Haiku for April 20


cool morning–the sun
shines on what remains of her
tasty crocuses

I’m returning later in the day to adjust the line breaks. I forced them into 5-7-5 here, but the more natural breaks of this version feel smoother to me:

cool morning–
the sun shines on what remains
of her tasty crocuses

My friend and poet, Joann Early Macken, on reading my line break worries, suggested this:

cool morning–the sun
shines on what remains
of her tasty crocuses

Her revision speaks to me, too. JoAnn also sent me this reminder about line breaks, from Mary Oliver’s Poetry Handbook:

“I cannot say too many times how powerful the techniques of line length and line breaks are. You cannot swing the lines around, or fling strong-sounding words, or scatter soft ones, to no purpose. A reader beginning a poem is like someone stepping into a rowboat with a stranger at the oars; the first few draws on the long oars through the deep water tell a lot–is one safe, or is one apt soon to be drowned? A poem is that real a journey.”

Which version would convince you that I could get you safely to the shore?


Haiku for April 19

Caitlin, the budding haiku poet who is also my 11-year-old niece, said I could share just one more of her poems. She wrote this one as we drove back from a vacation week trip to Washington, DC. I think she is hooked on haiku!

driving past the trees,
looking at the pretty leaves–
allergies galore



Haiku for April 17

Today’s haiku is one I wrote four years ago, on one of the hardest and saddest days of my life. It’s not 5-7-5, which is unusual for me, but  one of my life’s greatest gifts and dearest friends, Jane Dutton, was dying on that day. Rules suddenly seemed arbitrary and unfair.

somewhere outside
this hospital room–

Haiku for April 16

Today’s haiku is by my talented 11-year-old niece Caitlin. IT’S HER FIRST ONE EVER! She wrote it while our families were together in Washington, DC, seeing the sights. I’m in love with it, and with her.

seeing flowers bloom,
seeing a person in need–
as you move along

Haiku for April 15

Today’s haiku is by Kiyoko Tokutomi (1928-2003), and I first found it in Patricia Donegan’s Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness & Open Your Heart (Shambala, 2008). I’ve since read a bit more about the poet here, and ordered my own copy of her book Kiyoko’s Sky: The Haiku of Kiyoko Tokutomi. 

the packet of seeds
asking, are you still alive?

All of which to say, I don’t have an original haiku of my own to share for April 15, 2018. Some days are like that. 🙂

You might also notice I’m behind in posting. It’s school vacation week in New England, and I’ve been distracted by the fun things a vacation week can hold. But stay tuned, because today is all about catching up.