( Written for Naturalist Weekly Thunder Lowers Its Voice)
Autumn storms shower
colors on rugged life-paths,
nonchalant for spring.
Good morning and see you next time.
We welcomed the autumn equinox a couple of days ago which signifies the end of summer and the beginning of our transition into the sweater wearing season.
September 22 – 27 is the micro-season of “Thunder Lowers Its Voice”. This is the first micro-season of the season of Autumn Equinox. The micro-seasons within Autumn Equinox are:
- Thunder Lowers Its Voice (Sep 22 – Sep 27)
- Hibernating Creatures Close Their Doors (Sep 28 – Oct 02)
- The Paddy Water is First Drained (Oct 03 – Oct 07)
These seasons were established in 1685 by Japanese astronomer Shibukawa Shunkai. While they are specific to Japan, you can use them as a starting point to explore your environment.
To celebrate this season, we will talk about the equinox, discuss how thunder and lightning are created, and then read haiku by Basho, Issa, Reichhold, and Kerouac.
Thunder and lightning have the potential to be multi-season kigo according to the World Kigo Database. However, “thunder” without another seasonal descriptor is considered a summer kigo, and “lightning” without a specific seasonal descriptor is an autumn kigo.(5)
The Five Hundred Essential Japanese Season Words as selected by Kenkichi Yamamoto list “lightning” and “autumn’s voice”, which is described as “the sounds of autumn: wind in dry leaves, insects, etc.”, are related Autumn kigo.
In A Dictionary of Haiku, Jane Reichhold lists “clouds”, “dark rain”, and “equinox” as other autumn kigo
With this in mind, let’s read a few haiku!
A Haiku Invitation
This week’s haiku invitation is to write a haiku or senryu that references autumn storms.
Share your haiku in the comments below, or post on your own page and link back to this post. I can’t wait to read what you write!