28 Jun

Photo by Fotolia


fluorescent zig-zags
crackles on the radio
my heart skips a beat

fluorescent blue-white
against black-cushion ring box
heaven’s diamond fling

zig-zags prelude bass
rumbles decay to stutters
stillness patters rain

crackles interfere
chamber music percussion
bringing storm inside

on the stately notes
flute, cello and violin
static charges crash

the rain sings snappy
wild snare drum solo tattoo
gurgle gutter song

radio goes dead
blinding flash, deafening crack
plunges into black

my hands grope candles
matches, lighter, a flashlight
circles of warmth here

heart of storm weakens
lightning flashes, thunder waits
not so keen to pounce

skips making response
to lightning’s flick on curtains
dark wins back the night

a break in the rain
only the dripping downspouts
even sighing winds

beat a safe retreat
far-off rumbles in the black
distant lightning sheet

© 2012 by Violet Nesdoly

I call this an extended haiku but perhaps it isn’t one by an official definition (which I couldn’t find). Anyway, what’s happening here is that each word in the original haiku becomes the beginning word in successive haiku. It’s a fun challenge.

This poem is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Paper Tigers.


Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Haiku, Nature, Poetry Friday


9 responses to “Lightning

  1. LInda Baie (@LBaie)

    June 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I love it, having just gone through a big storm a few nights ago, although we didn’t lose the electricity. These words: wild snare drum solo tattoo
    gurgle gutter song/ such tapping rhythm! I am impressed with the challenge of the ‘extended’ haiku. It worked beautifully.


    • vnesdoly

      June 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Thank you, Linda! The extended aspect seemed daunting at first, but amazingly it came together–sort of. (Hope you don’t get any real lightning these days, with the forest fire threats and all.)


  2. jama

    June 30, 2012 at 4:31 am

    We just had a big storm last night and you captured many of those sounds, images, and feelings. What an interesting challenge to do an extended haiku! I like the progression and the retreat at the end :).


  3. Mary Lee

    July 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

    What an amazing form! I’ll have to try it!

    You captured Friday’s storm perfectly, too. We are still without power.


  4. Janet

    July 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Enjoyed so much…the style and the storm!


    • vnesdoly

      July 3, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Thank you, Jama, Mary Lee and Janet! The downside of summer storms is definitely the being without power part. We don’t get many here (on Canada’s south-west coast). But I sure remember them from my childhood on the prairies. I loved lightning storms, and feared them a little too.


  5. Jone

    July 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Wow! I am there with you. I love this extended haiku. I also love the word choice and how words repeat.


  6. Variation of leave remain in the UK

    February 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new


    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Thank you. Yes, Variation, I’m on Twitter. My handle is: @vnesdoly



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