I’ve now finished seven days of writing daily haiku, so I thought it would be a good idea to look back and share some of my favourites. It’s actually been more than seven days, if you want to get technical about it, since I actually started thinking up haikus before the start of July. My mind was sort of preparing itself for the challenge, like warming up before a marathon.
Since July started on a Monday, the start of the work week, I tended to think up haiku on my way to work: while walking to the bus stop, on the bus, in my car, or while cycling. (Yes, my commute was very varied last week.) This meant that several of my haiku are related to the outside world: nature, meteorological phenomena, animals, etc. Whatever I observed gained automatic consideration for haiku topics.
Here’s the one from Monday morning (Note: I’m in the southern hemisphere, so it’s winter here)
Early morning walk,
Icy blue sky above me,
Best way to wake up
On Tuesday night, after staying back a bit to chat to a friend, and offer moral support and hugs, I noticed a peculiar pattern as I walked to the car park: I kept walking past pairs of people. These were all presumably colleagues, as they all seemed to be in work-type clothes, but, more importantly, their relationships seemed to be of a friendly nature, since they were all chatting quite merrily.
It was quite a heart-warming sight to observe, especially since the colleague/friend I’d stayed back to talk to was one I hadn’t caught up with in a long time. I wondered if these pairs of people I’d passed were also catching up after not seeing each other for a while; I wondered if they actually just wanted to talk to someone after a long shift, or if they were putting off starting a night shift in favour of some favourable company.
On my drive home, I thought up this next haiku, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel to count the syllables:
Pairs of friends linger,
Lost in deep conversation.
Don’t want to go home.
I kind of feel like I’ve gotten into this mindset of looking out for haiku-able happenings. If a bat flies past overhead, I start counting how many syllables that is; or if I notice the clouds are gliding across the sky fast than usual, I wonder how I could fit that into five or seven syllables, and put a couple of other lines around it.
I suppose finding inspiration is not that hard. What’s hard is fitting that into the the finite number of syllables each haiku is allotted, but I reckon even that has gotten easier. If something I’m trying to say doesn’t fit into five syllables, I go to seven syllables instead, and think up a five-syllable “intro” and “conclusion” to put around it. Most days I’m making two or three haiku just because I happen to think of them.
What I hadn’t expected to happen was I was quite busy on the week-end. I spent most of Friday and Saturday with friends (I don’t work on Fridays), so I didn’t even think of haikus until the end of the day. As such, these tended to be more like diary entries of what I did that day, or what was good about that day. This one I wrote so late on Saturday night, it was technically Sunday already, but I’m still counting it as Saturday:
Thai food for dinner,
Chai tea and cake for dessert,
Long walk and good chats.
The last one I’m going to share is kind of ironic, depending on whether or not you insist that “every” should be pronounced “ev-er-y”. I’m an Aussie, born and raised, and we like to cut out syllables, so to me it’s “ev-ry”. I actually hadn’t considered this at the time I wrote it, and only noticed it now while picking which haiku to share…
Well, ok, in case that one does not satisfactorily meet the criteria, I did write another haiku that same day:
Clouds gliding swiftly,
Not unlike the wonderment
Of new running shoes.