Haiku, an appreciation.

The other week, I went to Leamington with my girlfriend, my Mum and her friend. My first impression of the place was that I was far too proletariat, you know, working class to be there. It’s not like Northampton is, even their branch of the stationery shop “The Works” had a sign in a fancy font, unlike its usual bubbly and quirky brand identity. The streets were clean, the architecture wasn’t nearly as grey and dull as it is back home and to be honest the crisp, clean and fancy nature offended me. You wouldn’t have thought it is where it is, being neighboured by lesser reputable towns. The kind people like me are accustomed to.It was a good day all in all and we found a gem at a record shop, nice seeing as we’d been to a record market just an hour or so before and we were really disappointed. All the records were David Bowie, ACDC, Metallica, The Jam, stuff like that. Lame stuff most people regard as classic. It makes me laugh when people think music like that is some of the best in the world. The Beatles is the worst example of this and suckers like John Lennon. Maybe it’s just part of my personality that I can see those “heroes” for what they really are.

If you’re interested, the record we found was Mike and Rich’s Expert Knob Twiddlers. It was first released in 1996 but this is the 2016 repress with 7 new tracks. I’d heard this album before though not very intimately. You need to, I think, when you listen to this kind of music. It’s not the kind you can have on in the background although this album in particular is quite easily listening. It must be. My Mum even said so. That, and the fact my Dad didn’t ask me to turn the volume down. Hah…

Mike is Mike Paradinas also known as μ-Ziq (read Musique) and Rich is Richard D. James also known as Aphex Twin and a long list of other pseudonyms… Both need no introduction if you’re into electronic music, but not the “Intelligent Dance Music” or “dubstep” kind.

We were looking inside charity shops just before the end of our visit and I saw a book of Haiku poetry translated from Japanese to English. It was only a few pounds, so I thought I could only benefit from it. Alicja found a collection of poetry by Sylvia Plath, collected by Ted Hughes. We found it kind of funny but sad, also. Ted Hughes reminds me of a classic Onision type. If you’re not familiar with Onision don’t worry. You’ll benefit from not knowing. The less narcissistic, shallow, personality disordered YouTubers you know, the better.

The book of Haiku is really neatly presented, it has a few different categories in which the poems are sorted. Nature, Happiness, Phases of the Moon, Birds and Creatures are just a few of the different categories. I was reading Haiku poems are typically about nature in some way. I was inspired, so for fun I’ve been devising up my own.

Haiku, when in English, are usually in three lines. The first and last line are 5 syllables in length and the second line is 7 syllables. There’s no rhyming scheme, either. I like them because they force you to be economical and powerful with your words. It’s handy to write these as practice, because I usually have a waffling problem. This isn’t any good for poetry or novellas! Unless you’re doing some sort of sonnet!

Here are some I came up with.

A bird flies over,

Post-industrial wasteland.

Still chirps without care.

And another:

Heart pours crimson blood

Charitable collection

Pierced by a thorn.

Aaaand another:

Soy sauce icicle

Acrid salty vessel

Oh how I miss you!

And one more:

Little piggy, play

Do not mind me, my dear

Kick the last, sweet rose.

It’s fun to see what images you can build up with few words. You only end up using 10 words or so a time. It doesn’t even need to make sense.

I’ve written some more, forcing myself to get into the habit of writing consistently. I’ve taken to uploading some to AllPoetry against my girlfriend’s warning that the people there are quite vicious, and not in the helpful critiquing way…

Take a look if you like, heereeeee!

Until next time,

Danny.

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