Haiku #7

Haiku number seven out of seven haikus on hope. This is the end people 😦

At night, cacti bloom
pink to oppressive shadow.
Color to the black.

This haiku actually works pretty well. It’s got the 5, 7, 5 syllables, it’s got varied punctuation, it’s nature focused, has no human elements, and contains no figurative language. (Other than perhaps the “oppressive shadow” phrase. A little figurative there. And if you want to get technical, there is the hope symbolism I talk about below, but that’s mostly my interpretation.)

As far as a seasonal reference goes…I’m not an expert on what is truly considered a kigo in traditional haikus. I know things like the moon can be considered references for autumn. And snow is a clear reference to winter. But what about blossoms on a cactus?

In the name of bending the rules (because this is poetry, for goodness sake, and what are poetry rules if not fuzzy gray boundaries?), I think cacti blossoms indicate springtime. So yay, seasonal reference here.

*round of applause I incidentally did most of the things to create a traditional haiku before knowing how to create a traditional haiku*

On to specifics about this haiku. Like why I’m intrigued by the word “bloom.”

But first. Let’s talk about imagery. This poem is very much dark, black, sharp–and abruptly pink. Colorful pink. In my head, I used this as a comparison to hope. Maybe, hope isn’t always light versus dark, the bright sun drowning out the night. Maybe hope is merely color in an otherwise dark place. I can have hope in the small things; a pretty flower on a dangerous cactus.

Something about cacti (especially the cacti in a stereotypical rains-once-a-year, sand-and-rocks kind of desert) is that when they flower, they flower at night. It makes sense for the cactus to pull in their water-leaking petals during the heat of the day, and open them during the cool of night. Keeps water from evaporating into the air so easily.

The point being, cacti bloom at night time. Metaphorically, night time represents the difficulties of life, struggles and sickness and sadness. Meaning that, amidst the night, I can have hope in the small things, a pretty flower on a dangerous cactus. That flower wouldn’t be there without the cactus. Or without the night.

In order to find color and beauty, sometimes I have to experience the sharp, the dark, the dreary and angry. Cacti bloom to oppressive shadow, color blooms in the black. It’s utterly contradictory. It’s utterly beautiful.

I guess the other option is taking a helping of neither. But I’ve found that I like the flowers.


Well that’s quite enough of me getting all deep and symbolic. It’s been fun.

And if you’re still wondering why I like the word “bloom,” well, it’s partially because it’s so similar to “boom.” Comic book explosion, bombs going off, like, Boom, take that you mad baboon (nothing personal against baboons). Bloom is like boom, all explosions and finality, but at the same time all soft and slow and graceful. Ink blooming through water. Petals blooming to the moon. Bloom.

Next week I’m going to post a short story. The beginning of one. I hope you like it. Adios!

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