10 min read

100 days of haiku

Haiku is a form of micro poetry; I did one haiku a day for 100 days and loved it
100 days of haiku

I found this strange niche of micro-poetry, or haiku, on Twitter and after writing a few of my own it soon became a bit of an obsession for me. I started a self-imposed 100 day challenge - a haiku a day for 100 days, sharing my progress on Twitter.

What is a haiku?

A haiku is a micro poem, which has a format of 3 lines, and also a structure of 5, 7, 5 for the number of syllables per line, though I follow that very loosely, if at all. That's all there is to it!

Why haikus?

I found they give just enough structure and constraint that I can’t possibly overthink or dither with indecision. I just write. And they are so short that there is no obstacle in terms of the perceived effort involved.

It's a great expressive and creative outlet that teaches you to look at things around - it’s a mini dose of mindfulness, or more correctly perhaps, presentness.

It enables you to discover or filter what matters. Nature. Love. Fascination. The universe. Consciousness. Whatever. This is often emergent and changes with mood which is interesting in its own right.

Observations

Haiku isn’t the only form of micro poetry. There is also something called senryū. Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature. Some of mine might be more like senryū than haiku. But, who cares. It’s my party.

Sometimes I had an urge to explain the haiku. This may be as bad form as explaining a joke. I don’t know. Sometimes I did explain the context. Other times I mentally noted the urge but left it alone to pass.

Other times I experimented with photos. And in fact I like this, especially when it’s one of my own photos. You’ll see I’ve kept photos in the collated list below.

My favourite inspiration for a haiku is a walk or a run. No headphones, no distractions, just in the present and in nature. It’s this beautiful dance where I spend the time twirling words and phrases in my mind. There is no rush. It’s unhurried perfection.

Tips for starting out

Don’t overthink it, just look at something, anything, and write three short lines. That’s it! Do it. If you’re on Twitter then use #haiku and see what others are writing about too - it’s a great community.

My favourites (top 10)

Here are ten of my favourite haikus. Of course, when writing with a daily haiku habit a good deal of them are pretty mediocre, but I do have these I’m particularly fond of. There is probably some lesson or moral in there only being a few, 10%, that are any good! The power of habit is important and in some cases quality comes from quantity.

Here are my faves:

Eyes wide with wonder
Christmas lights reflecting
In those perfect orbs — Day 100
Maiden of the water
Flowing over rock and root
Sings a siren’s song — Day 83
Sickle moon
To hang my hat and
Breathe in the Universe — Day 70
Toes under the covers,
Elbows touching.
Separately together — Day 63
Inquisitive mind.
Turning over every leaf,
Opening every door — Day 43
Parting clouds,
Revealing nature’s heart and wisdom,
That I may stare in awe — Day 38
Sparkly magic wand
Wielded by a two-year-old
“Turn you into a frog Daddy!” — Day 33
Disturbed slumber.
I rise, in body not spirit,
Wishing the day away — Day 26
Holding on tight
To a little hand. Realising
It is the world — Day 19
Between earth and sky,
A dichotomy of being grounded,
And infinity — Day 10

100 haikus

Here is the full list of 100 haikus, in reverse chronological order. I’ve also included the photos for the ones where I shared a photo too.

Day 100

Eyes wide with wonder
Christmas lights reflecting
In those perfect orbs

Day 99

Brighter than the rain
I see you smiling
But then again

Day 98

Quiet, quiet, quiet
Then up to volume 11
As the kids come home

Day 97

Sun’s dying blaze
Igniting the breach between
Cloud and horizon.

Day 96

Fighting against disorder
Momentary victories
Yield little

Day 95

Unexpected shelter
From the rain.
Salvaging the day.

Day 94

Standing in the courtyard
The past, the future
The dark, the light.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/5e9720b4-220d-491b-ba8b-bc24e85d3851/25DEC2C0-E9AC-42B2-8DE3-16CBB8E95E09.jpeg

Day 93

Tentatively taking steps
On the balance beam
“Hold my hand Daddy”

Day 92

A blanket of damp and quiet
Saturates the dells
Among ruins of broken leaves

Day 91

Goosebumps rising
In response to the chill
On a moonless night.

Day 90

Wrapping presents
In front of the fire
Kittens going berserk

Day 89

A hole in the clouds
Illuminates a patch of land
By the grace of the Sun.

Day 88

Winter sun sharing a gift
Of long shadows and
Endless views
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/ec84b958-6c42-48d2-ad2b-578b6d73783b/037EAFA1-81A1-4B3A-8EB3-E83D936773EA.jpeg

Day 87

A thousand manmade stars
The drifting heavens
Fade as they fall
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/ff40e29e-d25a-4221-a4dc-e9fd0ff4d799/EE7032A2-C7F2-4B4A-A449-664603B06B11.jpeg

Day 86

Sap on hands
From the Christmas tree
A childhood reminder

Day 85

Slow, deliberate movements
Gently easing aching muscles
Into a hot bath

Day 84

Even with closed eyes
The glare of the light is cast,
Thinly veiled.

