Only Fossils Set in Stone

The clock’s progression
no indication: our place
setbacks suppress

potential values
limited horizon shadows
qualities of life

Time forgets. People
adapt, their short lives affect
impermanent change


Photo by Alejandro Quintanar on


Haiku Therapy Time

Just five syllables
Not much to ask of oneself
Line one underway

How painless it was
To sit and let it happen
Silently await

Practice makes perfect
So they say, but truth be told
Expression occurs

Almost instantly
Fragmented thoughts and notions
Gray matter sorting

Assembled imprints
Swelling on a tide, posit
This midday haiku

My poetry sample today is a writing in Japanese haiku style, a nod to the beloved way while I veer off into the spirit of a more traditional longer form; although, not following according to the rules of those establishing haikai, renga, or waka.

While I consider reflective writing to be an act of nature, it’s possible that some would look at my sample today as more of a senryu (a collection of senryu, rather). Senryu are structurally similar to haiku, but different in their subject matter.

I enjoy reading haiku and this form of poetry is great fun to play with, as a writer interested in improving skills and learning more about the world. But the gain of these interests represents only a fraction of the benefit to writing in haiku form.

Therapeutic Journaling

Haiku poetry is a respite, born long ago of more strenuous compositional demands. True to its nature, this is exactly how it feels in practice to write haiku. Haiku and senryu in practice represent pause and reflection. When you’re finished with your haiku or senryu writing project, you will realize the relief of some stressors and experience a creative satisfaction.

Due to its simplistic yet strict form (a single 5-7-5 stanza) and its brevity, anyone can add structure to their thoughts through practice of the haiku (aka hokku—if you want to take your poetic writing sample a little further, either immediately or down the line).

A writer of any kind can practice haiku poetry at any time. If you keep a personal journal or ever consider it, that is a fine place to start.

Have trouble putting your heart onto paper (or, into notepad)? No matter, don’t give that a second preventive thought. The task work of a poetic form—especially like the short haiku—can distract you from the self-conscious feelings of an uncontrolled flood of emotion. Instead, you’ll effectively use emotion as a tool of self-awareness. As you build your haiku, your thoughts and feelings merge and coalesce into a final product that can be analyzed and rehashed or explored further.

This practice leads to greater fulfillment than does freewriting, in my opinion. And I’m not discouraging freewriting in any way. In fact, when writing haiku you may well freewrite to start, or even brainstorm. However you start, it’s a start. Good for you, because in turn, you’ll benefit with better communication overall, greater awareness of your own inclinations, and an actual written piece of work. Writing haiku is a contemplative practice with great reward.

Today, my simple tribute to these forms of writing was simply a means to an end . . . a way to exercise my brain, to wake up my mind. Meanwhile, I learned a little more about the history of a style of writing, and of a place in time, its people and customs. I experienced as well the acknowledgement of the passage and change of time, how far from standard tradition to mere appreciation of a cultural art form, while not emulating exactly because . . . how could I?

Nothing is the same, but the nature of things.


The Difference Between Haiku and Senryu

Haiku Haikai Poems

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash