Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dead Leaves With Water

Assorted Haiku and/or Senryū


Autumn comes alone
naked in a bath of swords;
Spring’s false promises.



Dawn in my doorway
stripes on a standing tiger
Waiting ~ not today.


Up all summer night 
pen finally stops chasing
the moon it can't catch

* * *


Tomorrow I wake
smelling your books and oatmeal
now twenty years gone.


Ghost ship passing by~
light of my heart I’m with you
as the wind fills the sails.

Flat bird on the road;
wind of each car passing lifts
a wing still in flight


Posted for   FormForAll   at dVerse Poets Pub

where Gay Cannon has written a very informative article on these often misinterpreted  Japanese forms.
Link in will be live till Friday at midnight EST. Come join us. 

 Posted for    Friday Flash 55    at  the G-Man's 
because I got lucky and the poems in blue (#'s ii, iii, iv, and v) add up to exactly 55 words

I will let those who know more than I divide these into type, as I would probably  be totally and completely wrong, so take them with a grain of western salt. I'm far from into this form. Most of these were posted on twitter in one form or another, the bird wing one I wrote about twenty five years ago, some, like the ghost ship one, were written today.

Image: Photograph, Dead Leaves with Water
posted on flick'r by my good friend Petteri Sulonen,
who blogs on a wide range of subjects, including
matters economic, political and Zen at
a most excellent and eclectic site.

Thanks Petteri!


  1. Ha! Great re 55 words. These are lovely. I like the last especially though awfully mournful.

  2. These are...gah....*writhe*...NICE. They're...NICE.

    *passes out*

  3. Okay, I tried your cure for my commenting woes. Let's see what happens.

    These are just exquisite, hedge. The last one really got to me. Thank you.

  4. Yeah! I've always loved your work, now I love you! My heroine! It worked.

  5. The senryu with "smelling your books and oatmeal" especially resonates with me. Fine crafting of all three tenses (with tension) and a vivid middle. I also think the assonantal "o" in "Tomorrow" and "oatmeal" works well -- as does the consonantal "k" in "wake" and "books."

  6. Your iv and vi are beautiful haiku!

    Haiku may themselves be metaphors for life, but traditionally haiku do not contain metaphors; they are sensual and direct, capturing the present moment. They can be about human nature. Senryu tend to be witty and urban.

    Your others here are wonderful short poems, not haiku or senryu but admirable in their own right.

  7. Ok: i. 'naked in a bath of swords' marvelous; ii. oooooo (tiger!); iii. stupid insomnia I kick you! (find someone else to torture you big bullying monster); iv. memory can be so tricky; v. LOVE IT (not helpful feedback but true); vi. made me cry (that's twice today). Thank you for your lovely response to my Poe comment. Congratulations again on your one year blogging anniversary!

  8. Very creative way to get to 55. Nice.

  9. oo i really like that first one...the swords and false promises...sounds presidential...ahem...and the third...sometimes or until the pen runs dry...

  10. Love the haiku! Not sure I'm an expert in the form, but I love your poetry.

  11. Love them all, Joy! Each a tightly polished gem.

  12. I'd like to comment on each one, all so good, but the flat bird knocked me out, and I'm enjoying this zen moment. It is truly transcendent!

  13. Excellent. Love each of them, the first one sets it up so well- and although they're all seemingly separate- I love how you combined them together- and they work so well. Very nice, thanks

  14. I love them all. The one about the books and oatmeal reminded me of someone years gone and the bird was vivid. Gorgeous work.


  15. Nice Two-Fer Hedge...
    Multi faceted in the writing realm.
    Loved your new avatar!
    Loved your Haikuated 55
    Thanks for making Shay puke in her mouth..
    You Rock! Have a Kick Ass Week End

  16. Rosemary is correct. It is said that haiku/senryu are not meant to be "metaphorical" that is, not act as metaphors do in English. However, they are meant to be layered. They employ a symbol, a kigo, a kireji which in itself speaks to older poems that everyone knew; to nature which had a level of religious or spiritual meaning; in season, animal symbol, or family and community customs centering on an insect, flower, plant or weather occurrence. These layers were always present and the choice of words as they were placed in proximity to one another had special meanings as well.
    So our use of metaphor "does" essentially the same thing, it seems to me, working in our language, society and time, as those elements did in 17th and 18th centuries Japan.

    There seems to be IMO a sort of murkiness to getting the form "right" when we move it to a different time, culture, and/or language.

