Winter

Haiku in Winter

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Picture Credit: Carsten Huels

How did that happen?

It only seemed a moment ago, when I was walking through decaying leaves and pondering the poetic joys of Autumn when Winter arrives.

Here in the UK we have had a colder start to Winter than in past years. Temperatures have reached minus 9 degrees centigrade, in some areas, and snow has fallen in the North of England. It looks like a cold one and I’m happy, as I can hibernate in the poetry den for three months and get ahead with the poetry and writing.

Winter has provided the inspiration for many poets and poems and haiku is a genre of poetry where the theme of Winter is prominent. I have been reading a lot of haiku recently and there are perfect examples of haiku both, traditional and modern, inspired by the winter months.

Three of the masters of the haiku tradition Bashō, Buson and Issa all took inspiration from Winter and reading their work takes you to the heart and moment of the season. This haiku by Bashō (translated by Robert Hass) provides a perfect example.

Winter solitude-
in a world of one colour
the sound of wind.

From a more modern perspective Ruth Yarrow’s haiku captures the childhood joy that

Winter

winter

She came last night.
It had been a while.
I missed her at first, too busy fighting
Zombies and saving the world.

Her calling card of white blankets and
Grey sky fire the child in me.
Visions of snowball fights
And snowmen draw me outside.

Her icy breath burns
My throat and nostrils.
In the surrounding silence
She pulls me to the floor,

Arms and legs jerk in joy.
We play for hours, caressing,
sliding, cavorting, until her
burning touch forces me away.

Green pools appear
on her silken dress.
She starts to withdraw.
Frantic, I grab what remains.

© Davy D 2016

Winter

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She came last night; it had been a while.
I missed her at first, too busy fighting
Zombies and saving the world.

Her calling card of white blankets and
Grey sky fired the child in me.
Visions of snowball fights
And snowmen drew me outside.

Her icy breath welcomed me, burning
My throat and nostrils, silencing
Those in her presence.

She pulled me to the floor,
My arms and legs jerked in joy.
We played for hours, caressing,
Sliding, cavorting, until her
Burning touch forced me away.

Green pools appeared on her silken dress.
She started to withdraw.
Frantic, I grabbed what remained.
I hope she returns soon.