wood ears

another language I’ve lost


The not-at-all-cheesy font is Showcard Gothic — one of those fonts I’ll probably never use again, but seemed right for this.

Is the haiku too cryptic? I hope not. I was shooting for just a little cryptic.

watching the live stream

lonesome hollow


A couple of years ago, a wounded doe struggled up from the valley to seek refuge in the steepest part of the hollow and died beside the stream right where it flows the most swiftly, between 90-degree beds of hard sandstone. I almost stepped on her skull the day before last while conducting a wildflower survey.

The photo then prompted this haiku, which in contrast to the one I posted yesterday, took more than a day of pondering: where to go with a germ of wonder that wasn’t terribly original, having to do with the contrast between mortality and the inexhaustible leave-taking of a creek? In the end, I took my cue from a friend of mine who’s become a fan of a YouTube livestream of a forested stream in Denmark. Although with this obvious sort of pun at its heart, no doubt what I’m calling a haiku would be considered a senryu by some.

sitting

for a spell
sand stone


I’m not sure who hunts this portion of the ridge but I like their aesthetic, and I did indeed sit there for a spell this afternoon, reading poetry and feeling inspired, until the rain started. On the walk back, the first two lines came to me and I debated over what sort of “spelling” to go with. One idea that I rejected as too cerebral:

sitting for a spell the word orogeny

I was keen to include the word “mountain,” especially as part of a fuller spell — sand stone mountain — but that one extra word seemed to break the spell, as it were: a practical lesson in magic. The one change I could get away with, I think, would be to go more colloquial and change sitting to setting, which could conjure up images of pudding, jello, etc.

unPOSTED

un-
POSTED sign
of a bear
I stay out
with fewer words


This power pole has always been a major message board for local and visiting black bears, who indicate their size by their claw marks, and also add pheromones to encode other information, e.g. whether a female is in estrus. Naturally, they tend to resent human additions (though when the power company replaced the pole three years ago, they adopted the new one without a fuss). As for the tanka, I decided to try to push ambiguity to the limit. I don’t think it would work on its own, without the image.

tiger beetle in the road

teach me your kung fu


There’s an acute lack of resolution in this photo due to cropping from a too-distant shot. The beetle was actually quite cooperative, and allowed me to approach to the point where I was holding the phone just inches away, but that’s when the camera chose to stop focusing and require a re-start, by which time the beetle had buggered off. So this isn’t going to win any awards. On the other hand, I’m rather pleased with the haiku.

one snow

the forest is fully awake for
doomed blooms


I didn’t go out of my way to shoot photos of yesterday’s snow because I felt like I’d done that to death on previous Aprils, and there was nothing new to see. But then of course I got this haiku and only had a couple of snapshots I’d taken from my porch. That’ll teach me!