7 28 2014 salvia buds 1

Linked to Carpe Diem Utabukuro (which means ‘poem bag’).  The idea of this first-ever prompt is to share a haiku you admire, explain why you admire the haiku, and then write a haiku inspired by it.   

The following haiku is actually the hokku in a renga sequence written by Bonchō and Bashō, and it speaks to me today:

Ichinaka wa / mono no nioi ya / natsu no tsuki

Amid the city
what a smell of things!
The summer moon

(Tr. Peipei Qiu, Bashō and the Dao)

The haiku is deceptively simple.  It involves scent – but it allows you to imagine what the city smells like.  And – there is a tremendous juxtaposition between the complex and (possibly not so beautiful) city and the simple, pure beauty of the summer moon.  

moon branches phone lines 3a

My response:

night trucker
in a swirl of exhaust –
one sycamore, pale


11 thoughts on “night trucker

  1. A fine choice for the Utabukuro – and reading that haiku now (which I’m sure I’ve read before), it strikes me that specifying the ‘summer’ moon serves to make all those smells more vivid, as the city heat gets cloying in the night.

    In your own haiku, the word ‘exhaust’ seems particularly resonant – perhaps applying to the sycamore? or even the trucker working through the night? Nicely composed 🙂


    • Ah…. I hadn’t thought of “exhaust” as applying to the trucker … but given my friend’s experience (used to work night shifts) it is especially meaningful now. Hmmm…. inadvertent, but nice! 🙂

      Thanks so much, Blake 🙂


  2. This is awesome – lovely idea – inspired – the form – and yes, your responses – really amazing.

    I love the idea of how you worked the image of city pollution and it’s contrary scent and sense compared with the smell of a tree – perhaps living in the scene itself.

    Really awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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