Summer Haiku

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Next week, I’ll be teaching a series of classes on nature writing for this year’s YouthWrite. I’ve been wanting to teach more creative writing for some time, so I’m looking forward to sharing two of my favourite things — nature and writing — with a group young writers.

As part of the class on form, I thought it might be fun to write haiku. Although haiku has evolved to explore many modern subjects, traditionally it was a meditation on the natural world. A sort of “look at this” or “see what I found” snapshot. The Instagram of poetry. Perfect.

The form is bendy. There’s more to haiku than 5-7-5. Capturing an image or conveying a feeling is its essence. The 5-7-5 is somewhat flexible. Also perfect.

It’s been a long time since I wrote haiku, so I thought I should practice ahead of time. I enjoyed the process, so I’ll share a few:

 

The mountain stands, touched

by slow-moving, sumptuous clouds

and holds its secrets

 

A warm wind flows

Through aspen leaves and branches.

Nature’s kaleidoscope.

 

Rose petals create

Hillsides splashed with pink,

Nectar for hummingbirds.

 

Yellow lady slippers,

Delicate and refined,

Collect the morning dew.

 

Cups of butter

Balancing on thin stems

Skip across the speckled meadows.

 

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