You, too, can write haiku

Haikus and art
by Mo Conlan

I love haikus. They work with the simplest elements of language -- the syllable.

A haiku poem has three lines: first line, five syllables; second, seven; third, five.

These short poems cleanse angst when I am having trouble with larger writing projects, such as the novel.

I find that writing haikus can reduce anxiety. I remember the days after 9-11, lying in bed, afraid and anxious like so many Americans, writing Haikus (5-7-5s) in my mind.

One fine thing about this poetry form is that anybody can do it, child to adult.

The fun part of trying to fit a poem into that tight frame is that, sometimes, you come up with something wonderful and surprising. Happy haiku-ing.


Going to the greenhouse
with my sister

Little petunias
Glowing with hot pink color
Like potted kisses.

Going to the Art Fair

In all directions
Art flows a joyous river;
Can’t choose just one piece.

Underground Railroad

Cross the cold river.
Traverse icy black water.
Beyond lies freedom.

First Love

Erotic love pales
Next to the wild rapture of
Mother and newborn.

More Haikus

Most joyful of sounds,
Friends’ laughter from the next room:
Waterfall of love.


Fall colors the day,
The land sinks into umber,
Russet fills my soul.


Red-roofed in the sun
Stands an old Kentucky barn
Shouldering the sky.


Dearest daughter-friend,
Heart of my heart and my flesh,
Blessed be all your days.


Cough, sniffle and sneeze.
Small armies go to battle.
My nose is oozing.


Fat little black cat
Snuggles into my cold flank.
We warm each other.


You can write haikus
On little slips of paper
Hidden in your purse.


Cat rests his furred chin
Atop my outstretched forearm,
Small Engine of Purr.

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