Haiku

Kleine gedaantes
Doorkruisen de avondmist
Mystieke muizen

Translation

Small appearances
Traverse the evening fog
Mystic mice

(Note: in translation the 5 – 7 – 5 syllable pattern of the haiku is lost)

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My recent haiku’s

Recently I have written 5 new English haiku’s, starting in spring ending about now, in summer. The poems try to capture some very strong images I carry with me. Although these images are more a synthesis of memories, perceptions, and perhaps even made up reality, they could be real captured moments. Perhaps they are, captured distilled moments.

 

I

Sharp images float
On shallow oily water
Thick with summer heat

II

A leaf drops, nearby
Sparrows do not mind, but know
Summer wil soon end

III

Silent gathering
Bald willows along the stream
Nobody watching

IV

As the leaf settles
A deafening resonance
Imperceptible

V

Spring light cuts through dust
Dust settles lightly on wood
Abandoned attic

Willow haiku

catching sun and wind
seldom noticed on its own
willow’s withsuntide

April Haiku’s collected

Collecting some stray haiku’s I posted on the ‘Haiku Visions Facebook group in april.

1.

semi-classical
austere symmetry, tainted
with traces of life

2.

caught in the mirror
Medusa’s hight-pitched screams fill
the elegant park

3.

a calm day in spring
scintilllating greys and greens
better than a poem

4.

on an ancient lamp
dust is settling quietly
barely audible

5.

Boboli gardens,
greenest green water mirrors
charming phantasy

6.

distressed surfaces
fading colored subtleties
beauty of decay

7.

its two rusty eyes
watching over the valley;
a safer place now

Some haikus inspired by images

1.

I am a hero
valiantly resisting
the cold snow outside

2.

a finch on a stick
meditating patiently
comparing snowflakes

3.

vast is the forest
elusive the animals
new binoculars

4.

decapitation
memories lost forever
death of a fungus

5.

guarding the forest
a footsoldier staying put
the bravest mushroom

More haikus

1.

bluish moonlit snow
if it was not for the cold
you could read a book

2.

on the precious scroll
a meaningless metaphor
has killed the haiku

3.

patterns of black ink
will paint the lightest of worlds
power of the mind

4.

a bunsen burner
on a summer afternoon
ah! Nostalgia.

5.

imperceptible
heavenly bodies beckon
largely unnoticed

5.

below the surface
of the frog-filled pond in june
a goldfish sneezes

6.

autumn afternoon
teacups crowned with rising steam
better go inside

7.

rays of warm sunlight
green linen fading slowly
a bookstore in june

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.

1

silent gathering
prints of small feet in the snow
enigmatic crows

2

a river meadow
cold night covers it swiftly
geese get together

3

distant thunder rings
but snow dampens its effect
the strangest contrast

4

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

5

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

6

crow lands on chimney
highly philosophical
and misunderstood

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

scent of burning wood
birds silently settling down
a winter evening

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

smoke leaves the chimney
the logs now only glowing
sparrows gathering

Colour II

glass cube with pure painter's pigments
glass cube with pure painter's pigments

Grey sunday it is
Holland, its blossom long gone
colour is needed

Oh!

I think I have just written my first ever haiku!

And it somehow makes me think of Obi Wan Kenobi….