Some thoughts on haikus . . .

I’m quite new to writing haikus, and here is what started me:

Cyphers is a literary magazine produced here in Dublin. It’s been on the go for around fifty years and has a great reputation. In 2015 I bought this edition, and there I found two wonderful haikus by Lorraine Whelan, which I will include here:

The crimson apple

with bitter chromium leaves

glowed in her pale palm.

and:

The avenue of

neon trees remembers no

specific season.

These haikus stayed in my head for weeks and I re-read them to this day. I began to write them myself then, and took photographs along the river to go with most of them. But I’m not in the same class as Lorraine, or D. W. Peach who posted several beauties last week, together with photographs; I’ll include two of them hereand her picture of her lovely muse!

hidden glades of light

sift through mottled canopies

a glimpse of magic

and:

fiddleheads unfurl

green curlicues and whimsy

crowning last year’s fronds

Aren’t these all wonderful? I’ll just have to keep trying!

Grieving in May | 3.

The last one, and perhaps the one that hurts the most; my younger sister and one of my best friends ever. Thank you for reading these poems; For me, May is time set aside for remembrance.

FRANCES

Here I will rest

My ashes falling

Into swirls of bog-brown water

In Spring perhaps

The river quiet

And the birds gone mad

My ghost will hover –

A shape in powdered white

Casting chills on my attendants

Willows hang their leaves

Across the rush of water

Such an airy, fragile green

And I think of you –

Your airy, fragile spirit

Gone out of turn before me

Our childhood memories

All lop-sided now

A pulse of anger yet –

Why aren’t you here!

You should be here!

The mystery of your absence

Plagues me

I kneel beside your grave

Bend low to sense your soul

Breathe in the smell of earth.

Grieving in May | 2

I wrote this poem for my mother some years before she died. She was 91 when she died and had had a long, happy life. This poem celebrates her light heart.

I remember the rustle

Of the red, exotic petticoat

The pick of a parcel

From America

Delight crackled in her hair

Exploded in a sudden flush

On her alabaster skin

The lighthouse sweep and beam

Of her glad eyes

Lit us all, haloed the room

Where we stood in a row

To admire

Long left that room, that house

The woman has gathered her years

Carefully, tucked them primly away

Scented and folded neatly

Facing the rest

With a lifted chin

A grin and a new hat

The glow of the red petticoat

About her still.

Grieving in May | 1.

May is a lovely month, with lilacs and hawthorn in bloom, and buttercups and other wild flowers blooming in abundance. But for me, it is a lonely month. Three of my immediate family are gone, father, mother and sister. I rarely remember the anniversaries of their deaths, but as two of their birthdays were in May, I think of them every day and try to have a quiet time to think and remember. This poem is for my father, the first to go.

Grey church humped in dusk

We huddle, linked

Wispy rain-curled fringes

Cold fingers

Avoid the avid glances

Of the neighbours

Here is the hearse

The priest in white, hand aloft

Accustomed to the rites

Calls him Gerard – but

His name was Jeremiah

Strange cousins

Twice and thrice removed

Clamour to shake hands

And kiss

Anticipating whiskey

He’d have hated this.