Haiku! Gesundheit.

I love haiku. They are fragments of thought in poetry. I think of them as keyholes in a locked door. You get to peek, but your imagination will have to fill in the details.

I have read that it’s impractical to follow the traditional Japanese form of of 3 lines with the first and last lines having five syllables and the middle line having seven syllables. I do like to keep to the traditional format. To me, that’s the point of a haiku.

It’s distilling a thought or experience into an essence. It’s like making a layered perfume—you get three layers. Five drops on the first layer, seven in the middle and topped with another five. You really have to be choosy with what you add to such a limited concoction.

I do cheat and often pair my haiku up with photographs. An image paired with words is my favorite combination. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is a picture with words worth?

Usually I try to take my own photos, but sometimes one jumps out at me that’s perfect. The other day I woke to find a spider hanging on the porch, glowing in the sunrise. I snapped a photo and wrote a haiku about her. My own photo turned out terrible, but I was fortunate to find this one to use instead.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith's work has been published in several print and online publications, including the “Horror Writers Association's Poetry Showcase” vols. 2-4, “Christmas Lites” vols. 1-6 and the “Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthology. She has nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, YAs and children. Her first collection of poetry, “In Favor of Pain,” was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award.
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