George Klacsanzky’s moth

the dead moth
it flies away

George Klacsanzky (1956-2003)  
(published in Yanty’s Butterfly: Haiku Nook: An Anthology (2016))

Brevity, simplicity, and honesty always reflect in George’s haiku. Every time I write about his poems, I see a new aspect of his life that helps me know more about this great haiku poet. 

The opening line ‘touching’ pauses the moment and lets the readers feel the resonance of this sense and its subtlety. It also suggests how hard it is to focus on nuances of life but when one does, there is an element of surprise in them. In this haiku, the writer shares the concept of seeing beyond sight where even stillness looks moving. The dead moth presents the depth of life, the transformation of life, that one cannot see but feel through one’s third eye or insight and once one does, miracles happen and thoughts get transformed into wisdom and reveal the secrets of life that are long-lasting. Somehow, there are shades of mysticism that make this haiku more open to the concept of life in death.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

I love this haiku. The first word that comes to mind is resurrection: something seemingly dead is brought back to life. The moth flying away could be a metaphor for rejuvenation within a relationship or your own self. Maybe an old hobby is given attention again. Or, maybe a neglected house is being remodeled. Something seemingly dead is given new life. George’s haiku reminds us that what appears to be motionless or dead could be only an appearance; it speaks to how subtle life can be. Maybe the moth was sleeping? Maybe it was just resting. But through his touch, by making a connection with the moth, it seems to move on to the next stage of its life.

This could apply to humans too: when someone genuinely reaches out and touches us in some way, we are often sparked with a new energy that makes us feel fresh and alive. Like making a new friend, this connection helps us grow and evolve in the next stages of our lives. The vision of the moth flying away also gives me a feeling of liberation and transcendence. Just like a butterfly, moths go through the process of metamorphosis—a process that we as humans may go through as well. A beautiful haiku. This haiku is one of my all-time favorites.

Jacob Salzer (USA)

Hifsa and Jacob have brought up great points in terms of meaning and substance. I’ll take a look at the more technical aspects of this haiku.

One can say the kigo of this haiku is summer. Traditionally in Japan, moths are a seasonal reference for summer. That may not be the case in Seattle, Washington where this poem was written though. However, as this poet’s son and growing up in Seattle, I can say that moths do come out quite a bit in the summer in the Pacific Northwest.

But the second half of the haiku seems to relate more to spring, with the theme of resurrection, as Jacob pointed out. Moths come out in sizable numbers in spring in Seattle as well. So, “moth” as a seasonal word can relate to the content directly.

I also wanted to point out the sense of sound, with the powerful music of “o” in the first two lines and the lack of “o” in the last line. This creates a stronger sense of the starkness of the moment described.

As Hifsa said, my father focused a lot on brevity. With only seven words, every word counts and shines through. It is said that only geniuses can explain complicated concepts in simple terms. I think that is the art of the haiku poet.

A haiku that is at once mundane and supernatural, and melancholic and awe-inspiring.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

By Cozy Guru

Antonietta Losito’s Dandelion

I’m the breeze
that moves it

Antonietta Losito (Italy)
(published in The Heron’s Nest March 2020)

Dandelions symbolize the hope, wishful thinking, delicacy, fragility, and movement in life that we all need. Nothing is static in this world, and this particular haiku is a simple but precise explanation of that. The breeze is our way to deal with life and its various aspects, especially the ones that are delicate and demanding. It also reflects the meditative thoughts where one can let go of things like dandelions release their fluff.

Moving onto the third line, it is fantastically used by the poet. It shows the flow of life the way we see it, not the way it is. I loved the simplicity of this haiku that made it easy to connect with deep meanings of life. It’s a perfect combination of thoughts and actions that are glued by hope, delicacy, and the fragility of life.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This haiku gives me the impression that the poet is close to the dandelion, to the point where her breathing becomes its own wind current. At first, I saw the dandelion petals moving. But when I read “dandelion,” I also think of dandelion seeds. In this poem, I saw the poet making a wish and blowing away the dandelion seeds. Thus, I saw the poet’s breath carrying the hidden words of her wish. In turn, her wish and breath have spread the seeds for new dandelions to grow. So, there is a feeling of the poet giving new life and continuity.

To deeply add to this effect, the Spirit of the poet has literally become her own breath in “I’m the breeze.” Thus, this haiku seems to communicate that what is invisible is more important than what meets the eye. It also seems to signify how the Spirit of a person affects the physical world and how we see it. But I think there is much more than a cause-and-effect movement in this poem. I feel an unspeakable oneness as the poet’s invisible breath and Spirit has become one with the dandelion. To that end, this haiku could even signify it is the last breath the poet takes in their lifetime and that even as the poet passes away, her Spirit lives on in nature. I feel her personal breath and Spirit (the individual soul or in Sanskrit, Jiva) has become the wind itself, which is universal and a symbol for the Universal Spirit (Shiva).

In addition, in these times of climate change and uncertainty, this poem reminds us of the significant impacts we have on Mother Earth. If a single human breath can move a dandelion or blow away dandelion seeds, how much of a greater impact do we have collectively on Mother Earth in so many ways. I sincerely hope this haiku will inspire us to take better care of the Earth and each other.

I feel this haiku expresses a union between the human Spirit and the Spirit of the Earth, between the individual soul and the universal Spirit. Ultimately, I feel it inspires respect and compassion. A powerful, transformative haiku.   

Jacob Salzer (USA)

I also echo what Hifsa and Jacob said: there are many interpretations and meanings for the word “breeze” here. I think that speaks to the strength of this haiku. Commonly, the power of a haiku can be gauged by its layers of resonance and its impact through these layers.

In terms of the sound, I feel the letter “e” is most significant in the haiku. You can sense the motion of the dandelion seeds through the reading of the “e”s. Looking at the structure, the haiku is set in a standard English-language haiku format of a short first line with punctuation, a longer second line, and a short last line. Finally, the season this haiku references seems to be spring and that reflects well in the narrator being the breeze.

A well-written haiku that seems simple on the surface but offers a spiritual meaning.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

Irina Te