For a Moment

Point Claire, Quebec: King’s Road Press, 2009, 16 pages, 28 poems. ISBN 978-1-895557-20-6.

This book is the eighteenth title in Marco Fraticelli’s Hexagram series from King’s Road Press. All books are short, but the series represents a who’s who of haiku, so it’s a fine series to be a part of. Each book features a different hexagram on the cover. Mine is #27, “nourishment,” about which the I Ching says “Nature nourishes all people. The wise man uses words carefully in harmony with what is right. He only offers guidance that he knows will help his followers.” Here are a few of the poems from the book, as selected by editor Marco Fraticelli. See a PDF version of the book on the Haiku Foundation website, which says “Welch is one of the stalwarts of American haiku. His works are almost always sharp, concrete renditions of original moments, and this collection is a fine example of his skillful work.” All poems have been previously published in various journals. The “summer heat” poem was presented in one line in For a Moment, but elsewhere had appeared in three lines.



dwindling fire—

our conversation shifts

to death



spring cleaning—

dust in the shape

of unanswered mail



spring breeze—


            in the folds of your skirt



garden supply store . . .

     each sundial

     tells a different time



summer vacation—

our rhubarb stalks

tipped with sugar



summer heat

      two squirrels

            meet on a wire       +



floating down the stream



from the summer-house deck



a rest by the stream—

burrs on the tongue

of my tennis shoe



falling rose petals . . .

the tattoo

on the pallbearer’s arm



grey sky—

the dog’s water dish

iced over



December dawn—

the shape of the flower bed

under fresh snow



home for Christmas . . .

my childhood desk drawer                                                                                                  +       +




Christmas Eve—

bits of a price sticker

stuck to my finger



a swirl of snow—

she lifts her hair

out of her sweater



a perfect snowflake

for a moment

on your tongue


Photo of Hexagram series launch reading at Haiku North America in August of 2009 at the National Library of Canada in Ottawa. Left to right are Marco Fraticelli (publisher), Michael Dylan Welch, Roberta Beary, Grant D. Savage, and Philomene Kocher.       +