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

grapefruit bite (kigo)/drum beating (free format) my haiku in Shiki Kukai Sept 2011

grapefruit bite
sweeter with each
cloud let go

2 votes (from peers)
Kigo: citrus Shiki Kukai Sept 2011

The original haiku which I edited at the last minute reads:

grapefruit bite
sweeter with each
dark cloud let go

I wonder if by taking out the adjective ‘dark’ I wrote a vague haiku. Or I think the shift or juxtaposition to a metaphor (dark cloud) failed.

drum beating
to clear skies
rain on the roses

0 votes
Free format: rain Shiki Kukai Sept 2011

I read this now and say, ‘Huh?’ What did I want to say when I wrote it? It looks like I meant to illustrate a thought about ‘dark clouds and dark skies’, reflecting our dark moods as in the ‘grapefruit’ haiku. I must have tried to say here that the same rain, which sometimes falls furiously as if ‘drum beating’ on us and on the roses is meant not only to ‘clear skies’ and our thoughts, but also to give life.

What about this rewrite:

rain on the roses
drum beating to clear skies
our shifting moods


October 13, 2011 - Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Alegria,

    A couple of comments from a mope on a Friday night.

    1) I am glad you are back posting. We missed you.
    2) Your final rewrite has, I think, three images. And according to Michael Dylan Welch, we should avoid this. And I do feel reading the rewrite that I am pushed in too many directions.
    3) I admire your reaching out to all of us for comments on your haiku. Very participatory.
    4) Grapefuits, roses, clouds moving on, rain on roses, shifting moods — you have your hands full. It may go back to a prior post of yours in which you expressed a difficulty including in a haiku format all the images you wanted to write about.
    5) It is very revealing to see a haiku in motion and in flight to its final form. We all struggle with this editing process. I for one have learned from this post.
    6) And remember (strawberries) and hollow hearts. Truely the best.

    Thanks, Alegria,


    Comment by Jim Sullivan | October 15, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s with unfailing delight for me to receive your comment, Sully!

      I love how ‘the mope’ sees clearly through the mesh of my images. No matter how I strive to curb this tendency to ‘tell a story’, or describe as an inveterate storyteller would, a moment instead of simply ‘showing it as it is’, I easily slip into it. And as in the ‘eye of a storm’ my haiku-ing eye does not see how I stir up a moment into a windstorm where objects bounce about as if lost.

      Which brings me to this tendency as well, to ask another eye, one outside of me, to let me know what’s wrong with my failed haiku. After all, a haiku or any poetry, or work of art remains inert as if born dead if no reader or viewer breathes life into, if no one has been touched or even irked by it. What honor and luck then, if a reader like you for mine, takes up in partnership with the poet to pick up a sputtering or lifeless work to revive it if it’s possible. Hence, we learn from each other.

      Thanks for drawing out for me the ‘strawberry’ haiku as the ‘star’ I must follow in each haiku flight. Yes, indeed, I turned cutting a strawberry in half, which in itself is merely a prosaic moment into a volume on our experiences of disenchantment. How I got there as in most of my haiku that worked, I must confess, I don’t know. I must have read Michael’s writings, as well as those he has recommended to those new to haiku, close to a hundred times. But when faced with a blank space, all that I’ve learned from these as well as the workshop he once conducted in Vancouver that I attended, are swept away by an outside wind and on my own, I regress into being the eye of my own storm. Am I simply a poor student or a barren soil where the biblical seeds the sower scattered fell and did not take root? I struggle against such thought, which is why I keep writing haiku and asking readers why it failed or worked.

      I must confess I feel I must latch on to you for life as in

      on the roses
      evening rain

      Thanks again!


      Comment by alee9 | October 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Of course, it’s not according to me that one should avoid three images. It’s a standard technique for haiku that it employ the equivalent to a kireji (cutting word) that divides the poem into two parts (which means, NOT three parts). Creating a good two-part juxtaposition is one of the hardest things to do well in haiku. I struggle with it all the time, writing two wonderful lines abou an image and then . . . now what? But with practice it does get easier. Of course, be sure to check each of your haiku to see that they never have *three* parts. The juxtaposition in haiku should be both grammatical (to separate grammatical units) as well as imagistically different (one part shouldn’t restate the first part, or be too close to it — it must shift away). And of course the *point* to juxtaposition is to imply an emotion — the key word being to *imply*, not state. It’s because it’s so hard (yet looks so simple) that haiku continues to engage and challenge me, and so many others.

    Comment by Michael Dylan Welch | January 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you beyond words, Michael! Truly, the master that you are, you patiently point out again and again the way to unlock what to me remains the ‘mystery’ in a haiku. Do you know how it gets clearer with every explanation you give? But I’ve been more aware of the ‘two parts’ and not ‘three’ since NaHaiWriMo. I’m aware that I’ll not cease to struggle with the right juxtaposition but at least, now, I know what I’m looking for. Thanks so much for this response!!!

      Comment by alee9 | January 8, 2012 | Reply

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