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Gene Myers.haiku column

The Haiku Society of America is pleased to host this ongoing column.

.Haiku: a place to share tools available to haiku writers and fellow haiku fans (like how to use Twitter, Facebook and Scribd for building community, self-publishing and marketing). The column will also feature interviews, blog spotlights and occasional multimedia presentations.

Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>


2012 .haiku columns

.haiku column number 14 • 11-18-2012

by Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>

Haiku, the perfect art in the face of a hurricane

During Hurricane Sandy, here in my home state of New Jersey, I came to the realization that haiku is the best poetry form when it comes to reading in the dark. If you’re going to read anything squinting in low light, haiku is your best bet. I started with Basho.

moonless night . . .
a powerful wind embraces
the ancient cedars


full autumn moon
to my gate comes rising
crested tide


The poems made me feel better and my cell phone still had juice, so I posted them on the web.

I included one from contemporary poet, Yu Chang.

power lines
a measure of silence
between poles

- Yu Chang

Even without power, I felt connected and I thought posting poems might help others as well. 

“Does anybody else have poems that might speak to what people are going through now? Poems about darkness, poems about heavy winds, poems about flooding or freezing?” I asked on the Haiku Foundation's Troutswirl blog.

Many posted replies. Kathe L. Palka from “Western New Jersey” contributed this one.

scent of the river

-Kathe L. Palka

She typed that the poem came from “having lived over 20 years on the banks of the Raritan River here in western New Jersey.” She also didn’t have power.

“My heart goes out to those who are still in the dark tonight, those who are cold and the many who have (lost) their homes,” Palka typed.

Mariu Moreno contributed this one by Peggy Willis Lyles.

in the storm’s eye

-Peggy Willis Lyles

Notice the hope slipping in to the conversation? The mood was starting to change, and not just for me. I didn’t realize it consciously when I started posting poems to the web. I began pragmatically, saying to myself, OK, if it’s too dark to read, what about reading some small poems in the light by the window?

But, going back to that first poem, it occurred to me that there was more to it. There was something else that I was looking for the whole time. And others were looking to connect, too.

Is there something you would like to see in a column? Email me at <poetgene@gmail.com>.

• .haiku column number 14 • 11-18-2012 •

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