April wood turtle

seeking shade
within


I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to get this right in GIMP. (This is the main problem with FLOSS, isn’t it? The uber-geeks who volunteer their time to develop open-source software don’t tend to see much value in creating quick and easy shortcuts for dummies, as commercial software developers do.) After trying a couple of other brush-calligraphy fonts, I settled on this one—Beyond the Mountains—for superior legibility. And only belatedly realized that the bare-twig shadows on the shell needed space, and shouldn’t simply be merged into the calligraphy as I originally wanted to do.

I flirted with the idea of treating the text like a personal ad, but who under the age of 30 even knows what that is?

This wood turtle was out and about in a place near here called the Barrens a little more than a week ago, so possibly actually late March. It’s all a goddamn blur.

pruning season

View across a two-lane road of rows of recently pruned, bare fruit trees under a powerline with steel pylons.

the angel of history’s
prosthetic wings


When there’s too much to fit into a haiku — the giant pylons, each tree’s signature of knots, the scream of a red-tailed hawk circling low overhead — my instinct is to reach for some unifying symbol. The Biden administration’s apparent decision to double down on our forever wars has been preying on my mind.

Made in Snapseed with a font that’s only supposed to be used for single lines of text, but since it looks so handwritten, it’s not imperative to get each line exactly the same height, so saving one line at a time more or less works.

daybreak

view of a sunrise in the Appalachian mountains

in January
only crows crow


Back with the crows again. I have noticed though that nearly every morning, crows seem to wake up almost exactly at sunrise, even when it’s cloudy.

Initially I had “January daybreak only the crows crow” but that put the semantic break too close to the center, and I do prefer the asymmetry of classic haiku. I might be overthinking it, though.