Monday, June 25, 2018

haiku exercises for you to try

White Island Bay of Plenty NZ

The journey of arriving at the haiku you think is the one, at least for now.

 leaving white island 
 steam clouds gather
wind whistles goodbye

white Island
 steam clouds wave
 a lonely goodbye

fair well White Island
 steam clouds follow
waving goodbye

waving to White Island
steam clouds 

 wave to the island 
all alone now
steam clouds leave too

leaving white lsland
sulphur smell on his jacket
yellow rock in my pocket

leaving white island 
the smell of sulphur 
in his white hair

If you keep on looking at the same photo and quick fire haiku to go with it; you climb into the haiku that you really admire.
 At least for that sesson and at least until you go back to edit it. 
It's like with a painting. 
I always paint a series of four.
The first one can look stilted until you relax into the process 
 This is because you need to  allow yourself  to transport yourself into a meditative state.   
It takes a while to relax and let the magic materialise. 

Now you have a go.....

Exercise one.
Take a photo that you like, preferably of  your own.
Set your timer for  five minutes.
Put on some classical or uplifting, relaxing  music
See how many quick-fire haiku you can create.
Don't think too hard.
Just let the words flow.
Don't worry about the five seven five rule.
 Just write three lines. 
Each haiku building off the other.
Don't worry how good, bad, literary or otherwise they are; just do it.
 Do six photos, (one photo and 6 haiku per day if you are running short of time). 
But if you do have time and you can spare it do 6 in a row. 
Have a go
They will begin to flow

You will slip into the  magical, universal slipstream that many  professional writers talk about when at literary (Readers and Writers) festivals.  Other writers who interview them nod their heads in agreement. 

"The poem lept off the page and wrote itself". 
"The book flowed and wrote itself, I was just the conduit or channel." 
I've heard this said by so many writers that I believe it.  
But you need to keep on writing. 
It also happens with painting and mosaic making. 
The haiku will begin to write themselves. 
If you have a blog; post it 
Again  I repeat, don't worry that its not good enough.
Just do it.

At the end of this exercise you will have a small collection of haiku.
At the very least 36 more than when you started.

  Janet sitting on a giant mosaic sculpture in South Australia

giant mosaic sitting
 footprints lead to feet
 all those busy hands

    all those busy hands
    to make a mosaic
    sitting in the landscape

  part of the landscape
   a giant mosaic footprint
   all those aching hands

   part of the landscape
   footprints in the sand
  giant mosaic sitting

sitting on the landscape
aching  mosaic hands
footprints on the sand

 mosaic bits and pieces
busy aching hands
footprints on the land

Once you have written them pick out the one you like best and save it for entering into a competition or as part of your book.

 Remember to read lots of other people's haiku
Walk in nature and take lots of photos. 
Play classical music while you write or music that uplifts you. 

Good luck. If you've used this method which I have invented, and which I run classes about in my studio; drop me a line with your haiku. 

 email : and I'll include it in  future blogposts about haiku :) 

Parting Poem
William Carlos Williams 1883-1963

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums 
that were in 
the icebox

and which
you were probably 
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet and so cold

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