forsythia buds


a song in yellow
in wind-blown forsythias –
slightly out of tune


spring rises
in soft notes, swirling
out of reach


on cherry blossoms
skipping from note to note
a soft April breeze



Why the music?  “Desafinado” means “off key” or “out of tune”.   And I couldn’t get a good photo of the flowers tonight to save my life – out of focus, out of tune.  Too windy.  And — this blog has never featured Getz, Gilberto, or Jobim.  Tragic!

Linked to Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #42, where we are exploring the differences in writing haiku in 5/7/5, 3/5/3, and free style!  It was based on a question from Birgitta.

Here is what our host Chèvrefeuille has to say on the matter of syllable-counting:

“As you all know I am not a fan of the strict syllables count mostly because of the idea that it is too structured for me and gives to less freedom to compose my haiku … and becoming artificial. There are several haiku poets of our times who started with that 5-7-5 idea, but during their growth as a haiku poet they more and more got rid of the 5-7-5 rule.

To start with haiku it’s ok to use that 5-7-5 rule, but try to lose it after a while, more or less syllables will not harm your haiku … and it gives you more freedom to compose haiku from your heart. In my opinion using the 5-7-5 rule is really artificial and more with your mind, your brain, and I think poetry has nothing to do with artificiality or your brain. Maybe this is a pure western thought, but I think we, westerners, have re-formed haiku to our western way of thinking, living and so on.

I think we have to let go the 5-7-5 rule and have to try writing haiku as westerners. It’s not a “sin” if you don’t use the 5-7-5 rule, it’s more a blessing to become free of that rule…. it makes haiku (in my opinion) even better and stronger.”

Take that, stuffy literati!  More freedom!  I’m all for it. 

Our task, then, was to demonstrate the difference in 5/7/5; 3/5/3; and free style by attempting to write in all three voices.  (Because, really, you are looking at three voices, aren’t you?  At least that’s my opinion.)

cherry buds and blooms ymca


28 thoughts on “a song in yellow (haiku)

  1. Ah the dreaded syllable debate [duh du DUH!] 😉

    Personally, I especially love the first poem – it seems like the classic BIOLI voice that first got me hooked on haiku last year: elegant, unexpected and perfectly composed. Plus it’s the type of haiku I can’t ever write 🙂

    And what a treat the song was, too!


    • What a wonderful comment — thank you 🙂
      [I am blushing…!]

      Couldn’t resist using the song either …
      And this was before my jazz awakening too 😉

      One of the literati chimed in to give me the
      dickens because of this post — I did not publish
      their comment though. It was rather pompous!


        • And someone did it very well! 😀
          Speaking of “feeling a song” coming on — the Lyre
          (of Orpheus) prompt was the *perfect* opportunity
          to add a Nick Cave song. So I did! It **had** to
          be done. 😉


        • Quite right! Actually, it’s probably just as well I missed that prompt otherwise we might have ended up choosing the same song – how mortifying – like two ladies turning up at a party in identical frocks :O


        • Remember when Georgia and I had similar avatars? I was so embarrassed! 😉
          I was going to feature Cave’s “Lyre of Orpheus” but ended up using “Carry Me” from the Lyre of Orpheus album.
          Plus it has my favorite Jane R. tanka as added inspiration. 🙂


  2. NO WAY! I love Bossa Nova. I can’t believe you posted this song. I’ve lived in Brazil for the past 13 years and never get tired of Bossa Nova or MPB (música popular brasileira).
    Lovely Haiku. I, for one, love being challenged by the structure of different poetry forms.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, I saw forsythia in bloom yesterday and thought I must compose a haiku about it (till I got distracted by my shadow hanging about among the daffodils when I was trying to make a dash to the shop). “Song in yellow” is lovely but I think I like your cherry blossom one even more.

    Liked by 1 person

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