Crossing the Pond (haiku film)

A Videopoetry Year in Pennsylvania and the UK

Watch at Internet Archive

A 30-minute film comprising 33 of the 80 videohaiku I made in 2019, pulled together originally for REELpoetry/Houston TX in January 2020. As it turned out, 2019 was the last summer I spent in London; my former partner Rachel Rawlins and I called it quits during the Covid pandemic. I’d been spending time in the UK since 2011, so by 2019 was just beginning to feel as if I knew some places well enough to write about them.

For this film, I selected the videohaiku that worked best as videopoetry, not necessarily those with the most successful haiku, and included as much stylistic variety as possible to keep it from getting repetitive. The complete cycle from which I drew consists of four, seasonal sequences:

  1. Winter Trees
  2. Pennsylvania Spring
  3. Summer in the UK
  4. Autumn Metropolis

Here are the haiku selected for this distillation:

winter trees
the hobo is missing
one of his fingers

the shrinking circle
of my needs

on my bald head
tapping woodpecker

Groundhog Day
the former coal town living
off its shadow

walking the line
on both sides the same
light rime

a flutter of snowflakes
a flurry of snowbirds
an afterlife of seeds

no dark side of the moon
where a Chinese probe
is growing plants

winter sun
hoisting all its bristles
into the treetops

spider on the snow
the granularity of land

shedding its snow
the new
old mountain

counting the rings
in the wood frog pond
another year

bee or not
the daffodils
keeping faith

wind flowers
the way Beethoven heard
an ode to joy

budburst time
the returned vet says he went
straight to the woods

spring rain
learning that Dad
has Parkinson’s

railroad ties
crowd the vanishing point

red eft—
how salamandery
this path

this habit
of inhabiting hills
the ants and me

commuter train
all the fingers stroking
immobile phones

cows on the common
the universal language
of grief

jackdaw in residence
working with
found materials

dog walking
the slant rhymes
of our shadows

midnight snail
the twenty-six hundred teeth
of its tongue

British Museum
bury me with a bronze
selfie stick

steel band
the oil drums
that drive us

peace garden
the nonresistance
of leaves

churchyard labyrinth
zeroing in
on the X

the immensity
of our loss

wet sidewalk
beneath the fallen leaves
another sky

London after Blake
bearded hipsters open
a pop-up brothel

in this human city
an ash tree sings
possessed by starlings

November rain
a mouse forages
under the garden table

moon at the station
imagine belonging
to just one place