Wings gliding past arc,
high above Mogollon Rim:
raven and rainbow.
Hard fingers rise up,
trying to grasp soft colors
as the rainbow fades.
Seek ends of rainbows.
You will not find them? Okay.
The quest is enough.
§: Notes and Credits
While there are zillions of fine photos of rainbows, the images used here are in an elite group. (Wish they were mine.) The rainbow does not just coexist with whatever else is in the scene; it works with the other elements and lifts a good image to greatness.
Subsection headings below are also links to pages with more detail.
§§: Harvey Stearn’s Photo of Raven and Rainbow
Click on the link above if U have any interest at all in how dramatic skies can contribute to landscape photos. No interest? Click anyway and U will soon have one. The photo I used comes near the end in a long series of splendid examples.
I first saw this photo as a standout among standouts in a collection curated by Mitch Teemley, whose blog has many great collections alongside funny and/or insightful original content. The idea of a haiku with what became the last line of Arizona Sky came to mind quickly, but writing other lines I liked took longer. Much longer.
§§: Randy Olson’s Photo of Termite Mound and Rainbow
I wrote No Pots of Gold and later found this splendid photo to illustrate it (and inspire some haibun prose). The photo proved to be a gift that keeps on giving; it inspired Out of Reach.
§§: Naturalism in Haiku
Rainbows are one kind of spectrum. There are many other series rather like the somewhat quantitative R-O-Y-G-B-I-V of rainbows, and sometimes it helps to think of those spectra as rainbows. Two examples follow.
This post’s series of haiku exemplifies the spectrum of naturalism in haiku. Like Arizona Sky, many haiku are specific descriptions of a momentary observation. Like No Pots of Gold, some are toward the other extreme: general expressions of attitudes toward life, with at most a metaphorical reference to nature. Out of Reach is in between.
There is also a spectrum of compliance with the 5-7-5 rule, which is revered by some and reviled by others. Like most of my own haiku, the ones in this post comply. Tho I do respect the 5-7-5 rule, I also wrote a haiku that goes 3-2-5 and a haiku with just 2 lines. No apologies.
subject matter and nuances of form,
for haiku or any other kind of art.
Let the rainbows glow.
2 thoughts on “Rainbow Zen”
Of your poems here, that last is my favorite.
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Mine too. Don’t tell anybody who is a purist about naturalism in haiku. 😉