Still Alive: Bemidji

Haiku along the way

I’ve been trying to haiku more, the last few days. It makes me pay attention.

I worked on a farm for three days in a town called Pillager:

soft rain on the field
drops placed with care, one by one
on cranberry flowers

little black birds make
sounds like ecstatic water
while I weed the peas

I rode north from there along the Paul Bunyan Trail, longest paved rail-trail in the country.

stop to meet a lake
soon – covered with tickling flies
and caterpillars

paved trail: jutting backbone
to either side, the bogs creak –
bust open with frogsong

Then, today, it was rainy.

the musk of wet ferns
welcomed the first fish aground.
flower smells quenched today

I’m now all out of bike trail. The rest of the way, wherever that is, will be via roads. Up here most of them are lazy ones, broad-shouldered, quiet, through vivid green and blue, white stands of popple trunks, red-winged blackbirds singing leisurely songs and shuffling with papery noises through last year’s cattails.

By the way, the spammers have found their way to my blog, as you’ll notice if you look at the last post back. For now my solution is to moderate comments—they won’t appear immediately, I’ll have to approve them all first. I’ll work on something simpler when I can. Spam deleted, reCaptcha added (the button that says “I’m not a robot”). Should do the trick. My god, you wouldn’t believe the hundreds that were flowing in.

File under: biking, poetry, Year of Listening, Still Alive · Places: Minnesota


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Alfi

Alfi

History

so haiku means poem ? Neeed more and it helps me to learn advanced english words (i guess). Btw, I sent a letter to Sprout house a month ago. Hope it reached well there.

Chuck

History

Haiku is a Japanese type of poem. (And since it’s a Japanese word, and Japanese doesn’t have a plural-singular distinction, haiku is both the plural and the singular.) Wikipedia will tell you a lot about the many different criteria a poem has to satisfy before it’s considered a haiku. Well, in the US, what most people can remember is that it’s:

5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

Some people also remember that there’s something about the season in it. Mine don’t follow the syllable scheme exactly, but I’m calling that “poetic license” (that’s a handy English phrase, which people use to get away with a lot of not-quite-following-the-rules). I think I did mention something specific to the season in all of them. I think I failed to use a “cutting word”, which I’m told is essential, so maybe I didn’t actually write haiku… or maybe I wrote some with poetic license.

I did get your letter, by the way. It got busted open along the way, but I think everything was still in it. Haven’t had a chance to write anything back yet, though. Also I couldn’t figure out the card with the statue of King Sejong. Why does the ink scratch off? I couldn’t understand what was happening in the little picture you included.

Chuck

History

P.S. I also used haiku as a verb there. That was highly unorthodox of me. It’s normally a noun. But I bend English a lot.

alfi

alfi

History

thanks for your brief explanation about haiku. But in US, haiku is a popular form of poem? Oh i just knew this. And HAIKU ALONG THE WAY..this is brilliant. lol. Language is flexible as long as understable. Btw the card of King Sejong, actually, it was a scratch post card set. Did you find the wood stick as well? You need to scracth it following the line. And the picture was the cherry blossom flowers that I took in ewha and printed in sticker paper.

Chuck

History

I’ll look again, but I don’t remember a stick being in the envelope… maybe the weight of the stick is what broke the envelope open in transit.

In “Haiku along the way” I was actually using it as a plural noun, and when I said “I’ve been trying to haiku more” was the verb… but actually, I like the interpretation of the first one as a verb too, and there’s no reason not to read it that way. Thanks for another interesting bend!

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alfi

alfi

History

thanks for your brief explanation about haiku. But in US, haiku is a popular form of poem? Oh i just knew this. And HAIKU ALONG THE WAY..this is brilliant. lol. Language is flexible as long as understable. Btw the card of King Sejong, actually, it was a scratch post card set. Did you find the wood stick as well? You need to scracth it following the line. And the picture was the cherry blossom flowers that I took in ewha and printed in sticker paper.

Reply

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