Deer guts and other haiku

I’ve spent the evening revising a bunch of old photoblog haiku. Many are still stinkers, but here are a few that seemed salvageable. (First lines are linked to the posts.)

shining viscera
I want to pick out
all the hairs

bare quarry rock
just half a mile away
already looks blue

rain beads
on each numbered leaf
in the study group

beside the oak
with a huge round hole
an uncanny silence

back field
fog drifts through branches
rigid with ice

free of its seeds
the dried wild mustard
looks ready for anything

moon in eclipse
I remember every place
I’ve seen that ember

a crowd of weed stalks
they’ll all fall down
when the snow melts

their calls must’ve changed
no hint of Canada now
in these local geese

“No Swimming”
meltwater shimmers
atop the ice

plastic trail marker
the click beetle’s antennae
sweep back and forth

ancient hemlock grove
I find the patch of moss
where I once spent the night

Posted in

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

10 Comments


  1. I love “moon in eclipse.” And I’m a little terrified of “huge round oak,” which I think is a good thing. :)

    Reply

    1. Hi Melissa – it’s good to hear from a real haikujin. I’m a total dilettante, as you can probably tell.

      I changed just one letter in the eclipse poem: “amber” became “ember.” Interesting the profound effect such a little adjustment can have!

      Reply

  2. Very nice. I especially liked “rain beads” as well as the accompanying photo. Is that something you came upon or were the numbers yours?

    “Moon in eclipse” is also really evocative, the way it incorporates memory. It’s amazing the change one little letter can have… ember brings something primal to this one that I really dig.

    (And thanks, btw, for the Smorgasblog link.)

    Reply

    1. Thanks for commenting. The “rain beads” photo is of a laurel bush not far from the house. A long-term study of the effects of deer browse on seed set takes advantage of our three-acre wooded deer exclosure. This was one of the bushes outside the exclosure.

      Reply

  3. Wonderful, Dave. Especially Moon in Eclipse. Hauntingly beautiful.

    T.

    Reply

  4. A picture that talks
    To blind minds and hard hearts
    Is painted by heart.

    Words pour out of wall
    where picture hangs and anoints
    blind hearts or hard hearts.

    So does your pictures, Dave, and 17 syllables will give you more leeway for your haiku-ekphrasis. I like them, specially the Canadian geese losing their “eh” down south. (:-))

    Again, Dave, may I use your pictures in my blog when needed to help my poems? (A bravura of photographs, indeed!)

    Reply

    1. Albert, you’re welcome to use any photo in my Flickr stream.

      17 syllables are generally too many. I use it as an outside limit, but general find that haiku are stronger and more haiku-like if they are at least a few syllables shy of 17. That said, sometimes I go over, too.

      Reply

Leave a Reply