What I Listen for at Night
haiku about the April moon, rattlesnakes, and a few other neighbors
This late issue of the ACM Weekly is another collection of haiku. Each is set in the nighttime; I suppose that is when my mind (through this last rather overwrought week) has been quiet enough to pay attention to what is around me!
The first two are enjoying the April moon.
Large yellow half moon,
like lemon to be juiced for
spring night lemonade
Someone’s turned lights on;
I see their glare on the hill.
No, just bright spring moon!
Although I usually write about the beautiful and kindly things, the desert contains many harsh and dangerous elements, though these are often beautiful in their own right. Though our property is only a couple of acres, it is a small island in a much larger world of wild country, as is our neighborhood and even the adjoining village.
The two haiku that follow are about things I have to watch—or rather listen—for when I go outside in the dark, especially when I go all the way down the canyon to my horses.
The first is the group of javelina that roam through from time to time. Javelina are a type of peccary, with a reputation for charging defensively because of their poor eyesight. At around fifty pounds, they are large enough to do quite a bit of damage. They are, however, a normal part of the natural world here.
They are also usually fairly audible, so even in the dark I can tell whether they are around or not, simply by listening for their snorts and heavy movements.
Listen in the dark:
grunts and heavy trotting feet.
Wait–don't go out yet.
Another thing I listen for is a much better known resident of the desert!
slow march through the dark, listen
for rattlesnake whir.
But there are plenty of times when one must go out into the desert night. Not least when raising a young puppy…
Puppy's night dances,
darts after moths and crickets
in the houselight's glow.
Well, there is another poem almost ready. It is about a rabbit I saw yesterday morning. But I’m not quite sure I’m satisfied with it yet, so it will have to wait till the next issue. If all goes well, that will be at my regular Monday morning schedule. Till then…
Don’t forget your copy of The Hillside Diary, my poem collection from back in the days when I lived where the rain fell all too often but there certainly were no javelina and very few rattlesnakes! There were, however, plenty of snow, wind, birds, neighboring cows, and butterflies. Not necessarily in that order. Read for yourself in either e-book or paperback.
Wonderful as always, but the ones about the "harsh and dangerous elements" that are beautiful in their own right, are a class apart. I really love how you meke them indeed beautiful elements of our wonderful world.