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Miscellaneous Haiku

Golden crispy leaves
Shatter under foot and and tire
And leave behind dust.


Pale greenish fish start
Lunging after bloody bait
Like sharks in a pond.


Dewdrops on grassblades
Sparkle until splattered by
Raindrops from heaven


Gentle coloured leaves
Dried red and gold on the street
Dye another season.


Pebbles slide meekly
Down split granite and shale slopes—
The spring thaw resumes.


Dry leaves swirl and flow
Like reflections on the past;
Too subtle and vast.

Notes: All these short verses were spur-of-the-moment compositions, often used as introductory texts to online diaries and such. To the extent that they follow the 5-7-5 syllable structure, they model the American understanding of haiku. I do not claim to be an expert on the form, though there are certain conventions I have tried to keep, while there are others I have ignored. For example, my verses treat subjects of nature, and they generally have a rhetorical pause and turn between the second and third line. However, I have introduced rhyme into several of my texts, though the original poetic form was unrhymed.

Many of the haiku I see floating around tend to be somber and reflective, though the original Japanese form was part of a humorous genre. Indeed, a haiku was used as an introduction to a larger renga composition, only later becoming an independent type of poetry. The 5-7-5 syllable structure was there from the beginning, though is not seen in many translations of early Japanese haiku into English (or other languages). In its more orthodox form, each haiku must contain mention of one of the seasons, the time of day, and a landscape (nature) feature. Western, particularly American, haiku tends to be more experimental in form and content than Japanese haiku. For more information, see such texts as The Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms (Alex Preminger, ed.).