Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Seasons

Last week, at my school's haiku club, the topic of seasons came up. We didn't actually get very far before straying into the wilds of conversational topic areas, but it got me thinking, and I've decided to record my thoughts here.

Haiku has more than four seasons, and they don't follow anything as regular as the solstices and equinoxes. Let's begin at that cliche starting point, Spring.

Early Spring: Those few brief days when the trees go from being barren and twiggy to being leafy and green. Still rather cool, lots of dew in the mornings.

Spring: Flowers! Also rather ephemeral, lasts until temperatures start loitering in the high seventies.

Early Summer: Most of the Spring flowers are gone, temperatures still between 75-85 during the day (the temperature is in Fahrenheit, by the way, not Celsius).

High Summer: Alas! this comes all too soon! Hot, humid, and just generally unpleasant. When the air is dry, this time of year can be pleasant, until it gets dusty. This is also peak thunderstorm season, in places that get thunderstorms.

Fall: The temperature drops, and all the leaves turn pretty colors and fall off the trees.

November: Yes, it actually gets a season to itself. All the leaves are down, but there's no snow. Everything's brown, brown, brown, and sometimes grey.

Early Winter: When it's too cold to go outside without a heavy coat, but there's still no snow.

Winter Proper: Snow!

Mud Season, aka "March": The time between when the snow melts and the trees bud. The name says it all...

And now that I'm through rambling, I'll actually give you some haiku!
only birdsong...
there is no one
at the bus stop
on the asphalt,
a jogger's footprint
Spring and Summer
late May
small flowers
change the color
of the grass
last year's
political cartoons
are no longer funny

Sunday, May 20, 2007


...can be fiendishly annoying. Last week, it was all sunny and warm and beautiful. But now? Now it is cold and wet and gloomy. Oh well. At least it gives me another shot at writing early Spring haiku. I've recently discovered tanka, so some of those might start showing up here. If I ever write any...
the boy soprano's voice
five minutes later,
this morning's haiku
warm up slowly.
sunrise in the gymnasium
a rain of petals
covers the earth
like snow
expecting thunder,
all I get
is drizzle
long band...
we rehearse
my fifty-measure silence
sleeping on garbage bags...
if it weren't for the blue umbrella,
he could be one

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Isn't it amazing how quickly summer can come? It seems like it's hardly become spring! Yet already the weather has turned hot and humid. (Well, not today. Today's pleasantly cool.) Ah, well. This week's haiku range everywhere from trees leafing to the first day back from summer break. Enjoy!
new buds
like sand
roll in the wind
dressed in black,
he's a shadow's shadow
in the corner
fresh road lines
bright yellow
on a Spring morning
my shoes
tinted green
from lawnmowing
after summer break,
last year's posters
litter the bulletin boards

Though it is only May, it feels like the height of summer break. Waves of heat lie over the town, and people move slowly, drifting from store to store. Someone slams a car door.

in the dust,
the bright blue feather
of a jay

The bell of the convenience store jingles as the door swings shut. The store owner looks up from swatting flies to see someone disappear down the aisle of baking ingredients. The ceiling fan creaks as it spins, doing little to dispel the stillness. He goes back to the flies.

The customer moves quietly; the store owner doesn't notice them approach the counter until they plop down a large bag of brown sugar and reach for their wallet.

A momentary feeling of disconcertion: the customer seems to be stuck between: the eyes seem to old for a teenager, though everything else suggests it; long hair pulled back in a loose braid, feminine clothes, but masculine body...

A moment of disconcertion, and then they are gone, leaving only the smell of brown sugar in the sun.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Visitor

This haibun actually happened to me! Well, sort of. It seemed like a really good scenario, but when I started typing it up, it morphed into something completely different. So it wound up happening on a dusty summer day instead of a rather damp spring one. C'est la vive! I hope you enjoy it, in any case, as well as this week's haiku.
in the pocket
of the first bassoonist,
Physics homework
video game next door.
their shouts
could be sound effects
the atheist
comes to church
for the music

The Visitor

Suitcase, car, long-term parking (must be sure to keep ticket somewhere where it can be found again...), shuttle, airport, security, waiting, plane, waiting, flight, landing, waiting, airport, doors, shuttle, stop, suitcase, step off, silence.

A long, dusty, country road extends before her. She looks down, rather lost, at the instructions in her hands. They're from her host, the person she's going to be staying with. She needs to take a bus; it's ridiculous that a bus would come this far from the center of town. But the town isn't that big, really. There's nothing better for the buses to do. One should be along soon. Soon. Eventually. Perhaps her watch is fast. She did remember to set it back, right? Maybe they broke down somewhere. A flat tire. That would take a while to fix. Still, not that long. The bus should come soon. Right.

a fish out of water,
the visitor,
checks the bus schedule

Finally, she notices someone on the other side of the street, waiting, reading something idly. Completely ignoring her. More waiting. The sun shines down, lazily moving across the heavens. The dust sits there. There isn't any wind to move it. She realizes, suddenly, that her watch battery has died. Not that time makes any difference here.

Finally, she crosses the street--Why does she look both ways? Nothing's moved for hours!--and asks him about the bus. She seems to wake him from some dream; he hasn't turned a page for minutes. He informs her kindly that the buses come and go as they please, and not to worry. He also tells her the rout to town, about an hour's walk, due East. She might make it there before the next bus comes. Or maybe not.

out of luck,
the visitor
faces a long walk

As she disappears from sight, he smiles, and returns to not-quite-reading. Five minutes later, the bus comes.

And goes.