Saturday, July 11, 2009

Haiku You, Too

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry which consists of 17 syllables laid out in three lines of five, seven and five syllables each. The poem's structure is a form, but the attitude of haiku creation is the more important feature of haiku. It is the end result of a contemplation.

So it is that some of my art is created in a momentary burst of energy which I strive to collect within me and push out in a rush. A couple of years ago I was fascinated with Japanese characters (the written script) and attempted to reproduce the effects in a vertical stream of brush strokes that conveyed an implied communication, but was really nonsense. I titled this series of pieces Haiku, and a number of them, framed, will be on display at my July art show here in Duluth at The Venue @ Mohaupt.

I've been asked many times if they mean anything. When I am in the mood to be completely candid, I admit that they have no real meaning whatsoever.

I do enjoy the process of writing poetic verse, and the constraints of the Haiku format have a certain appeal to me. Here are some lines which I found in a poetry folder while looking for some other pieces I'd written while in the Black Hills a number of years ago.

From depths of darkness
Light filtering through the mist...
Orpheus emerged

Mountain lake mirror
Introspective living force
Home of Narcissus

It's said that angels
with flaming swords stand guarding
Eden's gate. Not here.

everything floating
spellbinding picturesque dream
we drift in stillness

The darkness threatens
but cannot overpower
the luminous dawn.

with weary hunger
the longing heart savors hope;
dreaming, believing.

Spread your wings, little bird,
Follow your heart's tug;
The sky's your limit.

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