He’s not easy to shop for. He never wants anything. Or rather, everything he wants he has. When he does feel a need for some consumer product — some electronic components from Radio Shack, say, or a new mechanical pencil — he takes his own money and bikes to the store and buys it. Even his computer he saved up for on his own: didn’t spend any of his allowance or Christmas or birthday money for five years.
What do you do with a kid like that? I try to imagine what he might want if money were no object. And then wish that it weren’t.
for b.a.o. born 9/6/1994
o-matsuri no akai dedachi no tombo kana
dressed in red,
off to the festival
— Issa, translated by Robert Hass
Yes, that is my front door. Yes, that is a red dragonfly door knocker next to it. Yes, I do have a perfectly functional doorbell. And a door to knock on. But if you ever come to my house you must use the red dragonfly door knocker that my sister gave me for my birthday, because otherwise how will I know that there is a haiku enthusiast standing outside?
I’m leaving my house and my door knocker today to go to Seattle for Haiku North America. Will try to report back at intervals. Stay tuned.
no match for
the fox’s red
in the red wheelbarrow
1. a red wheelbarrow this time there’s no significance
2. that last shriveled orange those last two drops of juice
3. he never trusted yellow until he tasted lemonade
4. asking for green and being given an uncertain shade of blue
5. there will always be more blue than anything else
6. the indigo pods that shake in the autumn wind beetles dying
7. trying to revive her the child holds violets to her nose
red T-shirt on the line
from now on
I’ll pay attention