Haiku Days

These days cry out to be remembered as haiku.

Leaves have long since turned color, fallen, and disappeared in the wind or in piles pushed into the corners of things.  Bare limbs reach up toward the sky, which on some days is so bright and blue and enormous, now without foliage blocking views, that it hurts your eyes to stare at it too long. And some days the sky is so gray and heavy and enormous, without foliage blocking views, that it hurts the sorrowed places in your heart if you stare at it too long.

All is bare and bared. Everything is seen at once, and felt at once.  Or so it seems.

In summer wind-paths weave through heavy, leaf-laden branches and tall, listless grass, while flowers bob on stems across one garden after another.  And then you think only line after line after line and still more lines of poetry can capture it all.  Not just it, but you too, the way you feel among all these various sensations.  The colors, sensations, and movements—inside and outside of you–need longer lines and still more longer lines.

A day and a line of poetry are of equal length, corresponding to how the views are blocked, how much is hidden, and how long you can last. These are the days of haiku. We need three short lines to reflect the suddenness with which the wintry world slams against the soul.  Three short lines to hold the fierceness of the day tight like in a raw, chapped hand.  The cold bones of the hills do not invite you to stand and wait for rhythms and rhymes, nor scan, nor yearn for perfect metaphors. There is no time for that.  There is hardly any time before evening arrives, and hills vanish. We need

three short lines—
about how quick it is,
how fast it ends.

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