Saturday, December 3, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxxvii

white picket fence
the plump smoothness
of the prickly pear

9 April 2003

Hee. I *knew* you were going to make this pedantic point, and I almost included an explanation with the haiku.

You do not disappoint.

Anyway, that "plump smoothness" is the whole haiku. It caught my eye and insisted that I write this haiku.

It's the end of the rainy season (or close to it; we have another storm coming this weekend). Like most succulents, the prickly pear inflates itself with water during the rainy season. In Arizona, overwatered saguaros sometimes explode like water balloons. During the dry season, the succulent uses the water, shrinking in the process. Many succulents have corrugated skin to accommodate this yearly expansion and contraction.

Anyway, this particular prickly pear (which has not flowered yet this spring, and so has no fruits) has stuffed itself so full of water that its spines have disappeared. The prickly pear is plump and smooth and succulent.

So, I like the image of the prickly pear so fat with water that its spines have disappeared. I also like the fact that the very plumpness of the prickly pear pinpoints the season.

The picket fence was serendipitous.

If the prickly pear should explode, I promise to write another haiku about it.

white picket fence
the prickly pear so fat
that it has no prickles

I like the first one better.

9 April 2003

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