I don’t know what has come over me, I seem to have caught an extreme case of haikuitis. Just when I decide to participate in November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I also seem to have concurrently caught haiku fever. I mean, I should be focusing on being verbose, on using as many words as possible to describe my world, but instead I’m reducing everything down to three lines of 17 syllables total. It started Saturday morning with this one:

Cleansing autumn winds
Leaves flying furiously
Makes me go “achoo”

While I have never had any formal haiku training, most of the classic haikus usually touch on nature in some way, so this one seems appropriate.  I felt inspired by the cool fall breeze and the sight of leaves falling.

The next morning I’m laying in bed with the boyfriend, and instead of snuggling, I’m counting out syllables trying to riff off of one of my cat’s plaintive meowing:

Tangerine mewing.
What is it she wants to say?
Mysterious cat.

Seems like all the Japanese ones are about frogs, so with a slight cultural transposition, I figure I’m still in the ballpark.

Rabbits running free
Tiny toes on hardwood floors.
The cat is annoyed.

But come Monday morning, I’m all “screw nature” and just sticking with the 5-7-5 format:

I don’t want to leave.
It is warm and furry here.
Paycheck is calling

Wearing mismatched socks
Getting funny looks at work.
I guess I don’t care.
Nothing much to do.
Office is a lonely place.
Can’t I just go home?

This is not the first time I’ve been stricken  with obsessive haiku disorder.  A few years back it got so bad that I would write meeting notes in haiku.  A friend and I would send each other emails written in nothing but haiku.  And then, just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped.

So, until I get over this haiku flu, look for my efforts up in my Twitter box over at the top of the right column.

How do you haiku?
Won’t you share with me your words?
A frog leaps and laughs.


32 responses »

  1. Were you in a holding pattern at work the last time you experienced this haiku-itis? (doesn’t this sound like a medical person gathering your history to determine a cause for this disease???)

  2. This happens to me sometimes, one kind of writing energizes another kind-

    someone told me once they could write two completely different books a lot easier than they could write one book at a time.

    I love the ‘warm and furry here’ haiku.

  3. I do like your haiku, especially “mysterious cat” and “achoo”. They’re terrific. Actually, they almost seem like parody. They are very funny. I never got into haiku, I must admit. But I used to write poetry for years when I was younger. I even won an award or two for poetry at school. But it was a severe impediment to writing longer prose. Everything was so condensed and so pregnant with meaning that I found it really difficult to write about things at any reasonable length. At some point in my early 20s, I completely lost the poetry urge and it restored some balance to my prose. Now I’m able to waffle on indefinitely, no matter what I’m writing about.

  4. “Rabbits running free
    Tiny toes on hardwood floors.
    The cat is annoyed.”


    little black dress
    and heels
    do I really want to go out tonight though?

  5. picking up the bill ?
    a gentle man all ways will ~
    nice little black dress

    ~ woohoo ~

    safely home in bed
    sexy visions in his head
    at least he’s well fed

  6. BQ – Hmmmm. Interesting question. Perhaps what put a stop to my haiku fixation the last time was getting a new job. I wonder if that will be the cure this time?

    Am – I like your theory. It’s like with deciding to take on NaNo, I’m identifying myself as “writer”, and since I can’t work on my novel yet, I’m priming the creative pump. Yeah, that’s it.

    Adam – Stumbling Along The Path, the Place Where Learning is Fun! You’re not the only one who isn’t familiar with haiku. When I started sending messages to a colleague written in haiku, she was quite confused. I learned about haiku in junior high (ask Iver if he remembers having to write haikus).

    BB Golly – thanks for playing along! The coffee one is quite evocative (she says while drinking her toast and eating her coffee).

    Wisdomjunkie – Why thank you. While my haiku are not intentionally parody, I think that is just the way my mind works. Maybe I should take myself more seriously, but why? I went through a poetry phase in college (like a good liberal arts girl), and of course, in high school. I hardly won any awards, though some famous poet (whose name I now forget) from whom I was taking a poetry class, said I did a nice job of describing being high on cocaine. Ah, the late 70’s/early 80s . . . Nice job on your first effort. 🙂

    Truce – I love that you get all the rabbit references. But, remember, the form of haiku is 5-7-5. So, let’s try this:

    The little black dress
    And the stiletto heels
    What am I doing?

  7. o yeah baby ~ and now for sum fill ahso fee

    things change all the time
    elvis dead on the toilet
    cherry blossoms fall

  8. coming in late
    number sixteen was taught (incorrectly?)
    haiku isn’t always five seven five

    Enjoyable! Yeah, why are they always about nature?

  9. gum on the pavement
    now stuck to my shoe, damnit
    could be worse – dog poop

    i guess that’s still about nature

  10. stunned and wondering
    did you have to leave that fast?
    email left unread

    modernly unnatural e-breakup(tm) ~ Haikumania(tm)

  11. Maybe you’re just saving all your words for NaNoWriMo?!

    Haiku has its place and time. Before you know it, you’ll be over it.

    BTW, I added you as a Nano buddy!

  12. Cool, LB. Great haikus. I esp love the mysterious cat one.

    My blog partner is the haiku queen at red Ravine. (smile) I have to be in the right mood, very quiet inside and let the haiku come out without my forcing the 17 syllables. If I’m in the flow, it’s like I don’t even have to count—the lines just end up with the right numbers. But I’m rarely in the flow, especially nowadays (and I could use getting in the flow).

  13. BB Golly – I see I’ve given you a dose of haiku fever. (Which may have accounted for your e-break-up). But, hey I see all is as right as rain, and you now have a can of orange/red paint for your troubles.

    Julie – Welcome! Glad you enjoyed my trip to haiku country.

    Corina – Yeah, maybe I’m just priming the pump for NaNoWriMo. That’s as good a reason as any. Glad that we’re NaNo buddies.

    yBonsey – Well, sometimes the flow might just need a little push. Things get clogged up now and again.

    Iver!! – He lives! Welcome back, my old friend. Am I crazy, or did we learn about haikus in junior high?

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