Tag Archives: haiku

storytelling through haikus

10 Feb

Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds issued a little haiku competition last week that I had to get in on. You know I love my haikus. The challenge was to tell a story weaving three haikus together.

Normally when I write a haiku I stay flexible with the syllables, not getting religious about the 5-7-5 pattern, but Chuck wanted us to keep to it, so I did. Supposing I can count.

Here’s my story:

Evil moves eastward
And the farmers who love peace
Become warriors

She hides among them
A girl with the heart of ten
To fight alongside

And though she dies, pierced,
On a field green and crimson
Her nation lives on

*Side note : this haiku says nothing about the book I’m working on. It’s a different story entirely.*

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haiku – sanctuary for the weary wordsmith

14 Jun

With my pocket knife / I cut a haiku open / and shake out the words   (Roary at CoyoteSings)

Maybe it’s because I’m in the middle of a novel. A fat, sloppy, greasy novel that boasts of 236 pages in desperate need of fixing, rewriting, hacking back, and filling in. And I feel like I’ve been working on it forever. And the end is no where in sight…

Maybe that’s why I’ve taken such a liking to haikus.

When my brain is mush, and I feel like all my endless word spinning may be in vain, and what am I even doing working with words? Maybe words aren’t even my thing! Maybe I suck at words! – That’s when it’s nice to take a break. Clear my mind. And focus on 17 syllables.

17 syllables, and I’m done. Finished. One whole piece. Born. Completed. Something that wasn’t there before, now created.

It’s a breath of fresh air.

To my husband, it’s a crock of crap. He thinks they suck. Not just mine. All of them. He thinks they’re stupid. Still, I made him write one, and he doesn’t know it, but I’m going to share it here:

*******

Heat is sweltering

The soft flesh is now melting

My mind is at sea

*******

I think it’s pretty great. He says it’s total BS and means nothing at all.

Now it’s my turn:

*******

 

Black sky, quiet house.

I ignore the day’s messes.

My mind wants to roam.

 

*******

 

Small seed, it seems dead.

Pushed into vast earth, swallowed-

This must be it’s end…

 

*******

 

I’m a butterfly-

Wings like paper, yet strong to fly

Thousands of miles.

 

*******

I really like those last two. Okay, your turn. Leave a haiku in the comments! 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the next, then 5 again in the last. And you can give or take a few if you’re writing in English. For some reason, this is okay. But if you’re going to put it down in Japanese, sorry, you’ve got to stick to the rules.

Dad, you’re gonna take me up on this, right?

*******

weave for me a dandelion ring – haikus

6 Jun

I wore a wedding ring once.

It wasn’t something Clayton gave me when we said our vows. No, instead we had exchanged hemp bracelets we made for each other the night before our wedding. Wait, that’s not right. I wanted to make my own bracelet, so he made his. Either way, they rotted off our wrists within a month. I wonder where the remnants are? You would think I would have saved something like that…

About a year after we were married, still brimming with love and affection for one another, we walked into a mall and came out an hour later wearing matching sterling silver bands. Each had cost around seventy five dollars.

I know, I know. I’m one classy girl, what can I say.

Four years later, I lost mine. It’s somewhere down at the park, maybe in the lake or under the sands of the volleyball court. That had been a fun day…

My finger has been bare for a year now. I have no wedding band to symbolize my love and commitment for my husband.

But, the thing is, you don’t need a band to symbolize that, when you wear it on you, like a permanent-marker-message to the forehead, everywhere you go.

My five-year-old daughter was wondering about dandelion necklaces today. She had seen the idea in a book and asked me if I knew how to make them. I told her that of course I did, and sat down with a fresh pile of dandelions to prove it to her. Our yard is generous in her production of them. I could try to my hearts content. But I failed. It was harder than I remembered. Finally I asked her if a ring would do, and I wrapped it around her little finger and tucked in the end so that it stayed.

Beautiful. I kept looking at it. That dandelion made a gorgeous ring.

And I thought about my lost wedding ring. And I thought about my bare finger. And I thought about the gold and the white gold and the karats and the princess cuts and the blue diamonds. And I found in my mind a young couple, something like the lovers in Braveheart, poor in wealth, but rich in love, and I saw him weaving her a ring from a dandelion and her cherishing it because she cherished him. And even after it was rotted and gone, she still cherished it, because she still cherished him, ring or no ring.

And I realized I had to write about it. Because some things just need to get out.

I’m hoping to write a lot of poetry about dandelion rings, but today I started with haikus. I’ve never written any before today, but I’ve been seeing them around and thought it would be a good place to start. They keep a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, like the traditional japanese haikus, but I slipped in a 6 syllable line on one. From what I understand, haikus don’t work in the English language the same way they do in Japanese, so it’s okay to bend the rules a little.

#1

A gold band means this-

Not a single thing to me.

I only want love.

*******

#2

Gold band, I need not.

Give me all your love and a

dandelion ring.

*******

#3

I lost my wedding ring

but not my love for my groom,

so I have it all.

*******

#4

Money, no, but love abounds,

and so let my ring be a

dandelion ring.

*******

#5

I love you, but you

are poor, so weave for me a

dandelion ring.

*******

Which one is your favorite? Do you think they are all ridiculous and haikus are stupid? You wouldn’t be alone!

I like 2, 4 and 5 the best. If I had to pick one, I’d pick… 2? I’ll try to post more dandelion ring poems as I come up with them.

*******