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International Women’s Haiku Festival: Two Haiku by John Hawkhead

#Haiku Happenings #9: Jennifer Hambrick presents two haiku by John Hawkhead for the International Women’s Haiku Festival!

Ronnie Robertson - moonlightPhoto: Ronnie Robertson/Creative Commons/Flickr

Vivid imagery and brilliant understatement are at work in British poet John Hawkhead’s “Spring moon” and “ink of night” haiku.

Aided by the white light of the moon – that feminine celestial presence – the poetic speaker goes beyond viewing the implied aftereffects of a woman’s lumpectomy or mastectomy and “explores” the “trail” these scars have left on her body. Against the backdrop of spring – the season of renewal and freshness – the chiaroscuro of the moon’s spotlight beaming through dark of night surrounds the telltale signs of a deadly disease. Hawkhead’s “Spring moon” is imbued with life and death, light and darkness. It is a snapshot of the cycle of life itself, every moment at once new and dying.

Spring moon
I explore the lustrous trail
of her breast scars


This poem’s opening line – not the typical “dark of night,” but…

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