What ever happened to Haiku?


Is it hibernating with pinochle, yet ready to pounce back to the forefront like slinkys and hula hoops? Will Haiku, Feng Shui and Canasta be the next “big thing?”  Will Android have apps before Apple?

I first heard of Haiku in the 60s. Check out Jack Kerouac reading some of his Haiku poetry to jazz riffs: http://youtu.be/xJdxJ5llh5A

Pretty cool, huh?                                                                                                                                Yes, except it’s not pure Haiku.  The original Japanese form is written on three lines.  The first and third lines have 5 syllables and the second line has 7.  17 total divided, 5, 7, and 5.  American Haiku started messing with the format and it became a free-for-all.  That doesn’t take away from the beautiful lines you hear Kerouac reciting.

Americanizing other cultural practices is common.  Feng Shui was basically a Chinese custom for placing temples and buildings in a balance with nature.  Now a Beverly Hills Feng Shui expert will gladly enter my “man cave” for $5000 and tell me where exactly to place my bean bag.

The cool thing about Haiku was one’s understanding of what the meaning of the Haiku was.  A famous Japanese writer stated, “The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of.”

Who knows what angels or demons enter our minds and “turn us on” to things at different periods of our lives?  For whatever reason, about 11 years ago, I started writing some Haiku for the first time in my life.  I was in a transition stage of moving from Half Moon Bay to Bakersfield.  Usually no one does that.  Either a crazy person or someone in love would do  such a silly thing.  I was both; crazy and in love…still am.  To me, Bakersfield is the happiest place on earth, not Disneyland.                                                                                 So during that period in my alone times, still traveling on the road, I stopped doing solitaire on my computer and wrote some Haiku.   I was amazed at the discipline in thought and writing it requied.  It also acted like meditation and was very relaxing.   I forgot about my Haiku stuff and accidently uncovered dozens of these silly little goodies.  I will a few:                                                                                                                                                    A town of pumpkins                                                                                                                 to a town know for cotton.                                                                                                  This is far too weird.

 This heavy damp fog                                                                                                             and the blistering hot sun                                                                                             climatized my heart.

 The descending fog                                                                                                                   is making this autumn day                                                                                                   taste of buried years.

 Presenting my heart                                                                                                                 is better than playing smart                                                                                                   and ending a start.

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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