helen ruggieri

I come from a long line of farmers and farmers are keen observers of the natural - the soil, the vegetation, the weather. So I come by the observant part genetically (who knows what they'll find locked in the DNA). I live about 60 miles due south of Buffalo, NY along the banks of the Allegheny River within shouting distance of the Pennsylvania State line. I've written about my observations for years - what's in bloom, the water level in the Allegheny, how in early evening insects hover above the water like gauzy winged angels, how a muskie will jump and all you'll hear is the splash and all you'll see are the ripples. I have a 25 mile commute to work and along that stretch of road the landscape floats by. I know the touch of seasons on the fields and ponds, the way snow skitters across the concrete in a wind off the lake. To capture this movement I make a haiku, a 17 syllable Japanese poem about nature. The road is littered with old haiku, bad haiku, and some good ones. The haiku takes the moving landscape and stills it. yellow leaf/traces the shadow/of the wind