amongst the graffiti
a tiny violet
clinging

Janice M. Bostok
(1942 – 2011)

blue-sky

Is this tiny violet just that; a flower clinging to life in a city environment, or perhaps someone, a person wanting to be heard, needing to belong.  How many stories there are amongst the graffiti, a flourishing art form, a way of expression, sometimes accepted, sometimes not.  How cautious one must be with interpretations, i make no claim to know, yet as with many great haiku, this one may be admired from different points of view.  As an observation of a tiny flower surviving in harsh surrounds, reminding us of life’s striving just to be, it is inspirational enough.  As a simple image, a tiny patch of purple on a grey wall, perhaps engulfed in other more florid, louder designs, it is visually appealing.  As a metaphor for a human story, a particular person, known or anonymous, striving to be heard, clinging . . . it is deeply touching.

Amongst the Graffiti, PostPress, Australia, 2003. Collected Haiku and Senryu 1972-2002

Selection & comments by Simon Hanson