the early dark
the leaves turn lighter
and lighter

—Rich Magahiz

About the author: Rich Magahiz
Dumont, NJ
Email: rmagahiz at
Webpage: click here

Rich notes that haiku "come close to constituting my native tongue."


Responses to the haiku for 3 April 2003 by Rich Magahiz

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-03 08:36:56

    upo first reading, i felt as thogh i was doing a revrsal of time. then i read it again, and then one more time for efect. i couldn't make the conection.
    (forgive my typos, for this was the result of improper lighting as i tried to type my comment)

    "the early dark", i understood.
    "the leaves turn lighter", i understood, however i couldn't make the connection.
    "and lighter", i understood, and there's this connection to the second line.

    perhaps, just perhaps, a synonym to lighter would have done a better job.
    i am thinking the author wants "lighter" to be representative of dimmer and dimmer.

    i am hearing snickering, "bob's light has gone out, though it burned dim at first".

    due to lack of light
    hearing one's name called"

    rich, can you extend a helping hand, shedding some light on what's within this piece.

    Rich Magahiz (rmagahiz at yahoo dot com)
    2003-04-03 14:20:19


    Like some of my other haiku, there are several different meanings floating in parallel here. Perhaps some of them work for you and others don't, that's up to the reader to decide.

    early dark could be read as being not only dusk, but also dawn (it is both early and still halfway dark). Both meanings can make sense depending on how you read the rest of the poem.

    the leaves turn lighter both because of the daylight and also because they are sprouting from the bud.

    and lighter could refer not only to hue, but to the weight, as they come out of the densely compacted buds and spring out into the air.

    In fact, the idea for the haiku first came to me in mid-autumn in the woods, and the picture was of leaves drying up (turning lighter) and yellowing (turning lighter in the other sense). So that's a possible way to picture the poem too.


    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-03 16:56:11

    thanks rich
    in that light it does makes sense.
    in looking back, with your explanations being held up to the light, it all fell into place.
    now, it has become a lighter load for my mind to handle.
    in light of things, life does spring from early dawn, while lying down at the coming dusk.
    keep your style, for it intrigues me, something definitely different, and definitely worthwhile.

    from a distance

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-03 17:23:21

    it's me again.
    as i hit my return key, to send my second comment flying, there was something nagging at my mind.
    your first explanation was "plausible".
    forgive me for being persistent, but something still didn't seem right.

    call it a little voice that grabs me, when i am too agreeable.

    first line
    first line
    first line

    "the early dark"

    here we go.

    "early": in or during the "first" part of...,
    near the beginning ..., occurring before the usual or appointed time..., occurring in the near future.

    i really don't think "the early dark" is going to be allowed to pass for just before dawn. early dark has to be "just a little before dusk".

    all in all, a nice piece, if we focus on the remainder of your explanation.

    ask dft to strike from the records your initial

    finally dust to dust"

    have you thought about, "dark, while still early", mind you just a suggestion

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-03 17:29:14

    guess who...

    one more tiny suggestion:

    case in point:

    early, dark...
    the leaves turned brighter
    and brighter

    as you said, "whatever works for one"

    Richard Magahiz
    2003-04-03 19:57:22


    No, I think the original version is better.

    Try not to think so hard about the meaning but work with the poem.


    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-03 23:20:17

    i am trying not to "think so hard", but for lack of punctuation(s), the aforementioned "meaning" still stands. left in it's original state, i have to begin thinking, even more so, concluding, "that sounds funny".

    to me "the early dark is dusk. it never dawned on me to read more into your words.
    "early, dark" emphasizes it's possibly the beginning of the day, while still being dark.

    somethings are simply obvious. the addition or omission of punctuations makes the meaning crystal clear, without having to assume, and in this case something is unintentionally created.

    for one to work with the "poem", there is a certain meaning that can't be denied, unless one is willing to change the line structure.

    as said before, one might want to stay with the seasonal point.

    point in case:

    ice cold
    ice, cold

    surely, you see the difference.

    working with the piece, an accurate presentation and an accurate understanding is in order.

    2003-04-04 00:04:51

    This is a marvelous presentation, well done!

    Helga Härle
    2003-04-04 05:01:20

    Living in Sweden, this poem immediately obvious to me and yet a striking "aha!" - adding something new to an everyear experience, simply by viewing it through the beatiful magnifying glass of your haiku! Thereby adding an associaton also to life cycle and the contrasts inherent in existence...with darkness and lightness like a rotating yin-yang sign...
    and I love the choice of "light" - not bright, the "br" with to consonants is much to hard...

    so please don't change a syllable in this great

    only thing I could complain about is that I didn't come up with it...


    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-04 06:25:45

    helga, be careful, what one wishes for.

    "great", don't think so.

    "marvelous", don't think so.

    different, yes, especially with it's accompanying exposition traveling with it.

    all literary pieces are not so privileged. all great pieces stand unassisted, unsolicited ahs springing forth from the viewers; not needing an interpreter, for the language is not foreign.

    it is an imaginative piece, but it leaves one's brain with somewhat of an out of cranium experience.

    one can play with words, but there are "still" certain rules one need to follow, if not, you get gibberish.

    left without the author's explanation, more questions would have come forth, and continually would have arisen.

    helga, if you "had come up with this piece", my critique would still have been the same, followed by "helga, what did you have in mind".

    deborah, "well done", i begin to wonder, if overcooked and over seasoned would suffice...

    so nice, point-counterpoint.

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-04-04 09:05:56

    Thank you. I have noticed this with flowers in pastel colors. Helga, I'm named for my Swedish grandmother, Elin. Good to hear from everyone everywhere.

    helga härle
    2003-04-04 15:45:27

    Hi Bob

    were in my comment did you actually find the word "marvelous"?? Some things seem really to be in the mind of the viewer...called Bob...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-04 19:33:11

    psst, helga, though i started off addressing you, somewhere my words trailed off to another.
    forgive me for misleading you. i am guilty of doing what i have admonished richard for.
    i was of the frame of mind, others would have seen i was referring to deborah, though your name was the first one mentioned.
    i feel as though i have company in the things i have been accuse of having exist only within my mind.
    before continuing, allow me to be clearer, nope, did not, wasn't the case, accused wrongly, wasn't me who found the word "marvelous" in your comments, helga, so on this i am in agreement with you.
    once again, some things can be assumed and somethings can't be assumed, thanks helga for providing proof on the short comings of trying to read too much into another's words.

    helga, might i say...
    helga i like the way you thought my name, typed my name, certainly uttered my name and (smile) even wronged my name.

    and helga, no, i am not enflamed.

    2003-04-09 18:45:10

    Sigh. More pigeons.

    Nice poem though.

    W.E.G. (the_renga_master at hotmail dot com)
    2003-09-04 17:48:02

    to Rich Magahiz: 03s4, i liked your haiku but i expect some people would not like it because it moves slowly. I do not really like the first 'the'. Otherwise it is a great observation. I think i noticed this years ago but with stones instead of leaves.
    early dark /the leaves turn lighter/ and lighter.
    Did you want to say what kind of leaves? All told i identify with it.

    john tiong chunghoo
    2004-01-07 10:44:28

    hello and goodbye
    beside the morning glory
    yesterday's withered bloom

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-05 20:31:57

    the late light(twilight)
    my thoughts turn darker
    and darker