night driving
in the rain  in the bush
in myself

Katherine Raine


The imagery and evocative nature of this haiku drew me on the first reading. There is a simplicity of language yet powerful undertone created through the words; night driving, rain and bush. A sense of man alone – the first European settlers in New Zealand often found the landscape desolate and forbidding. Isolation is also hinted in the space left between phrases in line two.

The unforeseen turn in the last line moves the reader from looking out to looking within. Repetition of three ‘ins’, adds to the strength of in myself. There is an assurance all is well. The driver is alone but not alone. A sense of calm pervades despite the fact this road may be deserted. There could have been a sense of foreboding, instead there’s a quiet centering within. And from this a beauty and inner strength grows drawing the reader deeper into the journey through each successive reading.

Haiku first published: After the Cyclone, New Zealand Poetry Anthology 2017. NZPS International Poetry Competition 2017, 2nd place.

Selection and commentary by Jenny Fraser, New Zealand

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