Highway Haiku – Poppies

abstract collage with green, black, and purple shapes overlaid with words of haiku

Flashing red yellow orange
the poppies chase
me up the off-ramp

California poppies bloom here in the spring time – sprouting up in even the most marginal of habitats – freeway shoulders and empty lots. I wrote this haiku last spring, but took awhile to get around to working on a collage for it. I’m posting it now, in the “deep” winter here (I know it’s 73 degrees F here today, but we’ve had one brief rain storm and some Santa Ana winds! Weather!), as a reminder of what’s to come: a new year, a new season, of hope. The transfer on this one was done at the same time as my last Highway Haiku, but it turned out a little “better” than “Osprey” – for no discernible reason.


  1. What better time than now to look to a spring poem? Love the way this turned out! And now I’m realizing that there are no poppies anywhere in my neighborhood (not even the super hardy ones who laugh at Wisconsin winters)… I should fix this, after the thaw.

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    1. Thank you, Sunshine! Can’t go wrong spreading wildflowers! And I have total respect for all the flowers that are cold-tolerant: a neighbor in Boston would plant pansies each spring while there was still ice and snow on the ground – always amazed me 😀

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    1. Thank you, Kerfe! There is so much less traffic right now than usual, my commute is half the time it used to be – but I still spend a lot of time on the road and so I figured to start making art where I am!

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  2. This haiku makes me smile. I keep re-reading it, getting that quick thrill when the connection is revealed each time. And for some reason, my brain wants the colors in the art to match the colors of the poem. Guess that’s what you’d expect from someone so—ah—word-brained.

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    1. Thank you, Jilanne! I thought about that for a long time, actually, whether to match the colors in the poem or not. I went with this color scheme hoping that the contrast would help the words pop!

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  3. Always excited by your typographical work, Marcy 🙂 Hope all is well with you and yours. Where I am, we’re in ‘tier 3’, which describes a bunch of strict COVID restrictions; it’s been very cold today by the North Kent coast here in the UK – no snow yet! – and everyday life continues to be both quite boring and also quite peculiar!

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    1. Thank you, Phil! We just went back into our full lockdown here last night, based on the shockingly low number of ICU beds available in our region. I would completely agree with your description of life right now – boring and peculiar at the same time!


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