In the time before dawn the sky is another country, all purple and windy, with a strand of pink haze wrapped around the horizon, embracing the morning star, snuffing out her beauty like a candle tilting in the bruised wind;
the gulls write their story across the snow clouds, their crying captures a word- juggler
in time’s lonely aspect
sustaining her in the warp and weft of the storm. The poet planned an epic tale, woven out of the fugue state of winter
sent by the devils of the night,
but her meager notes mention only that the sky is still another country, all purple and windy, even after dawn.
Kigo, or Japanese season words, are an integral part of classic haiku. However, a season word, in my opinion, can only have meaning, if it relates to a natural phenomenon in the area in which the poet lives. For instance, I know about nowaki, a typhoon-like windstorm that can flatten a field, from reading about it. But I’ve never lived it.
The autumn storm that I do know in my bones is called a hurricane. These fierce weather systems, born in the Atlantic Ocean, can cause much damage from high winds and tides lashing the shores along the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean and , of course, they bring heavy rain too. They always leave a swath of mortally wounded trees, damage to the fragile coastline and lost lives and property.
In years past, before satellite weather and radar, these storms roared in from the mid Atlantic, often with little warning. The trees always stood their ground for better or worse. All the fishermen and sailors could do when they sensed a change in the atmosphere, was run.