Duck Sleeps

Duck sleeps
while rain wrinkles the pond;
clouded dream
punctuated by thunder.

Comments: In 2002, I worked at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which at the time was called the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. The garden remains high on my list of PDX’s many treasures.

While manning the ticket booth and interacting with visitors, I came up with a few poems, as you do. This is the only one that has remained unchanged since I first penned it.

On a side note, even though it doesn’t fit the traditional haiku forms (either 5-7-5 or 3-5-3 on/morae/syllables and often using a kiru or kireji “cutting word”), I think of it as a haiku, insofar as it is short, condensed, a standalone image, and it operates on a principle similar to the kireji/cutting words, if I understand them correctly. Meaning that there is a juxtaposition of images that suggests a link between the two and opens the way to figuration and meaning-making. And even the acknowledged haiku masters didn’t always follow the format to the letter.

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