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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018
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Simon Wilson
Nottingham, UK


Clockwork Birds and Sausage Rolls

It is 6.30 am on Sunday morning. I have dropped my wife at work and driven out to the motorway services to pick my son up at the end of his shift. I am, as usual, half an hour early.

As I sit in my parked car, a middle-aged woman scurries across the car park, wearing a sheepskin jacket and pyjama trousers. She has a worried expression as she enters the main building.

silver web
behind my car door mirror
a spider lurks

Car parks and haiku share one obvious quality – the presence of crows. Crows are drawn to car parks by the availability of discarded food. Writers of haiku, I suspect, are drawn to crows because they are so widespread. If you want to write about nature sit and wait for a few minutes; a crow is bound to turn up. It also helps that they are only one syllable long. Magpies, ravens and jackdaws are also widespread, but they have a second syllable.

Pied wagtails seem to like the car park too. I count nine of them. Two of them pick at the ground next to the car. As they walk they wag their tails up and down like a clockwork toy. I make a mental note to check what they eat. Unlike most of my mental notes, this will not be forgotten.

The woman in pyjama trousers walks back to her car. She is looking happier now and clutching a sausage roll.

clockwork birds
eat broken insects
by cars

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