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Sketchbook 

Insect Haiku

 

Editor's Haiku Choices for November 2006


John's Choices

Fifteen OutlawPoets unleashed seventy insects for the November haiku thread. Some insects appeared in a pleasant setting, but other insects behaved in their natural manner testing—straining—the wits of humans.

First Choice:

# 02.
not a sound—
the tiger butterfly
moves among the lilies

Yvette d'Anjo, US

Yvette d’Anjou’s tiger butterfly haiku appeals to the senses of sight and sound in a pleasant setting. The colorful black and yellow tiger butterfly moving among lilies of many colors in a warm, sunlit summer garden is a vivid sight. As the butterfly moves from lily to lily the absence of intruding sound enhances the panoply of summer colors. Now, at the beginning of December, reading this haiku provides a pleasant remembrance of a delightful summer experience.

Let’s face it! Insects generally are a plague to humans. Many of the poems in the thread remind me of unpleasant experiences with those pesky, little critters. Choosing the second place haiku was difficult for me. Finally, I succumbed to the charms of the following two haiku:

Second Choice:

# 51.
In my hair,
dreaming of a calm shelter—
the tiny louse

Rita Odeh, IS





# 04.
With a smile, I spare
the lingering mosquitoes
early November...

Cristian Mocanu, RO

In both of these haiku the collision between the insect world and the human environment is inevitable. Who has not had to deal with pesky hair lice, and who has not dealt a fatal blow to a pesky mosquito.

Both of these poems contain an element of black, sardonic humor. While the personified dream of the louse is a “calm shelter,” the implied reality for the human is riddance of a pest. The dream of the infesting “wee beste” will be short-lived. Rita Odeh uses this implied irony to make a humorous statement about the certain demise of this unwanted creature.

Cristian Mocanu employs the same kind of black humor when he decides to “spare” the lives of “lingering mosquitoes” knowing that their life cycle will end naturally when they suddenly succumb to the coldness of November weather. These two sweet ironies leave me smiling and laughing with an audible sigh.

John Daleiden, editor

 


Karina's Choices

 

First Choice:

# 15.
late fall
a caterpillar inches across
the compost heap

Betty Kaplan

I chose this haiku because I like the idea of the autumn days lengthening—I like the caterpillar inching its way across autumn, soon to sleep and then awaken in spring. Compost symbolizes change—a metamorphosis of compounds while the caterpillar undergoes a biological metamorphosis. Very nice!


Second Choice:

#40

centipede...
one hundred legs
under the flower pot

Shanna Baldwin Moore

I selected this haiku because it used a nice play on the word centi ....and underneath a flower pot a hundred legs. This haiku takes the reader from a wide world perspective to a close up picture of the minute world of insect legs..

I think it could be written also

centipede...
under the flower pot
one hundred legs

54

old, new and borrowed
in a reading competition
booklice and mice

Daniela Bullas

I think this is quite humorous—as we exchange books we also exchange the little critters with them.

****

This haiku is also one of my humor selections. Each time I read it I laughed at the very doom of this picnic! "Not only mayflies / but at dusk bats" show up too!
 

# 31.
Crane flies* invade
the picnic by the pond
bats at twilight

(Tipulidae)* a family of insects resembling giant mosquitoes

John Daleiden, US

There were many humorous haiku and some very clever ones. Using the names of insects is sometimes very hard to do and all have done so well in the creativity of this thread.

Cheers!

Karina Klesko, editor
 

 

 


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