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Paul Goat Allen
Poet

 


Stained glass snowflakes fall
past the cathedral windows
gathering of souls

When I think of haiku, I think of the traditional form of Japanese poetry, and I think of nature and spirituality. Or not necessarily spirituality, but some type of transcendent experience. So I thought it would be interesting to mix nature with religion, or a religious symbol, such as a church with stained glass windows.

At first I thought of the Roman Catholic cathedral on Columbus Circle. But the visual image wasn’t specific to that church. And the more I thought about it, I thought it could be an interesting idea for an art student—in particular, the image of silent worshippers, and the snowflakes falling past a stained glass window. I just thought that was ripe for visual interpretation.

Winter is coming
wool socks and long underwear
the long sleep is near

Winter is so much more than a season to those who live in Syracuse. It’s a state of mind. This haiku reflects how many of us longtime Central New York residents prepare for the coldest season of the year, which—around here—can last from October to April! I start growing my winter beard in the fall and make sure that I have plenty of wool socks, long underwear, flannel shirts, and wood for the fireplace. So once the snow starts falling, and buries everything in white, I’m ready once again for the long sleep. Anyone who believes that humans can’t hibernate obviously has never lived in this part of the world.

 

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