A Few Haiku for You

May 17, 2017
10

Look around outside. What do you see? A bird? A flower? A sunset? A tree? Each one would make a great haiku — for you!

 

The Japanese haiku, one of the oldest forms of poetry, teaches us much about the art and craft of poem-making. The entire poem consists of only three short lines, yet the haiku contains all the basic elements of poetry.

 

The haiku is understated and concise. It is lyrical and dramatic, poignant and precise, personal and universal. Sometimes it is witty. But always it is ethereal and timeless, as meaningful today as it was hundreds of years ago when Basho, Buson, Issa and the other masters of haiku first began exploring its potential as an art form.

 

Here are a few samples of my haiku. I hope you enjoy them. I followed the Japanese tradition of using seasonal imagery to portray the cyclical aspect of Time and Nature.

 

After reading through these, you may want to try writing some of your own.

 

SUMMER

Summer LYB1507_Cover

June

The cricket calls to

the meadow, each evening he

hears his echo sing.

 

July

Beyond fields of rice

shadows sway to moonlight’s breeze,

lithe bamboo dancers.

 

August

Listen, the forest

waits for summer’s final song,

the whippoorwill sings.

 

FALL

Fall LYB1412-cover

 

September

Shadows bow to the

setting sun, pray to the sky

for blessings of light.

 

October

Artist autumn comes,

paints her blush across each tree,

drops palette, and leaves.

 

November

Geese fly south pulling

over the mountaintops a

stone curtain of sky.

 

WINTER

Winter LYB1611-cover

December

The last lullaby,

an owl cries out through the pines,

the north wind answers.

 

January

A sleeping doe stirs

beneath her blanket of dawn,

a new year rising.

 

February

The sea lion roars

across the far horizon,

storm clouds stalk the shore.

 

SPRING

Spring CKT0605-cover-full

March

A field full of pale

parachutes, dandelions

adrift in the wind.

 

April

Ivory butterflies

perch on black branches,

the dogwood blossoms.

 

May

The cherry blossom

wakes, stretches, opens herself

to the morning sun.

 

 Charles Ghigna lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, instructor of creative writing at Samford University, poetry editor of English Journal for the National Council of Teachers of English, and a nationally syndicated poetry feature writer for Tribune Media Services. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of more than 100 books from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., Abrams, Boyds Mills Press, Charlesbridge, Capstone, Orca and other publishers. He speaks at schools, conferences, libraries, and literary events throughout the U.S. and overseas, and has read his poems at The Library of Congress, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Library in Paris, the American School in Paris, and the International Schools of South America. For more information, please visit website at FatherGoose.com

Comments


  1. Thanks for the great job in presenting this, Andra. I like all the accompanying visuals. If any of your readers are interested, there are more tips about “How to Write a Poem” at FatherGoose.com


  2. Thanks. I love writing haikus. It’s short, fun, inspirational and challenging. I think anybody could write it especially when inspiration pours because there’s a poet inside of us.


  3. All lovely seasonal comments. I wish I could agree with May, but it snowed here yesterday, and May now seems as cruel as April, ha! But I do love this play of words: “drops palette, and leaves”. Thanks Charles and Cricket!


    • Thanks, Linda, for dropping by. Wow! A May snowfall! Now THAT’S a poem! Please post your snowy May haiku here when it’s ready to thaw.

      Thanks for your kind comment about my “play of words” in the October haiku.


  4. All are my favorites, Charles! What magical little gems. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Fun and lovely all in one. I love haiku. I often use haiku as a warm up to more writing. I have to say my favorite is August…my birthmonth. It’s so true of the month and me as a writer!


  6. What I find interesting is that you seem to have a preference for 5-7-5. Is that true? I learned to be liberal when it comes to syllable count but as I’m just building up more experience as well as a better feeling for haiku I’m curious to learn from other haiku writers.

Add Comment