Beneath the covers
I lie enchanted – ping ping
here comes the Spring rain


I first discovered Haiku in an Oriental Art and Philosophy class in college, and was enchanted by the poem’s brevity and insight into nature and human emotion. Such depth, wisdom, playfulness and beauty was contained in this “essence” poem –just three lines, with its five-seven-five syllable count. My professor explained that this particular structure resonates with the rhythm of the human breath. That is why when one hears a Haiku read aloud, or even when read silently, there is a particularly engaging musicality to it.

Each Haiku is a tiny world of its own. Whether the poem is about a flower opening its petals to the sun, a woman looking in the mirror, or a cat playing with an old garden hose, Haiku often offers an “aha” moment to both writer and reader, as we become “one” with the image and its levels of meaning.

Haiku Structure:

This is a haiku


in seventeen syllables


one revelation


Haiku can be lighthearted, bittersweet, philosophical or joyous. Here are a few examples from classic Japanese haiku as well as poems from My Haiku Life.

Now that I am old
even tender days of spring
see…can make me cry


In that brief moment
when the firefly went out
oh lonely darkness


This is happiness
crossing the summer river
sandals in my hand


Suddenly the sky
gives us a broken dish moon
half of her enough


I like the wild wolf
he eats fish and he howls loud
I want to be him

Zach Sanders, (1st grader)

Comforting moment
sets of freshly laundered sheets
floating over the bed

Marge Craig

One fat seagull stole
my half-eaten green apple
a smile on his beak

Sara Reese

Writing Your Own Haiku

My Zen professor always said, with a smile, all it takes is “practice, practice, practice!” Let yourself tune in closely to nature and the seasons, to city streets, to a pot of rice sending out its fragrance from the stove. You have a kindred relationship to animals, trees, people, the stars, moon, and rain. Look around you, what do you see? What holds meaning for you, at this moment now?

The pen is waiting
with the world spread out below
for you to notice

Katya Taylor      

To further explore the world of Haiku, please see Publications page.