humid evening

a small cloud gathers
on the road

Matching up a haiku with a photo on my phone, then tweaking each to better fit the other.

Does the lightness of haiku permit an occasional pun? I think some would question my preference for active verbs altogether. But neither “form” nor “take shape” seemed to quite capture what I saw: a cloud coalescing as I moved slowly towards it.

I suppose this might be the place to address the question of when and why to arrange a haiku on one line or three, but some things I prefer to leave up to instinct rather than to try and articulate any coherent position. In general, with haiku just as with erasure poetry, a large or at least very vocal percentage of practitioners are super focused on matters of presentation that don’t interest me unless/until it intersects with the visual arts, in a Tom Phillips-style erasure collage like the ones my friend Sarah Sloat makes… or in a haiga. But then I approach it on a case-by-case basis. What works with this image? Do I want to spend half an hour fooling around with fonts in GIMP on my laptop, or just go with one of Snapseed’s few but well-chosen fonts and post it to Instagram from my phone so I can get on with my day?

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