Welcome to My Haiku Pages
I became interested in haiku poetry at an interactive workshop held at the International Writers’ Workshop (NZ Inc) in 2004 hosted by two lovely ladies from the Auckland Japan Society. Pictures were painted and short verse written. I was fascinated as to how much could be said in so few words and how our minds could be filled with the images from the poems.
There was one particular haiku presented at that session that I can still picture, and although I can’t remember the words it was about a cold breeze following a cat in through a door. The workshop did not concentrate on syllable counting, but rather the essence of haiku poetry.
I entered IWW’s haiku competition held after the workshop, judged by a local well known poet, and I have to say well known for his poetry not for his haiku. His comments on my attempts were caustic. He put me off. But the memory of the cold breeze following the cat through the door stayed with me and so in 2012 I attended the Haiku Aotearoa Festival, held in Tauranga, New Zealand and visited the Katikati Haiku Pathway. My interest was piqued again. I entered the New Zealand Poetry’s Society haiku competition in 2013 and, while not placed, I was delighted to hear that one of my entries was selected for that years anthology, Given an Ordinary Stone.
Another break, dealing with life, until 2018 when i started to get enthused about haiku again entering NZPS and IWW competitions.
Then in August 2021, Auckland went into a 107-day lockdown. What an opportunity to find the plethora of resources available on the Internet, to read and absorb, to attend online workshops and conferences, to have another go.
It’s taken a long time but I’ve come to understand this essence of modern english language haiku is:
a short nature poem, usually in 17 syllables or fewer., which can be written in 1, 2, 3 or 4 lines.
a fragment and a phrase in any order
a season reference – where the actual season could be stated, or something that alludes to a season, e.g. a daffodil evokes spring
a juxtaposition between two images. Usually it is the image from the words in the fragment part and the image from the words in the phrase part
ideally some link and shift between the two images
in the present moment
Traditionally a haiku is a nature poem related to the season, but there is also the very popular senryu where the poem is more about human nature / human emotion and a season word / image is not needed.
These pages so far highlight my published haiku and some of my self-published (i.e. not selected by an editor) haiku that I’ve shared to my Facebook page and Twitter.
Auckland, New Zealand