Recently, I ran into a cab driver who was a haiku poet.
He read me his haiku about Girls’ Day dolls sitting in the darkness where the fragrance of peach blossoms was wafting.
He also said his best poems are the ones he thought were duds while those he thought came out well were never very good.
During our conversation, he also talked about how he gave gifts to his most loyal customers, who called him to pick them up all the time, including stained glass works his wife made.
His wife taught stained glass, and she could fix works her students left behind, saving on costs for those gifts.
I asked him to compose haiku then-and-there with the words, “stained glass.”
He told me that even though “stained glass” in Japanese (su-te-n-do-gu-ra-su) is a phrase composed of seven syllables, you can make haiku that’s seven-seven-five, not just five-seven-five, so that “stained glass” could be the first, or the second, line.
You learn something everyday, especially from cab drivers.
But he said groaning he couldn’t think of haiku on stained glass offhand.
He felt shy, he confessed, about writing haiku whose subject matter involved his wife.
I told him to please come up with one until we meet again.
I have yet to run into him, but meanwhile I have written haiku inspired by stained glass!
nudging color into light
my wife’s fingers
hikari wo someru
tsuma no yubi