Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Capture the Simple Things

(Today's Blogathon theme is haiku. My friend and fellow writer's group member writes poetry, including this form. She graciously agreed to guest post for me. Check out her blog here.)

What is a haiku?
I’m not going to tell you. Well, to be more precise, I’m not going to tell you everything.  There are many sites (and I’ll list a few) where you can go to find out where haiku came from and what they are. Instead, I’d like to try to show you.
Have you ever taken a walk or gone on a trip and seen something that took your breath away? It might have been the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, an old barn, a wild animal, a tiny insect or even a single flower. Whatever it was, it made you stop. You forgot all about what you were doing and just looked in wonder or reflection. Perhaps you took a picture, trying to capture that image, that moment. Even simple things can make you want to capture them.
That desire to capture a single moment, but to capture it in just a very few words, that is haiku.


bleeding hearts
drip after rain, thrive
despite weeds

in our small orchard
many nights hard frost–apples
pears, peaches still bloom

How do I write haiku? 

If you want the specific rules, jump to Haiku for People link. If you just want to try your hand at it, then try this.
First, find something that you like—a favorite tree, flower, your kids, your dog, spring sounds, and smells.
Now use only a few words to describe it—budding tree; blushing magnolia blossoms; soft, silly bedtime child … you see?
Next choose another image. This does not have to relate to the first, and is often better if it doesn’t.
Again choose a few words to describe it.
When you put the two phrases together, you have the beginnings of a haiku.
Here are some of mine.

my only citrus
this morning — high, bright orange
in cold cloudless blue
not clutching swamp grass
but piercing cloudless blue sky–
one red-winged blackbird
among evergreens
tree frogs court, “creep, creep, creep”–love
song infestation
burning old branches
winter flickering to spring
welcome bliss blossoms
Links to Haiku Sites:
Haiku - A Definition  Haiku, Haiga, Haibun and Other Art-Illustrations of modern English Haiku-type Poetry.
Haiku Poet's Hut Filled with haiku new and old, haiku info, and history
Blue Willow Haiku World (by Fay Aoyagi) Translations of modern Japanese poetry
Akita International Haiku Network Haiku, Haiga, Senryu, Tanka–All Beautiful


  1. LT,
    Thank you for this opportunity. Sorry the pictures didn't work out. Hope your readings enjoyed it.

  2. Ugh! Readers. Too many late nights with kids. Thanks again.

  3. @Babette, thanks for stopping by! @tasmith, I had the pictures working, then they weren't. If you send them to me individually in a photo format, I should be able to put them back up.

  4. Your friend has certainly mastered the haiku 5-7-5 syllable rhythm.

  5. Barbara, she's a lovely writer and editor. Thanks for visiting!