Another Year in Haiku

Apr 6, 2017
A year in haiku
Margaret Boyles

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The Japanese poetic form called haiku seems perfectly tailored as a discipline for someone who writes about “natural living.”

In its classical form, a haiku requires 1. a natural or seasonal reference; 2. three lines of text—the first and third lines containing five syllables, the middle line containing seven; 3. two concrete, sensory images separated by a pivotal phrase or word that links them, often in some surprising way.

The requirement for a seasonal reference draws attention to what’s going on right now in the natural world. The forced brevity and requirement for concrete everyday words are great for improving writing, and the requirement to link simple images from the sensory world to some insight or other can strengthen a writer’s ability to infuse her prose with broader and deeper layers of meaning.

For all those reasons and more, I write haiku almost every day. I never labor over them or rewrite them, but just set down what emerges spontaneously. Here’s a random selection from 2016.

 

January

magical snowscape
takes my breath away~I’ve spent
two hours shoveling

minus forty-five
yesterday, but tomorrow
forty-eight above

 

February

day after blizzard
melting snowman leaves red scarf
fluttering in mud

spring arrived early
confused buds burst~but sadly
died before they lived

March

spring in my kitchen
buckets and buckets of forced
forsythia blooms

birthday day today
sun shining, ice melting
all of it in me

April

sound of spring peepers
time to stop lugging firewood
start mowing the lawn

looking out today
who’d predict weekend blizzard
will bring winter back

May

after long spring drought
a long day of rain—yet we’ll
never stop grumbling

warm sun, thick green grass
young cattle jump fence, craving
a taste of freedom

June

late-June morning
munching strawberries, but Whoa!
this one shared with slug

my small backyard pond
great for shampoos~all that algae
thickens the tresses  

July

my attic office
overlooks shrubs, lawn, flowers
all of us wilting

birds, chipmunks, beetles
share my food crops~I call it
tithing to Nature

August

what’s with all this wind?
even the sturdy cornstalks
lie down in its path

slender dry tendril
twists up from buttercup stem
both our dreams fulfilled


September

wind rattles grass seeds
from dry stalks~next spring they’ll sprout
among my vegetables


bittersweet berries
in blue vase~outside their vines
strangle the maple

October

out attic window
lichen-studded limbs stretch bare
to catch first snowflakes


stiff grass white with frost
footfalls crunch against hard ground
milkweed down floats by

 

November

autumn walk through woods
so many acorns~should have
worn my bike helmet

we don hunting hats
blaze orange; no we don’t hunt
but come back alive

December

big chunks of firewood
no warmth from them without this
handful of splinters

winter fast upon us
may the snow fall light upon
that old shed of ours

 

Try your own hand at haiku!

About This Blog

"Living Naturally" is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that's good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, and ideas to make your home a healthy, safe haven. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it's re-learning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better healthier lives.

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