First Frost, #haiku

I’ve been doing a thorough analysis of haiku, senryu and pseudo-haiku (sometimes called failed haiku). Haiku has always been one of my favorites, and the use of a season word (kigo) is what fulfills the true meaning of a haiku. These season words are essential to the understanding of haiku. Haiku and nature are forever connected.

silver hair...
winter's first frost
touches her eyes

© Colleen M. Chesebro

We write haiku by giving our readers at least two images to connect with. The idea is to create a juxtaposition between the two images.

In the haiku above, I compare silver hair to winter’s first frost. Then, I take the images a step further… I compare winter’s first frost to the glint of age (glaucoma, possibly?) showing in her eyes. However, there is also a connection to the impermanence of time. After all, we all grow old. Winter also signifies death, as the natural world is in hibernation waiting for spring to reawaken the dormant world.

Image by ThuyHaBich from Pixabay

But the season is critical to making this haiku work. It’s easy to see that we lose the deep connection if we remove the kigo of winter’s first frost.

This haiku is part of #TankaTuesday. Join in HERE and write some color poetry.

I hope this helps you craft haiku. Namaste & Blessed Be!

Banshee Winds

Image by David Phelps from Pixabay
bitter March winds growl
over Lake Michigan's shore
the spring Banshee stirs

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Yesterday, in East Lansing, it was 57 degrees. Last night, high winds and rain lashed our house as this wicked storm blew across the Midwest, leaving behind a path of destruction.

Such is spring in Michigan. It’s always a mixed bag of weather events. Word on the street is snow will fall tonight.

Daily haiku ~ the river

summer clouds—
kayakers floating
the river

© Colleen M. Chesebro

I’m with the grand-dogs this weekend on the Grand River. It’s always so beautiful and peaceful here.

I’m working on haiku imagery. The idea is to connect emotions by associating two or more images together in strange and unusual ways. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I find it is always best to look for alike, or contrasting images to feature in your poem.

In the haiku above, I targeted the “summer (my kigo) clouds” and the “kayakers floating the river,” definitely a summer activity. Clouds float – kayakers float, which are alike images.

A haiku should present an event in an image. It should SHOW us what happened without telling us about it or what emotion to feel. In the haiku above, what emotions do you feel?

Haiku poems share a specific event or observation. Haiku are not generalities, and we never use a simile or metaphor.

Most haiku are written in seventeen onji (Japanese sounds) which equates to around twelve syllables (3, 5, 3).