Saturday, 23 of September of 2017

Tag » haiku

17 Syllables: Batch 1

Greetings Busker fans!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Breen and our esteemed Mr. Sewell (Busker-in-Chief) has seen fit to allow me to perform on his digital street corner. Some in the Lawrence area might know me as the effervescent owner of Hometown Games (a hobby game store), or as an adjunct instructor at Highland Community College. But like Jacob, I have a creative side that yearns to be heard, whether or not anyone wants to hear it. I will be presenting the occasional short-story and even some longer features.

For this first post I will offer some haiku for your consideration. While I have tried to improve my appreciation for reading and writing all forms of poetry, I find myself drawn to haiku. The combination of a “simple” form and an evocative, powerful use of language is irresistible. I remember when I first seriously started reading a classic haiku anthology. For several pages they were just words. I could appreciate what the poet was trying to do, but it was all at an intellectual level. Then I read a verse and was mentally smacked upside the head. I felt the poem, instead of understanding it, and continued to do so as I read further. The evoked feelings lasted, sublimating into experiences. When I closed the book, I knew where I wanted to nudge the muse.

I make no claims to expertise or skill, just enthusiasm. I am actively pursuing the three main avenues of study of the art: Reading books on haiku technique, reading haiku (currently the complete works of Matsuo Basho, the originator of the form) and writing haiku. As for form specifics, I drift between the traditional 5/7/5 syllable pattern and others proposed and used by other poets. As with many things, my pursuit of haiku is a journey as much as a destination, and I would like to consider the poems I post a travelogue of this trip and hope you enjoy the sights as much as I.

Michael Breen

The cicada’s droning
Loud, seeping to the bone
Only winter saves

Dark silence of night
Nudging bright and busy day
Moon quietly watches

Sun-boiled air
Roiling the milky river
Ah — to wade
(Inspired by Basho)

Unyielding bright sun
Making the trees scream with love
Comes silencing frost

White frosting — now gone
Charcoal aroma streams forth
Tiny lights fly about

Morning chill
Replacing the dawn
A new alarm

Meaningless breeze
Sun only a lamp
Not yet an oven


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