asphalt & roses
on the still air --
June heat

—Ann K. Schwader

About the author: Ann K. Schwader, schwader at, lives & writes & gardens in Westminster, CO. More about her work (including haiku!) can be found at


Responses to the haiku for 24 June 2003 by Ann K. Schwader

    Todd Claus (todd dot claus at us dot army dot mil)
    2003-06-24 11:38:10

    Ann, this is great! You've captured the indescribable essence (did I really say that?) of the urban summer perfectly. It's the kind of thing that kids are aware of (but don't care about except that it means summer is in full swing) and adults are only vaguely aware of, if at all. My gut says the third line would be better as the first, but it's a way small nit on a fantastic haiku.

    paul m.
    2003-06-24 14:10:34

    a pretty picture, but not really more than that.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-06-24 21:22:01

    i wonder if this would classify me as being unsensitive. the proximity of asphalt and roses left me unmoved, truly both are kindred by summer, though to think of them both in the same thought just never ever happened to me.
    now it has happened, i am still left unmoved, however there is something wonderful about ann's words. perhaps, the making of another haiku from the one would generate two rare gems.
    if the air were still, what aromas would we perceive; hmmm, i ponder, what if an additional word or two leading in "still" might paint the perfect picture of the moment.

    case in point: in spite of still air...

    now i have gone this far, allow me to continue.

    on the still air --
    ushers june heat

    despite still air
    spices june heat

    all-in-all, i guess i am a romantic at heart, after all...

    Todd Claus
    2003-06-25 10:55:42

    It is a pretty picture, but it is also much more; which is what a good haiku should do.

    Good haiku offer a three-dimensional view that demands an emotional response from the reader.

    Haiku that merely shows the physical world, or tells the reader not to think beyond the described moment, forces attention away from the intended moment to the author without bringing any new understanding or beauty to the ordinariness of the situation.

    Haikus that only describe the corporeal are tedious and distract rather than enlighten. If they capture a single moment of time but fail to encapsulate ordinary human reaction in an original manner they bear no more resemblance to haiku than rhymes do sonnets. The particulars of place, person, culture, and custom should be heard and felt, but unless haiku illuminate the ordinary with meaning they aren’t any closer to art than journalism is.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-06-25 22:24:36

    full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    where is norman when you need him most.

    amazing the tirade of some.

    i was reading a critic by one kate washington. though she was referring to something else, her words can be use here to validate my point.

    "Nothing puts readers off quite so fast as reading something they don't understand, and ACADEMIC JARGON" can be particularly irritating.
    No field is so rife with jargon as the broad arena of literature (including comparative literature, drama, film studies, certain areas of gender studies, and the like)—especially literary theory. Come to think of it, even the name of the field—literary theory, critical theory, or, for those with a greater affection for the field, theory alone will do—is a sort of jargon. It tells you little about what the field actually is, and it's a misnomer.

    to be cont.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-06-25 22:26:47


    The theories referred to aren't particularly literary. They're really mushrooms that spring up in a fertile no-man's-land that lies between linguistics, philosophy, and literature.... "

    she expresses my point well....

    who was it that said, "after all is said and done an apple is still but an apple"; though some do mix apples and oranges, then expect you to say "we now have strawberries".

    Harvey G (Savear at cs dot com)
    2003-06-26 03:53:36

    Ann, Your 3 lines are so lovely. Please consider this rearrangement.

    June heat--
    On the still air,
    Roses and asphalt.

    John Tiong ChungHoo (Bagiruang at yahoo dot com)
    2003-12-18 02:55:23

    summer heat
    the birds'
    dry tone

    john tiong chunghoo
    2003-12-31 22:51:53

    moving to
    my door
    the bee

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-25 15:13:36

    summer sexual ritual
    fireflies flashing --
    no pickup line