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re:Virals 359

Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly commentary feature on some of the best contemporary haiku and senryu written in English. This week’s pair of monoku, proposed by Mariel Herbert, were:

scissoring dusk moths locate this body

— Cherie Hunter Day
Whiptail, issue 4, Personal Transitions, 2022

inside the tremors a bellbird

— Tim Roberts
Whiptail, issue 4, Personal Transitions, 2022

Introducing these poems, Mariel writes:

The August 2022 issue of Whiptail, “humbled vessel,” embraces the substantial theme of personal transitions. I love a good monostich, and Cherie Hunter Day’s is particularly immersive. Just six words, yet its doors are many and mysterious. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s chosen “doors” to Cherie’s haiku. In my reading I recalled how hard it can be to separate our fragile bodies from the strong pull of our news cycles. Tim Roberts gives us a five-word monoku that may appear simple at first, but, when we sit within it, synesthetic potentials emerge. Both Cherie and Tim offer up liminal spaces. With our readings and discussion, I hope we can approach these spaces: move closer to nature and to ourselves.

Opening comment:

These two haiku benefit from further context to deepen meaning for the reader, which requires some effort.  As is often the case with condensed one-liners, I think they are best read from word to word then as a whole.

In Cherie Hunter Day’s monoku, attention is caught from the first word, the unusual “scissoring” and its association with “dusk”. I immediately think of cutting through the gathering darkness.  Followed by an implied cut in the reading of the line.  Then we get “moths.” Now the scissoring makes me think of the repeated opening and closing of a moth’s wings in flight, too. They are seeking, and find,  something — “this body” — which we take, at least at first, to mean the poet’s body. Now, does the “scissoring” imply that the body too is cut up? However, while the line may sound strange, exotic, poetic (all of which is pleasing), read as a whole, and with a reminder that the haiku tradition is about observing the natural world, I then recall that this poet is a fellow natural scientist: the context changes.  And that the larvae — caterpillars — of some moths are carnivorous; and even, in one species from Africa, the adult moth inserts its proboscis into the eyes of animals, including humans, to extract salt from the tear ducts. On searching, I find that the front legs of a moth caterpillar found in Hawaii are scissor-like: it waits to ambush other insects, then when it finds one quickly loops its body over and uses the sharp appendages to catch, cut through and eat the prey’s body. So now I think the line could be a simple observation of this moth larva, contrived in a mysterious way, so that the reader constructs from it a little world of uncertain meanings.

Yet again, on further searches I find that “scissoring” can refer to two women intertwining their legs and rubbing their vulvas against each other.  The context changes the reading again: and, I think, for one final time.  The cut comes after “scissoring.” And now, seen in this light, the poem belongs in the section “personal transitions.”  But without all this work for a reader such as I unversed in tribadism, I think the poem would have remained in the delightfully mysterious realm of natural history.

* * *

On first reading Tim Roberts’ haiku the tremors and the bellbird go together nicely as far as the ringing vibrations of a bell are concerned. I don’t know the bellbird, but a search reveals the white bellbird has the loudest sound of any bird, measured in decibels. While I’m thinking about that, and also about earthquakes, I check out Tim’s bio to learn that he has Parkinson’s disease; and that he lives in New Zealand. The context changes. The NZ bellbird is a sweet singer, not a loud dinger, and the tremors are now the adverse consequences of Parkinson’s: the meaning of “inside” becomes clear. Inside Tim’s tremors he still hears the glorious sound of native birdsong. While I had to make a good deal of effort to connect the first monoku, which seemed obscure,  with the journal’s section title “personal transitions,” the connection in the second one becomes — as clear as a bell.

I hope the two poets’ comments on their own poems don’t leave me red-faced. It’s happened before.

Alan Summers:

The delivery of a line, regardless of its genre, is that it is imperative in its intended impact. This is whether “the single line” is part of the creative industry or has its concerns with a commercial venture such as a retail pitch for sales. This single line (of words, poetic or otherwise) can contain as much content to connect with the reader/viewer whether it’s for artistic or commercial/political gain. That might be seen as controversial, but it’s all down to the power of words in a lone line, and how it’s emitted and emoted verbally, or on the page/screen. Each writer, regardless of their designs, has to meet a target, whether for a poem, a politician, or a commercial enterprise.

I decided to compare both 1-line haiku, and discovered strong links connecting them together, and with myself.

