Poetry Month #18: In Season

Always enjoy a trip to Silver City and a stroll and a bit of shopping in its funky downtown. In the used bookstore I immediately came upon a copy of HAIKU WORLD: An International Poetry Almanac by William J.Higginson. I’m in it, but had never seen a copy! It collects a thousand contemporary haiku that use season words (saijiki) –a concept that has had to expand as haiku has become an international form. Of course I purchased the volume!

One of my haiku:
Evening calm…
I echo the train whistle
For the baby’s smile

Bill Higginson identifies it as yunagi–evening calm. It’s summer, and suggests the sea.

I can remember exactly how I wrote it in my house on Kathryn Street. You could always hear the train whistle from there, even before the Rail Runner. For me, that evening calm obviously refers to the baby–and the relief that this is not a fussy colicky end of the day. We’re inland, but the desert also stills after late afternoon.

Well, that baby is grown woman and we’re going to Japan next year for an artists’ residency. She is practicing her Japanese. I’m practicing admitting the passage of time.

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