Likenesses - Haiku for Life

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Once a year I take my classes on a haiku hike. We bring a camera and look for meaningful haiku from the nature that we saw. Nature has a lot to speak to us about if we will just listen. Students always remember the haiku the wrote and say, “That is where I got my haiku.”
Haikus can also be illustrated with camera or brush. Haiku is an art form in Japan and is taught in all public schools. I was invited to attend a calligraphy exhibition that had illustrated haiku. The spectators were deeply engrossed in the haiku and would contemplate on the haiku for a long time.
Here are some excerpts from the book.

Selections from the “Haiku Handbook”.
Why haiku? We often see or sense something that gives us a bit of a lift, or a moment’s pure sadness. Perhaps it is the funnies flapping in the breeze before a newstand on a sunny spring day. Or some scent on the wind catches us as we step from the bus, or bend to lift the groceries from the car. Something tickles our ankle and, looking down to see what it is we see more:
A baby crab
Climbs up my leg-
Such clear water

Haiku happen all the time, wherever there are people “in touch” with the world of their senses, and with their own feeling response to it.

* When we compose haiku we are saying, “It is hard to tell you how I am feeling. Perhaps if I share with you the event that made me aware of these feelings, you will have similar feelings of your own.” What is it that makes us feel bad or happy, how can they share our feelings? What is it that put that smile on your face? Haiku is the answer to this what. Haiku present dramatic moments found in common, everyday occurrences-small dramas that play in our minds. Haiku lets an object or event touch our lives and then share it with another. Being small, haiku lend themselves especially to sharing small, intimate things. By recognizing the intimate things that touch us, we know and appreciate ourselves and our world more. By sharing these things with others we let them into our lives in a very special, personal way.

Submitted: May 29, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 29, 2016




Haiku & Tanka


The curtain goes up.

Glory's Light show has begun.

Golden shores beckon,

"Journey where time has no end;

The King of glory welcomes".


I boarded the ship

Of my Imagination

Floating through purple

Landing in a sea of light

Here Love reigns supreme -- sunset.


Through the cloud curtain

A golden light show reveals

Islands, mountains, seas.


Silver cloud curtains

Open for Venus to shine

On all who look up.


Can you stop to see

Laser Colors in the sky?

My Light Show is On.


Diamonds on the grass.

Yesterday's rain is

Today a glistening gem --


Poorman's umbrella--

A coat pulled over my head

Keeps me dry enough


A winged wonder lands

Who has visited my branch?

A fat bird sunning


SKYQUAKE! shakes the soul

Looking for the high and proud

Will it visit me?


Dark and Light struggle

Clouds of doubt make the noon like night

The sun rescues me.


Diffusion Illusion

The clouds that hang low

Have made the golden yellows glow

For the sun burns bright.


A carp jumps through air

A crane struts looking for food

Will they ever meet?


Green tendrils await

The sound of no one coming

That they may conquer.


A brown leaf spinning

On thin strand of spider's web

God's circus is on!


Fall's first fire red leaf

Floats on a patch of green weeds

Red and green contrast

Shine in glory for a week

Then softly fade into earth.


Pools of sunlight shine

On my face warming my soul

God's love feels so near.


Cherry blossoms cause

My daughter to lift her hands

In praise of this day.


As gentle rains fall

Carp look above the water

To glimpse another world.


On a plum tree bud

Icicles are fast melting

Harbinger of spring.


Distant hills beckon

I must see what lies beyond

The next range of clouds.


Autumn's gentle cloak

Graces the forest with red

Softening my steps.


Spring's profusion

Of colors lightens my heart

Joy! I'm young again.



Christmas is joyful

Singing fills the air with praise

For life’s hope was born.


This year’s book is open

Its pages are clean and white

Waiting for your mark.


Spots live on the wall

Reminding me to spring clean

A clean home – washed soul.

-Oct.11, 95


Oak in silhouette

How many dusks have you seen?

How many will come?


Crickets never still

Tell me what you are singing

I sleep not – listening.


The seeds you planted

Then watered, weeded, and loved

Have grown into trees

Bursting with juicy ripe fruit

That will feed generations.


From pyramid hill,

Looking south towards the sea,

Rising out of the mist,

Lay the mountains I must cross,

Above them float morning clouds.


From your humble pot

Orchids burst forth in glory

After years of sleeping.


Around and within

Invisible forces work

Perfect Creation.


At our shoji door

Sparrows play a shadow show

Knowing not we watch.


In forest valley

Spring’s bird symphony begins

To find each their mate.


Sunrise in the east

Heralds a New Era of hope

From my balcony.


Cherry petals fall,

Then spin on a spider’s web

Before vanishing.


Haiku from the times (the 1970’s-1980’s):


The snow dust swirling

Beauty in desolation

Inside talk persists


(Inside our warm house we were unaware of the beauty outside.. The talk may be seem vain next to the profoundness of the ancient wisdom of nature. Nature was always speaking to me. I struggled to interpret what it was saying.)


A few leaves are left

Shaking their teeth at fall’s dusk

War is far away


(Vietnam was like America’s winter. The leaves that should have been green and growing were dying. Only a few leaves were left at home shaking their teeth at the draft and the establishment. What I didn’t realize at the time was how many war protesters there were.)


Paper bag in arm

A drunk staggers down dead streets

Decaying city


(Drunks hide their liquor in paper bags to avoid arrest. They go down dead ends because fewer cars go there. The city that was once sparkling is falling into ruin and degradation.)


The tongue speaks feelings

The bud’s first opening

Spring’s sap starts flowing


(A poem of youth. The sap –read hormones- are beginning to flow and the flower is blossoming. Will it be a weed or a fragrant blossom?)


No more lies this year

The trees are skeletons

Seasons – circular


(I made a decision to refuse to take any more drugs as I was tired of their evil influence. My life was bare at this time but I knew that better times – and a certain enlightenment would come and it did – Jesus the light and spring.)



A circle of snow

On a window of crystals

Haloes icy wind


( This haiku is a celebration of the wonders of nature. There seems to be a design in even the smallest of nature’s occurrences that seem almost directed by angelic artists.)


Goodbye morning walls

The day’s long circle begins

Hello evening walls


(Life seemed at times to be a routine with no end – like a circle that I could not break.)


On awakening

Birds sing- but as I look out

They are still, silent


(Inspiration can be elusive. A great thought can be fleeting. The Holy Spirit is often likened to a dove – and it can be easily shooed away.)


Feeding on water

Iris growing patiently

Basking in the sun


( I was like that iris. I was waiting patiently for my hour of destiny to come and for my life to mature. Basking implies that the growing up was enjoyable.)




Pump men always drunk

The highlight of their day

And their only joy


(This was a popular theme – making fun of the beer guzzlers. But were the drug takers any different – everyone was seeking a thrill a way to make their day more joyful. I have a photo that goes along with this.)


Barking sun, whispering road

Drive to the ocean

Hoping to find an Eden

We find a mud hole



(Once I really wanted to see the ocean for some reason. So I drove a long way to Boston with my friends to see the Atlantic. I was so disappointed. It was littered with trash and so muddy and filthy it was sickening – a big let down. I imagined the ocean as being so pristine and pure.)



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