    I like what you've done here Joy. You certainly manage the Aha! that people talk about in every single poem, you managed surprising imagery, and in the last one you certainly transcended all poetic form!

  17. Thanks everyone--glad you could make it by for my lazy two prompt special. Always good to have you here.

    @FB See it wasn't that bad, was it? Shay? Shay??? Oh dear....

    @Ruth: Glad you enjoyed a momentary out of body experience--mine are just out of brain, these days.

    @Victoria: Yay! Glad it worked for somebody. Thanks for reading.

    @Teresa: Your goat poem was way more fun than these. Loved it.

    @Anna: I'm going to send you some of those embroidered hankies with the crochet edges I learned how to make in True Womanhood--except I never made any. ;_)Glad you enjoyed them all--and # v,I just had to slip one in for the interior paramour.

    @G-Man: Thank you for making me laugh like a hyena on Ecstasy, Galen. I needed that. And I appreciate you letting those extraneous words slide under the radar. ;-)

  18. Thanks Gay, for explaining. I have to admit all those nuances are just beyond me, but I'm glad someone like you can be so inspired by them. Thanks for reading and for the feedback.

  19. I love the tragedy of the last one! I turn around and someone has a different view of Haiku... This one for dVerse really is hard and I struggled for an hour and just had to give up. Good for you for accomplishing so many... even if some were archived. (I LOVE how your squeezed in the 55 - very clever!)

  20. Excellent stuff! Particularly like i. and vi., they do a good job at mixing up the emotions.

  21. hedge - i was reading through them, could feel them - there's always lots of emotions in your writing, no matter which form you choose...then i come to this last one and it takes my breath away...i can see this bird...and i can feel the pain..this is just excellently done

  22. I've tried haiku and I'm hopeless at it.
    Yours are so beautiful. And that last one is awesome. Flat bird on the road. Wonderful observation.

  23. aawww poor bird. :(
    Very vivid. I loved them all. Eerr well the bird one I didn't love, but it was well done...eerr done in. Gah. ;-)

  24. God.. these are just beautiful. (I know this by the tears in my eyes)

  25. I love the way these shine individually yet assemble into two systems -- one of presence, the other of absence -- (separated, I suppose, by the cross of asterisk/stars). Taken together, the series becomes one amassing constellation of Heart. Each image is so jewelled, the whole shape so fine. - Brendan

  26. This is outstanding writing, true to form..."bath of swords...wing still in flight"...great images and emotional content. I enjoyed all of these very much.

  27. I enjoyed these. They all have a twist, a fresh insight. I really like iii, iv and vi. I can relate to making effort of writing into the night and I like how you put it. I like the prominent touch to the senses of no. iv. and then the 'twenty years passed', that really shows how alive that memory is. The last one has a spirit feel to it, a hollow movement and yet it reads like the bird is still flying somewhere.

  28. These are really gorgeous, Hedge. I particularly like the second and third.

  29. Good stuff... I especially liked that last one!

  30. "Smelling your books and oatmeal"....mmm, what a line, so evocative. I liked this collection quite a bit, each encapsulating this unique personal reflection that at times manages to feel universal.

  31. Joy- They are all beautiful, but I especially like the last three. Thank you.

  32. Joy, to me these are stunning, all. Probably the best haikus I've ever read.

    Books and oatmeal smell a bit alike, I do think.

    Awesome on getting in the 55 too.

    Feel so sad for the dead bird still flying, poor thing.

  33. I must say this...These are the best Haikus I have ever read. 1, 2 and 6 are my favourites and close are the rest. Who says you can't pack substance within 5.7.5 syllables! Brilliant!


  34. Wow! and another Wow. a 2 Wow poem.
    there is so much in these poems...bears multipleXmultiple readings.

    there's sorrow here.

    the dead bird on the road & the passing car wind lifting a wing(s) occasionally...acting still in flight.

    Marvelous poetry.
    I really like this.'ve done a good job.
    thanks for sharing these.

  35. that last one was perfect, i can see that bird flattening with each hour passing

  36. Gosh, Joy! I could go through each and these are reminiscent of life it self. Brilliant effects portrayed!


  37. Just wonderful, but iv & vi just sing to me, such beauty in their simplicity. Your 55 within the dVerse prompt is fabulous ~

  38. Dawn in my doorway, strips on a standing!

  39. I like the road kill one.
    Clever and gettin' cleverer:)

  40. god, I just loved these! lovelovelove, especially iii, iv, and vi.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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