HAIKU AND SENRYU

October 14, 2013

These little 16 syllable unrhymed poems are more difficult than they appear. The object is the capture the essence of the scene, and then make it conform to the Japanese 5-7-5 syllable structure set forth below. There are two forms of this: Haiku and Senryu.

Haiku are Japanese poems, in the 5-7-5 syllable form above, and recording the essence of the moment that relate to nature and the season
Senryu are written in the same 5-7-5 syllable form, but are concerned with human nature and human relationships: humorous or serious or a mixture of both.

Locating these small fragments of a scene can help anyone see nature and the world differently. Here are a few. I will add to them from time to time. Try it!

THE STORM AND OCEAN SERIES

Crashing waves and gulls
The Early sun glistening
On seaweed and sand

Hammering the rocks
The pounding waves fly skyward
Crisp white against blue

Sally lightfoot crabs
Dancing nimbly down the rocks
Scarlet claws flashing

Two eyes looking up
Flounder buried in the sand
Unusual fish

Surfers carving waves
Legacy of distant storms
Whose fury has past

Threatening dark clouds
Frothing white sea, waves peaking
Red flag, storm warning

Flashing coastal light
A lost sailor’s salvation
People have died here

The windows rattle
Cold gusts, pelting rain outside
Fleeting winter storm

Low, grey clouds scudding
Across the bleak winter sky
Unexpected storm

Snow begins softly
First one flake, then another
A monochrome world

Brilliant lightning flash
Thor’s awful hammer thunders
Primal fears revive

Raindrop patterns move
Like wet cats feet up the street
Pelted by the wind

The wet glass distorts
And softens the view, making
Abstractions outside

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