school garden
sunflower bowing
under a crow's weight

—River Malcolm

About the author: River Malcolm is a family therapist living on Orcas Island in Washington state. Although she has written poetry for almost fifty years, she fell in love with haiku as a daily practice this past summer.


Responses to the haiku for 3 August 2005 by River Malcolm

    lee evans
    2005-08-03 14:35:22

    i seem to be missing something here. we have the school garden,
    the sunflower, and the crow. is there something significant
    within this triad? sorry, but this haiku seems to lack the
    aha moment.

    Anne Schmidt
    2005-08-04 06:09:51

    Too many of today's haiku exhibit this three line, too loosely connected structure. Haiku should, instead, represent create an intensely tight image and idea-- the AHA!

    Ed Schwellenbach
    2005-08-04 08:53:57

    Dear Lee and Anne, have you ever thought of yourselves as crows?

    bobby michael richardson
    2005-08-04 11:02:54

    ed s.
    you're too funny

    Anne Schmidt
    2005-08-04 15:12:47

    Ed, My first response was to be offended at your direct attack on my (and Lee's) person. On reflection, I realize that I should be proud to have hit a nerve on only my second comment on the haiku I have read.

    Anne Schmidt
    2005-08-04 15:16:55

    And Yes, Ed, there are days when we all are crows, weighting down our world. Yet it accepts us and bounces back.

    One white rose
    weighted by the morning fog
    late October

    bobby michael richardson
    2005-08-04 15:45:57

    nice comeback, anne --

    but i wonder if ed's words were meant to be offensive, rather, perchance, his thoughts ran along the same stream as your second and third response; albeit for lack of substance, he allowed you to think the worst from a multitude of conceivable human reactions

    as once stated somewhere, put yourself in the crow's shoes""

    ""indeed, there are days and days we, all, are crows""

    though it's the heart of summer --
    wall of fog
    heighten my views"

    lawrence williams
    2005-08-04 16:21:04

    actually, lee and anne's remarks were quite refreshing. no one has ever improved
    their art by virtue of meaningless
    patronization. no poem regardless of
    length is ever finished. i think lee and
    anne were providing constructive
    criticism. thanks to both!

    on a snow covered field

    bobby michael richardson
    2005-08-05 01:45:43

    of late, there seems to be this loss for words; and yet, as the saying goes, wo heads are better than one"".
    allow me to expand upon this, ""no, three, four, ever so many more"".

    these comments show some meaningful spirit.

    within your words, ""(meaningless patronizing) and no poem regardless of length is ever finished"" provide an insight, (i feel), so many fail to comprehend.
    ""criticism"", in general, succeeds in making the haiku even stronger."

    bobby michael richardson
    2005-08-05 01:52:03

    upon closer inspection, you should see there's more to river's haiku than a school, a flower, and a crow; the aha"" is in the interaction."

    Ed Schwellenbach
    2005-08-05 08:33:28

    Dear all,
    I believe in constructive criticism. Operative word is constructive. But even with all this criticism and discussion, the poem hasn't changed. Our understanding of it has ... hopefully. A quote of Thomas Carlye has some application. The tradegy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss."" It seems to me that when we judge too quickly, we miss much."

    levon machenry
    2005-08-05 15:45:01

    when i read this haiku, i see it
    as an allegory. the garden is
    the classroom, the sunflower is
    a student ( or students ) and the
    crow is a mean 'ol school marm,
    who's carrying a whole lot of
    toxic baggage, or weight,"" that's
    crushing the life out of the
    student / students. the poem works

    after school
    we learn the art
    of moonshine"

    john tiong chunghoo
    2005-08-06 00:14:00

    rose garden
    after the rain
    a bed of wetdreams

    2009-04-11 13:45:33

    somethings are meant to be permanent; however, the time has changed...


    spring rain lingers
    in the media room--
    "blade runner's" haunting tune