Firstly, I'd like to thank poet and lecturer Carrie Etter for issuing the challenge to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month.

   I'd particularly like to thank her because I hadn't even heard of National Poetry Month and now look forward to a National Poetry Year.......every year! Responding to the challenge was easy, executing it a little harder!

   However, I'm glad I took the minimalist option of a haiku per day, so beginning the Merthyr 'haiku factory' (as my son's girlfriend called it so aptly). I just hoped that they wouldn't turn out like the infamous Sinclair C5, one of Merthyr's most maligned products and rightly so : a washing-tub on wheels!

   Having been to Japan for a couple of weeks a few years ago and vowing not to write haiku but ending up doing so, I fully expected to  rebel against myself and compose villanelles instead.

   It didn't work out that way though and I've kept to the strict discipline of three-line, five - seven - five syllables throughout the month of April. The most problematic ones were undoubtedly those in Welsh, where my limited vocabulary has been fully stretched and my desire to leave out words not always a possibility.

   Some of the haiku have been direct responses to observations and events, but by no means all. The first and last link up, of course, and there's room for a remembered full moon and the Windsor Wasters' Bash on the 29th( oh no, it's me doing my Chumbawamba tub-thumping.....I'll have to curb that!). Some are memories and some imaginings.

  I have cheated in that I wrote a spare one and now insert that, in retrospect, for the 24th , as the original didn't work out well.

   Inevitably, there are descriptions from my house, such as the first cuckoo and early visitation of the swallows. The return of horses to the Waun out back is much more significant than I could suggest in a haiku though. It means that the whole area is less likely to be made into a giant opencast mine in future.

   I am very grateful to anyone who has read and made comments on them. I am especially pleased that several Welsh speakers have said they liked the 'haiku Cymraeg' : it means they aren't totally 'lol' ( nonsense and laugh-out-loud).

  I'm just glad I didn't take on the challenge of writing a longer piece every day, as many would have turned out forced; though next April I'll have to do something different, perhaps a sequence or narrative.

   April has been the kindest month, an ideal time for lounging in the garden and going for leisurely walks 'up the forestry' near my home. Not surprisingly, they're predominantly rural, with only a couple from my sorties into Merthyr and Cardiff.

   Occasionally, lines have arrived and I don't know where they came from : these could well be either the best or worst of what I've written.

APRIL 1st

Thing about haiku,
after the five,seven,five :
they are never fin.........

2nd
Are they ears or mouths,
medicine for memory?
Petal skirts, straight stems.

3rd
Stream breathes the wild mint,
cress at every finger-tip :
wears the lady's smock.

4th
Breed under decking,
climb wire, cough up blue poison :
gnaw into our dreams.

5th
Y dosbarth Cymraeg :
dw i'n dringo yr ysgol,
heb yn gweld y pen.

6th
Horses graze and roll,
welcome friends, just visiting :
print 'C' of Common.

7th
Couples confluence
at oak-shade of horizon :
fences can't stop them.

8th
Smooth spoons of the broom,
thistle forks and knives of gorse ,
heather picnic mat.

9th
Youths light fires on moor,
hurry off, braying loudly :
beneath, seams crave flames.

10th
Sparrows under eaves,
one trails a piece of string,
ties up terracing.

11th
The white plastic bag,
flag of surrender on thorn ;
carcass of burnt car.

12th
Dw i'n chwilio
yng nghymoedd yr iaith :
sgrws a cyndadau.

13th
Old mine-shaft fenced off,
pupils of mud, lids of moss :
no sight to the past.

14th
Angler in river,
whip of his line as it flies :
rider of water.

15th
Green eyes to the sky,
reeds standing upright at last,
branches' lichen veils.

16th
Lone saxophonist
bebops bag-bulging shoppers,
lifts them to roof-tops.

17th
First cuckoo on Waun,
nest-filcher, clock of season :
ring-song of the sun

18th
'DANGER', 'DEATH' on gate :
below the buzzards and wire,
each step defiant.

19th
Smokers sit outside,
gamblers sucked into bookies :
days drop like dog-ends.

20th
Opening daytime
and closing with the twilight,
petals hide dark star.

21st
Agorwyd cegau,
mae geiriau yn hedfan :
gwenyn i'r blodau.

22nd
Today rotten wood,
next day dandelions grow there :
two journeys, visions.

23rd
Seen for the first time,
a bull's face in the oak tree :
once muscled on moor.

24th
These early swallows
scythe fly-furrows in the air :
east wind scatters them. 

25th
So full orange moon,
sky carnation, lost balloon,
floating fox-lantern.

26th
Bottle rolls downhill,
a runaway animal :
finds home in the drain.

27th
Tree memorial
bright with shirts, flowers, photos :
all colours of blood.

28th
'We' and 'this nation'
the tv keeps insisting,
so I feel foreign.

29th
'Windsor' not 'Wales',
monarchy moronity :
servile subjects slurp.

30th
......Isht! Night listening,
owl flies on tides of moonlight :
drip from its hook-beak.
 


Comments

05/25/2011 06:40

Hi Mike,

Please do ignore my earlier comment as I feel it was a bit sharp, so apologies for that.

Your use of language in haiku might well be suited to gendai haiku. I wrote around 32 haiku, mostly gendai for NaPoWriMo, and a few for NaHaiWriMo.

If you don't worry about having a 575 construct you might find the NaHaiWriMo sites quite intriguing. ;-)

I think your comment about writing in Welsh highlights that 575 in English doesn't often succeed, as it makes us leave out words that affect the syntax.

NaHaiWriMo:
<a href="http://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/">link</a>
<a href="https://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/home/2011-report">link</a>

I think you might enjoy having a go at some of the prompts for NaHaiWriMo:
<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/NaHaiWriMo/108107262587697">link</a>
<a href="http://www.haijinx.org/IV-1/nahaiwrimo/index.html">link</a>


Some of my attempts at gendai are hit and miss for NaPoWriMo, but here are some of the more successful ones:
<a href="http://carrieetter.blogspot.com/2011/05/napowrimo-happily-ends-and-ends-happily.html#comments">link</a>

<a href="http://gendaihaiku.com/">link</a>
<a href="http://gendaihaiku.com/dreams/index.html">link</a>

all my very best,

Alan

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