haiku & haibun

haiku

“A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.” ~ poets.org

Most haiku poets today will agree that the standard 5/7/5 format does not translate into the English language (The Japanese language count sounds, not syllables – the word ‘scarf’ in Japanese is four sounds, but in English the word is one syllable).

Haiku is about using observation, our five sense, and our emotions to come to a revelation about a single moment in time. These are my moments.



HAIBUN

“The haibun is the combination of two poems: a prose poem and haiku. Both the prose poem and haiku typically communicate with each other. The prose poem usually describes a scene or moment in an objective manner. Meanwhile, the haiku follows the typical rules for haiku.” ~ writersdigest.com

chickadees

high then low  
spring time comes when the  
chickadees sing.

A house at the end of a small valley, just a few neighbors down the road, and acres of forest to play in. No alarm clocks, just the light of the rising sun and the conversations of birds outside my bedroom window. All winter the sounds are muffled as the world is blanketed in snow. Tucked under my favorite quilt to wait in anticipation.

Spring does not come to the Midwest with the first snow thaw or seedlings pushing through the earth. It’s not marked by the Spring Equinox or the celebration of Easter. Some brave cardinals and a robin or two may make an appearance at the porch railing. It’s almost time to put out the feeders to invite them from the woods once more. 

high, low, dee, dee, dee  
cheerful and with the heart of a child  
spring is finally here

memories

they whisper past
rustling a dream
forgotten by morning

Memories are a funny thing. Our brains take bits and pieces of events from our past, splice them together and call it a memory. They are more feelings rather than concrete images. I don’t remember kindergarten but some flashes of being misunderstood and alone. I don’t remember my best friend’s face but the feeling of shock standing at her funeral.

Past memories shape our future reality. We take all those bits and pieces of our past selves, add some water, and hope that we can shape the clay into something we recognize and can relate to. Maybe it will even be good enough to show other people.

I think the worst of all are all the things I do remember that I wish I didn’t. The embarrassing mistakes. The lies I didn’t get away with telling. The anger over a trivial slight. We seem always to remember the bad while the good slips by us like a gentle breeze through the trees. We know we felt it, we just can’t remember.

embellished. exaggerated.
told over and over
so someone else remembers