When you see the first Arum Lily in Cape Town you know Spring is on its way …

It always surprises though, how early it peeks through the cold of July … barely a month, if that, after the Winter Solstice.

On the embankment of the Blue Route Freeway, heading south, to the left after Lady’s Mile, there are a handful of Arum Lily spots: doing their seasonal alert duty, showing white as the Sun gives them the nod …

The sky above empties itself of grey cloud and is awash in a blue of infinity, out of which the breath of a breeze, from the south of course …

A moment, of realization, of acknowledgment, and haiku, is a way to capture it:


out of the blue a breath of breeze


A simple one liner of two juxtaposed statements that let you, the reader, absorb it as you wish, visualizing the blue and feeling its breath …

Along with the emergence of Spring, the warmer showers of rain, no longer the wet winter chill drops they were; we happen to have ended up with a new puppy in the unexpected sequences of Life:


Spring rain the wet of puppy paws


She is a beauty this puppy, dark chocolate brown, white belly, white paws … even if wet.

So I was sitting in our lounge, the lace curtains on my side, the sliding door opens out onto a patio that is dense in its free will of trees, branches and leaves … and scattered potpourri from the last rain …

The shade filters through the tinted windows in a specific way, and it is a seasonal moment, this penumbra, I have sensed it at the same time before, last year, sitting in the same spot …


Gogyohka Lace

through the lace
the penumbra
silhouettes of trees and leaves
in the sunshine
silence flickers


Gogyohka is a five-line Japanese micro poem, there is no expectation of e.g. syllable-like counts, just the simple rule that each line break is a natural pause.

The line break is indeed interpreted as a natural pause, so when you read, you should pause at the end of each line, regardless …

The effect is impressionistic, causing an instance of singular focus on the line just read, its impression.

Unlike tanka there is no need to effect ‘turn’ in L4 and L5 … but sometimes a gogyohka turns out as a tanka by coincidence – if you suspend pause reading … :)

Of all the poetry constructs, this gogyohka form really grabs me, if the moment is too beautiful and begs to be somehow poetically ‘photographed’ then it is gogyohka time.

It was quiet outside, silent, and the silhouettes were flickering … Spring moved through my fingers and penned itself, if ‘automatic writing’ exists then surely this was its psychic manifestation … ?

A flash, expressed in a handful or two of seconds … ?

Instant gratification … and re-reading it a few times I left it unedited.

Leaning back, I caught the glint of the last direct sunlight on the hard rocks of Lakeside mountain, beneath that blue, exquisitely empty sky … instant two-line haiku material:


beneath the blue
the last sunlight on the hard rocks


When the Universe is speaking to you, and you occasionally happen to be listening, do as it says …


Copyright Gabri Rigotti 2016



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