potatoes, cold mornings and bridges

We’re approaching the final stretch of my month of haiku now, and I’m feeling like I could actually continue this beyond July. Imagine how many haiku I could write in all the life ahead of me?

What I’ve started to worry about, however, is that I’m going to repeat certain themes, lines or phrases from one haiku to another. I actually pondered this back on July 11th, and wrote this piece:

How many haiku,
Already written, and still…
Many more waiting

Is it possible to exhaust all possible compositions of these three-line poems? With such finite syllables, surely you could only do so much?

Some days, I worry that my creativity is wavering and fading. I might think up a line, and get the feeling like I’ve used that or something similar before; or I might struggle through the first two lines, and get distracted before I get a chance to string together a final line (I think this tends to happen when I’m thinking up haiku while waiting for a bus/train, or on my way somewhere, or just about to do something else).

Too tired to think.
Creativity needs sleep.
Maybe tomorrow.

The one above was from Saturday night. I thought of it while walking to the fruit & veg shop at 9pm (it’s open 24/7!) On the way home, I made this one:

One sweet potato,
One lemon, and nothing else.
Not gonna explain.

Except I will explain here because I found it quite amusing. I actually only wanted to buy sweet potato because I had left-over lamb roast, and I figured potato was a good thing to serve with it. The fruit & veg shop tend to have quite oversized sweet potatoes, so I only needed one, and while I was there, I figured I’d get a lemon to have on my avocado & toast in the morning (avocado, lemon juice and cracked pepper is one of my favourite toast topping combinations!)

As I lined up at the register, to pay for my one sweet potato and one lemon, the guy in front of me in the line gave me a (not so) surreptitious look, which indicated that he thought I was high or drunk or both. But, honestly, I was sober as ever, and I really just wanted those two things. I’d even wandered up and down all the aisles to try to find other things to buy, but I really didn’t need anything else.

I mean, I strongly considered buying a pack of pretzels, but that would have hardly made my shopping basket any less weird.

Anyway, back to the haikus…

Someone asked me if I ever write negative haikus. The answer is yes, but not often, and they tend to have a positive twist in there somewhere. On Monday morning, as I walked to the bus stop in the freezing cold, I contemplated writing a haiku that consisted solely of the word “cold” repeated five, seven and five times for each line. But as I found my stride, and looked about the brightening sky, I came up with this instead, to show just how much I love cold weather:

My face is freezing.
Delightful winter mornings,
Still never too cold.

A couple of days later, I wrote this one about optimism:

See negatives but
I’m an optimist at heart.
Always glass half full.

I’m continuing my once-weekly-bicycle-commute, and I’m not sure if it’s something about the fresh air, the physical exertion, or the proximity of my route to the river, but I seem to create pretty decent haiku when I cycle. This one’s from the morning ride on Thursday:

Bathed in orange glow,
Bridges, buildings, river stir,
Waking from slumber.

I got lots of inspiration from the sky in the first two weeks of July, but my attention seems to have turned to the water in this last week. I thought up these two on my ride home in the evening:

Shimmering river,
Lights reflected on water,
Mesmerising dance.

Pelicans floating,
Cruising along the river,
No worries at all.

The real problem is that I don’t want to lose my cycling momentum by stopping to write these down, but I also don’t want to forget my haikus because I’m focused on making it up the next big slope or over the bridge. The compromise is repeating the haiku to myself, over and over again, after I’ve created it. I suppose it helps having something else to think about other than how much my legs are burning.

Despite my worries about waning creativity, I’m actually still writing several haikus a day (which is too many to share in a weekly blog recap!) so I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with them all. I don’t want to start another blog or Twitter or something just for haiku, but I want to collate them somewhere more permanent than my various little notebooks and random scraps of paper. Ideas welcome.

4 thoughts on “potatoes, cold mornings and bridges

  1. What a fun post. You create such vivid descriptions of your life. The avocado toast sounds delicious. I too have “felt funny” about buying just 1 or 2 things in the grocery store – like I’m not doing my part in society or something!😀

    • You should definitely try the avocado, lemon, pepper combination! If you like (sweetened) condensed milk, it goes well with avocado on toast too 🙂

  2. My best checkout story was when I bought a fifth of vodka and a peach, and the clerk said, “You have a Fuzzy Navel,” and I said, “That’s kind of personal, isn’t it?” I had never heard of that drink before. Now I have.

    Two items to buy.
    Don’t acquire more than you need.
    Let them think you’re strange!

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