running downhill 
       I fall through 
       the autumn sky 

—Kala Ramesh

Appeared in Roadrunner May 2007 Issue VII:2

About the author: Kala Ramesh is a performing vocalist in Indian Classical music. Coming from an extremely artistic and culturally rich South Indian family, Kala believes -- as her father is fond of saying -- that "the soil has to be fertile for the plant to bloom" and feels that she owes this poetic streak in her to her mother. A proud mother of two young adults, Kala lives with her husband in Pune, India.

Responses to the haiku for 17 October 2007 by Kala Ramesh

    2007-10-17 05:39:59

    Kala, simply grand!
    Such plausible Interpretations here, and mine... a stage of life.

    stumble over stumble's steps
    the startled rabbit's muse

    mike farley
    2007-10-17 06:57:02

    dark sky . . .
    flashes of orange
    in a paper lantern

    Don Acol
    2007-10-17 10:35:57

    Beautiful. It's a ku with a shutter speed eye that captured the moment of Kala's autumn sky.

    mike farley
    2007-10-17 16:36:25

    autumn sky . . .
    between licks
    he wags me a whiff of skunk

    kala ramesh
    2007-10-17 17:39:25

    I look forward to your comments!
    And I love your two liner

    Mike your paper lantern is lovely!
    Thanks for passing by...

    I was touched by your comment...a very unusual one!!
    Thanks a ton.

    I got your whiff again!


    2007-10-17 21:27:58

    Great. captures the quality of many childhood dreams.

    2007-10-17 22:40:26

    This one was just delightful. It has the very free feeling of something a child might write.

    There are so many different ways to 'read' it. Is it a literal fall or a metaphorical fall, for example.

    Collin Barber
    2007-10-17 22:57:57


    I remember this one. So great to read it again here. I agree with the above comment by gK. Good one!


    kala ramesh
    2007-10-18 04:42:49

    gK - you are most generous.
    Thank you so much.

    Thanks for your response.
    I feel good!


    judith Ingram
    2007-10-18 07:56:19

    Kala . . . beautiful ! So visual and "feely" The world is rushing by and the wind is pinking my cheeks. I am "full ahead and out of control" in such a lovely way. Judith

    2007-10-18 09:56:59

    Yes, this one's a beauty, Kala...
    congratulations, again!

    kala ramesh
    2007-10-18 11:10:13

    Hi Judith,

    Your prose is more poetic than my haiku!
    Thanks so much for this enthusiastic comment.
    I loved every word...

    Thanks so much. I value your comments and they mean a lot to me.


    josh wikoff
    2007-10-18 14:34:15


    I feel this one in my stomach. Well done!


    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-10-18 18:50:02

    first frost
    uphill struggle--
    comes indian summer

    Alan Summers
    2007-10-22 03:49:44

    Gorgeous. A hint of Ban'ya there I think? ;-)

    kala ramesh
    2007-10-22 07:24:40

    Thanks Josh!
    I like your observation of feeling it in your stomach!

    Thanks a ton!

    I'm happy you liked it!

    Well. Curiosity got the better of me, I went online and read Ban'ya!!!
    Can't say I agree with your observation tho'??!!


    mike farley
    2007-10-27 14:12:33

    autumn breeze . . .
    goslings run spread-eagled
    toward the pond

    kala ramesh
    2007-10-27 19:16:17


    Thank you so much.

    autumn breeze . . .
    goslings run spread-eagled
    toward the pond

    Beautiful Mike.
    What imagery.


    2007-10-29 03:32:05

    Hi Kala,

    For some reason it reminded me of one of his haiku, which I've tracked down. ;-)

    Shoved off the stairs–
    I become a rainbow

    A Future Waterfall, Redmoon Press, ISBN 1-893959-04-X

    kala ramesh
    2007-10-29 19:29:03

    Thanks Alan!

    Beautiful one, but mine is more concrete? It's what I experienced while coming down the hill

    Shoved off the stairs–
    I become a rainbow

    This is more poetic I guess, but lovely all the same!!
    That word "falling" joins the two poems in the reader's mind!!!
    It's a mystery how haiku works in our minds!!


    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-10-29 21:25:04

    kala, your words ring true; albeit most ignore, or never get to experience the mystic in life, preferring, though for some reason deferring comes to mind, to accept only the tangible world. times the question i ask, how many others share our thoughts though there's no communication to speak of...
    those professing zen should completely understand; yet, in their haste, fall short of an accusation!

    2007-10-30 04:55:01

    It's the falling aspect I like.

    Your's is both concrete, literal yet lyrical, quite a feat in such a small poem as a haiku. ;-)

    Ban'ya's haiku would be better read in the original Japanese, yet I like the translation version.

    The rainbow could be both literal (bundle/rainbow of clothes) and lyrical.

    I'd love to see them both in an anthology!

    kala ramesh
    2007-11-03 05:40:51


    I agree with you totally here!And you've expressed the intangible so well...the mind is too powerful and we hardly use a fraction of it, the experts say!

    The psyche, the essential nature of man is far too elusive to pin it down to something concrete, but still man tries his best to get into a cage, a prison with higher and higher walls!

    If only we learn to let go naturally... ha!

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-11-05 07:45:22

    alan, a translation used different words than the author. attempts to state the author's exact thoughts, too often leads to errors. ex., author's usage of idioms or compressed thoughts into a single word. does this justify expansion for clear understanding. today's stress on sentence sequential logic leaves us flailing; which isn't solved by learning the language-
    my autumn

    kala ramesh
    2007-11-05 08:19:59

    Hi Alan,

    You write:
    "Yours is both concrete, literal yet lyrical, quite a feat in such a small poem as a haiku. ;-)"

    Thanks a ton!

    Bob, Once again agree with you, that an effective translation is a transcreation, and go more by the feelings of the poem than by actual words, and with haiku being such a compressed art form, I guess it's not easy to do full justice while translating?