Day 83

Maiden of the water
Flowing over rock and root
Sings a siren’s song
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/db7a49fa-8877-45c1-a223-79cca2ebc74b/D7F50F78-A08D-48DB-B425-CD865127295C.jpeg
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/6cb5dee3-4686-4772-a090-75542e74ca10/B13CBFC9-3F07-4300-BD76-341694707F7E.jpeg

Day 82

Hot bath,
Beads of sweat forming,
Then slowly rolling away

Day 81

Dark, bare branches
Sharp in the hazy morning light
Captivated by stillness

Day 80

Lanes rolling along
The curves of the green hills
Kids hooting on their bikes.

Day 79

Sucking cold air
Into bursting lungs
Sprinting for home

Day 78

A cloud front contrasts
With a crystal blue sky
High in the atmosphere

Day 77

Mist on the window,
Waiting to clear.
Unhurried

Day 76

Cradling her doll
Babbling in a world of
Imagined beauty.

Day 75

Wisps of cloud
Cling to the hills
Enhancing while obscuring.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/2861da0a-8628-4fee-a990-2a733c5c859f/C84283BB-0FDD-4D19-AB89-6444A4BE9E2D.jpeg

Day 74

Floating in the calm sea
Slate grey water under a
Slate grey sky.

Day 73

Almost imperceptibly,
Yet inexorably the trees now stand
Bare of leaves.

Day 72

The beautiful contrast
Of hot then cold
Washing tension away.

Day 71

Rainbow rises
From the fold in the hills
Beckoning.

Day 70

Sickle moon
To hang my hat and
Breathe in the Universe.

Day 69

Bare feet resting
On the cold floor tiles
Grounding me.

Day 68

Sunlight dancing
To the song of fair Nimrodel
In Lothlórien.

Day 67

The moor awaits the storm.
A dark rain falls espousing
Neither vice nor virtue.

Day 66

Turning the pages
Of a good book.
Rain blasting the windows.

Day 65

Breathing deeply,
Coffee cupped in hand,
Glasses steaming.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/e29ab3ca-034b-4cf1-b08e-399954fdfc3b/Untitled.png

Day 64

Leaves on the road,
Sunlight in the mirror,
A bright dawn.

Day 63

Toes under the covers,
Elbows touching.
Separately together.

Day 62

Pots boiling
On the stove top
Steaming up the windows.

Day 61

Tentative curiosity,
The kitten explores.
In a brave new world.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/7454f75f-a954-47c4-9050-4b6130d2e48e/Untitled.png

Day 60

A crown of bracken,
A castle of granite,
Light through the cloud.

Day 59

Halls of gold,
Climbing to lofty heights,
To kiss the clouds
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/6b7ce942-4374-4cc5-93db-80274dae80a9/Untitled.png

Bonus 2nd haiku on this day:

Rock and root,
Bough and bower,
To the river’s cool embrace
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/c2eb3bc6-d891-4f19-b29b-ccc3176fc0af/Untitled.png

Day 58

The fire crackles
Sending glowing sparks
Up the chimney

Day 57

At a gallop
In the autumn sun
Is freedom

Day 56

Frost on the glass,
Breath misting in the air,
Under a clear, cold sky.

Day 55

Writing and thinking,
Thinking and writing,
Looking for clarity.

Day 54

Slow dancing
To an old wedding song
Tuning out the children

Day 53

A flock of birds
Interrupts a slate grey sky
Heralding rain.

Day 52

Tension. Reminding myself
To focus on the process
Not the goal

Day 51

Treading the pumpkin trail with care,
Wood smoke and cold air,
Having quite a scare!

Day 50

Muted sounds and colours,
Cool autumn air,
Breathing the breeze.

Day 49

Rounding a bend
Seeing the moon, almost full
Low to the horizon.

Day 48

Bright the candle,
Rallying against the rain
Outside the window.

Day 47

Moon shines in sun,
Though the Earth is in shadow,
And colour is fading.

Day 46

Sun or rain
The sky can’t decide.
Neither can I.

Day 45

Horizontal rain,
The wind snatching my
Hoots of joy into the void.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/820f4976-9faf-4a46-9f37-b3d60d7c6741/Untitled.png

Day 44

Against a background of dark clouds,
The low sun lights the trees,
Already with golden leaf.
Photo credit: Johannes Plenio
Photo credit: Johannes Plenio

Day 43

Inquisitive mind.
Turning over every leaf,
Opening every door.

Day 42

Even this grey sky
Has shades of lightness.
Livened by the lightest of rain.

Day 41

Washing the dishes
Staring out of the window
At nothing in particular.

Day 40

A leaf falls into the stream
Taken by the current.
Tumbling carelessly.

