9 14 2014 holly 2

after the storm
razors of holly
darken the snow                              (4)

spar in the holly –
new year – old battle –                    (1)

despite the berries –
another day at the office
for the holly greens                        (2)

in garnets   
holly’s dressed to the nines –
showing off                                         (3)

how shameful!
holly winks at her boyfriend
down the street                                 (5)

 .9 14 2014 holly 2a


Linked to Carpe Diem #653Yuzuriha.  [Also called yuzuri-ha and hime-yuzuriha (Daphniphyllum macropodum).] Thanks, Chèvrefeuille, for telling us about this really interesting plant! 

I’m also experimenting a bit — yesterday at Heeding Haiku with HA we were asked “to write down a succession of haiku or tanka or both (5-10) and leave them for a while. After an hour or so, go and revisit them. Revise. And then, judge and make a choice to pick the haiku or tanka which you think provides the clearest image, which explores the moment in its truest form, and has come out to be the best representation of your creative process, and share that with us.”  It worked fairly well so I’ll try it again. 




Yuzuriha is a broad-leafed evergreen shrub native to China, Japan, and Korea.  Its appearance is similar to the rhododendron.  Its wood may be used to construct furniture.   Our host Chèvrefeuille tells us that it is dioecious – male and female structures appear on different plants – much like ginkgo, cannabis, willow, and holly.  (Dioecious comes from Greek:  “two households”.  Isn’t that neat?)   

Dave Creech (SFA Mast Arboretum, Nacogdoches, Texas) says the following about Yuzuriha:

“According to Satoshi Yamagushi in Matsuyama, Japan, Yuzuri-ha means that ‘the old leaf is replaced by a new leaf in the succeeding season.’ That is, to ‘take over’ or ‘take turn,’ with the old leaf dropping after the new leaf emerges, thus no interruption of the foliage.  Satoshi also noted that the new leaves give thanks to the old leaves for their kind nourishment during the winter.  In Japan, the plant is used as an ‘ornament for the new year to celebrate the good relationship of old and new generations.’” 





Here is a haiku about yuzuriha from Narayanan Raghunathan:

breeze folds sunlight
on the “yuzuriha” leaf –
twilight birds return

And here are two by Chèvrefeuille:

yuzuriha blooms
together with my kids and grandkids
picking the flowers

celebrating New Year
an Ikebana piece on the table
adoring its beauty


25 thoughts on “after the storm (haiku)

  1. Again this set shows your range really well (I must say I’m envious of how you can “riff” on a subject like this), from dark, to observational, to humorous.

    “Razors of holly” is another unsettling image and I like how the “storm” might be outside, and weather-based, or more personal.


    • Thanks Blake 🙂

      Starting out, ‘riffing’ was totally out of the question… But now it comes pretty easily. Rarely with more than one acceptable result though 😛

      Has been a lot of inner storm over the last few months – sadly – but such is life 😉

      Thanks for the kind encouragement 🙂


      • Well, these two posts certainly had more than one acceptable result 🙂

        Life can certainly be a stormy business, true enough, so here’s hoping you get to sail into some calm, soothing, crystal clear waters soon [with a hug]


        • Ah, thanks Blake! I needed the hug!
          Back at’cha! [hug!]

          Things have been slowly improving – more or less – but hey, that’s life, right? [She said, trying to be very positive.] 😉


        • Exactly! I’m gonna be happy even if it kills me! Naw, not that bad… But yes. Sort of like giving the darkness a good old fashioned Bronx Cheer. 😉


    • Yay! Most of the time everybody has a different opinion — so it’s great that we’re in agreement! 🙂

      Yes, it was a great prompt — a practice I hope to use more often in the future. It’s remarkable what comes out of it.

      Thanks for the kind compliments 🙂


  2. Love the series, Paloma…some made me smile and one made me laugh out loud…I like that HA explained how haiku evolves because you can write and rewrite and still find something new to change.


    • It certainly evolved over time, didn’t it? From sharp pointy holly leaves and fighting birds — to naughty girlies winking at their boyfriends o.O

      Glad you liked it 😀


  3. Beautiful..plus a bit spooky…I have a poem I wrote a while ago and scheduled for my blog which is posting tomorrow I think, and it’s called ‘After the Storm’ too, though a different take on the theme…synchonicity!! 🙂 🙂


    • Thanks Georgia 🙂
      HA’s post yesterday really helped — letting a series blossom and then seeing what happens from there. 🙂
      Glad you liked it. The last one was a bit silly — but — well — silly’s okay sometimes, right? 😉


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