Tag Archives: haiku

hiccups

I had a haiku hiccup Friday. I was sitting outside; it was morning; I was in pajamas and drinking tea. Wind was high; fall is here–my favorite time of year in Houston. I was attempting to give myself daydream time, nothing specific, just mind rambles, which I think I don’t do often enough. It’s part of an experiment I’m doing around enhancing creativity in a gentle way. (Another part of the experiment is artist’s dates.) As I sat there, I saw a monarch butterfly sail in quietly and land on the green of my jasmine. The monarch didn’t move, not even her wings, once she landed. My mind rambled: she looks like a sailboat, is she tired, sailboats tack, is she dying. And the next thing I knew I had that wonderful urge to write a haiku; only my garden and its small dramas seem to inspire me. So here are my attempts:

off-course a monarch

settles wearily too close—

wind chimes call—dying……………………..

#2

a winter monarch

sails into the yard—off course—

it’s come home to die…………….

Can you make it better? I bet you can. I didn’t play much with sails or tacking nor the monarch’s color nor rest……..but what fun! My haiku hiccup. I need them more often, but I have to be in a receptive, relaxed state; i.e., I must create the opportunity for such states. What feeds your writing soul? Find something and do it often!

road trip

dsc_0471

I headed toward Dallas this weekend, not expecting to encounter memories. There’s a wide open swath of land where a road numbered 287 branches west toward Waxahachie and Fort Worth, and at the sight of that sign, my heart squeezed, and I remembered more than ten years ago when my son was in the car behind me, and we were taking him to his first year of college. I remembered how before we left he had walked through the rent house we were living in for a last look “just in case,” and indeed I had moved by the following Christmas. 

And the crisp coolness of Dallas means bulbs flower prolifically, and I was taking an innocent walk and came across a yard of daffodils and was pierced through the heart again with a memory of my sister, Carmen. She died in February when her Arkansas yard was filled with daffodils moving toward blossom. This is what I wrote once to try and capture her loss:

From the page I can draw tears, hard hearts break on my words, droplets stalagmite in readers’ bone caves, bravo they say to me. In my garden, leaves green, the yet unborn flowers will be bold yellow and soft. My sister loved daffodils, planted a yard of them she would never see. Green healing. I think I want no more grief from which to prosper.

haiku practice

Sometimes I play at loose haiku, the way others do sudoku. I find the necessity for precision fun even though I usually fail at it. Here are some flailings….

on finding a bird’s feathers on the sidewalk:

dsc_06101at my feet feathers

spill across broken sidewalk

is it a crime if no one sees it

OR

I’d dust for prints

but a cat’s small smile tells all

OR

feathers spill across sidewalk

dove grey black tipped

a meow hangs in the air

Houston’s mild winters bring so many birds.

At the sight of hundreds on the electric lines:

 

sullen overcast skies

are broken by a hundred dark wings beating

against a grey wool twilight

OR

they dip and dive against

grey wool skies and settle on the

lines….winter’s begun

Tender

Houston springs are tender. There’s just no other word for them. Soft days and soft nights. Coming brutal humidity and heat remain last summer’s dream. I think I become emotional and tender myself because I know what’s around the corner. But for now, it’s spring. Pink tulip trees and redbuds have been the first to announce blooming time. The sweet color of their blossoms is impossible to describe: amethyst in which rose had been swirled. Azaleas and bridal wreath follow. Trees bud and leaf, and in a month Houston will be a cloud of green from the sky.  Here’s what Houston’s soft spring does to me:

gardeners are busybodies

always peering out their windows

at the roses to demand:

have they bloomed yet?

 

cream edged in coral

I steal indescriminately

my neighbor’s roses

 

magnolia blossoms

open tight buds to reveal

deep creamy faces

 

what do butterflies

think when they race? does it

matter who wins?

To my Christmas Cactus

Here’s my latest kinda haiku. I play with that 5, 7, 5 syllable poem structure sometimes. It’s like finger exercises for my mind. I usually notice something in my garden and work with the haiku structure to capture it. I always enjoy attempting the precision haiku requires; it makes my mind feel sharp, crisp.

You are late, my dear

I gave up on you––but there

you are–– four fat tight

blossoms

the color of sherbet

palely orange