Creation Station, Poetry, Uncategorized

Saving the Haiku from the Fourth Grade

How to Haiku

Writing a Haiku is something most all of us will explore in our lives. I think I first learned of them in an elementary English class…perhaps third or fourth grade? Most of us will likely leave the haiku there, along with the little brown desks whose tops open up to reveal a cubby for your pencil box and writing books, snotty noses and grass stained pants. 

I left the Haiku there for a long while. Until today. Something struck me while I was sitting around bored and thinking of new things I could try. I think I was on a kick from kicking off this blog and was itching to generate new ideas. So I googled the recipe for a Haiku to be reminded of what my elementary school teacher taught me years ago. 

I learned three things:

  1. You can forget how to count syllables 
  2. This is very funny and embarrassing (in my defense I was super fatigued due to an infection)
  3. Haiku structure runs as 5-7-5 (number of syllables)

I tried my hand at writing several haiku poems which I will leave in this post and continue to try and write them, perhaps weekly…perhaps not. We will see where the wind takes me. Maybe I will leave the Haiku with me laughing at my adult self and my lack of ability to count the number of syllables in an English word! 

For now, I love them.

I write a lot of poetry, most of which is completely free-form. From spirit to page. A lot of it is evoked by the emotion an experience brings up for me. 

The concept of Haiku, I think, is unique. It captures a moment. A single breath. The structure of it ensures you use your words with intention. 5-7-5, that’s all you have to capture your breath, your moment. The result of such precision, witness and mindfulness can only be beautiful and, “succinct”, as my friend so artfully put it. 

Revisiting the Haiku opened the door to humility, humor, patience, forgiveness, wisdom, presence, gratitude, honor, surprise and honesty. I am grateful to have found them again. We will see how often we meet this time around!

In the few I wrote today, I did alter the structure a bit, I think. These may be considered untraditional Haikus due to the line breaks. 

Enjoy! Or don’t…it is up to you what you take…and heck, they’ve probably got some growing to do. 

Feel free to submit your own Haiku poems or any tips and tricks to writing them, criticisms, funny or moving stories tied them, et cetera. 

Poems by H.M. Carter
Autumn 2019