I've taken the gentle proddings of friends and some vacation time to consolidate all my Haikus (17 or 19 syllables) , Tankas (31 syllables) and Rengas (linked Haikus or Tankas). While at it I've pruned, cleaned and trimmed them—taking the opportunity to correct syllabic or rhythmic mistakes.

The decameter introductions in some of my previous postings have been turned into Haikus or Tankas to be consistent in tone. Similarly for most author notes, except those notes thanking other writers for their inspiration.

It is a daunting challenge to wade into a 1500 year old river of poesy. Especially one created in a language of subtleness and indirectness; and, in a culture so alien in its lack of privacy, brutal frankness and wily duplicity. I love Japan and its culture. I've lived there and still don't understand most of it.

It is impossible to create the banter, the excitement of illicit or complicit love affairs, dalliances forbidden, alliances bartered and shattered,—that created Haikus and Tankas. Hidden messages sent under the servant's nose, written on a flower or another inspired rag—all prodding excitement and showing love's prowess prolific—mental as well as physical. (Try dashing off something clever under time pressure after an hour or two of sleep!)

I do at times try to pay attention to Zen concepts like: Fukinsei—Asymmetry, Kanso—Simplicity, Koko—Austere Maturity, Shizen—Naturalness, Seijaku—Silence, Wabi—Gloried Impermanence, Sabi—Beautied Patina, Shibui—Tart Sweetness, Datsuzoku—Unworldliness, Yugen—Reflection(s), Roji—Garden Path. And, attempt to give a seasonal reference. But, sometimes the words flow out as they are.

I'll let you be the judge as to whether 7, 5,7 is a Haiku or not (19's as prime as 17—and almost as odd!) I'd let the feeling be the judge, but it's up to you. The ordering is chronological and covers a variety of topics—women in veils, flirting, death, frogs, love, death, bamboo, poker, eclipses, the moon, . . .

Hope you enjoy these postings as we develop our own modern Haiku form—entranced with the beauty of its past, describing still human feelings, but in a different world.

¡Don't be barbaric!

As done in days archaic,

¡Reply with Haiku—!