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Today’s entry is about what I call “Haiku Memoir,” that shares some important characteristics with Improvisational Theatre (what I wrote about last time). Both Improv and Haiku Memoir are HUGE fun. They’re brief. They’re in the moment. They depend, not so much on thinking but more on responding from a gut level, with openness and abandon.

Haiku Memoir, as I use the term, is about paying attention to the moment (i.e. mindful awareness) and then allowing short (3 – 6 lines) poems that express the essence of that moment to bubble up. I say “allow” instead of “write” because I don’t really feel in charge of these poems. I neither stop nor start them, but I do welcome them, always. Sometimes I’ll create several in a day, about nothing, about anything that captures my fancy. I make no pretense at great poetry. I don’t follow the strict rules of traditional Japanese Haiku (number of syllables per line, insistence on 3 lines, usually with a shift of subject matter in the middle.) I usually get the basics down quickly, then I play around with phrasing or rhythm. Mostly I let go and let words come to me. Often they’re about things I’ve noticed in nature when I’m walking, impressions I’ve had when I’m quiet, images that strike me for some reason, or a brief interaction.There’s no good, no bad. Anything and everything is fair game. If this appeals, I invite you to play.  Send me what you’ve written and maybe I’ll publish some here next time.  Just so long as they’re authentic and based on personal experience. Here are a few of my random haiku’s from recent times.


The lawnmower sputters.

The butterfly flutters.

My mind roams and mutters.

Life in Two Lines

When I fall asleep at night, breathe.

When I awake in the morning, breathe.

All’s Well That Ends Well

I will do this today and certainly not that,

I decided in the morning.

Then I did that … and not this.

And all was well.


Faith is a bird that soars.

Gravity be damned.

It’s Over

This poem

Which isn’t even started

Is now