Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2008, vol 6 no 2


Empty Spaces
Josh Wikoff


I take the dog for a walk in the evergreen forest behind the house. She scurries ahead, sniffing at deer shit and here a woodchuck burrow or there the base of a spruce. We arrive at a spot where I keep two wicker chairs with a view of the wildlife trails that wind down the ridge. I come here often to sit and watch and listen but, most of all, to think. So I sit. She disappears over the ridge line. And I listen. And think too. About how hard the last winter was. How my forty years have converged like a wheel's spokes on the hole in my center. And I think I may have been depressed. But I feel like I've come around now. I wonder if maybe it is this very hole upon which everything hinges. And I recall that the Tao Teh Ching says it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.

                                            autumn half-light   a bark
                                                         echoes   up the canyon


Josh Wikoff Josh Wikoff gleans as much inspiration from his wife and daughters as from Nature. Some of his writing has found a home in Acorn, Asahi Haikuist Network, Chrysanthemum, dust of summers: The Red Moon Anthology 2007, The Heron's Nest, Lynx, Mariposa, Paper Wasp, Roadrunner, Shamrock, and Tinywords. One Breath, a chapbook of his haiku, senryu and tanka, was published in 2006.