low-flying cloud...
the retired airman clips
his topiary swan

—Helen Buckingham

First published: Chrysanthemum #1, April 2007(translated into German by Dietmar Tauchner).

About the author: Born in London, 1960. Now lives in Bristol in the south-west of England. Her haiku have appeared in Acorn, Frogpond, Mainichi Daily News, Mayfly, Modern Haiku, Roadrunner, Snapshots and The Heron's Nest among others, and last year featured in A New Resonance 5: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku (Red Moon Press). Her work has been placed in a number of competitions including, most recently: The Basho Festival Award and The Snapshot Press Calendar Competition.

hb007e6063 at blueyonder.co.uk


Responses to the haiku for 10 March 2008 by Helen Buckingham

    Magyar (magyar0109 at aol dot com)
    2008-03-10 06:15:22

    Helen, I see him clipping through the muse of memory:

    this artist flies
    in thought of the sky...
    a stranded bird

    Respectfully, _m

    2008-03-10 08:59:53

    low-flying cloud...
    the retired airman clips
    his topiary swan

    Despite the complexity of language and content, I can feel some sabi - a quiet, solitary beauty.

    Alan Summers
    2008-03-10 10:59:07

    Hi Helen!

    I echo josh's words.

    What I like is that after I have read the haiku it begins to resonate as I think of a retired airman no longer able to pilot a plane, albeit he can be a passenger.

    Perhaps also he wishes he could free the topiary swan too.

    Good to see your haiku on tinywords again! ;-)

    Reason A.
    2008-03-10 17:36:05

    I like it good use of the pun.

    Melissa Spurr
    2008-03-11 09:11:06


    This is so wonderfully layered. Motionless flight--you convey the notion of clipped wings and a nostalgia for taking to the air beautifully. Thank you for this.

    2008-03-11 14:53:42

    This gave me a smile, Helen,
    but there's also a sense of
    nostalgia...very nice!

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2008-03-12 03:20:01

    pterodactyl gliding
    this march dawn
    florida crane on thermal winds


    if i didn't know better--
    i'd swear i'd stepped back in time; seeing this majestic crane, with feature resembling something from prehistoric times, effortlessly gliding cross the morning bay


    thanks, helen, for firming up my sighting

    josh wikoff
    2008-03-12 08:16:18


    You may have begun a new branch of haiku evolution. Prehistori-ku.

    Neolithic thunder
    a moment of dim light
    on his brow


    2009-11-01 18:36:12

    the keeper

    "dawn, low-flying cloud--
    out of the thinning fog and back again
    pelican at big sur
    dreams of desert snowfall
    day moon alongside the fading sun
    indian summer this false spring
    black ants scurrying, all are in a hurry
    imagine a nuclear spring
    dusk, fallen midday moon leans against the fence--
    yellow grass"