Robert Kingston’s Afternoon Sun

afternoon sun
a fly ends the sentence
in the crime book

Robert Kingston (UK)
Bones Journal, 13, 2017

We got an interesting comparison (or contrast?). The fly, so intense and looming on the page of the crime book… and the afternoon sun, blazing and overwhelming. It could be a contrast with the black fly and the bright afternoon sun.

I don’t know if a “crime book” refers to a novel, a non-fiction book about crime, or something that the police use. But that’s part of the fun while reading this poem.

Back to the content: a fly usually comes to dead things, so a fly landing on the page is bringing something tangible to the reading experience of this book. It’s like the fictional and the real world collided at that moment. I think that is the “aha” moment the poet felt. The word “sentence” also has a double meaning: the literal one and the one referring to sentencing in courts.

Breaking down the sound, the long “oo” sounds give a leisurely pace and the “s” letters supply a sharp resonance–a good contrast.

The structure of the haiku/senryu is standard and does fine without any punctuation.

An overall playful and enjoyable haiku/senryu that has a deeper layer if you look close enough.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

This haiku takes me back to my teenage world where I used to read suspense novels and digests. I liked the way the writer conceived the idea of this haiku about a crime scene but also intrigues me to know more about the whole story.

“afternoon sun” is the time when our thoughts and feelings slow down due to the daytime activities and we want something that can make us relaxed and can rejuvenate our energies. I can feel the sense of getting involved in an activity that engages a person’s mind into something more complex and sophisticated like a crime story.

The fly could be a metaphor for something that bothers us or takes our attention away from what we are trying to focus on. It could be the thoughts of a person or any news or any distraction in the environment that lead us to reveal the mystery on our own or let our experience predict the next part of the story. It may be a point of haste where we don’t indulge in the step-wise process of mystery that is written in the crime book. It is the success of a crime book writer who plotted the story in a way where the curiosity of a person is distracted by the environment or surroundings, and it frequently happens these days.

I miss the reading environment these days where all my senses fully enjoy the book that I am holding in my hands.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

If you enjoyed this haiku and commentary, please leave us a comment.


– painting by Robert Baranet called “Afternoon Sun”

2 thoughts on “Robert Kingston’s Afternoon Sun

  1. priscampbell

    I read this pretty literally so other versions were enjoyable to see. For me this is someone reading a dark crime novel on a casual sunny afternoon and right when the plot is to be resolved, a darn fly is there blocking the words. Tongue in cheek humor. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

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