Seasonal Haiku

It was two days ago when I posted the picture of the great wave.  I wouldn’t have guessed at the coming significance of this illustration.  I am shocked and saddened by the destruction done in Japan by earthquake and tsunami.  I mourn for the loss of life which is underestimated at this time.

This is spring planting time, as it is in 1/2 the world.  The useful land in this mountainous country is small, though the valleys and coastal areas are fertile.  It seems the tsunami has come at an unfortunate time, though it would be said there is no fortunate time for this disaster. Watching the waters cover the fields and destroy the freshly plowed soil is a great hardship to come.  A hundred years ago this would have brought starvation and famine to the land.

I came across two poems today I thought appropriate for what has happened.

“On the shingle

Beaten by waves

He sleeps with his head

Amongst the rocks.


“In the eternal

Light of the spring day

The flowers fall away

Like the unquiet heart.”

—-Ki No Tomonori

Though tanka and haiku are recognized Japanese forms of poetry, modern poets embrace and adopt many of their elements and bend a few more.

Tanka is much older than haiku, this last being developed in the 17th century, with the great Basho being the acclaimed master of this form.  Recently I undertook a deeper study of tanka, but feel I have just scratched the surface of this fascinating poetic form.

I am not too sure of the ‘rules’ of haiku, but I know there are some.

Lady Nyo

The clouds flee the sky,

Bitter north winds push them far.

My heart follows now.

Fallen leaves crackle.

Sparrows add the treble notes.

Seasonal music.

The cold moon shines down

Upon hollow dried grasses.

Earth prepares to sleep.

The frost at morning

Makes the birds plump their feathers

Squirrels add chatter.

The air grow colder.

Soon wool will not be enough.

Come inside- stay warm!

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010, from “A Seasoning of Lust”,

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6 Responses to “Seasonal Haiku”

  1. Claudia Says:

    i like them all – you are so talented with haiku and tanka – by the way i think your teaching at one stop was excellent – i have so enjoyed it – thanks again for doing this

    now amongst those beautiful haiku my fav is:
    The frost at morning
    Makes the birds plump their feathers
    Squirrels add chatter

    love it..


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Claudia!

    I like that one, too….

    There is something about haiku that is perhaps…indirect. Or something…I haven’t figured it out yet, but the best haiku I have read has this ‘distanced’ purpose.

    I had a lot of fun with that tanka presentation. I faced some of my own tanka demons with that one. I learned along with those else that did.

    Thank you, Claudia for reading and your lovely comment. I love your poetry.

    Lady Nyo


  3. Shashi Says:

    Ahh!!! I was planning to write to you for some time now, but could not get time, before this weekend and I see that its on the wake of ‘Tsunami’ tragedy.. my heart goes out to the people there… and I hope that there is peace within the suffering….

    You Haiku are perfect and I loved them all.. I could see the image so powerfully and vividly created. Specially the last one has an amazing quality of different images… specially when I see your other works, I am drawn to the image that is within the image of cold and warmth… that’s an amazing thing to achieve within so few words… Loved it.

    Lady Nyo…. I appreciate your posting this thought above your work… I also revisited my post on Tsunami written in 2005 after it hit Indian coast on Dec 26, 2004… here is my tribute to that ‘Tsunami’ have a look… if you have time….

    I have to reply to you on your two recent emails and this I will do it some time today or tomorrow… I wanted to really connect with you more deeply in exploration and learning process as I feel there is a connection, which is growing stronger… So will write to you separately…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay


  4. ladynyo Says:

    My Dear Shashi,

    It soothes the heart to hear from you, at any time. This tragedy, while not uncommon in our world, is so shocking, and I find myself in the same place when 911 happened here in the States: unable to stop watching the images of destruction, of Nature’s wrath, and the suffering of people.

    I did go to your site and read your beautiful and compassionate poem about the tsunami on the Indian coast. The picture and the poem support each other and the message is so heartbreaking! The poem goes deep into the heart, which is where the best of our poems should land.

    We have a special bond, Shashi: as poets and humans. I think our poetry opens up channels to reach the heart of each other. I know your writing does this very much to me. It is a precious and rare thing.
    It is a gift, and I am thankful. The comfort you give to all of us, beyond the praise of our work, is inestimable.

    As to my own haiku, well, these seem insignificant in light of the tremendous happenings in Japan and the world right now. But I thank you for your praise of them.

    The poem by Hitomaro (On the shingle/beaten by waves/he sleeps with his head/amongst the rocks.) was composed by him upon seeing a drowned man on a beach. Hitomaro was driven to compassion upon the sight of this dead man. There are so many drowned, according to reports out of Japan and more to be found.

    This morning I came across another tanka, written by the Shogun, Minamoto No Sanetomo, that touched me deeply:

    “If only the world
    Would always remain this way,
    Some fishermen
    Drawing a little rowboat
    up the river bank.”

    We know it won’t, but our thoughts are drawn back to this.

    Thank you, dear Shashi, for your comforting words and your beautiful poetry. It soothes the soul.

    Lady Nyo


  5. gardening Says:

    These are really wonderful ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant points here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.


  6. APP Anthology – Illustration examples | Alan Plumstead Says:

    […] Orignal: Image two […]


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