Four poems about winter and the moon
As my regular readers know, I enjoy writing haiku. I love its unique goal of reaching a complete thought or vision with a minimum of words, as well as the large role played by nature in its brief lines.
My introduction to the form came in grade school, at which time I grasped little more than the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count. But even then I found its brevity appealing in itself. And although I’ve learned a good deal more about haiku since those early attempts, I’ve never felt that I had grasped the heart of the form.
Granted, it may well be impossible to fully understand—let alone express—the unique structures, nuances, and content of traditional Japanese haiku in any other than its original language and culture. But this past week I decided to attempt to gain a better understanding of it. I purchased The Classic Tradition of Haiku, an anthology published by Dover Thrift Editions, and I have been trying to find common threads of thought and language, as best I can in translation! Four centuries of these small gems of poetry should be enough to improve my comprehension somewhat, or so I hope.
Of course I have also been experimenting accordingly. Here are four poems resulting from my efforts. Winter is back here in the desert, and we have had clear skies with a beautiful waning moon, so these elements are at the heart of my work this week.
Chill air creeps past glass;
white curtain fills with cold light.
Brr, winter is back.
Morning of blue chill,
noontide is full of gold now,
a day in winter
Morning, eight o’clock~
See a white moon in blue sky
above empty street.
Full moon like a hawk
chases all the little stars.
But where have they flown?
Don’t forget to order your copy of The Hillside Diary, which contains plenty of haiku and other poetry from 2019/2020. It’s available in paperback or as an e-book.