The first 1-line haiku has two great verbs, although ‘scissoring’ can also be read as an ‘adjective’ too, perhaps? Dusk is the great divider between day and night, that it scissors the two parts. We also know that moths are active dusk-into-night participants while butterflies inhabit the day. Keeping with the first 1-line, who or what is “this body,” is it the author, closing down for the day, and entering the evening mode of relaxation, I wondered. Perhaps the author is outside, where a greater number of moths will circle any outdoor lighting, whether this is a backyard, or at a pub’s beer garden, or a bar’s street-side set up? Does scissoring mean they, the moths, are criss-crossing each other, or humans are criss-crossing into the territory of the nocturnal insects, or is it a little of both as there is no choice but for each species to share space. Of course scissoring has many connotations, and the author has a scientific background. As poets we are often looking for strong verbs, and metaphorical language, and if we come from a certain background we may pull from that area of expertise and its own precise language.

The second 1-line haiku has no verb, and “inside” is an adjective, noun, adverb or preposition, though I surmise it’s an adverb in this case, despite a visible verb not being present. At first I thought of the tremors as part of an earthquake process. Then I did some due diligence, and was reminded that the author is a New Zealand citizen, formerly from the UK, who loves the native birds of his adopted country. About six years ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, something my own lovely father-in-law suffered from as well, so the mention of tremors then clicked with me. This haiku, if you know a little about the author, therefore is another ‘body’ haiku. I can now joyfully imagine him in a forest, experiencing the magical bellbird, while he himself has Parkinson’s tremors.

The New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura) is a passerine bird endemic to New Zealand, and forms a significant component of the famed New Zealand dawn chorus. The explorer Captain Cook wrote of its song “it seemed to be like small bells most exquisitely tuned.” (Wikipedia). If we are not aware of the author’s Parkinson’s bodily tremors, we can still permeate the wonder of a bird’s song, and even shake slightly with excitement and awe…
(Host comment: Tim gives a link to the bellbird’s song in the poet’s comment below)

Back to both Cherie Hunter Day’s and Tim Roberts’ haiku jointly, it just shows whatever area of the animal emporium or “body politic” that we exist within, we utter, we attempt to communicate, we flutter around the confusion or organised chaos that abounds on this planet, itself a body, and one spinning in space. Perhaps both haiku are as much about the variety of spaces we inhabit as they are about ‘bodies’ and how other bodies/entities interact with us. Concluding, I personally feel that the delivery of these two single lines have met their impact with this reader (me).

Amoolya Kamalnath:

An interesting challenge. Both monoku under the heading of Personal Transitions, one from a female poet from California and the other from a male Briton residing in New Zealand. I thought while Tim’s was about disease, Cherie’s was about healing. Both the ku have an effect beyond the surface and there is ‘ma’. There is juxtaposition.

scissoring dusk moths locate this body.
— Cherie Hunter Day

“What does scissoring mean here?”, was my first question. Scissoring dusk – does it mean cutting or removing? If so, what is being scissored? Dusk? When the moths become active. Is scissoring getting through, enduring? Cutting through dusk, moths locate this body. What body? Moths are attracted to light, so, is it that they locate a body of light? Moth-pollinated flowers tend to be fragrant and white, allowing nocturnal moths to easily find flowers after dark. Like moths going after light, we human beings are seekers too, going after that bright white light which has been given many names. Are we the moths scissoring dusk (cutting out the darkness in our lives) and locating or finding enlightenment? Or is it a human’s onward journey to the other world letting go off this life on earth that is being conveyed through this rather enticing poem? As the poem has been published under “Personal Transitions,” is this poem the poet’s journey into healing her own self, growing out of darkness into the light? A personal journey of healing, growth and transformation being encrypted in this monoku, perhaps.

The poem uses assonance in scissoring, this and y of body, (2) o in “scissoring dusk”and short o sound in moths and body. Something in nature is juxtapositioned with some object. There is a cut at ‘dusk’. Body seems to be used as metonymy for light and the poet is contrasting dusk with light.

inside the tremors a bellbird
— Tim Roberts

A little assonance is found here too with a short e sound in both tremors and bell. Bell also gives a slight musical effect. A physiological effect is juxtaposed with something from nature. A cut can be envisioned after tremors. The technique of association is being used here between tremors and bellbird.

