It’s National Poetry Month, and I’m no stranger to writing a verse or two. In fact, I write ones that rhyme and ones that don’t. I don’t limit myself to a particular genre when I write. I simply write what I need to at that time. Even though I don’t consider myself restricted to one genre, it’s easy to fall into the habit of doing what we’ve always done.
I recently joined a writing group, and a member challenged us to try our hand at haiku. Her own haiku poems were little pieces of perfection that I felt intimidated to even attempt to replicate. They were simple, lovely, and powerful. But I thought about them long after the meeting adjourned. Could I write haiku, if I tried? Not one to shy away from a challenge, I put pen to paper and gave it a go.
Haiku, for the uninitiated, is a form of Japanese poetry. The most basic form involves 17 syllables in a 5, 7, 5 formation. An alternate formation is 11 syllables in a 3, 5, 3 formation. While I’m certainly no expert, most of them focus on nature and every day observations. Big ideas can hide in these little poems.
My first efforts pale in comparison to my friend’s lovely pieces, but I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone to see what I was capable of achieving. I found it an excellent writing exercise. Can you haiku?
live oaks stretch to touch
wild primal forest dreaming
of Spanish moss ghosts
bluest sky above
the hammock sways beneath me
dreamer’s dreams take shape
children’s voices rise and fall
the swing goes higher
tender blossoms fall
screen door slams against the house
sheets dance on the line