An Open Puzzle to Haiku Writers

Image Credit: Pixabay

Rose gold iPhone
Fingerprints of feather
Haiku they wrote.

 The bowels jettison
Smokes of pot noodle
Dawn, noon and dusk.

 Grumbling in the groin
The brooding, wet cistern
Agrees and sprays.

 Young eves frolic
In the pale light of the beach
My prostrate is misshapen.

 Base notes of cacti
Fused with camel dung
Oil has tumbled.

 Hubble Space Telescope
Swinging in the hammock
Just a cute buritto.

 Dangling in mid air
Silence of the words
Blood of the Albatross.

(Any similarity to actual haiku’s, living or dead, is purely coincidental. A real post on this blog is scheduled to appear on January 31, 2016.)


    1. It is a perfect medium for those who do not have complete thoughts, or cannot complete their thoughts, but think they can pull it off anyway.

  1. I haven’t the psychu
    to write haiku
    They’re best in Japanese
    I’m led to believe.
    Yours certainly would make a lot more sense if translated.
    For example:

    1. Mr Google has assured me of your Japanese muse! Why are Haruki Murkami’s characters always listening to western music? Can’t he teach them haiku?

      1. LOL! I’m not at all familiar with Japanese literature except for Endo’s play “The Golden Country” (in translation) which I nearly directed once…

  2. I won’t say I hate Haikus. I have written many many many in Hindi. Any form of poetry which chains me in syllables or format is excruciating. I lose the very purpose which is expression (vent out many times). I took it as a challenge to write Haikus but could not continue it after a year or so. They are not just me (the funny thing was people/Haiku patrons found my Haikus deep and natural 😉 )But yes, I admire people who have the courage and capacity to express in 5-7-5.

    1. It’s exactly what happened to me, when I began to write haiku. I was lost in counting the syllables and couldn’t focus on what I wanted to express. 😀

      However, that doesn’t prove that haiku is not good. It just proved that I’m too thick-headed to write one. Hahahah

      1. Agree with you Rakesh. Not that you are thick headed but that I, like you, am not very good at haiku which I believe is an exquisite art form.

    2. My intelligence quotient is a single digit primary number. It doesn’t help that I am haiku-blind and haiku-deaf too. My insurance company has doggedly refused to cover the pre-existing condition. Please bear with me.

  3. Liking or hating something is one’s personal prerogative. It’s also true that hating something is easier than understanding it. I’m not a haiku writer. Don’t have the talent for that. But I do understand these symmetric, 17 syllables, rhymeless poetry. The first instance of haiku is found around 2nd century BC. I don’t say that anything which survived 2k years of changing tastes and civilizations must be good, but at least it deserves a closer scrutiny.

    Contrary to popular belief, haiku is not simply a poem. It’s associated with Zen Buddhism, Shinto and Bushido. Haiku is a coded pathway, instead of a complete poem. A single haiku may lead to different conclusions to different people. It’s a beginning, not a completion. Lemme give you an example.

    Consider yourself sitting in a dark room with a small ventilator showing a tiny patch of bright blue sky. Now, the real sky isn’t postage stamp size. The ventilator is simply giving you a glimpse of it and daring you to go ahead and explore the real sky, which can encompass the entire world with space to spare. The window is a haiku. The sky is the idea, which the haiku is pointing to.

    I do agree that. Most of the writers treat haiku as a poem and not as it was originally intended. It’s their failure. Haiku is still what it was 2000 years ago.

  4. Thank you, Mathekal Saheb. As, for the note, I was once accused of ‘self-plagiarism’ and threatened with a lawsuit by a battery of ‘celebrated’ bloggers. I shiver and tremble as I fumble in the Blogdom.

  5. Haiku is a powerful medium to express but rather insufficient for people like me who are very wordy. I attempted it and did well I suppose. Your haiku is lot more complicated and refined! 🙂

    1. Any medium that has survived the tests of time and place is powerful in able hands. I plead not guilty to your allegation of attempting haiku.

