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High Haiku

Phil's first attempt at Haiku


Strong wind blows

Tall trees fall

Were they heard?


Baubles and sparkling lights

Imitation plastic tree

Carbon footprint for Jesus


Spider’s web across branches

Early morning dew



Dawn cracks open like an egg

I see the whites of their eye

Scrambled visions of a new day


Hyena laughs loud

Dead meat

Laugher dies


Zebra drinks

Crocodile snaps

Space at waterhole


White horse canters

Sediment stirred

Beach drifts


©Phil Golding 10/08

◄ The Moon went for a swim

Dream revised ►


Alan Summers

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Mon 29th Mar 2010 12:53

Hi Phil

Keep writing haiku! It's an often repeated mistake down the years that haiku are a fixed number of syllables.


Tips about writing a Haiku

It's an urban myth that haiku have to be 5/7/5 English-language syllables.

If you do write them that way make sure your writing is natural.

Many traffic signs in Japan are 5/7/5 but they are certainly not haiku. ;-)

Think of a haiku as two parts, one line and two lines, doesn't matter
which order.

Use a subtle clue to suggest the season e.g.

cool morning
light on a distant cloud

Alan Summers
1. Haiku Friends Vol. 3 Ed. Masaharu Hirata, Osaka, Japan (2009)
2. Birdsong - a haiku sequence Together They Stood Poetry Now 2004 ISBN 1844607852
3. Azami Haiku in English Commemorative Issue 2000
4. Modern Haiku, USA Fall, October 1999

'cool' is a clue to the season. This clue is also known as a kigo, or season word. Cool is a clue or season word suggesting Summer.

Sometimes the season clue can be obvious and even point to a specific day e.g.

the goblins go back
into their books

Alan Summers
1. The Haiku Calendar 2010 ISBN 978-1-903543-27-6 (November)
2. Haiku Friends 2 ed. Masaharu Hirata, Osaka Japan 2007

So remember to indicate the time of year with a seasonal clue, and that's your one line finished.

Next is the two line part otherwise known as the 'phrase'.

I prefer to write about something I've personally experienced, as it's also a great reminder, even years later, of what happened. e.g.

a girl’s laughter
in and out of nettlebeds
a cabbage butterfly

Alan Summers
1. Runner up Snapshot Press Millennium Haiku Calendar Competiton
2. Highly Commended 1997 Hobo Haiku International Competition, New South Wales, Australia
3. The Redmoon Anthology 1997 ISBN 0-9657818-5-2 Redmoon Press U.S.A.
4. Haiku International, Japan May 1997

'cabbage butterfly' suggests the time around Summer, and the girl's
laughter in the nettlebeds reminds me of a wonderful time in an inner-city farm.

Have a go yourself, it's easy, but remember to make the language sound
natural, especially if you do want to attempt 5/7/5.

Good luck!

With Words:



Janet Ramsden

Tue 7th Oct 2008 11:58

Hi Phil,
I love the imagery of the first four.
But i'm sorry to be the one to tell you, there is a specific number of syllables which should be used before it can be calles Haiku.

The ruling states. Five in the first line,
Seven in the second and five again in the third.

Keep on practising though. If you can't juggle with what you already have, at least try to use your images in other work.
Nothing should go to waste.

Love Janet.xx

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