Sunday, December 6, 2015

Haiku Tag

Flickr creative commons photo by Nimish Gori

faint sounds whispering
oak leaves tumble on west wind
snow is coming

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

It's been fun playing haiku tag with Kevin (@dogtrax) on Twitter:

I write. 
I post. 
I Tweet. 

He reads,
then haiku-riffs off my words. 

(Appropriate, since he's a musician as well as a teacher, poet, and tech guru.) 

Kevin's also done some "line lifting" in the past, as a way to keep a poetic conversation going. So I decided to riff today's haiku back to Kevin by borrowing the last line of his haiku from yesterday for the first line of my haiku today.


  1. Today, a tanka. The rules say 5-7-5-7-7, but Japanese tanka tends to be shorter, 20-25 English syllables long. Some that I've read are not even 5 lines I'm trying to do 5 lines, with 3 longer and 2 shorter. Total syllables in the 20-25 range. I like the shortness of that number. Also, I'm trying to get a "hinge" line in there that moves one image to another. This one...not so much on the hinge line. It's more like just hinge punctuation.

    This one is from the news.

    a capsized boat
    in the pounding surf --
    what wise man proclaims
    no room
    for you?

    1. And this begs the question of wisdom//brain vs. compassion/heart...

    2. Steve- You say so much in so few words. I'm fascinated by your process too. I'm definitely learning a lot from you, Kevin, and Mary Lee. I want to try the two connected images thing. Hmmmmm.

    3. Hi, Carol,
      This link to a TankaOnline article pretty much sums up my process! Also, there are some superb examples of modern tanka there, in my opinion.

      In my notebook, I often start with an image (like the capsized boat that I remember from the news) and then write/explore that image to find out more.

      As I think about it, for me an image usually drives a poem, and a good amount of trust, trust that if I explore an image, I'll begin to understand why it plucked a heart-string. Or, also, trust that if I look closely enough at almost anything, I'll find a striking image!

  2. Mary Lee,
    What fun to play haiku tag! I love what you did with Kevin's last line, bringing such a clear and concrete image to the faint whispering. Wow!

  3. Such a serene entry, Mary Lee
    My thought have been interrupted by crazy busyness since Thanksgiving so I appreciate your haiku moments.

  4. All of you inspire me. I am trying to learn the art of haiku writing. My attempt is at All critiques are welcomed.

    1. I'm glad you were inspired to join us, Carol!

  5. Love the tumbling, whispering leaves. Also, the whole haiku tag concept.

  6. “Frugality”

    Grandma, never wasteful,
    scrapes morsels of dough.
    stamps thimble circles,
    sprinkles cinnamon,
    and bakes a tea party.
    © Carol Wilcox, 2015

    1. I love your grandma more with each poem you write!

    2. What a beautifully surprising ending, Carol. I love this image of baking a party. And also the frugal, thoughtfulness the poem is steeped in. What a tribute.