The tremors are the loud call of the bellbird probably reminding the poet of the pathological state in his body (Haiku & Parkinson’s disease: a practice, poetrysociety.org.nz). A bellbird inside the tremors could be relating to the tremor being slow paced which at once takes off with increased intensity like the loud explosive call of the bellbird. It could also mean that within these pathological tremors, there is the poet protesting by voicing his haiku like the bellbird and in doing so, challenging the tremors. (“This is the first time I have voiced a poem, and the Parkinson’s has affected my voice – but I have a hunger to do more”. Bio – Bent Ear Review musepiepress.com)

Radhamani Sarma:

scissoring dusk moths locate this body
— Cherie Hunter Day

It is all about sexual activity involving two women, two organs or vulva -vulva Interactions, all for pleasure. Unless one knows the actual meaning of scissoring, one cannot extract the meaning of the poem; the poet implies that lesbianism goes on for a prolonged time, probably till dusk, absorbing themselves, forgetting this world. Not only men, women also indulge their way, their body parts to their advantage. Rubbing thighs or parts giving them pleasure for a prolonged time, perhaps dusk, what occurs is a sensation the poet describes metaphorically as moths, symbolically giving them new awareness, sensation or intuition within themselves, occurring within their bodies. Out of this arises a personal transition.

inside the tremors a bellbird
— Tim Roberts

Tim Roberts depicts, here again, another example of two bodies. What comes out of a tremor, unusual stress, a shaking movement, is a loud cry made analogous to that of a bell bird; why a bell bird? For the bell bird makes the loudest call. The poetic expression implies a combination of physical involvement and a vibrant emotional cry; a pithy statement producing much for us to cull out and expand.

Calling to mind the forbidden fruit, here in the modern scenario, it is not the Fall, it is penetration into sensory organs, bit by bit, part by part. We are forced to intrude, split and expand more and more, searching for clues to knowledge.

Matt Cariello – embracing multiple readings simultaneously:

scissoring dusk moths locate this body
— Cherie Hunter Day

This beautiful haiku is a carefully crafted syntactic and semantic puzzle that’s open to multiple readings. I’ll try to do a few of those readings justice here.

Reading 1: “scissoring” modifies “dusk”: “scissoring dusk – moths locate this body.” This reading uses “scissoring” as a transitive verb that refers to the cutting motion scissors make, and then applies that action to “dusk.” This first image is then juxtaposed with the way that moths are attracted to light, which in this case is presented by “this body.”

Reading 2: “scissoring” modifies “dusk” modifies “moths.” In this reading, “moths” could be a pivot word: “scissoring dusk < moths > locate this body.” “Dusk moths” is an interesting neologism that nevertheless appeals to common sense and experience (we can see moths at dusk), as is “moths locate this body,” although the exact meaning of “body” in this context is uncertain. Alternately, one could read it as a simple descriptive sentence, as in “as the dusk cuts through the day, moths are able to locate this body.”

Both of these first two readings metaphorically map out in a compelling way. We see dusk as separating the night and day, we see moths scissoring through the air, we see moths at dusk, all at the same time. Further, we see these things in relation to how, collectively, they “locate this body.” “Locate” means to find or discover – something has been found. Note the pronoun. Not just any body, but *this* one, which is skillfully left undefined. The poem has both clarity and mystery, and leaves the reader with both a sense of control and anticipation of something yet to be revealed. I suspect that many readers will put *their* bodies into that last word.

But there’s a third possible reading that partially rearranges the metaphoric maps. What if the cut comes after the first word: “scissoring – dusk moths locate this body”? In this reading, where “scissoring” is seen as an action independent of “dusk” or “moths,” the word inevitably takes on a sexualized meaning. (At this point, please feel free to google.) In other words, perhaps “scissoring” refers to “this body” – and, one would assume, “that body,” since it takes two to scissor. This reading creates a contranym out of “scissoring” by emphasizing the joining together of two things rather than their separation. It also rearranges the metaphoric map a bit, to suggest that “’scissoring’ is like dusk moths locating this body,” which is a complex but accessible concept that describes bodily intimacy. One can imagine the way lovers are drawn to one another’s bodies by inexplicable forces, the way moths are drawn to flame.

Personally, I prefer to embrace all these readings simultaneously, although that kind of stance usually leads to discussions about “what was intended.” The difference between reader reception and writer intention goes to the flexible nature of the way in which we use language to explain the world to ourselves.

