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Anger from Below: Haiku and Commentary

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.


Anger from below

explodes in red, hot fury

from a seething Earth.


The dark clouds gather

before the wary storm’s eye

and its friend, chaos.


Poseidon’s revenge

rolls across the boiling ocean,

smashing onto land.


The furies of life

make themselves known in this place.

Nothing holds them back.

But, before the blast

an innocent one looks up

and peace is restored.

The furies subside

---as the baby reveals ---

through his impish smile.

Allegory in Haiku

There are several misconceptions pertaining to haiku. One of them has to do with its theme and literal description of nature. While many haiku will revolve around the natural world, others merely use nature as a literary devise to symbolize deeply personal struggles or joy.

Issa, one of the foremost masters of Japanese haiku and haibun, wrote many such poems that alluded to his life. Revelation and tribulation can be found in his brief descriptions of falling leaves or blossoming flowers. In fact -- as many of his haibuns revealed -- he lamented the loss of his children or wives. .

Metaphorical poems incorporating the haiku format has found its way into western literature, as well. Noted American poet, Langston Hughes, wrote many of his poems as haiku sequences. They were highly metaphorical and, in many cases, veered away from the natural world.

Today, poets in western world will write haiku, tanka or haiku sequences on nearly every subject available (some, however, can be considered the parody-driven style known as senryu).

Inspiration for Disasters: Parent Visitation

Part of the task of being a foster parent (or a foster-to-adopt parent) is that you have to do visitation with the biological parents. Often, the parents are down on their luck or are either too young or too financially insecure to raise a child. Also, there’s always the possibility that placement of the child in a foster home is temporary. Either the parents improve their allotment in life and are now capable of taking care of their biological child, or the child ends up being adopted by someone else.

In other cases, the parents are not fit to be raise a child. And when this happens, court-mandated visitations can be dicey and extremely stressful. In part, a foster parent must act as supervisor during these visitation. Some parents don't take to kindly to someone outside their biological family telling them what to do during these meetings.

Many of these parents want their children back. Who wouldn’t? However, they don’t take the steps to do so. The don't treat their substance abuse or take mandated parenting courses. These are actions the judge presiding in these cases are looking for.

Sometimes, the problem is personal. They rarely interact with the child or try to get the foster parent to do all the diaper changes and feeding and disregarding other duties parents often accept and understand as being of parenting. Other times they inexplicably cut the visitation time short, sometimes leaving without saying good-bye to their child. Too many times, I’ve had a mother or father look at the clock, place the child in my hand and head out the door or public area (we’re advised to always meet in public areas). In, at least one case, the parent didn’t even kiss or say anything the child before leaving.

These parents are frustrating, and are enough to make you want to explode like a volcano or react like a tsunami. Natural disasters, in my case, best symbolizes my contempt for them.

But, what keeps me from doing so is the child I’m raising. When he or she looks up at you with innocent eyes, smiles and calls you daddy, you forget all that negativity and come to the realization that the real task at hand is to raise them, no matter what the situation happens to be.

Other Haiku Sequence Poem from Author

© 2013 Dean Traylor

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