IX. Haiku in the Big City  -- Gary Gach (ggach@path.net)
the following selection -on and of "senryu" - is
excerpted from a forthcoming,  illustrated book
ADVENTURES IN HAIKULAND for younger readers of all
ages.  - for DOGWOOD BLOSSOM subscribers' advance
read.  // the actual senryu are  by a number of
authors, and acknowledgments will occur in the actual
book.  //  (note: if you are one of the authors and
you haven't received a Release Form, please  contact
me immediately; thanks! ) // questions, comments
gary (gar2) (ggach@path.net)
The voice of nature is everywhere.  In the city you
have only to listen a little harder  sometimes.
Instead of wolves howling, or waterfalls, there's car-
roar, or the sound of  a refrigerator ... part of the
life of this place in which we are living.
                The red sun
              reflected in the square
                of the tv.
        Neons flash red & green.
April rains on still street.  Man
   Nods.  Red lights blink, blink.
                        After April rain
                        -in puddles of oil
                        city rainbows
        The whole block flooded.
        Men hauling pumps & hoses;
        children, plastic boats.
                        A great freight truck
                                        lit up like a town
                        through the dark stony desert.
Sure as there's nature in the city, human nature
leaves traces and cuts tracks in  nature.  So haiku
can express not only nature, but human nature too.
[The name for  this kind of haiku is "senryu" (say
Putting human nature in e foreground and nature in the
background, everyone can  see something of universal
human nature in themselves or the world around.
                What kind of person
                   would put a price
                       on orchids ...
Here too anything can happen - and usually does.
                    Old men drive
                  slowly backwards
                in Safeway parking lots
Some haiku are like watercolors  -  senryu can be more
like snapshots, like this:
                     Second before
                the next sneeze, waiting ...
                    what a funny face !
                      A soap opera :
                passions wrenching the heart
                     of a woman viewer.
As well as linking up things to things, they can link
up other people.  Person-to- person.
                      The dentist,
                finding his work difficult,
                   opens his mouth, too~
Haiku can be seen in forests, on mountains, near
rivers ... or from diners, lobbies,  bus-windows.  The
street, the garage, around the house, or around town.
Wherever  you find them.
                        His serious face looks
                           around, looking for
                        something he can't see
        dog paws backseat floor
         to dig an escape tunnel,
        driven to the vet
                My hands are tools
               that build the world
                but I am just a speck
                        faces on the bus,
                        in hardcovers & paperbacks
                The housepainters
                        using such short brushes
                to make the job last.
        Not saying a word,
                the house is the wife's.
                        "What's this for?"
                        says the carpenter
                        as he saws it off.

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