Kill An Ant

This haiku is incredibly powerful. Where some haiku seems to be about a delicate beauty, this one speaks to the heart of who we are as people. The actions we take are seen and absorbed by others. Each tiny moment becomes an indelible impression.

Shuson Kato at first disliked haiku but after being mentored by an elder poet Shuoshi Mizuhara, he came to love it.

I kill an ant
and realize my three children
have been watching
-- shuson kato

Here is a bookmark I made of this haiku. This photo is of me hand-feeding a pair of baby doves at a Japanese temple on Oahu, Hawaii.

Kill An Ant

This poem is meaningful to me for numerous reasons. Here is just one.

I attended a small yoga class for a while. One day I was the first person there and set up my mat. A tiny little ant was marching along the carpet and "ran into" my mat. It went left and right trying to figure out how to get where it was going. I felt sorry for the little ant and how I'd interfered with its day. I sat watching the ant, wondering if I could help guide it along. I thought of it as a friendly ant. At last the instructor arrived and when she came over to say hello I introduced her to my ant. She looked down, stared at it for a moment, then SQUASHED IT. Now of course I realize that not all people are fond of ants, but I had been sitting alone in the yoga studio with my little ant for ten minutes and had become comfortable with it. To see the teacher suddenly reach down and just squish its entire little body was a bit of a surprise.

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