Daisy tales (haibun)

Daisies have always been my favourite flower and when I was in college studying Gerontology, the professor asked us to choose an animal and a flower that best represents us and write about both with images as well. It felt like show and tell! Here I was in my mid 30’s gong back to college with two kids in school. I chose a doe and a daisy.{We’ll leave the doe aside for now.} The daisy was due to the strength of that flower that grows wild in meadows and the layers of petals, I felt, represented the multiplicity of my personality…still many underneath to discover. I believe that is a lifetime journey to continue to learn and grow. Death sometimes comes to the living if one no longer has the will of searching or learning.

I wanted to choose daisy as my nom de plume for Japanese poetry forms but I don’t like the translation of that flower in French, Marguerite. The “g” and “t” give it a harsh tone. My second choice was sunflower again for its robust nature and form. And I love the French translation, Tournesol, which is much softer… ça coule mieux {rolls off the tongue better}.

Chévrefeuille tells us more about the history of the daisy with varied legends of its meanings. Take a look below * for an enlightening and interesting read.

And now, I shall try to write a few haiku with some of these other meanings of a daisy.

thru grasslands,
wind blows while daisies waltz
children giggle

I love the sense of offering a daisy to someone, means to keep a secret. I like to imagine when a youth discloses to me for the first time, my handing him or her a delicate white daisy. This is our bond of secrecy, it is safe with me. A friend as well, who confides in me…this would be a nice gesture to seal our bond of secrecy, non?

tearful disclosures
embracing her friend
hands her a daisy

first time disclosure
embracing precious faith,
bids a white daisy

In conclusion, a snapshot of my thoughts in relation to a daisy and how it has enabled me to grow despite the subtle insights hidden underneath each layer.

petals wane
old woman tumbles
insights revealed

© Tournesol ’15


*Here is what our host has shared:

“If you’re thinking about white daisies, there’s more to daisies than that. They can also be bright and sunny yellow, purple, pink, red, and orange. Daisies look like cartwheels with petals as spokes. In other ways, it also looks like a star that’s shining brightly.Even if daisies are a very common name for this flower, it’s also known in many other names. Names like ox eye, horse gowan, moon penny, poverty weed and dog blow all pertain to the daisy.
Daisies are not poisonous. In fact, a lot of people add daisy leaves to their bowl of fresh garden salad.

Victorian Interpretation: Daisies have many different meanings attached to them. In the Victorian age, it meant innocence, purity, and loyal love. It also means that you’ll keep someone’s secret. You’re saying that “I vow never to tell anyone” – when you give someone a daisy.

Superstitions: Based on Scottish lore, daisies were referred to as gools. For every farmer who owns a wheat field, they have an employee called the gool rider. They had the task of removing the daisies from the fields. For these farmers, if a big crop of daisies was found in your field, you had to pay a fine in the form of a castrated ram.

For the Celts, daisies were thought to be the spirits of children who died when they were born. It’s God’s way of cheering them up when He created the daisies and sprinkled them on the earth. This has a big connection to daisies symbolizing innocence.

What’s the meaning of Daisies:

Daisies are flowers that mean different things to different people. It can mean cheerfulness particularly for the yellow colored blossoms and it can mean youthful beauty and gentleness. Some people look at the daisy to be a symbol of good luck. However, the most popular meanings attached to the daisy are – loyal love, innocence and purity. It’s also a taken to convey the message – “I’ll never tell”.Apart from the Celtic legend that daisies were the spirits of children, the symbol of innocence also comes from the story about a dryad who oversaw meadows, forests and pastures. One of the nymphs, Belides danced around with her nymph sister when the god of the orchards, Vertumnus saw her. To make sure that she escapes his attentions, she turned herself into a daisy thus preserving her innocence.In terms of loyal love, daisies are used by women particularly in the Victorian age to see which suitor loves them the most. By picking on the flower’s petals, a woman would know who loves her and who does not.”

© Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

All these different meanings and legends to choose from to create a classical haiku!

Our host wrote:

around the mansion
daisies standing strong together
after the storm

miracles happen
in the tiniest things
daisies blooming

thousand daisies
around the farmer’s house –
lowing of a cow

© Chèvrefeuille

24 thoughts on “Daisy tales (haibun)

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