electric storm

lightning flash
across the flat in puddles
a toad orgy

I really did witness a cane toad orgy one time. There were at least a hundred on the flats outside our home at Taemas (North Queensland), They were all jumping on each other. Some were five deep. They really didn’t look like they knew male from female.

lightning flash
the looming shapes
of trees

storm night
the charge of lightning
through my hackles

Mother and the dog
both tremble

These poems are inspired by a poem by Masaoka Shiki quoted (in a slightly different form at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

lightning flash
through forest trees
a glimpse of water    (Shiki)

By the way…

Shiki is an amazing figure in the history of haiku. He modernised haiku at a time when it had become just clever word-play, puns and satire.

Among other things, he advocated for and used the technique of shasei or “sketch from life”, with open and natural writing that made minute observations of his surroundings, and created emotion in his work by manipulating and juxtaposing the images he found.

Swatting Mosquitoes
blood stains
on the war tale I’m reading

(Shiki translated by Watson)

It was Shiki who established the term ‘haiku’ for the 5-7-5 stand-alone poem. Prior to him it was called hokku and haikai but he rejected these terms because those terms had been used for centuries in the context of linked verse, renku.

7 thoughts on “electric storm

  1. Superb post, B! Wish I could have watched the toad orgy, too! But I would probably have tried to join in, also……….and would surely have CROAKED! *hehe*

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