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Single- and Double- Petal Cherry Blossom Haiku Slam


April is a transitional month from spring to summer, or as the Swiss think of it, summer to winter, as represented in their Sechseläuten festivities (third Monday in April) when they burn an effigy of the böögg bogey man to cast out winter. For us in April in London, we transition from spring to summer by leaving behind the delicate Yoshino single-petal variety of cherry blossoms on our street for the pom pom yaezakura and chrysanthemum kikuzakura cherry blossom varieties one street over.


Growing up with the Japanese aesthetic sense of fleeting beauty, I used to prefer the paler, single-blossom variety of cherry blossom. But after twenty plus years of residency in London, a chance to see all nine cultivars, and a birthday gift of a Kanzan from my family, now, it’s impossible not to be simultaneously humbled and moved by the sheer magnificence of each fifty-petal blossom, and feel, as the great poet, Kobayashi Issa once wrote in a haiku:


What a strange thing it is to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.


And as you enjoy cherry blossoms this April wherever you are, a haiku wish from me to you:


Inspired in every

April spring cherry blossom

Happiness is here

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