a butterfly on the hand
of sumo master
This delightful poem truly fits the spirit of the Hexapod Haiku Challenge by expertly mixing elements of spring, insects, and Japanese culture in a compact story that caught us just a little bit off guard. Our interpretations yielded two scenarios with opposing emotional outcomes:
- Like the month of March this haiku surges at us like a lion with breezy, almost combative spring air. Line 2 reverses course and with lamb-like serenity delivers to us the gentle, calming image of a butterfly on one’s hand. Line 3 introduces our guardian angel, the oyakata (or perhaps some wise and powerful yokozuna), who applied his years of training to effortlessly rein in the chaos around us. We are reassured by the quietude of the transition. Perhaps it was simply the untamed earth’s adoration and respect for the sumo master that ceased the winds…
- The peaceful scene painted by lines 1 and 2 – the soft, warm zephyr of spring transports a tame butterfly to some gentle soul’s hand – lulls us into complacency. We’re consumed with the euphoria of spring fever…until line 3 jolts us awake with the realization that our lepidopterous friend has found the hand of a leviathan fresh off the jarring activities of the dohyō. We pause. What comes next? Will he squish it?
Congratulations to our grand prize winner! And thanks to all the poets who submitted haiku this year.