CucumberToday’s Zen calendar offered an excellent American Haiku:


It was written by Paul Reps and I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t heard of him before so I did some cyber-stalking and now commend his work to any of my readers interested in Haiku or Zen Buddhism. He was born in 1895 Iowa, traveled around Asia in the early 20th century then wandered the planet until his death in 1990. I didn’t realize he had been writing American Haiku long before Jack Kerouac described them in 1959:

…I don’t think American Haikus (short three-line poems intended to be completely packed with Void of Whole) should worry about syllables because American speech is something again…bursting to pop.

Above all, a Haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi Pastorella.

A few years ago I wrote several haiku, one of which was published in Three Line Poetry which paid a whole American dollar. If I write any more, I’ll post them here.

In the meantime, here’s some Kerouac:

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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