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The Haiku Itself

This grove, ‘The Haiku Itself’ is self regarding.  These are haiku about haiku - their inspiration, their form and some thoughts about both their strengths and difficulties.  The DIY haiku allows the participating reader free choice in the placing of the words.  Thing and Rose is a confection of groups of words attributable to: (i) Marilyn Monroe, (ii) Gertrude Stein, (iii) William Shakespeare.  Other haiku experiments are to be found Beyond the Haiku.

Bonsai tree

On Terimati’s Verses

  1. Terimati’s works
    Concise, well formed, numerous
    —Their bonsai forest
  2. Teri and Mati
    Two bards sitting with two beards
    —Seeds of an idea
  3. Many of our best
    Are true joint compositions
    (No, not smoking #!)
  4. The Great Master’s works
    Clear, wise, concise, to the point
    —Calls a glade a glade
  5. Deepest tragedy
    Next to stand-up comedy
    —What makes Shakespeare great
  6. Gags and deep feelings -
    Fuckin’ Hell, that’s what life is
    All about, innit?
  7. Desp’rate Dan, Korky,
    Dennis the Menace, Gnasher
    —Our hero’s Basho
little frog

The Haiku Form

  1. Writing a haiku
    Is a matter of getting
    The length of line right
  2. Poems in three lines
    Five syllables then seven
    Then another five
  3. Never 4’s or 6’s
    Boundaries are 5 and 7
    Haiku’s not cricket
  4. Haiku are precise
    There’s no Japanese phrase for
    ‘That is near enough’.
  5. Though rhymes are not crimes
    The true worth of a haiku
    Is its sounds and sense
  6. Though peers of poems
    Haikus are but commoners
    They lack a title
  7. The instructions can also be given in computer or continental languages:

    IF A = 5
    AND IF B = 7
    AND C = 5
    [But not necessarily
    Any bloody good]
  9. Ein Haiku ist ein

    The vertical bars simply clarify its formal structure.  Here is a literal element-by-element translation: In-seventeen-syllables-twice-off-broken-eastern-poem

Subject Matter

  1. Finding a subject
    A little more difficult
    One must work at it
  2. Writing a haiku
    A way to communicate
    Brief and to the point.
  3. Haiku.  Good to read.
    Marquand inwardly digests
    Morsels of Wisdom
  4. Haiku are morsels
    That don’t give indigestion
    Leaving room for more
  5. Haiku come full-formed
    I’ve tried many media
    This one is for me
  6. Linking up haiku
    One fence wire—many dew drops
    Seems to work for me
  7. 2 b or not 2
    b that is the quest I’m on
    Have I got this right?
  8. Writing a haiku
    A matter of season words
    And using them well
  9. Haiku—they show us
    Compassion—and for ourselves
    How brief our life is
  10. Much to aspire to—
    Such humbling constraints—haiku
    Metaphors for life
  11. Haiku are about
    Observing impermanence
    Seizing the moment
  12. Perhaps some landscape
    Mixed in with an epigram
    Is a beginning
  13. In all our haiku
    No sign of an elephant
    Ah!  There is one now!
Bonsai tree
Bonsai tree


  1. Thought up some haiku
    Then used the quality rake
    —They were moss not grass
  2. My muse has left me
    Now me and my doggerel,
    Old prose, go walkies
  3. I ascend the stairs
    To craft my better haiku
    —Poems are the stars
  4. Awake in the night
    Whopping big black silences
    Sometimes haiku come
  5. Kew Gardens Sunday
    Splendid water lilies there
    Haiku may follow
  6. Challenge of haiku
    Attracts my concentration
    Attention wanders
  7. Haiku are like days
    They are just not long enough
    To fit it all in
  8. I offer a jest
    Even an insight on life
    Each is a haiku
  9. Haiku poet’s tears
    —Her cutting words.  Makes peace with
    Seventeen kisses
Bonsai tree


  1. Polysyllabics
    => Artificiality
    => Insincerity
  2. Metaphorical
    Polysyllabicity -
  3. Quadrilateral
  4. Exonerating
  5. Reincarnation -
  6. Versifications
Bonsai tree

Syllable Problems

  1. Haiku’d dance all night
    And still have asked for more—than
    Seventeen syllab…
  2. Half syllables like
    ‘While’—is it ‘wile’ or ‘wyull’?
    Sometimes bother me
  3. In the Lone Star State
    Syllables count differently
    Not left but ‘lay-uff’
  4. Now not just Tow-unn
    We now have City, Man U
    Facturing as well
  5. Say ‘little pebbles’
    Syllables go by quickly
    Then say ‘small round stones’
  6. In English we have
    Big bricks, small bricks and half bricks
    Not like Japanese
  7. Syllables, buses—
    Not enough when you want them
    Or more than you need
Bonsai tree

Having pun

  1. Highland cattle trips
    Farmer has a wee problem
    Righting a high coo
  2. Rambler on the moor
    Ill-advised path through peat bog
    Encounters hike ooze
  3. Friday afternoon
    All the working week is done
    Haiku’d sink a pint
  4. Room 575
    Cilla Bull’s sweet seventeen,
    Ike Hughes counts on her
  5. Stacked over Heathrow
    Round and round and round we go.
    Is this a high queue?
Bonsai tree


  1. The DIY Haiku

    I just hate to be
    A [ ] is a [ ] is a
    [ ] by any name

    For each [ ] substitute ‘Thing’ or ‘Rose’ at will, mixing and matching, as seems appropriate at the moment.  See the appendix for further explanation.
  2. Chicken crosses road
    Many possible reasons
    [Insert just one here]

    A sort of meta haiku—do ‘could be seventeen’ or ‘grass greener maybe’ qualify?
  3. This one has the same syllable in the centre of each line—a ‘spiku’?

    Clear, warm sunny days
    Blessed our Whitsuntide away
    —Liked your sunday best
Bonsai tree

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