Haiku Corner

A Tricycle Poetry Club Discussion

Welcome to Haiku Corner!

Savor haiku … Buddha … your life; these are not separate.

"Everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention." — Jane Hirshfield

No matter if your practice be Vipassana (“Notice what you notice”) … Zen (“Close to the nose”) … Pure Land (“Everywhere, hear the Buddha Vow calling us to our true home) … Vajrayana (“Take a kindly attitude toward your mind”) … Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, indigenous, humanist, pagan, or nonpractice. From age 9 to 99. Published, pre-published, or doodling flowers in the margins. Here is Dharma Art, par excellence. Haikuyana.

You don’t have to be Buddhist, nor Japanese, to like haiku, anymore than being Jewish to like bagels, nor African American to dig the blues. Haiku teaches how dwelling in the present is to grow intimate with Presence. This shortest of literary forms opens onto the immeasurable. In her spare time the compassionate heart of the universe jots down haiku, and we can too.

Do you write haiku? Read haiku? —Same difference! Haiku enlists our active, imaginative participation. Our co-creation. Yesterday, I called haiku a creative training in deep listening / loving, living language. Tomorrow, I might say haiku is an unrepeatable formula from the source of creation. But criticism can be to haiku, like ornithology is … for the birds.

Haiku is … eclectic … democratic … empowering … educational … and fun . Don’t be shy, introduce yourself. Where do you live ? What’s your day like ? Share a favorite haiku with us.

For those just tuning in to haiku, or who’d like to add to our awakening wisdom, please visit our haiku wiki, in the garden alongside the teahouse. (What looks like a lock on the gate of brushwood twigs is only snail.)

Sweet community supports our growth. From time to time, we might focus on a topic or theme. Or zero in on a haiku for work shopping (play shop, as Paul Reps calls it). Some nights, people elucidate fine points, or share links. Some mornings, people from around the planet share a haiku moment, waking up, before going to work. From time to time, threads of haiku spontaneously cascade.

It’s a wonderful sangha! For easy reference, here are three haiku. One is by a classical Japanese master. One is by a contemporary American pioneer. And one is by …

Yrs truly, Gary Gach palms joined

        A flash of lightning
… the jagged screech of herons
      flying through the night      

               — Yosa Buson

A bitter morning:
Sparrows sitting together
Without any necks.
— James W. Hackett

ripples of heat waves across spider webs of last summer
— Gary Gach

Gary Gach
is author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism (Silver Nautilus Award); editor of What Book!? : Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop (American Book Award); and translator from Korean of three books by Ko Un, SSN. His poems and translations have appeared in Big Bridge, Bottle Rockets, BuddhaDharma, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Lilipoh, The Nation, The New Yorker, Tricycle, Turning Wheel, and World Haiku Review . He’s taught haiku at the Asian Art Museum, the Randall Museum, Stanford, San Francisco Zen Center, Spirit Rock, Venice Buddhist Temple, and Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts. He hopes to write two or three really immortal haiku in his life time. Home page: http://word.To

[sThe Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism (third edition). Preview 2nd edition: http://bit.ly/11Uqae Order: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781592579112 Bonus: watch a talk at Book Passage Bookstore, Free Nirvana: http://bit.ly/AxlWK


What Book!? ~ Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop Preview: http://bit.ly/QmWvr Order: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780938077923 Bonus: online adjunct http://bit.ly/8zjvQ


Flowers of a Moment by Ko Un, SSN (Northern California Book Award for Translation) Preview: http://bit.ly/3ija7V Order: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781929918881 Bonus: hear a 20-minute reading (at Moe's Bookst0re) http://bit.ly/YbQcf


(IndieBound.com provides online ordering through your local, independent U.S. bookstore.)


If haiku is one of the 84,000 gates to Dharma, there are likewise 84,000 gates to haiku: as many as moments, and people. And as with Dharma, haiku is a process, not a thing.

