for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

morning tide/seashore/high tide (my last post at NaHaiWriMo for now)

morning tide—
the heaving waves

washed off burdens
lapping at our feet

billows and clouds
fading as dreams—
high tide

NaHaiWriMo prompt: seaside, seashore 07/16/2011
*the only one I posted on the site

I’m taking a breather from writing haiku on the NaHaiWriMo FB site to rethink on where I am and where I’m going with this genre. My writing a haiku has been taking me longer and longer, more tedious because the more I’m learning about what makes a good one, the more conscious I am of each word I put down. I feel that this process is taking a toll on the intuitive way I write poetry as most of the lines I write do seemingly write themselves out in one breath. Not so, with haiku that I want to work; yes, it comes easy when I’m ‘haiku-ing’ for myself or in this blog but when I begin to be conscious of ‘judging eyes’, I falter and fail and I write what for me and often I’m not wrong, a ‘lame’ or ‘yikes’ haiku.

I guess I should try to learn more, read more from Basho who lured me into the art in 2005 when I found a collection of his haiku, honestly the first I ever read having been schooled in continental literature, at the Enoch Pratt Library main library in Baltimore. Perhaps, I should reflect more on how his haiku often turn out as a meditation like in the famous ‘old pond’ where the frog’s splash fractures the silence to remind him that in the stillness of a pond, there is sound, there is life that brings him back from the ether to the frog.

But not wanting to lose my haiku-writing cells, I’m still writing with the prompts privately and continuing with my haibun memoir, some of which or excerpts of which I’ll post here once in a while.


July 21, 2011 - Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m glad you’re still writing along with the prompts, hermana. But don’t bash your haiku. You have, for me, one of the most interesting and lyrical voices around. I feel, like you, that my haiku is “wanting.” I’m sure (I know) other people might share that opinion. Perhaps it’s just that the form comes less naturally for me . . . and, perhaps, for you as well . . . given your lyricism. But that’s what I find interesting–your use of language, and your ability to present metaphors in such a rich way. Take heart in what you do so well, and don’t let others influence your voice unnecessarily.

    Comment by Margaret Dornaus | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. I can’t thank you enough for this, hermana! Thank you for your reassurances. I know, like you, that the form often feels like a square to my roundness but something in the discipline keeps me going; I’m sure you feel the same way. And you write beautifully, too! I love all your tanka–they flow so smoothly. Perhaps, I just need a break from what I had imposed on myself to do. Some kind of free space might do some good and I’ll be back!

    Comment by alee9 | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  3. Alegria,

    Your taking a breather comments are superb. In my opinion you get at one of the serious roadblocks to writing good haiku. It is both extremely intuitive and overly rational. You need both.

    But…. I also feel that one of your haiku “Strawberries cut in half” will be remembered for a long, long time. It just sparkles with light and darkness. I for one am a big fan of your haiku.


    Comment by Jim Sullivan | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you so much, Jim! One fan, that’s you, is a huge boost for me. I love that ‘strawberries’ haiku, too. It’s another haiku I wrote outside of the square, or intuitively, as you put it, for a fun prompt.

      Perhaps, rationality does affect what I realize is the essence of the Japanese masters haiku–deceptively simple, yes, but getting into the heart of mysteries. Indeed, one must study the form and absorb it so much so that one becomes a part of you, hence, your haiku simply flows into the form but coming not from the mind in stead from deep within you where borders have melted. But here am I, rationalizing again! Thanks again for your wonderful comment!

      Comment by alee9 | July 22, 2011 | Reply

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