Working a haiku or senryu

I had one of those moments in the early hours when a poem comes to you and you dither between sleep and the desire to capture the poem – to reach in the dark for your pencil and notepad and scribble it down.  I didn’t.  But I managed to repeat it enough to myself in my half-sleeping state to have a vague recollection of it come morning.

Of course the precise vocabulary, the exact word distribution, left with the darkness and left me work to do.

Lying there somewhat fitfully I had made a conscious effort to release my thoughts and all tension from my head. At which point I realised just how much tension I was holding, and that was the moment at which the haiku arrived.

It was something along the lines of:

dense night
finally my thoughts
release me

But this doesn’t quite do it for me.  I tried:

disordered night
at last my thoughts
release me

And had these words on hand: 

torpid, impervious, scattered, shattered, kinetic,  unbalanced, wavering, unquiet, unsteady, disordered

Still the poem wasn’t saying what I felt.

these early hours
unsteady thoughts
at last release me

No, still not right.  How about re-ordering the lines?

unsteady mind
these early hours
at last release me

No, it wasn’t the hours that released me, the sense was very much of thoughts bouncing about in my head and keeping me a awake.  Sometimes I think I try to say too much in a haiku senryu – I try to cover too much time when all I should be focussing on is one tiny moment.  I closed my eyes and put myself mentally back in bed, to the moment before I let my thoughts go…

in my head a cricket
singing singing singing
this early morning

Now that’s a poem I’m happy with.

One thought on “Working a haiku or senryu

  1. Pingback: Random poem – ‘stonechipped’ | Jumping Off Books

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