Teeth Marks

The following commentary appeared in Charlotte Digregorio’s essay, “Capturing the Moment through Evocative Haiku,” which appeared in Cantos #18, 2012, page 122. My poem originally appeared in Frogpond 18:3, Autumn 1995, page 25. Although I have never had a dog, I appreciate Charlotte’s perceptive reading, which supplies that wonderful interpretation. I have always felt that authenticity in haiku, as in this example, is judged by the reader, not by whatever may have happened to the writer.

We . . . experience a sense of loss in Michael Dylan Welch’s haiku:

        fading sun at low tide—
             teeth marks
        in an old frisbee

Welch writes beautifully and poignantly, showing the interplay of nature and man. This solemn nature scene, a withdrawal of sun and tide, is akin to the poet‘s sadness in remembering his dog. In haiku journals, the theme of the death of one‘s dog is also common. Welch is an accomplished poet and author in the state of Washington.