March 11: Family Haiku


I didn’t have anything today. I wanted to post but I just was … empty. I was sick of my voice. Didn’t feel like talking anymore.

Then I looked around at my family and suddenly thought, These are the voices I want to hear instead. So we went out for pizza and I took a notebook and I solicited phrases from them. Phrases about what had happened to them this week and about the first signs of spring. We talked about stuff and I kept writing things down. Lots of scribbling and dead ends.

We got home and I looked at the scribbles and I put some things together and read everyone a haiku I had assembled from the pieces they gave me. I made sure they approved of them. And here they are.




My mom (visiting from New England, where are stone walls all over the place, including her back yard):

snow melting
my stone wall

My husband (spent last weekend cleaning frantically to prepare for my mom’s visit; has terrible teeth):

spring cleaning
the last tooth

My son (claims he told me a long time ago that he needs new boots):

new holes
in my old boots


So what’s your family up to these days? Anything worth writing home about?

12 thoughts on “March 11: Family Haiku

  1. Same old dysfunction here, kiddo.

    I’ve given up on forcing the poetry. After awhile, having calmly practiced observation, getting outside oneself, pertinant ideas seem to appear
    unabided. That’s just me, though.

    The ego still compells me to post them; why, I don’t know. Obviously, seeking attention. Do I add any beauty to the world, or a remark of our commonality? I sure hope so.

    • Thanks for the calm words, Willie.
      I still write a lot of haiku. I feel guilty because I keep sending them off to journals instead of posting them here.
      I think I’ll have to get over it. I’m too tired to feel guilty.

  2. All almost good haiku, I believe. Too, they’re waiting to be written as haibun! And all these from scribblings! Thanksa again, Melissa!

  3. I don’t write enough to send haiku to journals – i need to fill the blog!

    I sounded a bit “preachy” in my earlier comment. I didn’t mean to be.

  4. Years ago I was teaching a haiku workshop at Hakone Garden in Saratoga, California. I sent the class out to write haiku — if they could, one haiku for each of their five senses. I tried to do the same, but despite the beauty of the garden, abloom with spring, nothing came. So I gave up and just sat in the wisteria arbor next to a pond, just sitting to enjoy. I put my haiku notebook away. Now, you might be expecting me to say that after a few minutes of relaxing and just being present, the poems started to flow. They did, but my greater realization was that they didn’t need to, that just being present, rather than anxious about writing haiku, was reward enough.

    In 1997, I was evactuated with family for two weeks because of a flood. It was a very intense time. I’ve never been able to write haiku or other poetry about it, either then or since. I’ve accepted this. Sometimes you have to just live, or what are you ever going to write about later, if at all? Some people are able to write about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, but I think it’s perfectly fine not to write a single word. Sometimes it’s all you can do in life to stare in utter amazement.


    • That last sentence really says it all, Michael.

      There are lots and lots of things I can’t write haiku about, and furthermore don’t want to write haiku about. I was actually somewhat surprised that I was able to write haiku about the earthquake, it’s not normally the kind of thing I can do anything with at all. As the situation gets exponentially grimmer I’m not sure I’ll be able to do anything else with it. It’s beginning to feel frivolous even to try. But a lot of things are feeling frivolous right about now. Seems like a time to draw close to the people I love and appreciate them.

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