Posted in Haiku

Leroy Kanterman’s Scarecrow

Sunset . . .
the scarecrow stretches
across the field

© Leroy Kanterman (USA) (1923-2015)

The day is done, the farmer’s work is finished and he goes home for a well-earned rest! As the sun goes down, it brings with it long shadows and the poet has observed the scarecrow’s shadow lengthening across the field almost like the scarecrow itself is resting after a hard day’s work. “Scarecrow” is an autumn kigo, therefore the field may have been harvested, leaving it flat, which would also extend shadows….

The alliteration of ‘s’ sounds almost say ‘shush’ the scarecrow is resting….
Having the capital “S” on sunset may be a trait of the author to capitalize the first letter or it might be the poet’s way of portraying the influencing ‘power’ within the haiku… sunset itself.

A wonderful haiku.

– Brendon Kent (England)

Ah, yes. The scarecrow stretches at sunset. When I read this, I see a harvested field, perhaps with stubble of whatever crop was grown on it, and the long shadow of the scarecrow cast upon it. The field is flat, nothing high left on it, save for the scarecrow. And there are at least a couple of ways to view this scene, looking into the sun with the scarecrow in the distance, a black silhouette with its equally-black shadow stretching toward the viewer, or perhaps the viewer is somewhere behind the scarecrow, off to the side a bit, and the scarecrow’s shadow stretches away from him or her, the viewer, the speaker of the piece. I think it must be autumn when shadows are longer throughout the day, but they feel especially long as the sun sets on a clear afternoon/evening, and a chill begins to descend on the scene. But, hey, Leroy Kanterman said all of this, and more, in a mere seven words. A pretty good ‘ku.

– Dana Grover (USA)

I can see the shadow of the scarecrow stretching out over the field as the sun goes down, and perhaps the farmer is also stretching out on the veranda enjoying a cool beer after a hard day’s work.

I like the sibilance of the ‘s’ sounds, like an evening hush. A beautiful haiku

– Martha Magenta (England)

What do you think or feel about this haiku? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in Haiku

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz’s Hummingbird

my thoughts come
and go

(1st place in the 21st Indian Kukai)

© Tiffany Shaw-Diaz (USA)

The hummingbird symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Thoughts here may indicate changes in mood. The swift movement of this bird can also be related to the thought process. It seems the person is indecisive or restless due to these thoughts.

– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This lovely haiku could mean many things to many readers. The hummingbird’s wings move in the pattern of an infinity symbol—suggesting eternity, and continuity. The hummingbird totem indicates the sweet nectar within, and so it has a deep mystical quality. In meditation, our thoughts come and go, in fact, meditation is in part a process of letting go of thoughts that keep coming, not to fight them or hold on to them, simply letting them go. So, there seems to be nothing negative implied here—it’s all positive. It’s about inner growth, transcendence, and finding the heaven within us.

– Martha Magenta (England)

It’s about finding one’s centre in the midst of impermanence.

– Malintha Perera (Sri Lanka)


– Ronald Kleiman (USA)

I’m sitting here with my eyes closed (not while I am typing this) and can see in my mind’s eye the flitting and diving of the hummingbirds that visit my yard, often flying directly in front of my face and hovering, as if asking “what are you doing here?” Then flying off somewhere so quickly it is hard to see them go. Kind of like my thoughts. I’m hearing something being said which makes me think of something else, and off goes my mind, flitting and diving, missing what else is being said. Thoughts, coming and going, like a hummingbird, are what makes us alive, what makes life worth living.

This is a wonderful haiku.

– Dana Grover (USA)

The interesting thing to me here isn’t that thoughts come and go, but how much they move when they are seemingly in place. A hummingbird, even when hovering, is a very busy, restless, bird. As an unsuccessful meditator, I can relate to this poem. Even in moments of apparent stillness, my mind is unable to rest.

– Dave Read (Canada)

Since the content has been commented on extensively, I will touch upon the sound and rhythm of the haiku.

The most prominent letters in the poem is “m” in “hummingbird” and “my,” and “o” in “thoughts,” “come,” and “go.” The “m” sound mimics the flapping of the hummingbird’s wings, and the “o” sound provides a feeling of leaving or passing, which the last two lines discuss.

The rhythm of the haiku is meditative, especially with the ellipsis. From the rhythm of the haiku, you can feel the state of meditation the writer was in.

This haiku is like a Zen koan without the riddle, in that it puts you in a state of pure awareness without thought.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

What do you think or feel about this haiku? Let us know in the comments.