“Where have you been?” That is a question I have heard countless times during the months I have taken for a blog sabbatical. Was I laid up and left for vulture food by my MS? Did the Prize Patrol knock on my door to give me a million dollars and a bunch of balloons? Did the world really end ( taking only me) as some boneheads predicted by misreading the Mayan calendar? Did I go insane, committed to a padded cell to eat green jello, and given experimental medications in paper cups? Uh…no.
Well, the answer to the first question is only a partial no. I’m not buzzard bait or road kill. My MS has decided to misbehave and treat some to the nerves in my noggin as an endless buffet. But, with some different medications and time, MS will be put on a starvation diet for a while. Enough said.
All of that explaining aside, I will tell you where I’ve been. Lost. Gloriously so. I’ve been lost in a new (to me) form of poetry, which has altered and opened up many areas of my life. It has not changed my personality, but my perception. It has not changed my unemployed status, but my mental state.
I am studying, seeking and absorbing the world (genre) of haiku. I am writing haiku and have had several of my haiku published in various journals and anthologies. I’ve even been published in a local newspaper. Go figure.
Before you roll your eyes at me, let me tell you what haiku is NOT. Haiku is not your typical, middle school taught, three-line poem. It is NOT a limerick. It is NOT a rhyming little riff in a song. (Yes, I’ve been asked and even told that.)
Haiku is a poetry genre which originated in Japan more than 300 yrs. ago. A haiku (and there is no such thing as haikus…it is plural in itself) is often written as a 3-line poem in which the first line as 5 syllables, the second has 7 and the 3rd has 5. Haiku can be written, appropriately, even in one line. I’ve seen a haiku in one word. Haiku is “in the moment” with nature and or human nature, written in a concise, never “wordy” form. Wordy to me is “carpet fuzz.” (unnecessary or redundant) I believe I’ve seen wordiness, concerning haiku, as pillowy. Don’t quote me on that.
Within this blog post, I am not able to accurately define or detail haiku. The Haiku Society of America has a vast listing of learning and reading websites and journals. As my dad used to say, “look it up.”
Before I share a few haiku I have had published, I must thank a dear friend, Terri French, who is not only a well-known published writer of haiku, she as well as Laurence Stacey have been instrumental in helping me practice and put into words the “now moments” of everyday. There are others, believe me. Haiku writers are branches in a wonderfully diverse, yet kind family tree.
My first published haiku, which appeared in Frog Pond, vol. 35:2 of 2012:
insects on the backs of leaves
his secrets safe
for a while…
The second was published in Modern Haiku, Autumn 2012:
the radiologist’s face
The 3rd was published in Haiku News, Aug. 5, 2012:
news of a missing child
ripple to the lake’s surface
There you have it. This is where I’ve been. I may not always write in the haiku form in my blog, but I will always take the importance of noticing details, discipline and astounding revelations I have learned and thread it, like saffron, though everything.
Please be patient as I try to gather links which will be helpful to you in learning and writing haiku. There are several WordPress sites for haiku as well as many noted and published haiku poets’ blogs. It is the generosity of others which has helped me. Notice the details of your life. Even with MS raging in my body, my spirit has been quieted and nourished. I’ve been kind to myself. Isn’t that what my dad used to say? Yes, it is. “Be kind”.