summer haiku series: youth

From the beginning
You and me: free, safe to be
Because of their love

The smell of roses
Drifts through a weak-hinged screen door
My first memory

Ripe with bright promise
Lemonade and endless play
Lawless summer days

Since growing older
I yearn for youth’s innocence
The crimeless lilac

I’ve found this new method of composing—deliberately choosing a subject to write about instead of writing about a moment in the day, letting it come naturally—to be more difficult. It is an exercise I will continue to pursue, however. Part of combating writer’s block is writing even when you’re not inspired.

Writing about my youth made me feel sad, nostalgic, like I wasn’t quite capturing its essence. I must return to it again, refine it, explore it further; it made me who I am. But how do you capture who you are, how you were made, in a mere 17 syllables?


haiku-a-day: group 5 + future plans

Fifth and final installment of this series.

Monday, May 29
Alabaster, stiff
Spotless as copy paper
Brand new tennis shoes

Tuesday, May 30
What they call presence
Is mere immersive doing
You find through writing

Wednesday, May 31
Mid-to-late morning
Fueled by coffee, ambition
Favorite time of day

For the rest of the summer, I plan on posting a group of haiku every Sunday pertaining to a particular theme (i.e. Death, Friendship, Nature, etc.). This form of poetry has proved to be incredibly stimulating—it allows me to capture a transient experience or profound sentiment through precision and control. I feel more creative and close to my authentic, true self than I have in a long time.

haiku-a-day: group 4

Fourth installment. Pair with this song.

Thursday, May 25
History’s allure
Is that by knowing the past
We see the future

Friday, May 26 / Sister
I look up to you
Your warmth, your boundless spirit
Eternal playmate

Saturday, May 27
Peering into rocks
Insects busy and at rest
Worlds we seldom see

Sunday, May 28
During long drives home
Follow avenues of thought
Collect endless time


haiku-a-day: group 3

Third installment. Pair with this song.

Sunday, May 21
What makes you yourself
Thought? Action? Emotion? Youth?
You: a performance

Monday, May 22
How consuming is
The profound weight of the heart
Blue when I miss you

Tuesday, May 23
Stepping out of doors
Into, beneath heavy trees
Enveloped yet free

Wednesday, May 24
I wish to be brave
Transcendent, confident, true
Cowardice remains

haiku-a-day: group 2

Second installment. Pair with this music video.

Wednesday, May 17
A keen companion
Doting and inquisitive
Ode to Winn Dixie

Thursday, May 18
Ripe-red raspberries
On a slow, hazy Thursday
Waiting for the rain

Friday, May 19 / Sylvia’s Fig Tree
To build your own world
Or to write of other’s worlds
Can you not do both?

Saturday, May 20
Watching movies with
Friends, at home, feels safe and pure
Remembrance of youth

haiku-a-day: group 1

Had an idea this weekend to write a haiku every day for the rest of May. I’ll post them here in fours.

Pair with this song.

Saturday, May 13
Idle on the porch
Legs outstretched, reading slowly
Solitude in May

Sunday, May 14
Iced tea, hydrangeas
On a linen tablecloth
Mother’s Day at home

Monday, May 15
Bright pink, as a mouth
Slurp the leftover juice quick
Afternoon grapefruit

Tuesday, May 16
Empty library
Trading theory for fiction
Suddenly summer

when i was a young girl

Growing up, I would go on long road trips with my family throughout the U.S. every summer. I’ve been to, or driven through, almost every state. Instead of our actual destination, which was typically some monument or park or landmark, I always looked forward to the days when we’d just drive. 8 hours on the road was a great day to me. Even more than reading or writing in my journal, my favorite thing to do on those endless drives was to look out the window and listen to my mp3 player. After a Drury or Holiday Inn continental breakfast, I would climb into my seat furthest from the sliding door, put in my earphones, and settle into my imagination. The passing landscapes colored my mood; I felt the safety and closeness of my family in the car with me, the exterior connection with culture through the music, the emotional thrill of letting my mind wander. Daydreaming: the essence of youth.

(I’ve been listening to Feist’s 2004 album Let It Die this morning, which was always one of my favorite albums to listen to on those long drives.)