A gift of Haiku


Camping on the edge of the world, Eastern High Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

The currant shudders.

A clear, calm morning; what cause?

A sparrow jumps out.

In an attempt to append the above haiku I want to add some explanation of why I wrote what I wrote. Haiku is a Japanese style of poetry whose form, in English anyway, is 3 lines of: 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables which is often nature based and usually juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated things in a relational way. What I love about haiku is that it is simple, to the point and says so much with just a few words. Its challenging to express deep meaning with scant language. In the haiku that I write, the point is to express a precise moment so that both the writer and reader are there at the same time. The moment described in this haiku was what I saw on a given morning as I looked out our front window. I was sitting on the couch and the first rays of the sun were peaking up over the mountains. A red flowering currant (a native plant to this area) shuddered and shook but there was no apparent wind. It was a very calm and clear morning, so I wondered at the cause. Was there a slight breeze that I could not detect or was it something else? And then suddenly out hopped a sparrow, telling me in an instant something about the world. A beautiful, perfect moment to be alive. And so haiku, as I interpret it anyway, aims at putting the reader into that moment, into that realization about life: that its simple, beautiful and perfect just the way it is and that it is the ordinary moments that are sublime. Its not necessarily supposed to make sense in the left brain way that we usually think of things (logic and reason and language); rather its supposed to be a direct experience and so in that way makes the most sense of all.


4 Comments on “A gift of Haiku”

  1. Jimmy says:


  2. Julie says:

    So glad you elaborated, didn’t get it the first time. I didn’t connect the two before.

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