bushland hush . . .
the simple stringiness
of stringy barks

Jan Dobb


This haiku presents a simple picture of an Australian bush landscape, though within this simplicity lies a deeper resonance at the heart of the bush itself.
The lulling effect of stillness is enhanced in line one by the sibilance of the sh sounds and the effective use of assonance in bushland hush . . . The ellipsis help to create a feeling of expectancy as if waiting for something to happen – possibly rain?
The alliterative second line, the simple stringiness, leads the reader to thoughts of texture and the visual imagery of dangling strands of bark. The last line, of stringy barks, further emphasises these effects and also adds to a feeling of peace and serenity.
The repetition contained in ‘stringy’ and ‘stringiness’ appealed to me and led me to visualise this aspect of these type of trees standing straight and still deep in the forest.
The image here is of the simple spirit of the bush including its ability to change suddenly. The poet’s skilled utilisation of visual, textural and aural imagery creates a deep and resounding effect.

Haiku first published: Kokako # 28, 2018

Selection and commentary by Virginia Bird

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