October 30, 2007


So, one of our multitude of assignments this week was to write some Haikus. My God but they're fun. I'd never used the form before but its blissful - the constraints it places upon both subject matter and structure are challenging but not onerous. Here's the full set of rules, as far as I can remember-

3 Lines 

Syllabels - 5, 7, 5

Imagery - Two images, one short and the other enduring. Must be very vivid and visual. They must be linked, but how they are linked is up to the reader to decipher.

Subject matter - Any, but should convey a spiritual revelation onto the reader

Seasonal and nature imagery is popular

I've split up what I've written into traditional Haikus, and short poems with the same syllabic structure but which aren't Haikus

More traditional

Motorway black ice -
The warm family car lulls
   The driver to sleep.

Summer strawberries,
Frost on the bedroom window,
   And the wine gets spilt

The wind catches dead leaves;
A red child's bicycle stands
   By the car, unused.

The television
Blares static and health-food ads:
   Outside flowers grow

The park bench is cold:
Two old men sit down and watch
   Children chase pigeons

A single lily
Wilts on the wood, very white.
   Loamy red earth waits.

A straight edged razor
Rests on a coffee table,
   Yet flowers still grow

The funeral band pass,
Slowly - my son reaches out.
   Spring is almost here

The king walks alone,
Down to the sea. He stands -
   And then he goes home

A curled up body
With a tiny heart - waiting?
   A stone waits also.

Less traditional

Stiletto heels, whips,
And chains - the sun is setting -
   And Sian plays games

Black silk slips away,
Showing fair hair and white skin.
   Warmth grows against flesh

We sit, two old priests,
A Rabbhi, and a rapist,
   Waiting for the joke

My mother lies, dead,
Waiting for something: it's there,
   Written on her face.

My father cries, cries.
I don't cry. I never cry.
   Never, ever cry.

Little, pluck guitar,
Just pluck guitar, little, just
   Pluck guitar, just pluck

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