Sunday, April 28, 2013

Montana Haiku

Now there are two words you don't often hear together. Turns out, it's surprisingly fun! The first one I already shared with some of my friends, and was inspired by the sights of nature along my bus route.

Wild geese flying north
Looking for summer nesting
Stand on frozen pond

One of my friends shot back:

Ninety-two degrees. 
It is spring in Florida.
Please send geese with ice.

As winter has dragged on and on, with our last snowstorm only a few days ago, it has seemed like there would be no spring this year. In fact, someone told me that this year, summer was scheduled for Wednesday. It wouldn't surprise me. 

Snow drifts across road
Melts, returns, retreats again
April but not Spring.

One of my aunties tried to explain the correct format for traditional Japanese haiku. I didn't really get it, thusly had no choice but to crank out a bunch more haiku in the same format I learned in school, which is about as close as English comes to Japanese haiku, apparently. It is always 3 lines. The first line often has 5 syllables, the second line 7, and the third line 5 again, for a total of exactly 17 syllables. From what I've read, some more modern English haiku can have 3-5-3, instead of 5-7-5. I just find myself more of a 5-7-5 kind of gal, myself. 

Oh, and normally haiku is supposed to allude to seasons, and create contrasting images. Why am I telling you all this? If you couldn't already tell when I make a mistake, why should I help you out?

In honor of my auntie who already knows how it should be done:

Montana haiku
I love to write it in spring,
But don't know the rules.

Winter may finally be in its final decline. We had two days in a row that topped 70F, and after Tuesday and its windy high temp of 39 pass by, it's supposed to continue warming. Or so the weather people claim. Oddly enough, there are other indications of impending spring, and literal, real animals turning up that we haven't seen for many, many months.

First meadowlark sings
Flown in from sunny southland
Soon the snow must melt.

In honor of Mom's front yard:
First blades of green grass
Most of it is brittle brown
The rest under ice.

And finally, one last rather self-deprecating haiku, acknowledging that most of the above haiku have a certain underlying thread that exceeds the requisite seasonal reference.

A haiku is good
Vivid paintings using words
Or whining of snow.

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