Day 39

Twisted growth,
Taking ways that are soft and quiet.
To nowhere in particular.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/b5b31e1f-7dbd-4c7f-b40b-0291545f013a/Untitled.png

Day 38

Parting clouds,
Revealing nature’s heart and wisdom,
That I may stare in awe.

Day 37

Music is vibrations.
Deconstructing does nothing to lessen
How it can touch your soul.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/Jrwp7DJY5IU
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/Jrwp7DJY5IU

Day 36

Reflections in the glass.
Something so far away
Brought close.

Day 35

New conversations
With a old friend. Sharing a story,
Taking our time.

Day 34

Sunset: a fire
In the sky. A fire, and a
Window in the Universe.

Day 33

Sparkly magic wand
Wielded by a two-year-old
“Turn you into a frog Daddy!”

Day 32

Looking through the
Rain drops on the glass
To a perfect rainbow.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/1ea43ea9-1d39-4bbb-b81e-499cdc82f707/Untitled.png

Day 31

Low sun through the window
Brightness and hopeful warmth.
The outside coming in.
Photo credit: https://t.co/nWsSFRHsHa?amp=1
Photo credit: https://t.co/nWsSFRHsHa?amp=1

Day 30

Patiently waiting,
Small talk and awkward silences.
Just smile.

Day 29

High clouds in the sky,
Bright in the sun, though it
Has left the land.
Photo credit: https://t.co/UQr8mYB3IH?amp=1
Photo credit: https://t.co/UQr8mYB3IH?amp=1

Day 28

We can but watch
As the leaves turn and fall, and realise
Fate is inexorable.
Photo credit: https://t.co/xRDDNXQ6jQ?amp=1
Photo credit: https://t.co/xRDDNXQ6jQ?amp=1

Day 27

Grateful for autumn,
Blustery walks and puddles.
Chancing upon a rainbow.

Day 26

Disturbed slumber.
I rise, in body not spirit,
Wishing the day away.

Day 25

Coffee, fire, haiku,
Daughter painting, son playing.
This moment forever.

Day 24

Sweet rain, warm fire,
Breathing life and love,
Into these bones.

Day 23

Startled a squirrel,
On my afternoon run, too distracted
Dancing in the rain.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/aace7f21-dc57-475d-b3b3-a5b96dc30f76/Untitled.png

Day 22

Ripples on the water.
Mirroring the sky. Sometimes dark, sometimes
A kaleidoscopic rainbow.

Day 21

No time to think,
Space-time squeezed to nothing,
By the Skype* Black Hole.

*or Zoom

Day 20

Wild hair, kind eyes,
Freedom in movement.
Ever dancing To nature’s song.

Day 19

Holding on tight
To a little hand.
Realising It is the world.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/66615dba-e786-4f1f-bbc8-8c072600137d/Untitled.png

Day 18

Windy and cold sunset,
A father’s jumper given to his daughter.
In unconditional love.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/d993d7d2-1167-4fc1-9116-9944b176bddf/Untitled.png

Day 17

Looking to the stars,
A feeling of falling up,
Seeking the truth.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/60e9d1bb-ea8b-4758-879f-b59bace5b5eb/Untitled.png

Day 16

Magnolia sky,
Lit by the dawn. The cold a portent,
Of a storm to come.

Day 15

Between rain showers,
Looking to see the half-moon.
Alas, too many clouds.

Day 14

Sky of tumbled clouds,
Breaking against unseen obstacles.
A changing of the light.

Day 13

The spider’s web,
Baring the path. A lure for lunch.
Patiently waiting.

Day 12

A pony grazes the grass,
Sometimes pausing, sometimes galloping, sometimes sheltering. But always present.
A master of mindfulness

Day 11

The dawn comes softly,
Light tumbles through the clouds.
Colouring the land.

Day 10

Between earth and sky,
A dichotomy of being grounded,
And infinity.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/6fbf2256-cb71-4ad7-b1d9-47c5ba3b2030/Untitled.png

Day 9

One, two to school,
Third with me, seeing today through
A child’s eyes.

Day 8

Underwater weightlessness
Her hair sways with slow purpose
Always beautiful

Day 7

Curiosity constant,
nature’s fractal form so wondrous.
Why look away?
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/47351d91-d399-4490-a4ab-488e4afd5c02/Untitled.png

Day 6

Narrow footpath leads
northwards for legs to stride out.
Due south to return.

Day 5

Blackberries, blueberries
Smiling face smeared black and blue
A happy bruise.

Day 4

Unfamiliarity assaults my senses,
Strangeness, and stimulus, unsure where to look, where to listen, where to feel.
Unbalancing all.

Day 3

Soft mud underfoot
Holds the prints of many treads
For a short time

Day 2

A falling leaf,
a branch made bare, yet time
passes regardless.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/2241925b-854d-4230-8c96-cc93ad3adace/Untitled.png

Day 1

A whisper of air
upon my closed eyes
gifts me a smile.