Well it does. For those of us poetically minded, haiku just happens. It happens in the shower. It happens in the car. It happens on the beach. When you think in poems, sometimes the world comes at you in 17-syllable snippets. Especially when you are either teaching haiku or writing a haiku book.
Can you guess what I was doing when these haiku happened?
Bees tethered to a
Coke can strain to break free of
its sweet, sticky spell.
© Jill Corcoran 2009
Willow dances with
the wind in her hair. Autumn
arrives tomorrow.© Jill Corcoran 2009
Spider lost in spinning
snags absentminded cricket.
Crunchy lunch surprise.© Jill Corcoran 2009
Several years ago, my child's third grade class went on a nature walk and learned about native plants. They learned California poppies close at night and open every morning in a blaze of orange bright. They learned the ways of the wild west, of cowboys rubbing California sagebrush on their skin to camouflage the stink of their hard earned sweat. They ate mustard plants and they washed their hands in the foam of California lilacs.
When we came back from that hike, I taught the students how to write haiku. How to recreate their experience with nature in the minds' of their readers. Here are two haikus I wrote and shared with my students:
Rise and shine poppy,
flood this thirsty hillside in
deep waves of orange.© Jill Corcoran 2009
Sagebrush cologne can't
rub off the stench of stampedes,
carousing cowboys.© Jill Corcoran 2009
And just as haiku happens, sometimes, well sometimes it stalls. After I showed J. Patrick Lewis my newest haiku, he sent me what could have been my motto while writing the manuscript:
Writing a haiku
in seventeen syllables
is very diffi-
Does haiku happen to you?