The Wizard, The Whiskey ……. and Haiku.

a poem by Rita Joyce Singh, India

Arranged to meet up an old friend,
Had a liquor problem-drank whiskey no end,
Affectionately, I called him Old Foggy,
Pristine mind when sober, he went from soda to soggy.

Widower twice from number one and two,
Now spends twilight years dabbling in Gazals and Haiku.
Haiku !! Wow! I said ..read that first on Voicesnet,
Poetry of stature, elusive class and format—I got into a fret.

Surely, I’d give this style a miss,
Tougher than a nail it is.
Spoke the friendly fog,
You are missing the trees for the…..log.

I mean, you missed the entire point,
Here, take a good pull of whiskey to anoint.
Then, let us take a long, long walk,
And I the Nature- man shall walk the talk.

So, whiskey bottle shared at the Jogger’s Park-end,
He spoke, rather rambled , my old, woozy, wizard friend.
Don’t be deterred for there are rules,
And..rules and rules and rules and rules and rules.

Groggy already….…I mumbled my dread,
You know that one……..…about……….angels fear to tread.
No fears! Continued the Liquor-laced advisor,
For whiskey and words, he was no miser.

Go on , read up the site of Jane Reichhold,
Be brave, Be bold.
Try the Charles Dickson Haiku Contest,
No way! You won’t be a laughing jest.

Haiku, you see,
Cannot be,
A run along sentence.
There are two clear parts and and that too in present tense.

It’s called Fragment and Phrase,
I, just then, feigned a passing Tulip Tree Gaze.
There’s Classical Shubhumi, Kigo, Kireji, Onji,
The rhymes in my head could only think of Jumping and Bungee

Rules and whiskey was now hurting my knees,
For I heard .. there’s seventeen syllables in threes.
Heard…be comparative, be associative,
Heard.. be rustic, be mystic,



Be romantic it is the wabi – and use religion,
Use paradox, aloneness- it is called yugen.
Describe humanity, rhyme your lines three to one,
Avoid, ‘between’, ‘among’…..Use word play, use pun.

Use allusions, metaphors and draw parallels,
Haiku is life and life is Haiku….(Life’s a whiskey barrel).
There is discipline, discipline and guidelines,
Watch for these as you’d watch out for …. landmines.

Doubtless, the most precious rule of torment,
Is that there HAS TO BE an ah-ha moment.
He spoke of the esteemed Basho- the motto of the master,
‘Learn all rules – but forget them faster’.

Yes, not for the coward hearted,
Ten thousand years of lineage where this poetry art started.
So be careful, avoid gerunds and personal pronoun,
Avoid… in, at, on – and certainly, don’t go to town,

With English emulation.
That’s blasphemy, damnation.
Use camera angle views and create concrete images,
My thoughts must be whole but still released in stages.


Now try it, said the wizard,
Spot anything. The tree, the liquor, that lizard.
Remember, nothing in Haiku is absolute,
It’s only nature manifolds- around us, being alive, talking or mute.

Go on make your bid,
You won’t know until you did.
Use any topic under the sun,
Just have fun.

My own head and guts have a tale to tell,
The Whiskey and Haiku now hurt like hell.
With Dutch courage ….and hope all goes well,
I go forth to crack the Haiku Shell.

For better or for verse,
Or the preposterous.
With some prayer to all poet Gods,
And poets longs since under sods.

Keeping track,
IN ONE SINGLE BREATH …back to back,
Of syllables 5-7-5..who knows...
Here Goes….

“African Tulip Rain fills delicate wine flutes Breezes toss each sip”

Ah-Ha……
What????? Did you say... inebriated?.... Sic.
No, no, no, no, no,…dishreshpect ever meant,
Hai..Ku.. dn’t hurt anyone’s feelings ……Hic.

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