After years without writing a poem, I’ve started composing haiku of all things. I use the word haiku loosely. These are modest attempts to capture the essence of things and instants without worrying about strict adherence to the traditional 5-7-5 form. I sit outside for an hour in the morning and just watch and listen and think, and then lines start to rise to the surface of my consciousness.
I’ve heard that even experienced haiku poets will write a hundred mediocre haiku for every really good one. I don’t know enough yet about traditional haiku or its American variations to feel comfortable commenting on the quality of these poems, but the numbers are not on my side–yet. I guess I don’t really care. I’m just happy to be writing again.
I think each second on earth is comprised of several sextillion haiku moments, which somehow add up to a single haiku moment. The Bible says a man’s life is like a mist. If so, can a life be summed up in a single haiku? What will be the haiku of my life? I came up with this:
“I wish I’d watched
Here are a few other haiku from the last two days:
Grass tipped with dewdrops in
a horsefly bit my wrist–
And, my favorite so far, inspired by a book I’m reading on the Battle of the Little Bighorn:
A warm summer night
Sitting Bull in a cotton shirt
Looks to the east