Haiku for JNB


Along the river
You came with the summer sun
And thawed my winter

In Matsushima
You gazed at pine-clad islands
And sighed with Basho

You planted gum trees
For every family member
Some grew, some faltered

You shuddered at crows
Their cawings a foretolling
Of endings to come

You smiled and whispered
'I may be gone for some time'
Skin like polar ice

A red flowering gum
Is growing on your ashes
The brightness like you

Joan Grant headshotJoan Grant has retired as senior lecturer in contemporary Asia at Monash Asia Institute. She previously taught English and was on the Board of The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, has worked as book and acquisitions editor at various publishers, and has published books, articles, and poetry.

Topic tags: Poetry, Joan Grant



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Existing comments

Stunning . Great use of Haiku form. Worthy of Issa. Well done Joan
Richie | 10 June 2013

Technically superb, and very moving. Love the fusion of Japanese and Australian elements. I hope those gums are an environmentally judicious choice, but the combo of pine, island and brilliant red blossom is exquisite. The understatement if the quote is most poignant, with its many resonances. Thanks, Joan Grant.
Frances | 11 June 2013

A beautiful poem which made a stranger's day less strange. Thank you.
Peter Goers | 11 June 2013

Truly superb. Thanks.
Mary | 11 June 2013

Aah, Joan! Aah, Joan! Aah, Joan! How beautiful!
Jim KABLE | 11 June 2013


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