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Haikus and good news: Looking at nature through a poetic lens

Bill DeYoung

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Tim Huff. Photo: St. Petersburg Press

With more than 30 years’ experience in the custom window treatment business, Tim Huff’s observational skills were already finely-tuned.

Earlier this year, he started looking beyond the window, and into his own back yard. And Huff realized he was seeing things in an entirely different way.

The result is The View From My Deck: Haikus Inspired By Nature, a small, short collection of minimalist, Japanese-styled poems. Expressive and inspirational, the book is published by St. Petersburg Press.

At the start of the pandemic, Huff explains, a Facebook friend suggested everyone in the group start writing daily haikus as an exercise.

“I hesitated because I had never done one before,” says the longtime owner of Vintage Interiors. “But then my husband and I were watching the moon rise, and as the full moon came up behind the jasmine on our back arbor, I said ‘Wow, that looks just like black lace.’ And that inspired the first one. And then it kind of went on from there.”

#1

Oh jasmine! Full moon!

So bright pink behind you now

New black lace on moon

 

“It actually made me look at nature in my back yard, which had been my sanctuary to begin with,” Huff continues. “But it made me look at each flower, each butterfly, each bird even closer. To pick up on the qualities and wonderment of each one.

“And then I did find out that the haikus themselves were a bit of a brain exercise. Everybody probably thinks it’s easy … but to try to get those syllables right, it’s a little harder than you think.”

 

#28

Intricate, complex

Wonderment of spider’s web

Master of detail

 

A native of Binghamton, New York, Huff spent four years (1978-82) in St. Petersburg, and always knew he’d come back to stay.

In 1986, that’s what he did. “Needless to say, I’ve been amazed at what this city has evolved into.”

Through the last six months, he says, business for Vintage Interiors has been “very steady. Which I’m very thankful for. So I’ve actually ended up having a great year with my business.”

And now he’s added poet and published author to his resume.

The View From My Deck (available at Tombolo Books and via Amazon) includes 36 haikus (he’s already composed at least 15 more). “I’m not looking to make big money on this, obviously,” Huff laughs.

“It’s just to kind of show everybody what I see in my back yard, hoping they go out in their back yard and look for the gifts that Mother Nature gives us every day.”

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