Haiku is short-form poetry in the Japanese tradition. I entered a haiku competition at Seward Park associated with the effort to build a new torii gate. I was fortunate enough to win that competition, and continued to write haiku and other short-form poems.

In general, haiku is just a few words that typically have two thoughts whose interplay is the magic. In traditional Japanese haiku they are separated by a cutting word or kireji. Often there is a seasonal reference of some kind, though not necessarily. Haiku can be three lines or one line, or even two. In modern haiku there is much flexibility. The syllabic count taught to schoolchildren – the 5-7-5 – is not especially relevant.

Here are some recent haiku:

watermelon seeds at my shadow
summer afternoon

(pub. in Failed Haiku)

smooth in my hand the stone’s long journey

(pub. First Frost)

windstorm. . .
crow outraces
a flying leaf

the emptiness
of the meditation hall
the taste of sour rye

(pub. in ZigZag Bridge, Haiku Northwest anthology)