Storied Haiku

Sweetest Moon

Storied Haiku is an experiment in storytelling using a form meant to capture moments. “Sweetest Moon” captures a woman’s month of moments from the month of June 1929.



The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne,
Burn’d on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes.

William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra – Act II, Scene II


June 1 – a Saturday

We began in June.
Magnolias were in full bloom —
Knot was tied in light

June 2 – a Sunday

In the bloom of love,
in the shade of wingéd Mark,
in Titian we’ll bask
The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice, monument to Titian.

June 3 – a Monday

Days of sweetest moon
reflect our shy boldness —
And our two's made one

June 4 – a Tuesday

Sun is blushing bold.
Espresso’s on terrace spilled —
Aurora blushes

June 5 – a Wednesday

Breathe the newborn air,
breathe as if you’re with me there,
looking out to sea

June 6 – a Thursday

Look to sea and see
there’s promise in beginnings —
Ruddy cheeks of love

June 7 – a Friday

Week is almost done.
Week is gaining on the sun —
Silent ticking sum

June 8 – a Saturday

Bliss marched into dawn.
Poet rests on the shaded lawn —
Thus his glory fades
William Bliss Carman, Canadian-American poet, 1 January 1903. – Photo, Pirie MacDonald (15 April, 1861 – June 8, 1929)

June 9 – a Sunday

On our morning step
we bathe our ancient story in —
Chiesa d'Oro
Chiesa d'Oro, Venice, Saint Mark's Basilica
Chiesa d’Oro, Venice, Saint Mark’s Basilica

June 10 – a Monday

Canal water rests
and waxing light strikes old stones —
Feet meet older flags

June 11 – Tuesday

The gondola rocks
Canaletto’s splendor calls —
Mark’s bells swallow us
Canaletto “The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice” 19.5″ x 28.9″, circa 1730, oil on canvas Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Detail)

June 12 – a Wednesday

Our scented day sees
seas of Cleopatra’s barge —
Sounds of fluted strokes

June 13 – a Thursday

Then my inner eye,
sees her scent, her purple sails,
and my breath, I catch!

June 14 – a Friday

Beauty catches us
in the quarter of our moon.
Our hands clasped, we’re spent

June 15 – a Saturday

Ever sweetest moon.
T’was Nineteen in twenty-nine —
A sparrow on a rail

June 16 – a Sunday

Waxing gibbous moon
lays her light upon our June —
Oh, her lasting boon

June 17 – a Monday

Still I’ve kept her glow.
Spared not of sorrow or years —
and joys piled on joy

June 18 – a Tuesday

Thunder woke our day.
The bed tempted us to stay —
Thunder in the hay

June 19 – a Wednesday

Then Saint Mary t’was,
by grace to heaven assumed —
By Titian beguiled
Tiziano Vecellio aka Titian, circa 1562, oil on canvas, 33.8” x 25.5” (Detail) Museo Nacional del Prado online
Tiziano Vecellio aka Titian, circa 1562, oil on canvas, 33.8” x 25.5” (Detail) Museo Nacional del Prado online

June 20 – a Thursday

My Tiepolo swayed,
a simple graceful sashay —
Love, Rococo style


The Immaculate Conception by Gianbattista, Giambattista Tiepolo Oil on Canvas, 110.6 in x 61 in. Museo del Prado. Circa 1768.
The Immaculate Conception by Gianbattista, Giambattista Tiepolo Oil on Canvas, 110.6 in x 61 in. Museo del Prado. Circa 1768. (Detail)

June 21 – a Friday

Today you’ve come
to hear my years told to you —
my pains upon joys

June 22 – a Saturday

There is no night that
I have not thought on this month —
this ancient sweet moon

June 23 – a Sunday

All our joys were mixed,
in this our headiest days —
Hardships come-on quick

June 24 – a Monday

We almost lost him
in the summer of our youth —
A fevered sickness struck

June 25 – a Tuesday

Kollwitz’ Death pounced.
Sallow eyes in sorrow stared.
I was ever done
8 July 1867
Käthe Kollwitz, Self-portrait with hand to forehead, 1910. Etching and drypoint on wove paper. 29.1 × 24.8 cm. Gift of Dr. Brian McCrindle, 2015. (Detail)

June 26 – a Wednesday

Beauty took a turn;
she’s veiled in darkest veil —
He is empty still

June 27 – a Thursday

A cold sweat drenched him.
Venice beauty melts away —
I can only pray

June 28 – a Friday

I feared the worst.
I feared that our house would fall —
O, my Romeo

June 29 – a Saturday

His heat died, not he.
There would be no you, no me —
No years in our years

June 30 – a Sunday

I had him; he, me.
We had our sweetest moon —
You're our Venice fleshed

© rl busséll 2019 – All rights reserved