Posted in Haiku

Hannes Froehlich’s Lifeline

wind and water
carve …

© Hannes Froehlich (Germany)

I love the pure simplicity and clean wording of the poem. You can draw much meaning from a few words and this haiku accomplishes that.

The poet notices the slow effect of natural erosion with “wind and water / carve” and then adds the ellipsis to let us know that the process continues, indefinitely. Without that ” …” we might not have the feeling of being cast off and left to drift through time. This
device works beautifully. I think a great haiku casts us off at the end to let us drift on, thinking about what it has given us–of what we can keep finding in its additional layers.

But now for the real power: “lifeline—”

We wonder and imagine how our lives connect to this vast force around us: why are we here, and what purpose might we have in some greater plan or structure.

We know that we need water and air (wind) for survival. But what kind of survival could we imagine? What if we think of how “short” we are in time, and how the “lifeline” that crosses the very palm of our hand shows us our finiteness.

It’s as though he’s captured a primal working force of nature in the palm of his hand. In reality, it is in us; in our hand, our wrinkles, our tears and our breath. Our lifelines are short in comparison to the long processes of earth time. But imagine looking into the Grand Canyon, then closing your fingers around it.

Imagine that the connection is there. It is there as surely as the water and stone and flesh of this fine haiku.

Let yourself into this one slowly for there is much else conveyed. Let it “carve” like the “wind and water.”

Thank you Hannes for sharing your work.

– Edwin Lomere (USA)



Meditator, writer, editor, musician.

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