Friday, October 30, 2009

A Little Haiku

Somewhere along the way I asked myself, “Why write haiku at all?” And I realized that the purpose (and the fascination) is to capture a moment in time – to capture it with such perfection that it can be experienced even by those who were never there.

There are some moments so vivid in my memory that I can almost smell them – so real I can see them as though they happened only 5 minutes ago. I can feel and taste them. I can hear them. They fill me with a yearning that is almost painful. They make me laugh. They make me quiet. They bring me suddenly to tears. They have the power to soothe and refresh. They have power to jolt and disturb. They are slices of life that can be both re-lived and shared. They are intensely personal and yet almost universal to the human experience.

The discipline required to adhere to the strict 5-7-5 syllabic form within which I have chosen to work is good for me. Though much of the haiku written in English today does not follow this form, it is still a worthy one and deserving of the effort required to do it well. These stern boundaries, I feel, serve to force a thoughtfulness that might otherwise become laziness.

One last mention: Though I call it haiku – and much of it is – some will drift into a hybrid of haiku and senryu and involve the human rather than the natural. I hope to be forgiven for this license. Finally, as with my fiction, I strive for excellence but make no claim of expertise. I write for my own enjoyment and hope that, perhaps, someone else along the way will enjoy my work as well.


A whale surfaces
In the distance -- far beyond
the suspended gull.


Beneath a Peace rose,
beside a fallen petal –
ants in fierce battle.


Cardinal pair and
belligerent jay discuss
living arrangements


Hawk circling against
a crisp blue dotted swiss sky –
a handsome danger.


Foraging squirrel
noses the lawn for a nut
hidden yesterday.


Devoted geese float
together on glassy pond –
content just to be.

© October 2009 by Alexandra Scot


Brian Miller said...

beautiful. i think the one with the whale is my favorite...though i am partial to squirrels. smiles.

AngelMay said...

I should have posted a picture of a whale, then. (My best friend also loves squirrels. Me, too!)

...mmm... said...


I'm glad you explained that because I didn;t really get haiku until now even though my youngest son seemingly effortlessly comes up with it all the time.

otin said...

I kind of liked the third one myself!

Sandra Leigh said...

I liked the third haiku, too, because it made me smile -- and the second, because it was such a strong image -- as was #5. Oh, well, I liked them all!

AngelMay said...

I like number 2 because it is so ironic. What nerve to fight a battle beneath a Peace rose. :)

Of course, they all bring back memories for me.

tony said...

content & perfect.thank you.

otin said...

Angel May! I am out of town, and I was wondering if you have a story to post? If you do, Email it to me and I will use you as a guest post on Monday!

AngelMay said...

Argh! Sorry, Otin - I don't have one right now. You could post my last story if you like. The one called TAPS.

Chief said...

I read you over at Otin's place! great story and I love your writing

tattytiara said...

I too came over from Otin's to compliment you on the wonderful, fun story of yours he posted there. What a treat to find more and completely different wonderful writing here! You're beautifully talented.

AngelMay said...

Oh my goodness, I'm blushing! Otin was really wonderful to showcase my writing in a guest post. I really can't thank him enough. We are quite different in our styles - luckily there is room out here for lots of different styles. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

Ronda Laveen said...

Loved your TAPS story posted at Otin's. Left a comment there. Thanks!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Just stopping over from Otin's-- GREAT story about Margaret :-)

I'll be back again soon.

Maggie said...

Stopping by to say "hello" great story down at Otins blog! :D

Harnett-Hargrove said...

They are all well writ and very much appreciated.
I've been out of it....tripped down the current page.... I always liked Margaret! I'm not playing with them anymore! -Jayne

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Beautiful. I like the rose with the ants..

Camefrom Otin's and really enjoyed your story with the eccentric, murderous old ladies.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I've always wondered what Haiku was about...thanks for explaining it! ;) Loved all yours...

Stopped by from Otin's - LOVE the TAPS story - brilliant! :)

CatLadyLarew said...

I'm with Otin... the third one speaks to me, too!

otin said...


AngelMay said...


Poetikat said...

You have captured it in a nutshell (pardon the pun). I find the art of haiku helps me to hone my craft elsewhere and gives me a place for those keen and sudden observations.
Well done! I particularly loved the "living arrangements".

Stephanie said...

Haiku is so concise - it's refreshing to eliminate the superfluous. Loved the whale one.