Poetry Friday & wildflower haiku

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It’s Poetry Friday! Janet is hosting at Poetry for Children.

On Monday of this week, Mark asked me to go for a walk after work. It was slightly cooler than it has been (translation: still warm!) so I said yes. There comes a day every fall when he’s ready to tour the woods with me and show me his treasures: acorns on the nuttall oak, ready for the deer; goldenrod about to burst into bloom; myriad prairie wildflowers in white, purple and gold; the pear tree’s branch bent over by the weight of the raccoon that stripped its fruit.

I love this day, every year.

On this particular Monday during my lunch break, I’d been reading Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hand’s-On Guide, by Jane Reichhold. Diane Mayr recommended it ages ago, and it has been sitting on my shelf waiting.

Don’t you love it when you pick up exactly the right book at the precise moment it’s perfect for you? I do! I’ve just begun, but Jane’s gentle, wry, logical approach to writing haiku has demystified it for me. She is straightforward in her explanations, and has no pretensions about poetry.

I found a page on Jane’s website that includes book lists, a glossary of literary terms, and links to magazines and organizations related to haiku. She also has lesson plans for teaching haiku: The Bare Bones School of Haiku.

As Mark and I walked, we saw a few dedicated bees out foraging. Their activity made the flowers bob as if nodding their heads . . . but since I’d just read about avoiding personification in haiku, I focused instead on contrast and using the phrase/fragment construction. Unlike the haiku I drafted to practice during lunch, which Jane would call “desk haiku,” the poem below arose from personal experience. I won’t go so far as to say it was a “haiku moment” but it was a lovely afternoon spent walking and composing in my head while Mark pointed out different trees. (I’m hopeless beyond the most basic tree ID.)

Author: Keri

22 thoughts on “Poetry Friday & wildflower haiku

    1. Yes, 2 thumbs up for sure. I’m scribbling in it as I read along. Mark knows all kinds of things about what I jokingly call “the outdoor woods” — I look at the world differently than I did before we married!

  1. Oooh, this is a keeper! Both poem and picture are delightful. Thank you for the resources, too, Keri. And I think that your Mark and I Mark are much alike…as is our property. ‘Wish we could just go through the computer to visit each other… xo

    1. Wouldn’t it be fun to visit one another’s farms, husbands in tow? I think you would really enjoy my “pet” chickens!

  2. Ah, the swaying of flowers from the weight of honeybees! I watched one flower almost touch the ground when a big bumblebee landed. I love both the image and the haiku. I still get hung up on the correct number of syllables for a haiku. Maybe I should read Jane’s book, too, and see if I can free myself!

    1. Donna, you will love this book! I hope you get a copy and, like me, free yourself from all of the preconceived notions we have of haiku! (Bumblebees — did they get their name from being so big and bumbling into blossoms?)

  3. Ha! I told you it was a good book. Nice haiku my friend! I took a bunch of flower photos on my trip to Maine this week. The bees are out in full force stocking up for what is sure to be a cold, cold, winter.

    1. Smart bees and smart poet. Thank you for the compliment — high praise indeed, if it comes from you! Thanks for sharing with so many of us the tools we need to grow. xoxo

  4. Amazing! Limit of 140 characters on Twitter is a challenge; look at the full-image view you packed into soooooooooo many fewer. Beautiful. Thank you! God bless you!

    1. Twitter is *really hard* for me. I typically labor over a tweet, going back to shorten, use symbols, etc. Haiku feels easier!!

    1. Let me know what you think of it, Bridget. I love that she encourages readers to write in the book as we go, to learn the rules then bend them.

  5. I have always loved Haikus and delight in the unexpected always hiding between the second and third line. This was beautiful and the image was perfect. Reading it was pure delight. πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for the peek into your process (and for the book recommendation via Diane). You got everything you needed into that haiku with just the minimum of words and the most perfect contrast. Lovely. (the photo, too)

    1. You’re very kind, Michelle! I would love to enjoy many cooler, sunshine-filled days & walks with my hubs!

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