still day…
a dry leaf breaks free
from the sycamore


5 Responses

  1. harrisfr Says:

    Intense. The leaf turns the page.

  2. haikuapprentice Says:

    This is a powerful poem by Frank Williams, one which well repaid the rereading and pondering throughout the day.

    Sycamore of course is a particular tree conjuring a very precise image, as I have watched the fall of the leaves and especially the seeds of a sycamore in my garden countless times over the years. But what I particularly love about this poem is how it invokes in me a complex religious and spiritual reaction. Sycamore is a tree with Biblical connotations, and was specifically mentioned as the tree from which the disciple Judas suicided after betraying Jesus. So I feel encouraged to imagine the dry leaf breaking free could become an ambiguous analog of my own loss of faith, breaking from religion, and discovering with amazement a sense of intellectual freedom.

    Then I ponder again the 2 syllable trochee of the opening line, which I believe has been made deliberately jarring: "still day…" Obviously the phrase can be read as a straightforward physical description – cleverly rendered as a palpable experience by the ellipsis. But I also read it as a spiritual exhortation – that one does not actually descend into darkness or spiritual or moral night by abandoning religion. One discovers – perhaps to one's own surprise – that it is still day, still light, and indeed still beautiful.

    Thank you for publishing this thoughtful and thought-provoking work.


  3. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Lovely. It's almost like the leaf tears itself from the tree to enjoy the remains of daylight. :)

  4. Alan Summers Says:

    still day…
    a dry leaf breaks free
    from the sycamore

    An exemplary example of a haiku straight from nature but with added layers to reward the reader.

    warmest regards,


  5. Ellen Grace Olinger Says:

    I can see this – autumn again.

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