Thursday, October 6, 2011

Haiku and Senryu 1


Rosy eye closing
beneath purple and red lids–
Fall’s bruised horizon.

As the oak leaves turn,
Nature orders, “Curtain up”–
cue this year’s third act.

Blackbirds harry Hawk 
from their leaf-bare maple home.
Hawk humors them though.

Eyes watch in hiding 
as we walk through red forest;
they fear us; we, them. 

The searchlight full moon
wore a veil of windblown cloud—
a November bride

Chains of starlings stretch,
shivering, from pole to pole—
roadside rosaries

Wind carries the cry
 of coyotes' prey brought down:
White doe runs away.


His locked box opened,

she gave flame to his desire—
scarring a true heart.

“I’ll never hurt you,”
Angel carved into his heart –
A promise unkept.

“I’d never do that,”
The angel professed to me –
They all do, in time.

Gratefully, I taste
her Chinese tea and oranges –
Not Suzanne, but close.

In whose image, first,
was the other created—
Man’s god or God’s man?

Hot coffee and gin 
kept him warm every night. 
Anger kept him hot.

Over at dVerse Poets Pub today, my friend Gay Reiser Cannon is discussing poetry forms. She's a treasure house of poetry form knowledge, often beyond my skills. But today she is discussing the form with which I started my journey as what might be called a poet.  That is the Japanese short form style of haiku and senryu.  I've called it writing inside a warm, tight hug. After argued with myself for a while (a frequent exercise that I inevitably lose, one way or another) if I should post any of them on the blog, Gay helped me decide once and for all.  I'll love playing at this form until I can't breathe on a page anymore. That's what they are, my small poetic respirations, how I start each day.


  1. wow you went all out on this...i really like the first...the imagery in the searchlight one is great as well...very well played joe....oh and that anger will eventually burn far worse than any coffee..smiles.

  2. Enjoyed them all. The Haiku are brilliant, nature is certainly your forte! I liked the Senryu too, especially the humor in #3.

  3. Chinese tea and oranges is my favorite. It is full of emotion. I love them all but that one made me go "wow". Well done.


  4. Joe, there's a great writing book called One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher that you might enjoy. She is a haiku writer who writes every day. These are simply exquisite.

  5. These are beyond wonderful, Joe, especially the haiku. I wish I'd written them or at least thought of the roadside rosary metaphor. Agree with the "exquisite."

  6. i like them both joe..loved the november bride and the chinese tea and create great images here

  7. Claudia spotted out my two favorites, esp the Leonard Cohen riff, but the angel ones are all mercilessly good. I can see where this same eye for detail plays out in your longer poems. Excellent stuff, every one.

  8. I so like your 'Suzanne' senryu and the hot coffee and gin one! And I love the final haiku.

  9. This is my first time to read your haiku/senryu set and I like the set. I like the bruised horizon, third act, the maple, november bride (nice images here) and roadside rosaries. Your senryu is sharp specially the last one.

  10. maple, coffee, ..these are homely stuff.
    beautiful sets of Haiku and Senryu.

  11. Wow, wow, wow!!!! Loved them all. Just as I thought nothing could top the one I was reading, the next one did. You completely nailed the expanding juxtaposition of related but unique images doing that. These are brilliant. The ones sticking as I read - that more or less knocked the wind out of me - the two angels, Suzanne (well of course) and best of all for me roadside obvious but never occurred to me. These should be published.

  12. ha, love the ending! Nothing like good old anger to keep a soul going. :)

    This was very Tom Waits to me, the November bride especially, and I enjoyed your words a lot.

  13. 'not Suzanne but close'
    'chinese tea and oranges'
    ~ so many 'tastes' to savour Joe ~

  14. first, the Haiku

    great panorama of nature in variety.
    I like the picture of the sun going down and the moon as a November bride.
    cold: ''the cry of coyotes' prey brought down'' stark.
    White doe runs away....

    from The Native Americans believed the occurance of a white animal was a huge sign of prophecy – a sign from the great spirit that a major shift in their world was to come. 

    is this your allusion to Fall?

    second, Senryu.

    a different take...on human love, the opposite sexes.
    I love the lines:
    In whose image, first,
    was the other created—
    Man’s god or God’s man?

    I'm new at both Haiku and Senryu, but I going as fast as I can to learn....thanks for sharing.