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tsmeisen's picture

On air, above the
ocean, gliding open eyed
a pelican sees

leebert's picture

The Cackspire of the Vanities:

Waning poetic
I ascend my great molehill
to wax polemic.

lshayashi's picture

Loving another
But never forgetting self
Enhance each other

tif.holmes's picture

I hope it is ok to post this here. I would like to invite everyone in the Tricycle community to participate in The Collaborative Photo-Haiku Project. It is an online collaborative effort to practice mindfulness by means of daily photo prompts. You can read more about the project here: http://photohaikuproject.com. It is inspired by my tremendous appreciation for Japanese haiga, haiku, and Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche's art of contemplative photography (Miksang).

Please consider participating, and sharing with others who may be interested.

With gratitude.

garygach's picture

periodic reminder :
when tricycle migrated over here (using druple software), haiku corner was carried over
BUT the original haiku corner continues to thrive at the original site (ning software) :


next time yr in the 'hood, come on by

heard in the quiet
full autumn moon
glowing in fog

bob knab's picture

greetings --------------

i am test driving my latest haikyou

so this -

by the roadside
a possum

blessings ----------------

garygach's picture

¿ did you know ? there are more than one haiku corners in the universe, ( probably as numerous as grains of sands on the ganges )

& YOU are cordially invited to come on over to the larger one of the 2 ...

last week we had an interesting round on the topic of the blank page ... this week we passed the 10,000th posting ... it's all happening at :


— email me ( gary [dot] gach [at] gmail [dot] com ) if you have any difficulties migrating to the older of the tricycle community spaces —

you'll find a warm community of good friends & you can add pictures, embed links, use italics, etc ( software's called ning ) — — — please feel free to re-inscribe any posting from here to there ... whatever whatever ... & please enjoy

mean while i love the moonshadows in the mirror in the empty room, mglasshawai ... i was in australia, john ... welcome, beatrice ...

beak under wing
the gull dreams
open eyed

mglasshawaii's picture

in an empty room
reflected in the mirror
shadows of the moon

jstucky's picture

still writing and observing. it's spring. the flowers are amazing. the wisteria in our garden is better than it's been in 4 years. our dogs like snoozing in the sun out there under the wisteria. there is lots to inspire

where are you Gary?

garygach's picture

am over at the older tricycle community space :


next time yr in the 'hood, come on by

beatrice's picture

Loved reading all the blogs. New to that word.
Will have to dig out my journal from years past and review my haikus. I stopped doing them.
This site will spur me to do more.
Thanks you.

JBChristy's picture

Waiting for the words
A calm, quiet space opens.
I hope no words come.

butchhancock's picture

my first time at the new format

white blackout
i can't spel anaseptic
winter supercedes

oh well.... sigh ...
ownward thru the fog

Jim Spencer's picture

Winter in Syracuse - three haiku

Chorus of tires sings
on a slush-covered roadway -
The Song of Zazen

Two passerby stop
and help with the shoveling
by bowing deeply.

Offering seeds to
sparrows on takahatsu -
filling the feeder.

garygach's picture

karma tenzing wangchuk weighs in on 5 7 5
in the continuing corner at the beige community space :


[ highly recommended ]

vive.black's picture

My first Haiku, alas my only Haiku (must be writers block) I jest.

A Winters' morning
Sun radiates

garygach's picture

¿ writers block ?
¿ the uncarved block ?

any ways
w e l c o m e

if you'd care to take a step over
is where the haiku corner seems still best (for now) active

thank you


krankyone's picture

This Haiku came to me in full form without any editing during a conversation about Haiku. It's titled "Harry Callahan"

Weeds against the snow
A photographic haiku
Strict simple image

garygach's picture

hi krankyone ... & welcome

yes, haiku have that tendency
of writing themselves
( if we get out of our own way
& allow them to ) ...

wonder if you might wish to cross over to
( you could, for example, post the harry callahan photo together with the haiku, for example )

