It’s as if he plays
harmonica, the raccoon
with an ear of maize.



(From his poem “News Headlines from the Homer Noble Farm” published in Moy Sand and Gravel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002)

3 Responses

  1. Alan Summers Says:

    It’s as if he plays
    harmonica, the raccoon
    with an ear of maize.


    I wish I had seen this for real!

    Excellent haiku, and it's rare, but a delight to see simple visual punctuation such as the comma, inside the structure: As it's rare to see in contemporary haiku.


    How to Keep Raccoons From Eating Corn
    By Kenneth Coppens,
    eHow Contributor

    Raccoons will not hesitate to eat corn right off of a stalk if they feel it is safe to do so. This can be extremely frustrating if you grow your own corn. Fortunately, you can easily take care of raccoon problems without the need for traps, expensive fences, or chemical sprays. With the combination of a few simple tasks, your corn crop will be free of raccoons and most other types of pests.



    Sprinkle cayenne pepper along the edges of your corn rows. The spicy smell will turn the raccoons away as soon as they smell it.


    Place a rag in a bowl. Fill the bowl half-full with ammonia and put it near the corn crop. For maximum effectiveness, put an ammonia bowl on each corner of the crop. The strong smell repels raccoons and other pests.


    Grow pole beans or squash between the rows of corn. If the crop seems cluttered, the raccoons will be much less likely to attempt to walk through it.


    Place a radio by your corn crop and let it play throughout the night. The noise will make raccoons think that humans are around, which will deter them from coming near your corn.

    A wonderful zoom in of an animal, very natural history, with a touch of whimsy with the harmonica, but based on the fact an ear of ripe corn being eaten on the stalk, must have looked the animal was playing an instrument.

    And of course there are other layers with this, we can think of the Deep South in the USA, and other layers which I'll let other readers discover for themselves.

    warmest regards,


  2. Gisele LeBlanc Says:

    Ah those mischievous little critters! Wonderfully captured moment. :)

  3. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    As a fan of blues music I love this image of a harmonica-playing raccoon – a wonderful poem from Paul Muldoon that has made me smile. I have just had a look at his earlier 'chipmunk' one and it is equally delightful.


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