Author Cherie Hunter Day comments:

I wrote “scissoring dusk” on June 26, 2022, as a one-liner in a single draft. I didn’t make the connection until later that the date happens to be my son’s birthday. Although there is no mention of my son, no narrative to follow, the emotion is there. I was conscious at some level of the mother-child connection and separation. There’s a vulnerability that can’t be viewed directly, so it is telegraphed through the body like light through a window.

Everyone is familiar with the behavior of moths and their attraction to lights at night. I built on that experience. My moths are more intentional in cutting away the darkness—scissoring dusk. They must work to locate my light. The negative aspect of shredding something ends up being a positive exposure. This is my interpretation of the issue’s theme of personal transitions. While the details that spawned the poem remain hidden, there is an open invitation to the reader to invest the poem with their own experiences. I’m curious to see what the other readers have to say about the connections conjured up by this haiku.

Tim Roberts’s haiku: “inside the tremors a bellbird” is anchored in the body in much the same way. There are several species of bellbirds, and their distinctive call is how they got their common name. Knowing that the author lives in New Zealand is helpful in narrowing down the sound reference. The songs of indigenous bellbirds can be described as burbly, punctuated with buzzes. It sounds glitchy. The mechanical, grating quality of the birdsong indicates that the subject of the haiku is not a melodious song. A reader can learn from the poet’s website that the tremors he is referring to are caused by Parkinson’s. Bringing these birds inside the body may provide relief for the poet. Oh, the muscle spasms are just my bellbirds singing. It’s a transformational point of view.

Author Tim Roberts comments:

Thanks for the chance to share some thoughts on this poem.  This is a poem that I hope is open enough to invite different interpretations.

The bellbird is an iconic New Zealand bird. It is shy, seldom seen but its call is hauntingly beautiful. A couple of years ago, I was staying in a meditation hut in a forest on silent retreat. The longer I was there the more my consciousness calmed and relaxed and my senses opened. There was no light pollution and I would sit looking at the bright stars for hours before dawn every day. As dawn approached, a bellbird would call from the trees, its clear notes seemed to penetrate everything, including me. It is one of the most uplifting and unifying experiences I have had with a powerful and unshakable sense of presence and of interconnection with life.

At the time I tried writing about it but my attempts were too clumsy. When I came home, I tried to write about it but soon gave up.

I like the word tremor, and it’s apt for where I live, north of Wellington in New Zealand. Leaves tremor in the Cook Strait winds and occasionally the land tremors when we get earthquakes. I both relish and fear the word tremor.  My body has Parkinson’s disease; a main symptom of this for me is a rigid and forceful tremor with its vice like grip, making breathing, movement and fine motor control difficult.  When tremors arrive, I no longer fight them because that fuels them. Instead I meditate, making the tremors the object of meditation. Sometimes this can soften the body, ease the tension and stop the tremors.

During one recent meditation, just when the tremors were starting to soften , a bellbird broke into song outside my window. We rarely hear bellbirds by the house. The surprise and the song sliced through the meditation opening it up and I found I could place my awareness inside the tremors and this dissolved them back into emptiness The bellbird’s song came again and the acoustic waves swept the meditation deeper still. When the meditation ended, there waiting for me in the peace was this one-line poem. I wondered if the poem pointed to the vastness of the encounter so I was tempted to bolt on the word silence, ‘inside the tremors a bellbird’s silence.’  But I thought that actually distracted from the centrality of the bellbird, and it wasn’t silence so much as stillness, so I left it as it was.

Even now as I recall the bellbird’s song I can still feel the relaxation.

Bellbird song
https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/native-animals/birds/bird-song/bellbird-56.mp3


virus2

Thanks to all who sent commentaries. As the contributor of the commentary reckoned best this week, Matt has chosen next week’s poem, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. Out-takes from the best of these take their place in the THF Archives. Best of all, the chosen commentary’s author gets to pick the next poem.

Anyone can participate. Simply use the re:Virals commentary form below to enter your commentary on the new week’s poem (“Your text”) by the following Tuesday midnight, Eastern US Time Zone, and then press Submit to send your entry. The Submit button will not be available until Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in. We look forward to seeing your commentary and finding out about your favourite poems!

if Robert were here
he’d know this mushroom
growing on his grave

— Bruce Sengan Kennedy
An Upside Down Bucket, Hermit’s Eye Press, 2000

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.