... wet paint, work-in-progress, state of transition -- hope you you understand

thank you


scottsemail24u's picture

Hi everyone. I wrote this haiku last Thanksgiving after work. It was a really bad day and I needed someway of letting some stuff go.

the baby girl is still
they push her chest again now
ghosts in this new home

garygach's picture

i've been enjoying your haiku, scott -- and wish to invite you to cross over for now to http://community.tricycle.com/group/tricyclecommunitypoetryclub/forum/to...
which seems to be where the tricycle haiku community still currently is ... for the time

meanwhile i wonder aloud same thing i asked motherbear : if you've read issa ... your "all a dream ... " haiku reminds me of his " ... and yet, and yet ... "


the baby girl is still
they push her chest again now
ghosts in this new home

wonder too if the 2nd & third line are 1 line enjambed, in

rain in the forecast
the cat decides to rest now
she is the buddha

( at least, i hear it best, as such )

wonder too are you a medical care giver ?
( 'cos of your most recent ...

the baby girl is still
they push her chest again now
ghosts in this new home

thank you

palms _/|\_ joined

scottsemail24u's picture

Thanks Gary. I will move over to the new site. Yes I work in the medical field, and yes you heard it right. :) Namaste _/I\_

Rehn's picture

Autumn sunset—
the world turns pink.


vive.black's picture

So very beautiful I just sighed when I read it.

Rehn's picture

Thank you.

garygach's picture

winter surprised us
not to worry little mice
the hole is still there

... & is your introduction a haiku by
you ... or by issa !?! ( so lovely )

i particularly like how ' us ' ( a hard word to use sometimes )
takes authority for all beings ... including little mice ...
& the haiku speaks to the mice ( the way issa would, as in
" don't worry spiders, i do my housework lightly " )
with that pure land / st francis sensibility for the most low

btw, the majority of posting is still happening over at old haiku corner but eventually it will all move over to this New Haiku Corner ... so, either way, welcome, welcome, motherbear ... please dont be a stranger here

greetings, from San Francisco

a summery november

stroll as if there's no tomorrow

garygach's picture

[ am still getting used to the new software here ... so am trying again ]

winter surprised us
not to worry little mice
the hole is still there

... & is your introduction = a haiku by
you ... or by issa !?! ( so lovely )

sweet simple & with a heart as wide as the world

i particularly like how ' us ' ( a hard word to write or say authentically sometimes )
'takes authority' for all beings ... including wee mice ... ( you know the poem by burns about wee mice ? )
& the haiku speaks todon't worry spiders, i do my housework lightly " )
with that pure land / st francis sensibility for the most low

btw, the majority of posting is still happening over at the old haiku corner but eventually it will all move over to this here New Haiku Corner ... so, either way, welcome, welcome, motherbear ... please dont be a stranger here

..............greetings, from San Francisco .........

a summery november

stroll as if there's no tomorrow

motherbear's picture

I must confess that the spider haiku is my mantra, but I did not know the origin. I love the rhythm of it and the honesty.It always makes me smile.
We had a surprise snowstorm in Minnesota, and it made me think of the many mice that will be trying to share our warm
hearth, and the fact that we haven't as yet found the hole in
the basement where they enter.
I apologize to issa and the community. It was a spontaneous,unconscous plagarism.
I am on my way to look up Robt. Burns wee mice.
Thank you. Namaste.

garygach's picture


top of union street
sunday cars
in to & out of
bright white clouds


motherbear's picture

winter suprised us
not to worry little mice
the hole is still there

I just discovered this site today.
This is my first ever blog

garygach's picture


top of union street
sunday cars
in to & out of
bright white clouds


will conway's picture

new site
white puckered frost
november chill lingers

New format will grow in leaps and bounds, no doubt. Look forward to equivalent or better options for editing and adding to a post…

will conway's picture

……will adjust to the blaring innocence of a white background¿?…an affirmation…

pat sparrow's picture


first november chill
the chirpiness of sparrows
no more -- no less

Hi Gary,
Exploring the new site . . . . waiting to see how all of this comes together. At present I am not authorized to enter pat's page.


