• Bessie M. David

Can you Haiku?


I was recently an exhibitor at a book event and while perusing the other authors, I met a very cheery poet selling her most recent book of poetry. Poems were my first love as a writer, possibly only 2nd to my diary but I'm not so sure about that memory. I never thought it would be important or at least interesting to really know what was the first creative piece I ever wrote. I still have hand-written copies of my first poems from elementary school. I also held on to my first two or maybe only diaries. They were from junior high school so I guess it's safe to say poetry came before the Dear Dairy. Since my goal of the book event was to 'sell' books, and not purchase them, I took the offer to write a Haiku as an entry to a drawing for a free copy of the poetry book. "OMG, I love Haiku", I said. Immediately remembering learning, writing and loving Haiku. However, I wasn't really sure what I remembered about writing it. Poet lady hands me a piece of paper with the first two words to use in writing a 5-7-5 Haiku. My insecurity kicked in as I took the challenge and walked away not really remembering the 'rules' of Haiku writing. I hurried back to my table with excitement at writing my Haiku. 5-7-5. Hmm, I do remember there being some type of rhythm to writing Haiku, but I was clueless and upset that I was no longer properly schooled in my craft. I asked my co-writer friend if she agreed that a 5-7-5 Haiku was 5 words on line one, 7 on line two and 5 on line 3. She said yeah, I think so. I sat and wrote about the first thing that came to mind using the first two words provided by poet lady; Flood by ________________. So I began.

Flooded by sunlight basking on

my skin from the hot, blazing sun

and then the breeze blows

I quickly returned to poet lady, and before I handed her my poem, I made the comment that it had been so long since I wrote a Haiku. "It is 5 words, 7 words, 5 words, right?" Poet lady smiled, "No it's syllables; 5-7-5 syllables". She reaches for my paper. "Let me read it anyway". She takes the paper from my hand and reads. "Not bad". Just go back and write it again using the syllable format. I didn't feel so insecure at that point, not knowing the Haiku rules. I went back to my pen and paper to rewrite my Haiku.

Flooded by hot sun

skorching, sizzling, begging shade

Cool breeze lingers near

Then I wrote another:

Flooded by the fear

that trickles inside my veins

Anxiety looms

Without having anything to compare to, I felt my Haikus were pretty good. It just felt good to write. I especially like writing at a moments notice. Emotion of any and everything in life is always on the surface of my every thought. So just now I decided to write yet another Haiku.

Flooded by hot sun

beads of sweat trickling down

my hot skin gleaming

So ends the day of an aspiring writer.


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