Deborah J. Haynes


I have been a writer since my teens, first by using a journal, then as a young college student. I wrote papers about my philosophy of life and began writing on drawings, a practice that continues into the present.

Professionally, I became a philosopher of art, exploring a range of themes: the work of philosopher Mikhail M. Bakhtin (1895-1975), the cultural function of art and the vocation of the artist, aesthetic education, spirituality and creativity, and leadership . For nearly thirty years I published in both academic and popular venues, from scholarly books to art reviews.

My seventh book, Beginning Again: Reflections on Art as Spiritual Practice , is available from Cascade Books , a selective imprint within Wipf and Stock, and from Amazon. This book is the fruition of reflection over nearly forty years about creativity and contemplation, or perhaps more simply, about art and meditation. Following its publication in late 2018, I traveled around the United States to share the book. 

Most recently I have begun to write occasional pieces, including a short reflection about the late February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and haiku that explore a range of themes but are not intended for publication. Writers from Flannery O'Connor to Henry Miller have commented that they write to find out what they think. I would add that I write and draw to give form to thoughts and feelings, and especially to fleeting phenomena.

I was once asked if I could be anything in nature, what I would choose. Immediately, I replied "clouds." Clouds were my first teachers about the inevitability of change and impermanence. Haiku, in particular, offer a form that is well suited to such immediacy and evanescence.

dharma is my guide

dharmas are phenomena

This subject is vast


practice is my life

my life is my practice now

slow, one stop, one breath



not too tight, not loose

we cannot erase karma

relax with what is


gone gone gone beyond

gone, gone to the other shore

completely beyond


thought enters now, now

breath follow breath, follow breath

sit breathe walk smile laugh

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