haiku

traditional poetry

Haiku are traditional Japanese poems written in three lines consisting of a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, often focused on nature.

example:

embracing life’s end     (5 syllables)

a red maple leaf dances     (7 syllables)

on a cool fall breeze     (5 syllables)

open hands

open up your hands
receive life's many blessings
bow and pass them on

impermanence

all things that are born
into this world must accept
their impermanence.

tatami

a sweet fragrant scent
these smooth straw mats beneath me
form a sacred space


kenzen

when properly trained
the mind is a sword that cuts
ignorance in twain

zori

in zori and life
the way to walk is forward
lest you lose your shoes

delusion

we oftentimes fail
because we search for that which
never existed

shouri (victory)

charge forward boldly
straight through the enemy's gates
seizing victory

zabuton

sitting quietly
on the zabuton cushion
breathing in and out

not lost

truth cannot be found
because it was never lost
it lies deep within

beyond

beyond all words and
conceptualization
lives the heart of zen

zendo

where's the proper place
to practice the way of zen?
in the here and now

tradition

traditions survive
the test of time and endure
reflecting our past

self-reliance

honor the sacred
but do not rely on gods
to do your bidding

no-self

looking for myself
passing through the temple gate
finding no one there

buddha

you are the buddha
the enlightened one sitting
in complete stillness

blind

the illusive truth
hides behind the very eyes
that seek to find it

beauty

nature shines brightly
without pride and without shame
effortless beauty

meditation

there is no doctrine
other than to sit and watch
the self dissolving

the poet's craft

with complete control
and with complete abandon
ink splashed on a page

two cups

as the cold wind blows
i await your safe return
with two cups of tea

 

burning past

the past burns brightly
guiding us along the way
to our destiny

aiki

nature’s compassion
is found in flowing with her
and not against her

aka

i would like to change
into something beautiful
powerful and free

ka

little mosquito
is my blood so sweet that you
made it your last meal
akisame

first signs of autumn
the rolling thunder echoes
amidst rustling trees

ame

hard rains pouring down
wash away the old debris
from my cluttered heart

atsui

waiting everyday
for this heat to go away
autumn please come home

hotaru

white cold winter night
embers float above the camp
like summer fireflies

kaeru

sitting quietly
the frog patiently awaits
a fly’s last mistake

kakashi

in the open fields
the blind scarecrow keeps close watch
standing not in vain

mother nature

we must not uproot
ourselves from that which we grow.
please keep mother safe.

koi

magnificent koi
effortlessly paint a pond
with vibrant color

michi

it’s in the journey
and not the destination
that success is found

momiji

embracing life’s end
the red maple leaf dances
on a cool fall breeze

 
mushin

like a calm still pond
my mind settles and reflects
beauty and grandeur

kin

golden leaves blowing
rustling through abandoned streets
dancing in the wind

kokoro

the mind and the heart
should be inseparable
like the earth and sky

mimizu

earthworm you filter
the black soil that grows our food
granting us all life

kaminari

and who can contain
uncontainable passion
darkness asks in vain
  
natsu

background music plays
softly through the summer night
nature’s symphony

ohayou

a good morning song
the cardinal happily
greets a bright new day

ondori

the rooster sits still
under the morning moonlight
waiting for the sun

semi

tell me cicada
what does it feel like to crawl
out of your old skin

suburi

every early morn
this wooden sword cuts right through
seven hundred years

 
niji

as dark storms subside
brilliant colors cut the sky
welcoming the sun

okaeri

and though she takes flight
i’m happy she will always
find her way back home

samishii

sometimes i wonder
how much further must i fly
before i see you

shakuhachi

silent flutes whisper
a lonely breeze blows through a
jade bamboo forest

taka

swallowed by vast skies
the hawk cries out to earth from
the heavens above

tentoumushi

dear orange ladybug
does it take you long to choose
which outfit to wear

tsuki

quarter moon half moon
where do you exist if the
moon is always full

umi

rippled waves crashing
against massive island shores
in the rock garden

 

washi

how the world changes
little bird the moment you
realize you can fly

yuki

snowflakes drift down on
white winter mountain peaks and
glisten in the sun
 
tonbo

dragonflies dancing
through the sprinkler’s morning mist
laughing in the rain

tsuriai

no give and no take
centered through simplicity
nature brings balance

unmei

dark clouds and blue skies
the winds carry us towards
our life’s destiny

yamori no shippo

when a good friend leaves
a piece of them still remains
forever with you

ochiba

leaves hold on no more
the winds want to set you free
take courage and fly