how the rain sings
in the gutter –
journey into dark

Margaret Fensom

blue-sky

Selection and comments by Lynette Arden

Rain, how significant to human life, indeed to all life. For those who live in a state with a long dry season, the sound of rain becomes a welcome song.

This haiku gains much from the sense of mystery it generates, echoing the journey taken by all living things into the unknown.

The poet uses a short movie technique, so we experience one sensory image after another, starting with sound. We are left with a journey that has not finished, ‘into dark’, and can make of the conclusion what we will. The bald statement ‘journey into dark’ hints not only at the journey of the water, but the journey from life to death, the journey of the imagination, and the journey of the environment towards an unknown future.

The haiku begins with an appreciative observation, ‘how the rain sings’. Our thoughts become focussed and imagination takes over. The sound of rain fills the senses. Rain sounds hiss outside the window, thunder on a tin roof, gurgle from a roof gutter into the downpipe, surge along street gutters, then dive through the collection grate on a ‘journey into dark’ leaving behind a tangle of leaves and debris.

Our thoughts follow the passage of the water into darkness. ‘Dark’ has an ominous undertone, a hint of danger. We imagine the rain following its journey into the unknown, towards a creek, a river and finally the ocean, or into the darkness of earth, where it will trigger seeds to sprout and the cycle of life to begin again.

Lynette Arden

First published: Haiku Bindii Journeys 2011