fetching firewood
i open the door
to moonlight

Janice M. Bostok
(1942 – 2011)


This simple homely scene contains a moment of revelation. Moving from inside to out, the poet is met with moonlight. There is a transition from the ordinary domestic sphere where many of us spend much of our time, into the larger more universal arena of nature. Opening the door carries symbolic value, a threshold between the ordinary and everyday into the extraordinary and eternal.

There is great beauty in the suggestion of two kinds of light: the warm glow of fire and the cooler glow of moonlight. Accompanying these two kinds of light we might imagine two kinds of shadows: those that dance around the room with the orange glow of flames and those outside, almost motionless in moonlight (one does detect a calm sense of stillness here). This encounter with moonlight may be thought of as a reminder, unstated and perhaps unconscious, of the deeper reality in which we reside. The line i open the door might also indicate an element of choice, a deliberate act of communing with universal nature or is this meeting a discovery, an unexpected gift?

We are planning to feature a number of Janice’s haiku over the coming months. In the meantime do enjoy some of her other poems here. In the poet’s words – “I hope you are enjoying my haiku world, my home. Continue to browse, share the writings I offer, enjoy some thoughtful conversation, perhaps. Refresh the body and mind — and when it’s time to leave, promise you’ll come back and visit with me another day.” Janice Bostok

Published: First Australian Haiku Anthology, ed. Janice M. Bostok & John Bird, 1999

Selection and comments by Simon Hanson

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