an’ya’s snowflake

palm up
a snowflake lands
on my life line

an’ya (USA)
(previously published in Ardea)

The opening line presents a sweet gesture. It shows the simplicity of our connection with nature. I feel this is a soothing scene where a person feels the depth of their relationship with winter.

I can see the element of loneliness here, as deep winter may bring shades of depression and anxiety. So, snowflakes may act as a source of entertainment or a change that can divert one’s thoughts and feelings from dull and freezing weather. A snowflake sways like a falling leaf before it settles on a surface. It is a delicate element of nature that brings subtlety in our mood and feelings.

It may symbolize the life of a person who has passed through ‘cold’ realities, and faced harshness and rejection. A snowflake’s life is anonymous because it has no sound, no set pattern of falling, and irregularities or weaknesses. 

The life line on one’s hand indicates the time of death, departure, or the ending of old patterns of life that are fragile, insignificant, or useless. 

I see this haiku in two ways: both nature and human nature stand parallel in the universe and share common characteristics that connect them deeply and which makes them learn lessons or gain inspiration from each other.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

With this winter haiku, the poet allows us to ponder whether or not fate is real, in my opinion. A life line on our hands usually is said to tell us how long we will live and how we feel about our lives. I like that the poet leaves it up to the readers to see what symbolism they want in the haiku, though.

It could reflect the “cold” or “fragile” life that the poet has lived. It could also show how something as delicate and small as a snowflake can be a thing of beauty in one’s life or how nature enters into our lives unexpectedly with something wonderful.

The poem is written in a simple style without punctuation. This is a common way to write haiku now in English and in many other languages. I like that the haiku seems like a journal entry that allows readers to come to their own conclusions. It also has a pleasant sound with many lilting “l”s and two calming “s”s on the second line.

The poet captured a moment that stirs wonder, melancholy, and philosophical thoughts within us through seemingly simple yet well-crafted language.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

“Lumberyards at Fukagawa, 100 Famous Views of Edo” by Hiroshige Utagawa, woodblock print reproduction

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