This month’s Haiku Pea podcast is a special on the theme of childhood. I had sent in a few haiku, and two were chosen to be read during the episode.
The soft-shell crab is not a special breed;
it is an ordinary crab that has moulted its old exoskeleton.
It does this periodically.
its way out of its old support,
which lacks the elasticity
to stretch and fit its maturing body.
This shedding process is critical;
getting stuck means death.
When removed from its wet habitat
before a new shell has formed
and hardened, the soft-shell crab
stays weak and vulnerable.
Some would say, at their best:
or easy pickings for lazy predators,
impatient, greedy, big eyes
on stalks and gaping mouths.
The soft-shell crab is an ordinary crab
that did not get a fair chance
at rebuilding a proper support.
To Emily Mae Stokes; to the child citizen within us all:
You must exercise your right to observe without judgement
and find in every other the source of sincerity.
Use your senses to feel the road. Use your faculties
to capture every day. Every sweet instant is followed by something other.
So, put down your false reflective screens.
You must commit to loving with such a clarity
that even the graceless are pulled out of their muddle.
(This poem was written as a homage and response to Emily Mae Stokes’s If you do not rebel by loving, you will find yourself painting the wrong portrait published in Nimrod Vol. 61, Nr. 2.)
Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash
The police thought a male perp more suitable;
while Juana helped countless old ladies to the world below,
their hopes, dreams, motives forever inscrutable.
Jane’s method was highly pharmaceutical;
experiments on patients in her care were thorough.
Never saw her coming – morbidly beautiful.
The acculturated brain doesn’t see exogenous cells under cuticle;
Oksana’s mimicry of real emotion steals the show,
while her hopes, dreams, motives remain inscrutable.
Did Belle get away with desires so brutal?
Her corps was never found in the fire, you know!
Won’t see her coming – morbidly beautiful.
Manipulative, conscience-free, smart and lethal:
La Mataviejitas, Jolly Jane, Villanelle, Hell’s Belle. Although,
with your hopes, dreams, motives ever inscrutable,
you don’t even fear her coming – morbidly beautiful.
Photo by Max Hofstetter on Unsplash