garygach's picture

¿ you mean you cannot enter your own page ?
the tricycle web manager is a bodhisattva, more than glad to work thru any of the initial glitches, and effect what changes are wished (and feasable) so let us know.

i like what meanwhile you do with my 'ku as a springboard for your own ...

agnes sebille's picture

I made it, wow ! I made it to the new site !
Nice videos Gary, thank you.
Your own page Pat? Never getting in it, i don't even see where to try... and what about our friends, do we have inboxes still, where?
I guess time will tell

first November chill
scratching the ground with a rake
this woman labors

agnes sebille's picture

I wish we still had the delete option and the 15 minutes edit option as i just noticed that i forgot the word " mind " after "never" On the old site i could have fixed that, here i can't. Oh well, i suppose it will teach me to pay more attention.

garygach's picture


      first november chill
hummingbird wearing no more
      nor less than before


garygach's picture

this is to see how links work in this new rough-draft version of the new community software ( to which amenities & features will be added, so i hear ) ....

-/haiku walk (ginko )

courtesy of trike's good friend clark strand & his green meditation society, comes this 3-minute invitation to a haiku walk, by priscilla lignori

part 2, a minute longer, assays haiku form ( speaking of which ———

—— i see no one's commented on my proposed haiku corner wiki guidelines for haiku — and non- ...

mike g's picture

much gratitude for this link. Ms. Lignori's explanations
are right on the target. My favorite---simple and profound
thankyou. I will take my 5-7-5 walk with Akka tomorrow.
ps: the squirrels are fine

garygach's picture

she does take the 5-7-5 route, as does clark --
that's fine -- what i appreciate most of all
is the ending of the 3 minutes : voilà! haiku

garygach's picture

first rain of winter
words washed away i go
puddle to puddle

mike g's picture

ice pellets falling
liquid marbles dissolving
do I swim or skate?

garygach's picture

does he dream or does he wake
floating in the pond the koi
eyes wide open

scottsemail24u's picture

all of it a dream
waking is a dream as well
but sometimes, sometimes

Mark Foote's picture

I was hoping to start a haiku chain here, similar to the one on Tao Bums which I've enjoyed. The idea is to keep to the 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable format and use the last line of the preceding haiku as the first line of your new haiku, like this:

election day returns
stirring morning coffee

down the toilet bowl flushes
election day returns

OK, that was really unusual for first and last reversed. Let me try again:

election day returns
sun just as slanted, more so
rain in the forecast

butchhancock's picture

rain in the forecast
but i can't see the forecast
for the trees and rain

nordichermit's picture

for the trees and rain
as an offering or shield?
the bright umbrella

scottsemail24u's picture

rain in the forecast
the cat decides to rest now
she is the buddha

garygach's picture

a lotus for you
a buddha to be

i did get the idea & the invitation ... 'tho couldn't see a link right off to crows as nutcrackers ... ( &, as speld out in the 'guide lines ' in the wiki, wonder why five seven five ) ... plus have been trying to juggle the logistics of transition ( still under way ) between this site & the one as intially begun last september ... & so thank you for being the 1st here to follow-thru past an initial post ... ( ! )

[ am told we can use italics here so i'll use this post as a test ... ]

rain in the forecast
driving in my suburu
not a cloud in sight

((( ¿ you mean ... ↑ ... like that ?

... so you continue beginning with
not a cloud in sight ?


i googled tao bums but didn't find the haiku chain there ... 'tho it's a neat idea, for sure )))

a while ago a kind of one- or two-word renga once spontaneously murshroomed here ... ¿ are you familiar with renga ? ( wch actually predate haiku)

by the way, i clicked on your name & picture & couldn't find any info, but am curious ... you're certainly welcome here with or without introduction ... or pre face ... & thank you for bearing with us as we transition from ning to druple software this month ...