Haiku About Moments

Matsuo Bashô said it best when he described the end result as a moment - “Aim for simplicity with elegance in expressing the haiku moment, the truth of the original noticing.”

This great Japanese poet invented the haiku as we know it - a tiny poem filled with a love of nature. He spent his life close to nature with an attitude of humility, selflessness and deep respect. He said, “Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo. In doing so you must leave your preoccupation with yourself otherwise you impose yourself on the object and do not learn. Your poetry issues of its own accord when you and the object have become one - when you have plunged deep enough into the object to see something like a hidden glimmering there.

Guidelines for expressing the haiku moment:

  • Haiku poems consist of 5, 7, 5 syllables in three lines.
  • The cutting divides the haiku in two parts with a certain imaginative distance between the two sections. Line one and two should be different images. Line three brings the two images together.
  • A haiku often contains a kigo, a season word which indicates in which season the haiku is set. For example cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow winter etc. The season word isn’t always that obvious.
  • Try to write a haiku only about what actually happens to you.
  • Write when you have been deeply moved.
  • Keep it honest, simple, clear and modest.
  • Try not to explain, it should need no explanation.
  • Try not to express feelings in words, let the concrete action speak for itself.

Some Of My Moments

Like all poetry, these should be read slowly and out loud. Among the pleasures of poetry is the sheer physical, sensual, textural, tactile pleasure of feeling the words on your lips, tongue, teeth and vocal chords. Savour every word and every line.  Reading verse can be like eating chocolate - so much more pleasurable when you allow it slowly to melt inside of you, so much less rewarding when you snap off big chunks and bolt them whole, all but untasted. This will also allow the meaning to emerge at its own pace. Just as the reading of each poem takes time, so a relationship with the whole art of poetry itself takes time.

a contradiction

interacting with nature

getting there quickly

sunshine and showers

umshado wezinkawu

a monkey’s wedding

ponies have the right of way

walking in the road

in the new forest

his mind is now calm

yellow orange marigolds

he has walked through peace

awaiting release

wishing tears would come

it would do me good to cry

indian temple

immersed in cultural past

turban on my head 

petals silky white

you flower in my morning

sunshine in my night

storm clouds pressing down

colours push against the grey

the first drop appears

watching the sunset

with you at my side so warm

this is paradise

what is due to you

it’s not rain that makes us wet

falling from the leaves

restless wanderer

kept in line by rumble strips

safe exploration

More by this Author


16 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Beautiful imagery, russ. I can hear your voice loud and clear!  This is one of the best hubs I have had the pleasure of reading.  Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more.


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Thank you Dohn, that is high praise indeed. Much appreciated.


erin boote profile image

erin boote 7 years ago from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Okay Russ, I've officially had my vacation now. This was absolutely splendid..and I was lost in your beautiful place for a good few minutes.. alll I can say is thank you my friend.. great hub!


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Thank you Erin, a vacation, what a lovely way to approach poetry - being immersed in it enough so as to escape for a while. Looking forward to your next one.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

Soul food, my friend,... soul food. ..I have gorged myself on your beautiful haiku, and now lay sated and sublimely content...You bring peace to the world and inspiration to me...Thank you Russ, you are truly gifted....Larry


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Thank you Larry, you have a wonderful way of inspiring me to write. Thank you for your support and making me smile.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Simply splendid, Russ. I thoroughly enjoyed this one - and your haiku are great!

Thanks for sharing

Love and peace

Tony


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Thanks Tones, much appreciated.


elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

Simply lovely and inspiring


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Thanks Elisabeth, thanks for the visit and your lovely feedback.


Catherine R profile image

Catherine R 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

What beautiful haiku! Glad I found your hubs (through your mate tonymac).


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Hi Catherine, thank you so much.


User 6 years ago

The chocolate part is a quotation from Stephen Fry's book "The Ode less travelled", with some alteration of the sentence order, although no credit is given. The original text is this:

"Savour every word and every line. Reading verse can be like eating chocolate - so much more pleasurable when you allow it slowly to melt inside of you, so much less rewarding when you snap off big chunks and bolt them whole, all but untasted. In our age, one of the glories of poetry is that it remains an art that demonstrates the virtues and pleasures of taking your time. You can never read a poem too slowly, but you can certainly read one too fast. Read out loud - Among the pleasures of poetry is the sheer physical, sensual, textural, tactile pleasure of feeling the words on your lips, tongue, teeth and vocal chords. Don't look for meaning - Never worry about ‘meaning’ when you are reading poems. A relationship with the whole art of poetry itself takes time. Allow meaning to emerge at its own pace."


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Ye, thank you, you are right. The original quote was in one of the first haiku hubs where I did give credit to Stephen Fry, an amazing man and an amazing book. Just these few tips really help one to enjoy reading any kind of poetry. Russ


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

his mind is now calm

yellow orange marigolds

he has walked through peace

Russ, Wow! This is my favorite. I will carry both the message and the image with me because it is so lovely and calming.

Thank you for the pleasure it brings me to read your haiku.


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 4 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Thanks Cat, I love your work too. I love how haiku just jumps out at unexpected moments. I saw a field of mariglods and within a few seconds the haiku was making itself known to me. Go well Cat. Russ

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