by Michael Dylan Welch and Caleb Mutua


First published in Haiku Canada Review 18:1, February 2024, page 69. Originally written 26 December 2017 at Pegasus Restaurant on Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington (the restaurant, a favourite of mine,  is sadly no longer in business).

such quiet . . .

snow filling

the birdhouse hole Michael


windshield wipers

swishing snow Caleb


the creak of rafters

in the old wooden barn—

midday snowfall Michael


children squeal—

a zigzag track

on the sledding hill Caleb


the snowplow rumbles

up the back alley Michael


church doorway—

a Christmas hymn

mingles with snowflakes Caleb


“Hymn” is a rengay I wrote with Kenyan poet Caleb Mutua, who was visiting Seattle, Washington. In 2010 I had published a selection of Calebs haiku in Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our Friends, but this was the first time we’d met in person. To commemorate our rare time together I thought we might write the six-verse collaborative form of rengay. I used to live in Ghana, a long way from Kenya, but at least in Africa. He had stayed in Seattle with a host family previously and was there again for a Christmas visit. Snow was a novelty to him, so that became our theme. We wrote this hymn to snow at Pegasus, an Italian restaurant on Alki Beach in West Seattle. How’s that for bringing cultures together?