I wrote a LOT of haiku/senryu while hiking the AT in Maine in late summer 2002, on bits of folded paper as I walked. I transcribed them in chronological order on two 8 1/2 x 11 pads, probably 200+ in total. It's VERY hard to choose out 'best' or 'most representative' and each one calls up the memory of its creation (though not necessarily the precise locale). So here I am, setting out to go through and choose out some that Kate might find especially useful to ... ?illustrate the map? Or is it that I can save her time by narrowing the torrent a bit? And on what basis?
One of the axes of creation is a cleverness/wit dimension, and I'm unsure whether to suppress or feature that indulgence. Likewise, the obscurities of more than a few need some explanation if they're to be understood --or should I just shut up and let the reader find whatever?
anyway, I'll go through and transcribe a subset, starting with the Katahdin series from early August 2002
A series:cascading order rill brook stream branch and main stem seeking the level builders of stone steps earn merit as each climber toils up and leaps down count ten thousand steps pride in accomplishment: only a four mile journey transcendental pool Henry David Thoreau drank and then descended ice placed the boulders torrents smooth rocks in streambeds stone on stone grinds sand paradisical blueberries scent of balsam wind across the lake blessed hobblebush caught at my ankle and held while an eft escaped moss seems so patient dissolving its grey substrate life green on cold rock red squirrels and chipmunks have a taste for hemlock cones fragments on a rock do roots feel anything about hikers' feet? perhaps tripping's fine revenge sighted a cow moose upon her own occasions more graceful than I esker and moraine memory of ice to be and ice long melted no picturebook trees each has distinct imbalance its own history human time wants life to dance its measure: ice time has a slower gait blueberry season puddle of spoor on the trail incontinent bear up Boardman Mountain an insignificant bump but how my heart pounds ascending Whitecap in rising sun, anxiously counting hours to dusk dance of steep descent each step strategically placed strict contingencies is it that the stones are mute, or is their discourse below our threshold? enough of these rocks I want an effortless path and the end in view poles scratch parallels in soft grey slate, numbering those who have gone by evaporative cooling is what you get if you just keep moving yearling maple shoot two tender leaves outspread such promise such risk two year maple shoot more leaves more stems greater hope a moose's breakfast the longest ascent may not be the hardest one but I'm hoping so rising from the lake dual wake of floatplane's track disappears from view canted rocks are risks and angular momentum may not be your friend what held together all the things that fell apart in ductape's absence? you can hear jake brakes long before you sight the road from deep in the woods was Basho's road smooth from inn to inn or were there many roots and stones? 'ursine' barely says how Bruin's gait and bearing shambles and grizzles same river again step in it at your peril water has moved on blackberries ripen green to red and then to jet in an August week particolor'd leaves harbingers of season's change just a few today blueberries fewer than a week ago; smaller am I ungrateful? rock as dorsal fin lithic leviathan sleeps below the surface a wind from the west clears away the summer haze whispering autumn gravitas is what poised rocks are filled with before seeking depths below trees grow and rocks split what more do you want to know? winter comes and goes do stones hope to grow into boulders and mountains? sand a surer fate caresser, cleaver polisher, tumbler, shifter water over rock red trillium red advertising red seed red red edible red left ten thousand years glacial erratic awaits opportunity eventually rocks poised for flight will descend nowhere else to go what a strategy seeds packed in bright-colored pod wait to be eaten crossing an esker finger of sand left behind by an icy hand early departure leaf and branch shining with dew mist rising in sun the goal of it all? just to keep moving forward eyes and ears open blue seen through the trees suggests the summit is near breathe more easily a step, then a slip a palpable snap and pain limping, regretting Basho sought balance curling his toes around stones at river crossings Caratunk fleshpots entice through hikers to sin: dawdle and delay Basho's stick left marks tracing the way of his path rain washed them away rockhopper's cadence is the art of equipoise: where to put each foot gravity's promise: eventually downward into the valley club moss gathering heads nod: agreed agenda stay here, keep growing leaves dry and shrivel sun-catching done for the year born again in spring cloven hoof in muck guess the weight of its maker hope it's just a moose East Carry Pond: feet in clear water, on a rock paradisical above the treeline walk carefully step lightly absorb the marvel one maple branch aflame among all the green soon more will follow days are shorter now hobblebush leaves' progression droop, dry, wilt and curl jaunty bunchberry like cherries on Grandma's hat defying winter breathe in the present taste and savor its essence you may find its words gaze across the lake misty far shore horizon expect a loon's call some buried acorns forgotten by their hoarders will burst forth next spring enveloped in cloud the mountainside echoes with silence of owl's wings red fanfaronade orange drumroll yellow flags autumn marches forth the last mile in Maine how fitting that it's up, up test for knees and will
and one last:well, I could explain each cast has clear origin in mind, eye and ear would explaining help? these are what I saw, and said puzzles to others others may puzzle sometimes struck by an image sometimes too Delphic petite enigmas and personal imagery rarely public: good read multiple ways some perhaps not intended lexical prisms
haiku bind my words netsuke harness cords and belts just decoration?