Go ahead, take a shot!
It’s been a couple of months since I have started to appreciate and write Haikus, a type of Japanese poetry.
I remember ignoring a friend who tried to explain its beauty to me 4–5 years back, as I looked at it as yet another genre of formal and boring poetry.
It all changed when I first wrote a few haikus a couple of months back during a hiking-haiku program organized by a local literature group. I was blown away by its capacity.
I was told a few things about its ways before the hike. One was that it was to be of three-lines with the following syllable counts: 5–7–5. Very minimal use of words. Very selective usage of words. I thought it was going to be very limiting for expression as I preferred to write in free-verse.
Two, it had to have your immediate nature at its core. Your subject had to be your immediate environment and surroundings. The plants, animals, birds, water, mountains, etc. Another environmental hubbub, I thought.
Three, it had to be about You. The I. The Self. I liked this part.
With reluctance, I started the hike. But when I had finished it, I remember having written 10 haikus (in Nepali) and being blown away out of my wits while writing each.
I was blown away as such because each haiku had not only managed to savagely grab me by my conscience and turn my awareness into the surrounding subject matter, it had also strangely connected those matters to my self. When I stared at a pigeon, for instance, I also related the pigeon’s life to mine.
Perhaps, it was due to the word-limit. Although, free-verse allows you to go everywhere, it can also mean you can go all over the place. The extreme tightness of words in haiku might have kept my mind on the significant things. The connection between my outer and inner surrounding: How much more significant can it get?!
Whatever the reason, I went into another hiking-haiku event and there I remember thinking of this while I stared at a stream of water flowing over some rocks:
Water on the rocks
Can reach deeper than whisky
Just learn to let go!
This composition was a game changer for me. Not only did I love what I wrote, I also loved the mental-state this particular composition had taken me to. I was conscious of the stream, my emotional-state and also of what I had to do. All at the same time!
I am into mind exploration. Which means I am always on the lookout for new tools and methods that will help me travel effectively. Haikus seem perfect things for now.
Here are ten haikus I wrote this morning.
- It’s cold and darker
But I am warm and brighter
that’s the world and me
- Ready to fly now
Few thoughts keeping me down, though
My Will kills them all!
- Journey to the edge
Haikus as rockets and ships
let’s put them to test!
- My heart is afraid
It’s its way to sense all threats
But has lost its way!
- Deep inside it’s dark
not painful but beautiful
I hate the stars now!
- The mind and cosmos
Like twins, they are similar
both largely hidden
- I had reached too far
but was pulled badly to ground
By an argument
- Why on this journey?
When you can be a king there?
I like Gods, I told.
- When the sun goes dim
bright become the deeper ones,
Bullied by the Sun!
- I asked a palace guard
‘Why protect, when you can rule?’
‘Weakness,’ his face told.