desert wind
the potter's fingerprints
impressed on an ancient urn

—Allen McGill

Originally published in The Heron's Nest, Feb. 2003.

About the author: Allen McGill
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
aljons at

Originally from NYC, Allen lives, writes, acts and directs theatre in Mexico. His published fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, etc., have appeared in print as well as on line: NY Times, The Writer, Newsday, Retrozine, Laughter Loaf, Flashquake, Herons Nest, Cenotaph, TempsLibres, Autumn Leaves, Poetic Voices,Amaze-Cinquain, Bottle Rocket, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, World Haiku Review, many others.


Responses to the haiku for 22 July 2003 by Allen McGill

    Rosemary J. Gwaltney (mountainrecluse at yahoo dot com)
    2003-07-22 20:46:28

    This gives me such a clear vision and feeling. I especially like your juxtaposition of present/past. I feel a hot wind while I gaze upon the ancient fingerprints. The unique subject matter is a rare delight. Very, very enjoyable!

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-25 00:18:18

    i'll skip the first line for the time being.

    the second and third lines were truly unique, as
    rosemary pointed out, poignantly stating both past and present.

    for the life of me, i couldn't understand why
    allen would settle on the trite words "desert wind"; and i am looking at the archaic meaning of trite.

    he has allowed a rare moment, being captured, to fall among the common; even being cheated out of it's superior birth right, something others would reflect upon, time and time again.
    this haiku, yes, i am calling it a haiku, should have been the gem we rarely see.

    there are so many other creative words to suggest this scene having taking place in an arid region.

    and then...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-25 00:22:37

    why is it...

    too often, the writers fail to utilize their need to be focus, rather than submitting to their first thought or even not remembering how often certain words/phrases are used.

    i am reminded of something i once read:

    "almost anyone can learn to make decently readable haiku in no time at all. Just as anyone can learn to write a quatrain or sonnet. The problem remains: to be great, a poem must rise on its own merit, and too much haiku is merely haiku. Haiku written in American English and attempting to borrow traditional Japanese literacy devices usually ends up smelling of the bric-a-brac shop, all fragmentary dust and mold or cheap glitter coating the ordinary, or worse, the merely cute or contrived.

    in addition to...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-25 00:24:31

    in closing...

    Great haiku cuts both ways, sometimes witty or sarcastic, sometimes making Zen like demands for that most extraordinary consciousness, no-mind or ordinary mind.      
    Haiku should be approached with a daily sort of reverence, as we might approach an encounter with a great spiritual teacher. It is easy to imitate; it is difficult to attain. The more deeply the reader enters into the authentic experience of the poem, the more the poem reveals."

    john tiong chunghoo
    2003-12-31 22:01:41

    yes, very unique, Allen's haiku.

    old large urn
    echo of her aged footsteps
    in the spacious house

    ed markowski (1elmarko at comcast dot net)
    2004-02-01 21:48:24

    ghost town
    the factories
    we used to work in

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-29 04:38:56

    morning, summer shower
    dust streams --
    my thoughts remain the same