Thursday, June 14, 2018

Butterfly Dream: Dandelion Clock Haiku by Rebecca Drouilhet

English Original

dandelion clock
from one spent blossom
a hundred wishes

Editor's Choice Haiku, Cattails, Fall 2017

Rebecca Drouilhet

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Rebecca Drouilhet is a retired registered nurse whose haiku and tanka have appeared in numerous print journal and ezines.  She won a Sakura Award in the 2012 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitation and an Honorable Mention in that same contest in 20`7.  The Japanese Tanka Poets Society has awarded her a Certificate of Fine Tanka.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing word games and spending time with her large family in Picayune, Mississippi.

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca Drouilhet writes a tribute to Chiyo-ni’s haiku from the 1700s, which has now become one of the more popular poems of the Edo jidai.

    The haiku starts with the image of a dandelion clock, the sphere that is the seed head of a dandelion. This fluffy, downy ball is what arrives from the blossom that has lived its life. The spherical seed head also releases hundreds of feathery seeds that find their way to different places and start their own journey and eventually, blossom.

    In the first two lines that the poet presents the dandelion clock from a spent blossom, the reader is taken on a deeper journey of the cycles and circles of life. What happens to the blossom in its journey to give life to many offspring? What are the trials that are faced in that journey? All we know is that in the end, the blossom is done and withered. Then comes the third line – a hundred wishes. The poem is taken to another plane by bringing in folklore and the dimension of granting wishes or carrying across our dreams to fruition. Do these wishes remain unfulfilled like the lives of many who toil to let their offspring thrive? Or are the endless wishes fulfilled, bringing smiles to the faces of children, like the dandelions themselves do?

    The use of the second line as pivot adds to the wonder of the moment. A spent blossom gives us the magical-looking puffball (but a weed, nonetheless). The spent blossom also results in a hundred wishes, and perhaps, hope! ...

    -- excerpted from the editor's commentary, which can be accessed at

    The following is the haiku mentioned in the opening paragraph:

    a hundred gourds
    from the heart
    of one vine

    Chiyo-ni (1703–1775), who is widely regarded as one of the greatest haiku poets of the Edo period: