.. A bare willow

.. Silky river

.. Afternoon

.. February moon


……. (Bray, Berkshire, England, 26.2.10)

8 Responses to “Afternoon”

  1. Here we find the poet in Berkshire Braying at the moon, like, I guess, a hound of Baskerville. Dogs and humans both do like to gaze at the moon, and make comments about it. Especially when it is a full moon. However, this year, February did not have any full moons. January had two, a Blue Moon month. March will also be blue. Evening, night or afternoon, there was no moon to bray at/about in February. This is poetic license.
    And, if I may go on and on, willows have leaves all year around, don’t they? Well, stripping the leaves off in order to make a willow whistle, as we used to do when younger, is a pleasant possibility. Is this the poet’s meaning?

  2. Thanks for the carnage, Richard. Though now lying on the floor, I still have one arm with which to write my reply…
    The moon may not have been perfectly full, but it was a February moon: hardly licence. The willows in the UK, as in Japan, are deciduous, and just for a brief period have no foliage. Which leaves the river: no complaints about that?!

  3. Keith A. SIMMONDS Says:

    morning sunshine…
    upon the windowpanes
    icicles sparkling

    • We appreciate receiving occasional verse, Keith, but to post your haiku as comments to others’ postings is unhelpful, I am sorry to say. They are likely to be overlooked in the periodic editions, ‘from the Icebox inbox’, as they will be difficult to find. Only if there is an obvious connection with the posting and the point is truly made should they be under another post. The place for them in future is the Submissions page (click link at top right of the top page). Your kind cooperation, please. This is your second or third verse this winter on icicles. I can imagine your neighbourhood draped with the things!

  4. I love the dreamy internal rhyme of “willow” and “silky!” I would advocate tightening up the last two lines into one, so as not to dilute the power of those first two: “Noonday moon”? Richard, is it a haiku rule that one can only mention the moon if it’s full?

    • Well, no, there is no such rule in my Rules for Haiku, Vol 8, page 105:MOON (Batchler Edition, 1770). However, what phase of the moon intrigues us humans the most, what phase is so beautiful, or fill with dread, what phase causes us to stop on a bridge and gaze up into the otherwise black, starless night while listening to the ripples below? Has anyone ever read a poem to a quarter moon, much less written one? Do dogs care about anything other than full moons to bray at? But you are right; and there is always poetic license. Any moon, I guess, deserves a haiku. Thanks, Ellis, for your Says.

  5. Does a February moon have some underlying significance here? I see bare willow and February as winter kigo.

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone. February is a special moon for me, as it’s the one we seldom afford any time to. The reason is the COLD. I just wanted to emphasize that. A moon hardly ever encountered… and yet there it is beyond the river and the bare trees, peeking through the afternoon blue. Strictly, Gerald is right to presume that both ‘bare willows’ and ‘Feb. moon’ are winter kigo, but in the world of Eng. haiku who’s counting? Perhaps we should; perhaps we needn’t.

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