Dark Matter

The overwhelming majority of the universe is:  who knows?

— Richard Panek, The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

What is critical mass?
          The space between stars

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Paul Miller (2014)

What is the soul?
          A water bug skims over the surface
          perfectly balanced between
          here and there

Question and Answer Session with Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (1999)

paul m. & Rene Magritte

The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.

—  Rene Magritte


Paul Miller, a.k.a. paul m., has long been one of the major figures in English Language Haiku, writing gorgeous award-winning books including his most recent Few Days North Days Few, which won both a Kanterman Award  and Touchstone Award.  And as the editor of Modern Haiku since 2013, his role as a gatekeeper of the genre has been significant.

So you can imagine my surprise when Paul agreed to be one of the first haiku poets to bravely play The Question and Answer Game with me.  I am eternally grateful. Plus it was big fun.

Interestingly, many of the results fall into Magritte’s “unknown images” category, and I think that is why I love them so much.


What is loss of innocence?
          The negative image of a xylophone


What is history?
          The metallic feeling of a paper cut


Questions Michelle Tennison,  Answers Paul Miller (2014)


What is the River Styx made of?
          The symbol for interdimensional travel


What is in crowspeak?
          A 90-degree turn


What is the length of Big Ben’s minute hand?
          A pounding fist


Questions Paul Miller,  Answers Michelle Tennison (2014)


Every time you grab at love you will lose a snowflake of your memory -Leonard Cohen


What makes lovers leave?
          Sound becomes a scattering of birds

Question Paul Miller,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2014)


Is love
the answer
          for the frozen inlet
          a moon made
          of swans

Question Sabine Miller,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2015)

To Hold Space for Love and Laughter

Surrealism in Europe was born between the two World Wars.

Many of the surrealists had experienced first-hand the horrors of World War I. If this, which must have felt like the end of the world, was where logic and reason had led us, what were we missing? 

Adolf Hitler had his own opinion of surrealist art:

“Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilized.”

As a species we are perhaps never more dangerous than when we know all there is to know.


What is negative capability?
          A street no one drives down

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Paul Miller (2014)


Who is writing this story?
          The center of a labyrinth 

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Beverly Borton (2016)


transpersonal zinnia signedjpg

Photograph by Michelle Tennison


It is a cry of the mind turning toward itself and determined in desperation to crush its fetters.

Surrealist tract, 1925


What if a question does not have an answer?
          One more step

Q&A Session with Timothy Binkele, Anna Binkele (age 14), Seth Binkele (age 11), Cole Binkele (age 5), Ella Binkele (age 3), Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison (2015)


What is deja vu?
          A blind person’s description of a sea anemone

Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Paul Miller (2014)


How can you recognize your own despair?
          A phoenix rising

Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Eve Luckring (2017)