Haiku, well, an English version of Haiku, and other tiny poems are what I do when I missed my chance at a photo. Didn’t have the camera, couldn’t get to it fast enough, couldn’t get the right angle, lost the light, or sometimes an intentional miss. Yes. I have moments when a scene strikes me as so perfect, I don’t want to miss even a nanosecond of it or be distracted from it, or have a filter of a phone or camera intrude. I hope my memory serves me on this and I believe it does. I recall a set of boulders weathered and peeling like onions, swirls of magenta, blue-gray. I was on the back of the Moto Guzzi Spada. We were on our way to Texas in 1982. Although I like riding solo, two up on that bike was a thrill and it provided me with free hands and attention to snap photos all the way down on my, still favorite camera ever, trusty Olympus OM-1. I had a super fast lens on it. Anyway. There was something about the field of these boulders, I knew I could not capture with a photo. So I looked at them as long as I could. Thirty-eight years later I still remember them vividly. If I had the talent, I could paint them from memory and do them justice. Instead, I preserve the memories in my head, but also, sometimes, I use words to preserve the feeling a scene gave me.
Giant onion stones Peeling, swirling in the sun Magenta red, blue
It often doesn’t take much to trigger the feeling, the visual memory. Sometimes all it takes is seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven, and five.