise the compact disc Nostradamus as an inspired tribute to the messenger of prophetic trance. Nostradamus scrambled his quatrains? This made a dog's breakfast of most effort to interpret them. Blue notes! Our music is not a secret poetry. For some people, it can be the expression of the aha! moment. Maybe that is our Zen way? Music is a haiku.


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