  6. I do write (read try) haiku and, like to read them. Liking or disliking is absolutely personal and I honour your ideas.These unrhymed verses might look meaningless or incomplete at the first glance, but they imply deeper meaning, of life, Nature, and Zen, so to say. Also, there are subtle nuances that differentiate one type of haiku from another.
    But, as like any other thing, this form also has got adulterated with too many cooks trying out their culinary skill with the same broth.

    1. More than the art of haiku, it’s the Tehrir Square of practitioners I was referring to, which you have correctly pointed out when you say,’too many cooks trying out their culinary skill with the same broth,‘ and I battle an urge to slip an ‘r’ in the ‘cooks’.

      I daresay a haiku is akin to a shayari in its brevity (it’s even smaller) and it’s power to convey an ocean of thoughts. How many compelling pieces do we come across that freeze our hearts in the middle of a throb?

      People have been gracious in their attempts to enlighten me as is evident in the comments above, but I don’t quite get the moments of satori by what I read from the crème de la crème of the (Indian) blogging community.

  7. The wise have shown us that what looks simple often holds a profound world. I am afraid, I am yet to see a clearing leading to that path. Maybe, the practitioners are well on their way while I am still grappling with the mundane. Kudos to you for breaking the silence 🙂

    1. Many of the practitioners are selling snake-oil. Heck, it’s not even that. It’s probably oil of the earthworm. Thank you, kindred spirit.

  8. Umashankar, I especially like the last two verses, perfect! I am really not a fan of Haiku but what you wrote makes better sense than much of the Haiku I’ve ever read. I think the photo you picked above says it all! 🙂

    1. That photo is a gem! More than those scrabbles, I spent more time in finding a suitable image; I guess I didn’t miss the mark. Thank you for liking those last two ‘verses’.

  9. Hi Umashankar… it’s my first time on your blog.. and it’s just the term Haiku that pulled me in here… because that’s a form I love! About your dislike – to each his own…
    However like a few of my friends have pointed out up here… there’s depth in a Haiku which very often a lot of people miss… thinking its just a brief poem which doesn’t even rhyme!!! Now is that poetry at all?? 🙂

    As for me – Haiku is like good old wine… you have to develop a taste for it… and once you are a convert… the change is for life!! 🙂

    Btw – am amazed how some folks comment and go gaga over other people’s Haiku on their blogs have dismissed it here 🙂 🙂 🙂

    PS – the syllable count is…. something to be pondered upon :-p

    Cheers, Archana!

    1. Welcome to my obscure corner, Archana; I apologize for the title that conned your footsteps hither.

      Somewhere in the comments above I have likened Haiku to Shayari in the sense it depends upon the wordsmith to churn out a dagger or a horseshoe. I feel constrained to mention that it is more of the horseshoes that I keep running into blog after blog.

      I have a deep love for wine, especially, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Riesling. And yet, sometimes nothing but a chalice of scotch would do. Fortunately, and sadly, aerated lemon drinks is all my wallet can afford. As for the folks who go ga-ga about haiku’s elsewhere, maybe they keep getting moments of satori when they go there and it need not be a personality disorder necessarily. They say human genes have a chromosome that forces them to do that.

      Lastly, Japanese is a time-syllabled language and tends to have standard length vowels quite like Hindi or French and unlike English, which is an accent-syllabled tongue. So, ‘Let’ and ‘Late’ or ‘Get and ‘Gate’ cannot be differentiated when written in Hindi and I assume it is the same in Japanese. Which sends the whole concept and precision of 5-7-5 for a toss in English, no matter how hard you try to count the syllables.

      A million thanks for stopping by. Never be lured by title scams. 😀

  10. LOL ! That was funny Uma. I am not an expert in the matter of haikus and many of them have led me to scratch my head in confusion owing to my “not so attuned” cerebral levels, but I have mostly left it at that.. But have also been a believer in the beauty of minimalism esp. the zen poems and I am hoping I come across enough good ones, to start appreciating the subtle flavors that it promises to offer.

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