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A Hundred Gourds 2:1 December 2012
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M. Kettner's 'raining'


by Tzetzka Ilieva


raining . . .
a can of paint
holds open the door

M. Kettner

I chose this haiku from The Haiku Anthology, edited by Cor Van Den Heuvel. In my opinion all the poems in that book are worth reading and rereading, but there was something about M. Kettner’s haiku that grabbed my attention.

“Raining” is a simple, ordinary beginning. I can hear the drops, see the water, and it sends me into one of those days when nothing special happens and all my plans are put on hold while waiting for the rain to stop.

But then the second line, “a can of paint,” catches my attention. The gray moves to make way for more exciting colors.

What is special about that can? Is it open or closed? If it were me, I wouldn’t leave a can of paint open, so I move closer to see the writing on the lid. Is there a brush in a tray beside it, a rag underneath?

I can imagine anything that I want: the room that I’m painting, the color on the wall. I can see the wall: half old, half new. My hand moves with the rhythm of the rain tapping on the roof. A rain that washes, cleans, and renews.

“Holds open the door” always makes me smile. Open for what? Is it to let in the sound of the rain? Or is to let out the smell of paint? I’d like to think it’s both.

The above is one of the scenes I imagine. The other one is of two people. They are painting, listening to the rain and perhaps some soft music. They maybe take a break from painting, open a bottle of wine and have a dance around the room . . . Who knows?

On the surface it’s a simple haiku, but when I explore the scene inside my head and ponder over the possibilities of what else is going on I feel a lot of depth and emotion.

Thank you, M. Kettner.


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