Haikus collected

haiku. I have been relatively indifferent towards this form of poetry until I discovered that it is one of the few ways of getting a more or less conscious observation about your surroundings or nature on paper when a monstrous daily workload prevents you from doing anything that isn’t work-related. When I gradually started to like the haiku there was no way back.

Often when I get up in the morning I see the world reflected in the mirror while shaving. A very small portion of the world, that is. About 45 x 30 cm, which are the dimensions of the bathroom window of our house. From that vantage point I see a disused chimney of the part of the house that was formerly an annex with small stable. Behind the chimney some trees in the neighbouring gardens, now leafless, paint a very picturesque background against the winter sky.

chimney on the annex roof

Throughout the year a crow couple is following its daily routine around the chimney. They probably built a nest there. Beautiful and intelligent birds.

With the recent precious gift of snow the poetry of the scene is perfect. What a waste to let these fleeting images, quiet observations, and associations slip away each day. So I try to make it a daily routine to jot down the lines that cross my mind in a small black notebook while still scuttling around in the bathroom, and later add them to the haiku-group ‘wall’ during the first coffee in the morning after having arrived in my study. And apparently some people like them too. Nice!

Long ago I have made some attempts at writing poetry. Some poems even got published. The specific haiku form however, which I, erroneously, deemed kitsch for a long time, is a great way to force yourself to the utmost clarity. It’s the economy and extreme scarcity of words that sometimes yields very rich images. … Not always though. But it is very nice and rewarding to see many people struggle with the very strict rules, and still get very good, and sometimes brilliant results.


silent gathering
prints of small feet in the snow
enigmatic crows


a river meadow
cold night covers it swiftly
geese get together


distant thunder rings
but snow dampens its effect
the strangest contrast


an unused chimney
great location for a nest
the crows like it too


dissolved in darkness
little melting hills of snow
will be gone next dawn


crow lands on chimney
highly philosophical
and misunderstood


complex messages
being sent from tree to tree
black crows in winter


darkness has set in
no snow to reflect the light
winter lost its soul


snow adrift outside
the fire burning in the hearth
the winter is back


like gossamer veins
the blackish leafless branches
cross the grey-white sky


wind gaining in strength
and falling in temperature
cuts like a razor


the bathroom mirror
frames the chimney on the roof
and the crow on it


scent of burning wood
birds silently settling down
a winter evening


the quiet river flows
grey fragments of icy snow
sheep on the riverbanks


our winter garden
is a blank canvas again
may nature fill it


a dog, a man, snow
no cars, no sounds, no echos,
silent saturday


peanuts in a net
finches and robins appear
oh no! There’s the crow!


roof of the old school
must be large enough to land
if you’re a sparrow


smoke leaves the chimney
the logs now only glowing
sparrows gathering