Footnote:

A particular note of thanks to Alan Summers, inter alia, for his philosophical musings on haiku arising from these two poems. I hope they may spark some discussion on technique, as the likes of advertising jingoes, movie straplines, and politicians’ soundbites may be compared and contrasted with haiku. Ways of getting attention, for example: a point I’ve made occasionally here is that in a genre where the reader usually needs to devote time and meditation to reading, getting their attention can be a good start.

Cherie Hunter Day’s excellent haiku are widely published and awarded. Her bio and several examples, that repay study, may be read at the Living Haiku Anthology.

this winter intentionally left blank
—Cherie Hunter Day (THF Haiku of the Day 24 Apr 2022)
…particularly appeals to a haikai sense of humour.

Lately she won the 2022 Backbone Press Haiku Book Award for her collection, Miles Deep in a Drum Solo. Copies are available here.

* * *

A former British police officer and university lecturer, Tim Roberts emigrated to New Zealand where he was subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive degeneration primarily of dopaminergic neurones in certain parts of the brain. My first scientific paper, a short one in Nature, 1970, was concerned with a small building block in this process: a lot more has been discovered since, and treatments developed but as yet no cure. Tim found that the practice of haiku helped (essay). As the neurotransmitter dopamine is associated with many affective functions in the central nervous system, as well as motor activity, there appear to be some scientific grounds to connect these things. Certainly the haiku community has benefitted from Tim’s haiku along with the poet; and the positive effects of haiku on wellbeing are increasingly well documented.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I am so happy to see everyone engaging with these monoku. I enjoyed reading the commentaries–even the parapraxes. And, a big thank you goes to the authors for their comments. For those who are interested in reading more, I highly recommend the entire fourth issue of Whiptail.

  2. I liked both of these haiku and now have enjoyed all the comments and interpretations. :-)

  3. Thank you Mariel for choosing these two poems for commentary for last week!

    Thank you Keith for running re: Virals and making it ever so interesting and engrossing!

  4. Dear Tim,
    I somehow missed noting about bellbirds in New Zealand in my search about the bird. I also completely forgot that there was another meaning for tremor other than pathological bodily tremors as I witness these day in and day out as part of my profession.

    However, I was very much drawn to what you’ve explained about how you felt it all within your body. I have read and am learning how mindfulness and meditation work within our bodies, both in physiological as well as pathological conditions.

    My paternal grandmother suffered from Parkinson’s for many years. I was only a little school-going girl then. I used to feel sad for her but her thumb’s pill-rolling movement and her head rotating used to scare me and I have felt guilty for feeling scared of her. I still did my best to do what I could for her. She was very reserved, so she never shared much, hence I don’t know how she felt about it all. Reading your words comforted me very much. I felt as if she came to me through this poem and through you to reassure me and make me feel better. Thank you for writing about it!

    1. Dear Amoolya,
      Thanks for your comment.
      It was difficult for you. You were young and this condition is not one of the prettiest. Your grandmother would have known that too and appreciated your intention to help I am glad what I wrote was useful to you.
      Best wishes Tim

  5. Amoolya: “This concept of a single line poem being compared or contrasted with a tagline for an advertisement or a movie title or some other venture is very interesting as there are some similarities between the two. ”

    A few scattered thoughts:

    – in Japan everyday slogans, for example about road or fire safety, are often written in 5-7-5 which it seems is a natural rhythm for Japanese speech (but not so natural for English speech)

    – getting attention is important for slogans, political soundbites, movie and book straplines. And I suggest it can be a useful consideration in haiku/senryu, to get the reader to focus on a verse rather than skim through it. The technique in first lines is well known to long-form poets:
    “Let us go then, you and I”
    “Do not go gentle into that good night”
    “Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright”
    “Why should I let the toad work Squat on my life”

    – haiku and movie and book straplines don’t tell you everything, but aim to engage and entice (perhaps a little like haibun titles?). Political soundbites and the likes of safety slogans aim to be perfectly clear. They tend to be didactic, whereas haiku are not.

    – overdoing it in any genre tends to switch the intelligent reader/listener off

    All are about communication — getting a message across. Haiku rely more than the others on a reader supplying some of the message themselves. But safety slogans, for example, can do likewise. “Do you want your child to die of Covid?” The nudge technique is increasingly popular with the likes of these and in persuading people to follow policies or not cheat on their taxes etc.

