My First Haiku

Being a rather verbose writer who prefers rambling along in free verse and isn’t even good at counting when it comes to playing my violin, let alone at counting syllables, I’d never even considered writing Haiku.

That’s the trouble with bthinking “never” because God, serendipity, fate or whatever you call the convergence of forces which plucks you out of your current journey and plants you somewhere else, seems to be conspiring against you.

Last week, I attended an Author/Illustrator event at our local library and I was astounded to find out that we had a Haiku writing guru just around the bend at Pearl Beach…Beverley George. Hearing her talk about Haiku and other Japanese forms of verse, aroused my interest and I started thinking about how many of my photos would suit Haiku… particularly the one of the seagull taking flight in front of the rainbow, which I’ve titled “Seagull Ascending” (a play on words with a violin piece called “Lark Ascending”.)

Anyway, tonight we were attending open night at the high school where our son will be attending next year. These open nights are a very impressive, inter-active affair with all sorts of activities for upcoming students and parents. I guess it’s all aimed at bridging that terrifying gap between the relative safety and security of Primary School and the shark-infested waters of high school.

Now, even I’m almost convinced everything is going to be okay. That’s a real achievement!

Anyway, while Mister was off in the science labs undertaking all sorts of investigates, which I hear included dreaded dissections, I hooked up with the writing teacher who was running a challenge to write Haiku. What a surprise!

Although Haiku might be the flavour of the month, I must say that I felt a “call to action”. That this was more than coincidence and it was time for me to cross the bridge and dip my wee little toe into the deep and scary waters of Haiku.

So, in case you can’t read the text clearly in the photo, my Haiku read:

Rainbow skies dance
above the noble bird
Thunder rumbles.

I was pleased. Stoked actually because, as I said, counting isn’t my thing and neither is working in syllables or a few words.

So, I guess as I face my 46th birthday tomorrow and begin another year, perhaps this is a sign of things to come and I hope that I like that seagull, can keep finding the courage to take flight mid-storm and never give up.

xx Rowena

23 thoughts on “My First Haiku

  1. Tails Around the Ranch

    Totally love haiku and your effort was quite lovely. There is such a level of peace, harmony and symmetry with it. It always makes me feel light as a bird and puts a smile on my face and in my heart. By the way, here’s an early greeting for your special day. Hope it’s grand ❤
    ♪ღ♪*•.¸¸¸.•*¨¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪ღ♪¸.•*¨¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪ღ♪•*
    ♪ღ♪░H░A░P░P░Y░ B░I░R░T░H░D░A░Y░░♪ღ♪
    *•♪ღ♪*•.¸¸¸.•*¨¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪¸.•*¨¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪ღ♪•«

  2. Doug

    I like that. A good dance in the sky with a thunder base and flights of fancy by a noble bird. I started on a haiku and then I read how the syllable count can vary (according to some, but it’s still debatable) because English is very different from Japanese and some stresses in English just don’t work very well for that form. Others are purists and want a literal translation of the technique. I wound up with an extended and variable one. So I guess I failed at Haiku. So I don’t think I’ll ever try it again. (Yeah, OK, I guess it’s sour grapes, but I still don’t understand the purpose of it.) Well, anyway, congratulations on completing your Haiku. Kudos.

    COLD ENDINGS
        by Douglas Gilbert

    For the festival cry
    many at the reflecting pond
    see each other see
    a lunch time in the park
    a man gushing blood on a tree
    cops jumping back to catch a

    trial day for the
    collapsing man on marble
    his woman crying by

    our exploding Sun where
    couples in weeping willows
    release spirits from ashes

    by meowing lions
    lambs in meadow’s lake

    for all to
    ripple still waters
    with sneezes deadly mocking

  3. therabbitholez

    I liked it, I’ve tried Haiku a while back, I might take another look,like you I like to write free form and don’t like counting..lol

    Happy Birthday x

  4. roweeee Post author

    I have found the whole Haiku thing aa bit intimidating and methodical in the past but when I read Beverley George’s Haiku, the form suddenly resonated with me and I thought it could go well with some of my photos, which spend their lifetimes either on my hard drive, in albums somewhere and occasionally on the blog. I’m sure you;d get that.
    I like your extended Haiku. Well done.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  5. roweeee Post author

    Thanks for the birthday wishes. Had some great moments and a few trying times with the kids but it is ending on a high with a full belly, which I will probably pay for when I lie down! xx Rowena

  6. Joanne Corey

    Happy Birthday! Interesting that you wrote a haiku recently. I also am not one to work in forms, preferring free verse, but a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea for a haiku out of the blue in the middle of the night. I even got up from my bed to write it down so I wouldn’t forget. A week ago, I was attending a session of my community poetry workshop where I was introduced to the haibun, which is a poetic form that combines haiku with prose or other types of poetry. I wrote my first – and perhaps only – haibun using the haiku I had written days before. You just can’t tell where poetry will take you!

    I also learned that while traditional Japanese haiku follows the 5/7/5 syllable count, in modern usage and especially in English or other languages, the definition of haiku can be used to describe a brief three-line poem, even if the syllable count differs from the tradition. It does have to be brief, though, which I think is an issue for both of us! 😀

  7. roweeee Post author

    Joanne, as much as I love blogging, it is hard to convey laughter other that writing LOL, which has lost much of its meaning through over-use. I had a real laugh over your last sentence. Yes, brevity isn’t my strength.
    I met Australian writer and poet Beverley George last week and she writes haiku,haibun and tanka and her work is being translated into Japanese, which says a lot!! He’s a link to an interview with her:http://www.tankaonline.com/Interview%20George.htm
    I feel in my gut that I need to explore these forms even though it goes against the grain. Not so much to replace the lengthy “story” poems I write now but as a new direction in tandem with my photography. I am a huge fan of Kahlil Gibran and Rumi and I think these Japanese forms will take me on a different journey.

  8. Joanne Corey

    One of my daughters told me that I was one of the few people who actually did laugh out loud, not just type LOL! 😉

    I appreciate your branching into different forms and adding to your poetic repertoire. Haibun, as a hybrid form, might be a good place to start, as the haiku is embedded in and commenting on the accompanying stanzas/prose.

    So cool that you got to meet Beverley George. It’s interesting that she writes such a wide variety of poetry and prose. Definitely a compliment to be translated into Japanese.

  9. Pingback: Snailing Up the Mountain. | beyondtheflow

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