How to Haiku

haiku poems

Haiku (俳句 high-koo) are short poems that use sensory language to capture a feeling or image. They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience.

It is the Japanese idea that the haiku should be able to be expressed in one breath.

The Japanese word kiru, which means “cutting,” expresses the notion that haiku should always contain two juxtaposed ideas. The two parts are grammatically independent, and are distinct in imagery.

The season or changing of the seasons,  in Japanese, kigo, is an essential element of haiku.

Two ideas about one subject using the senses,. Ah Haiku!
Traditional haiku is written in three lines,  five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.


.A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression

Nature, season, two images, don’t say the feeling, just the images which share the feeling.


The Haiku Handbook by William J. Higginson:


  1. Write two lines about something beautiful in nature. You can use the pictures below to give you ideas. Don’t worry about counting syllables yet.
  2. Write a third line that is a complete surprise, that is about something completely different from the first two lines.
  3. Look at the three lines together. Does the combination of these two seemingly unrelated parts suggest any surprising relationships? Does it give you any interesting ideas?
  4. Now rewrite the poem, using the 5-syllable, 7-syllable, 5-syllable format and experimenting with the new ideas or perspectives that have occurred to you.


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haiku poems


Abstract Landscape Painting by Glenn Merchant

Abstract Landscape Painting by Glenn Merchant

Abstract Landscape Painting
Is that an art genre? Maybe it should be. Is that a contradiction. An abstract is, by definition, a painting that does not represent the real. Of course there is no definition for an abstract painting and it could be said that a landscape painting cannot represent the real world either being both flat and made of paint.
A very beautiful painting. So full of color and so exuberant, a celebration it seems.

It is by Tennessee Artist Glenn Merchant.

End of Summer Painting- by Glenn Merchant

Summer Painting- The End of Summer


This summer painting really reminds me of summer.It is by Tennessee Artist Glenn Merchant. This is an abstract painting of a tree. The colors play with the eye. I really like the tree.

Here is and end of summer poem by Wayne Jackson (1951-1989)

August laughing wind
bouncing against the open window
extending a finger
into the corner of the summer
to ease the curtain aside
and gently blow a kiss
on my sweating brow

Here is Monet’s End of Summer Painting:

Monet End of Summer Painting
Monet End of Summer Painting

Claude Monet End of Summer

There are certainly similarities in color relationships here. Merchant is a more modern form of Monet, drifting into abstraction, but with the same intent, to capture the colors of the moment. To excite the eye.

Connecticut Artist Leif Nilsson

Connecticut Artist Leif Nilsson

Connecticut Artist
Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery, LLC

Connecticut Artist Leif Nilsson is an impressionist. A modern form of Monet in Connecticut. His art is wonderful. His site is so very well done so get out of here and go there.
Click on the pic above and use Cntrl + to enlarge. It’s high-res and you can zoom to the brush strokes. Very pretty close-up. With impasto the eyes loves to just look at ther brushstokes. They are part of the art.
The internet is about content and links. Our little show and tell gene is a bit more out of hand than most and our posts and links mean that we can help other artists be seen on their sites.

Artist Leif Nilsson is our content today. We like the way he goes for it.
Any artist knows the cost of materials and impasto is expensive. To paint Van Gogh’s paintings with his materials would cost a small fortune. We admire Leif’s work!

Creek Paintings ~ Three Paintings of a Creek

Creek Painting 48″ x 36″

creek painting
creek painting

This creek painting was painted from a photograph of Passenger Creek in 1989. There was a tree in the photo which was not falling but certainly about to fall. It makes me think of the “tree falling in the forest” statement we all know. Maybe it was caught up in that branch. It adds an element of anticipation on the creek.  Here is our earlier post of this creek painting

All paintings have a story and even maybe a byline. This one has a byline. I painted it the day my brother died. I’d cut it into a thousand pieces if I could get him back. The last strokes went on when the phone rang. I was painting it for Wayne Jackson.

Creek paintings are plentiful. Fcreek-painting-02creek-painting-o3amous creek paintings I cannot seem to reference. Maybe this should be one.  Things don’t turn out that way though.

My first effort with this photo was this smaller creek painting . This painting was owned by  Wayne and is now in my possession. I had just started painting and he put it on his wall and bought a light for it. This sparked my painting efforts. The creek, in particular passenger creek has always been special for me. The creek represents a small out of the way unnoticed peace and tranquility. A place of small sounds, insects and birds. I grew up on a farm on a creek. My earliest memories are walking the trails beside this little creek, fishing and swimming with my brothers.

These creek paintings were my earliest efforts and maybe my best. They were impressions of peaceful times, of good times as a child. Oil paint has a way of becoming more translucent over the years. These creek paintings were painted in 1989. A few years later I began painting on paper and painted this last painting of the creek. This one is dated 1992. It is the last of the series.

Here iwayne jacksons a pic of my brother, Wayne Jackson.



Here is a link to his poems. He was, and is, my brother and friend. These paintings and my art are dedicated to him. He encouraged me. That is the greatest gift.

David Michael Jackson