On clear, quiet nights
pinpoints in a slate black sky
universe peeks in
Muscles strain today,
push forward, move beastly load
‘round the carousel
Sunset, here again—
color streaks red, orange, purple,
yields again to black
These poems may be read together or in isolation. A haiku is a short form of poetry that originated in Japan. Traditionally, the poem contains seventeen syllables, divided into three lines, with five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables, respectively, and focuses thematically in nature.
The form, like most poetic forms, has been stretched outside these traditions over the years. It should, though, say much with little. In addition, a common element of haiku is juxtaposition, combining or shifting between two ideas that may be ambiguous or contradictory.
Here, all three of the above haiku build from the idea of a cyclical world. The first juxtaposes a quiet night with the appearance of an entire universe. The second moves between the idea of big effort and that of a stationary carousel's grounded movement. Finally, the third places the bright colors of a sunset in the context of the inevitable blackness that follows, while at the same time hinting that the color returns as inevitably as the black.