Neither you nor I
musing poets to define
sky water divide
I took this picture last January in Reno. The sun, the cloud, the water and the grass were in quite a spectacular harmonious formation. Narrow and yet broad in the limitation of my phone camera. Quite a poetic inspiring place. My hair turned to gold in some pictures. I did this little haiku only when I look at the pictures now and recall the solitary moment without adequate words to describe then.
First haiku ~~~~~~how i write you love
many nights and countless tears
thousands sleepless dreams
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Writing about love is tough because love is tough. Writing a haiku as a love letter is tougher. How to speak love in three lines, each in a limited number of sound syllabus, totaling seventeen syllabus in all? If you can, please tell me. Sometimes he feels like trying to describe this marshland. Not far from the ocean and yet it is not a seashore. It does not have the clean and pure snow white sands that tumble all the way down the emerald green water and thence hidden under the jeweled green moist and soft carpet, joyously twirling, reaching for the end of the horizon to touch the dreamy purple mountain on another shore, or perhaps further rising, stretching and touching the blue painted sky, becoming part of the great picture in the celestial realm deckled and crested with the most precious translucent stars at night. No. This marshland is brownish and does not sparkle even when under the sun. That is how a love haiku appears at times when sad water churns within a man’s heart bringing up muddy sands while struggling to decide to love or not to love. Yes, the sadness is due to him being far and yet far enough from the one he loves. Like the brown sands away from the ocean. He can hear the ocean tenderly singing its songs at night but he cannot reach it.
Second haiku ~~~~~~~~~so true is my love
it can only be whisper
for your ears betrothed
Snowy looming mount
donning new robe white and gold
gaping toothless mouth (or shaking new shaved head)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~In this picture this traveler sees a giant head or a giant mouth, both of which are depicted by a mountain at fairly close range. So the third line of the haiku (which is always the climax line of expression) can be a choice between describing the giant’s head or his mouth. The reader? Obviously this is a fun haiku for younger readers to train their imagination and creativity and perhaps inculcate a love of poetry. Note the deliberate contrast between the three lines.
First and second lines are from the perspective of the traveler:
First line: at dawn the traveler (passenger) wakes to see a rather fearful sight of a large dark thing looming ahead of the car.
Second line: Then he remarks to himself, “O, it’s quite a majestic looking sight of a snowy mountain in his splendor.”
Third line: A comical (humorous) twist. Looking now from the perspective of the mountain: that he is either surprised at this early car approaching him without notice and shakes his head in a benign manner; alternatively he is so surprised and a bit annoyed at being woken at such unearthly hour by the strange sight and rude sound of this traveler’s car that he stares with his mouth wide opened. (Is he going to eat up the car? No one knows yet. To be continued…)
’tis uncertain way
nature breaks for lunch in sky
know not where she strays
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Writing a haiku using another picture of a passenger on the road viewing from a car window is a further tough lesson today. What can the traveler see? What is on his mind? Haiku in its original Japanese form is mainly (if not all) about nature (including seasons). Although I am not writing in its original language, I do try to adhere to its root of descriptive form with a tinge of feeling/mood/thought hidden in between the lines. By adding a picture or rather basing my haiku words on a picture I have limited myself and yet expanded myself. In today’s picture, the activities are in the sky. The clouds are captured with great detail occupying the centre and bulk of the sky canvas. But the little bit of blue sky is beautiful on its own like it is not concerned with the majority participants on the same canvas. It looks like serene clear water with equally tranquil white islands floating by. What is the mood my haiku reflecting? As stated in the title, a passenger’s mood. I am going somewhere and am thinking of my destination. Traffic is clear. But the sky has this looming gray cloud. Is it going to rain? I don’t quite look forward to a delay if that happens. But the natural elements flow by their own pattern over which I have no control. In a picture and a few words, this haiku has thus attempted to present a rich variety of activities and moods in heaven and on earth. For a haiku lover, you will understand what I am trying to share. Thank you for coming by.
just a passenger
wheel in other’s hands he trusts
passing door ajar
~~~~~~~~~~~~Writing a haiku by looking at a picture at random is a form of creative-writing training. He has thousands of pictures to choose from. Some are quite good snapshots of memorable moments. Many are just pictures he takes for no particular reason. Each day the traveler looks through his photo folders which are broad categories based on places and dates. So it does not make his choice easy. One way of doing it fast is to recall the respective dates associated with special events, such as a visit to the ___Lake. He has his favorites. But the rule he has set for himself is not to pick favorites. So he just picks a picture at random, does a duplicate, reduces its size for internet posting, thereby losing somewhat its original clarity and depth of scope. Today’s picture is picked for its difficulty and it takes awhile to interpret so that a haiku may take shape. This is taken as a passenger in a car. Despite the dark trees and a protruding signboard looming in the forefront, the sky and cloud are quite attractive. He can see a door open to allow his imagination to pass through. Hence the haiku has taken its shape in a matter of minutes. On days when nothing comes forth, he leaves the picture alone. One good thing about first finding a picture and then ponder over it and write about it is that the picture can tell a thousand stories. It seems like one having a big football field to position his tiny haiku of three lines and 17 sounds.
Come haiku with me
a tree calls when he drives by
come see what I see
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He started when young. Writing haiku for a living in dreams. When he was older he wrote seriously but not haiku. Usually corporate reports. He knew then he could not live on haiku or any short poems. Even his loved ones shook their heads. Daily he drives on his corporate fast lane, sometimes long hours, like from dawn to dusk, even after midnight. Has he his own life? Yes, often in between reports. Then it is the time for watching the trees, the ponds, the rocks, the living creatures, the colors of all seasons, the sky and clouds, the ocean and the wind. Haiku is a lifestyle of watching. One just cannot capture a momentary snapshot until one takes the moment in snapshot. That is how his haiku builds up. Moments here and there. Sometimes it’s just a picture. Sometimes it’s a picture expressing a thought or a feeling at that moment. Thoughts and feelings are parts of the soul. In a way he is writing about souls.
Winter is best time
suspends in space and in me
warm and cold in rhyme
Why does this traveler write Haiku? I started writing Haiku in my teen days. I happened to read a book on Japanese Haiku (translated to English) in the library and tried writing some myself. It is simple and short and precise. It is not ambitious. It describes a moment like clicking a snapshot of something in a specific time and space. The result is a picture that tells a story.