cactus haiku

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2020


                                    Succulent, moisture-
                            bearing hope in barren lands;
                                    barbs barring access


                                    Sharp and vexatious
                          and shunning an embrace from
                                       doting admirers


                                         Silver filament
                             stitching up the cactus arms...
                                    stabbing like needles


                                          Delicately she
                         points heavenward with fierceness
                                      in her spiny grasp

                                         Liz McFadzean

Haruo Shirane writes that one of the characteristics of the traditional haiku is “a kireji, or cutting word, [that] typically appears at the end of one of the verse's three phrases…Depending on which cutting word is chosen, and its position within the verse, it may briefly cut the stream of thought, suggesting a parallel between the preceding and following phrases, or it may provide a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure.”

In English, poets sometimes use punctuation to create such a juxtaposition.

It might be fun and interesting for you to try to find the “cutting word” or punctuation marks that I have tried to employ in each of these cactus haiku.