  6. Dear Cherie,
    It’s a pleasure to learn there was a mother-child connection in your poem, the message of vulnerability delivered through the body like light through a window. Deciphering your poem as I wrote about it was a beautiful process for me.

  7. Dear Alan and Keith,
    This concept of a single line poem being compared or contrasted with a tagline for an advertisement or a movie title or some other venture is very interesting as there are some similarities between the two. This thought could probably eventually be made into reality, hence bringing more people closer to micro poetry. It’s a small thought which came to my mind as I read what both of you had to say about it.

  8. inside the tremors a bellbird

    Tim Roberts

    I feel a little like that kid who got full credit for their homework even though it’s only half done. The comments posted on Tim Roberts’ poem have already hit on its beauty and simplicity. I’ll just add a few notes and take a moment to explore the metaphors a bit.

    Opening a poem with a prepositional phrase is always a risk because you’ve inverted the syntax, but the risk of holding off the subject can be worth it. The first three words build anticipation – what is inside the tremors? If you flipped around the sentence to read “a bellbird is inside the tremors,” you’d lose any sense of profluence, which is the forward flow of writing that compels a reader to keep reading.

    The payoff comes quickly: there’s a bellbird inside the tremor. Now, I’m a pretty competent birder, but I’d never heard of bellbirds, which aren’t native to North America. But I know about bells and I know about birds, so I was able to map the two together without first resorting to Google. A bellbird must be a bird that sounds like a bell. Bells tremor while ringing, and birds tremor while singing. But this poem isn’t really about bells or birds, it’s about the tremor, which has at its heart an implied “I.” “Tremor” is actually a highly flexible word, and could indicate physical movement coming from either within or without the body (bodies tremor, the earth tremors); further, it could indicate a state of apprehension or unease.

    So why is the article “the” instead of “my”? I think it’s a way for the writer to demonstrate that the tremors are not theirs. That is, there are tremors (whatever their source), there are bells, there are birds, there are bellbirds tremoring, but that none of this is inherently part of the speaker – except by the associations created in the moment. All of which leads to the intrinsic joy of this poem. The negative aspects of tremors are mitigated by their association with the song of the bellbird, which is universally described as a thing of great beauty. Therefore, the tremors themselves are, somehow, paradoxically, beautiful.

    1. Matt: the invitation was to choose either poem; or both and compare them. Your homework was by no means incomplete!

      Thank you for adding your comments now on Tim’s poem. I note and am glad to see your comment and explanatory support for inversion, sometimes a useful poetic device which, for some reason, so many in the mainstream of poetry now regard as unfashionable, even ‘poor.’

      ‘tremors’ can also be associated with an experience of great beauty or of shy love, such that the heart is set a-trembling….

  9. To Alan summers.
    dear esteemed poet,
    Following comments, so thought provoking,

    “Dusk is the great divider between day and night, that it scissors the two parts. We also know that moths are active dusk-into-night participants while butterflies inhabit the day. Keeping with the first 1-line, who or what is “this body,” is it the author, closing down for the day, and entering the evening mode of relaxation, I wondered. Perhaps the author is outside, where a greater number of moths will circle any outdoor lighting, whether this is a backyard, or at a pub’s beer garden, or a bar’s street-side set up? Does scissoring mean they, the moths, are criss-crossing each other, or humans are criss-crossing into the territory of the nocturnal insects, or is it a little of both as there is no choice but for each species to share space. “

  10. Hearty congratulations

    “Matt Cariello – embracing multiple readings simultaneously:”

    “This beautiful haiku is a carefully crafted syntactic and semantic puzzle that’s open to multiple readings. ”
    Going through each one by one, so vital and interesting.

  11. Dear keith Evetts,
    VOW! What a variety of comments, such new to know and encompassing !
    Thanks for your painstaking efforts. especially a topic like this,;
    with regards
    Radhamani sarma

  12. I confess my face is a little red. I’m not the only one, perhaps. I once entitled a longer poem “a little death” without realising it’s a common reference to orgasm.

    And so we move from a couple of weeks where poems were drafted with a touch of mystery (and even obscurity) to one that is immediately and universally accessible….

    Meanwhile I can think of a number of ways in which haiku might be compared or contrasted with commercial straplines or other soundbites. I bet you can, too….

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