All grass is flesh

I hearby declare October 28th through November 3rd Haiku Comment Week. Almost all of the comments that I leave at other blogs this week will take the form of haiku (which for me means approximately 17 syllables arranged in three lines and containing some element of surprise or grain of insight). I’ll collect them once a day and re-post them (slightly edited in some cases) here at Via Negativa, with links to the posts that prompted them, along with brief quotes.

Why haiku comments? I read a lot of blogs, but rarely take the time to leave substantial or interesting — or any — comments, in part because I tend to do my blog-reading at the end of the day, when my brain is tired, and in part because I’m a slow thinker in the best of circumstances. Also, I’ll admit I sometimes skim even the better blog posts rather than giving them the close attention they deserve. Americans in particular are schooled in unhealthy patterns of consumption, assuming that if a little of something is good, a lot of it must be even better, but in most cases that’s simply not true. I need to slow down. Composing haiku is a way to try and get myself to come up with thoughtful responses to posts I like.

I seem to have had grass on my mind today…


Fragments from Floyd

How would you describe what a breath of late October air feels and smells like where you live?

Grass blades edged in frost
for the first time since April:
a sharpness in the nose.


Dick Jones’ Patteran Pages

she is a continent
without roads, without cities.

Maps are redundant:
all directions lead
to polar north.

Are there tides on the moon?
The Sea of Tranquility
looks darker tonight.



Everyone knows that people write poems, but what’s a little less obvious is that poems write people too.

The keeper of spells
killed & buried in the bog
turns to bitter parchment.


Roundrock Journal

With luck and a clear sky, Pablo will be out at Roundrock today, enjoying the seasonal color and the mild weather. Nothing much on the agenda, which makes for the best kind of visit.

I was asked if I had any news to report about the decay of the shopping bags. Alas, I haven’t been out to my woods since the day I placed them. Maybe I’ll be able to report now.

Nothing to do but sit
& watch empty shopping bags
break down in the sun.


In a Dark Time

Lael also seemed rather drawn to this statue, even arguing with another little girl who said it was HER family.

A girl climbs into
the sculpted circle & gazes
at the father’s zero face.


Pocahontas County Fare

I was never sure whether “Kitchener” should be capitalized, or why the seamless grafting technique had that name, but yesterday, while looking for something else, I discovered the answers to both these questions.

The perfect suture
may wear a general’s name,
but was he the knitter?


3rd House Journal

One day after work before we moved, I drove over and parked at the end of our street, got out and hiked up the embankment to see the reservoir — a grassy mound surrounded by a high railed fence. Where’s the water??

A tall fence surrounds
The underground reservoir.
Why not a moat?



Where is the Pratyekabuddha?

Where did it get
such a perfect pair of lips?
The grass isn’t saying.


One Word

…a bound to appreciate,
Rub his face in the sprouting wheat he’ll be
hawking up later…

The cat feasts on grass,
& just like a ruminant,
brings it all back up.


  1. What a great idea and great haiku (is that both singular and plural?).
    Coincidentally, I have a new reader and avid commenter who has been writing haiku in the comments at my blog.


  2. That’s a long week, Dave, but actually I think your idea is such a good one it ought to go four months…


  3. marja-leena – Really? Yeah, now and then someone leaves a poem here, and it’s always a very fine thing. That’s what gave me the idea.

    Tall Girl – Oops! Wonder why I put “February 3rd,” and missed it in multiple re-readings? I’m thinking I must associate the two months, which used to be the ends of their respective seasons here when I was a kid.


  4. Shhhh.
    The Buddha might wake up from all that lip-whispering…

    Loved the comment when you left it, and am loving the Whole Idea still.


  5. Thanks for the comment haiku! I think it’s more interesting than my post.

    By the way, Lord Kitchener did indeed knit socks for The War Effort.


  6. He did, eh? How interesting! Of course, my brilliant irony still stands. :)


  7. Fall rains bring fresh glass
    to grass flesh.
    In the creek a slurry of opal.


  8. Thanks, CGP. Feel free to steal it.

    Wow, Bill – that’s quite a tongue-twister! Imagination-twister, too. Thanks.


  9. Whitman had it right:
    the human is universe
    and all ass is grass


  10. Poet photographer
    Blogger of life under rocks
    Haiku comments? Yes!


  11. I liked your comment about needing to slow down and absorb what you read. I am as guilty as anyone else of doing the blog roll thing. I appreciate haiku and enjoyed reading yours.


  12. marlyat2 – If I do this again, it’ll probably be limericks.

    Shai – I was wondering if anyone would connect Haiku Comment Week with Stone-Flipping Day…

    Princess Haiku – Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad this resonated with you.


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