Brian Johnston

Gold Star - 15,037 Points (Jan.20,1943 / Oklahoma)

Ph: Physics: Mooku: Haikus On The Moon - Poem by Brian Johnston

1. Lunar Perspective #1

month long day and night
also sees earth wax and wane
no season penchant

2. Lunar Perspective #2

moon's sun mimics earth's
earth pirouettes on star stage
sun's smile Cheshire Cat

3. Lunar Perspective #3

moon turns once per month
lunar tides dictate strangeness
heat loss froze moon's face

4. Lunar Perspective #4

one quarter earth's size
creation's spring, born of fire,
runt of the litter

5. Lunar Perspective #5

moon is problem child
with no tilt seasons languish
haiku redefined?

6. Lunar Perspective #6

evolution's fall -
dangerous precession tamed
by earth's sibling's mass

7. Lunar Perspective #7

eggs have their season
star dust life defying odds -
sister of mercy

8. Lunar Perspective #8

seasons change in sky
rain a distant memory
blue moon poet's blues

9. Lunar Perspectives #9

boy/girl in earthlight
cratered love finds its season
waxing blue planet

Topic(s) of this poem: life, moon, science

Form: Haiku

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Brian Johnston
November 30.2015

Poet's Notes:
As I learn more about writing haiku and hear practitioners speak of snapshots of experience/nature and concrete images the more restricted I feel. This poem looks at haiku from an unusual perspective. Almost no one has any experience with really seeing things on the moon, but with science we can imagine concrete images and snapshots that are at least as real as any we see on earth. The paradox of this for future haiku writers is amazing I think. One is tempted to ask if any truly concrete images actually exist. Is the mind's eye as good as our own? Is what we see with our eyes any more real than what we imagine at times?

Is language even possible that is not emotional and could objectivity be a farce? An eskimo for example has 40 different words for 'snow' it is said. How could an eskimo's haiku that used this word ever be translated accurately without resorting to poetic devices such as simile, metaphor, rhyme and anthropomorphism?

Stay tuned for other developments or share your insights with the rest of us.

Cliff notes (for the curious) :
I have written a poetic version of what it would be like to live on the moon, what you would see there. Of course no one lives there now so these poems need to use mentally reconstructed images of what life would be like if you did live there. So the point of this poem is to ridicule the idea that haiku have to be concrete images or photographs of anything. Traditional haiku people are going to love this I'm sure!

Stanza 1 basically tells you that if you were living on the moon, then one day there would be the equivalent of 30 earth days... you would have 15 earth days of light and 15 earth days of darkness. And if you could see the earth where you are on the lunar surface you would see it going through phases just like how we see the moon go through phases here on earth. However, unlike the earth the moon has no seasons at all. This is also a jab at traditional haiku rules that require a nature reference in every haiku and consider seasons like we have here on earth to be a part of nature. Well seasons may be part of nature on earth but on the moon they are not part of nature at all. Can you believe I say all of this in just 17 syllables?

Stanza 2 contrasts the behavior of the sun as seen from the moon with how the earth behaves which is much different. Basically it takes 15 days from the time that the sun rises on the moon until the time that it sets. But the earth simply stands still in the same place in the sky all the time, i.e., for the whole number of earth days that it takes the sun to rise, set and rise again. The earth never rises and sets for a person that lives in one place on the moon. But in fact as the earth goes through its moon like phases, we do see the earth revolving once every 24 hours while occupying the same sky. The real weirdness though is that since the moon has no atmosphere, there is no extended sunrise or sunset. Instead the day begins and ends instantly like the Cheshire cat's smile. So this explains the 2nd haiku! Ha!

Comments about Ph: Physics: Mooku: Haikus On The Moon by Brian Johnston

  • Paul Brookes (12/1/2015 2:30:00 AM)

    I loved this set of haiku of the moon in all her phases Great stuff Ejoyed (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Poem Edited: Monday, June 13, 2016

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