Thursday, April 15, 2010

Haiku and Hoku

Cherry blossom at Union Station

Rain coming
cherry petals
drift down

Christopher T. George

Aficianados of poetry will know that a traditional haiku has a set pattern of syllables, namely 5-7-5. I have been writing a number of haiku recently but also some shorter haiku, which I have named the hoku. It is also three lines, like the traditional haiku but less than the 5-7-5 syllables that a haiku calls for. No set number of syllables, just less syllables than the 17 syllables of a haiku. On a general basis, a hoku, despite the Oriental sounding name, is probably more fitted for Western verse than the usual nature theme of a haiku.

Herein are some examples of hoku and haiku.

Koi-ku Hoku

very fishy

Emu-ku Hoku

Emu chick
to go to good home.
-- You?

Grackles in White Narcissi (Haiku)

Sleek black grackles
move through the white narcissi
as silent as sharks.


I clear my
throat; you read
these lines.

Hoku Live

Here! Listen
to these
few words!

Astronomical Odds? (Haiku)

Path across night sky:
friendly visitor or foe?
You just do not know!

Christopher T. George

Funny Face

That smiley face bag stuffed in that space
has a certain imbecilic personality;
the snow's fast disappearing here in D.C.,
crocus in bloom in the Smithsonian gardens.

Dunned for a light by a bum with a dog end,
I see I've a hole in my crotch -- I mean,
my tan pants have a hole in the crotch area,
shame-faced when I'm supposed to be dressed up

for work, and the soles of my shoes need repair,
my wife and I need to go see the orthodontist;
our bought-used Saturn needs to be traded in,
our Twenties bathroom needs new grout.

I withdrew $50,000 from my retirement
to pay my mother's nursing home bills.
But -- just got word we'll get government help.
Gonna go around town wearing that smiley face.

Christopher T. George

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