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Rosalyn Carroll


Drama in the round,
Roses, far and wide abound.
Shakespeare would be proud.

This haiku is one of my earlier pieces. Soon after reading about Thornden Park's famous rose gardens, I learned that the park was inaugurating a Shakespeare-in-the-Park program. I love rose gardens and have always had a deep affection for Shakespeare. The idea of Thornden Park's rose gardens, coupled with the Renaissance man, sparked my inspiration for this haiku.

Haiku has always been of interest to me and I enjoy its challenging format. I've written poetry since high school, but about four years ago, I thought it would be fun to submit a few haiku in the annual New Times Syr-Haiku Contest. When one of my haiku placed third, I was hooked! Now I find myself always at work on a haiku, constantly jotting down ideas, particularly when I go walking. I find that nature and the outdoors, history and events going on around me ignite my imagination!

Snow is falling thick,
Covering me with white lace,
I've wed my shovel.

Our family moved to the Syracuse area in 1996. My husband was doing a lot of traveling back then, while I was here taking care of our new home and our two young boys. I came to learn that Syracuse winters could be brutal what with lake effect snow, howling winds and endless days of grey skies. In fact, the first few winters here, it seemed like my husband was always traveling when Syracuse was hit with a snow storm!

We did not own a snow blower at the time, so it fell upon my shoulders to shovel us out. The year I wrote this Haiku was especially snowy…and I was shoveling a lot!! With my husband out of town so often that year, my shovel became my next best friend!

Canal weeds shimmy
up to the surface as sun
fish play hide and seek

I wrote this haiku in the Fall of 2014. It’s one of many haiku I’ve written while walking or riding my bicycle along the Old Erie Canal Trail. For me, the Canal paths running through DeWitt, Minoa and Kirkville, offer many opportunities for peaceful reflection, a peek at history, a chance to be inspired—all the while getting a good workout!

My inspiration often comes from watching and listening to the busy hum of traffic of the diverse wildlife who call the Erie and its widewaters their home. Depending on the season, or the slant of the sun when it sparkles at the water’s edge, catching the flash of Sunfish darting through the Canal’s murky depths, never fails to surprise me.

Our Farmers' Market
Straddles summer into fall
With luscious bounties

I am always inspired by the change of seasons. That’s where a lot of my haiku come from. This one I wrote in 2010, towards the end of what was an especially beautiful and bountiful summer.

I’ve always loved little roadside farm stands that dot the countryside. I enjoy stopping by to see what earthly delight might await me there or at the farmers’ markets that sprout up in village squares all around Syracuse during the summer. It’s a pleasant surprise to see the seamless transitions at these farm stands as the seasons change—when all kinds of berries and delicate, young greens welcome spring, while cherries and zucchini herald in summer. And, of course, there’s the first telltale sign that fall is coming when fresh, sweet corn, apples and pumpkins make their appearance.

This haiku also seeks to wake a sense of pride in, and gratitude for, the simple unassuming beauty that’s found on the shelves at every farmers’ market—that we are so fortunate to have a wealth of fruit and vegetables that come from the earth, and thankful, too, for the folks that till the fields and share their bounty.


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