"Time Shuffles" Haiku Anthology
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"Time Shuffles" Haiku Anthology

How Writing Haiku Helped Edit My Lifeview

"Time Shuffles" Haiku Anthology
National Geographic

Going into a college-level haiku class, I was a little apprehensive.

Would I enjoy writing those 5-7-5 syllable poems I knew from middle school? Would I even be any good?

I was excited too, to learn a new art form and engage in writing - one of my all time favorite activities. Stretching my creative bone would be a privilege that I would take advantage of.

… But aren't haiku pretentious and only suited to being discussed in a leather armchair with a good Malbec, or alternatively, in a zen garden somewhere deep in Japan? What could I, an American, middle class college student do with that?

I like to argue that this close-mindedness only passed through my head briefly, but it was still on the back burner as I sat down and proceeded to write haiku: some good, some bad, most of them in between.

You see, writing haiku helps you take a pause in your day to smell the proverbial roses. It quickly infiltrates your mind's pathways and alters the way you see the world unfolding around you.

You begin to stop and notice the little delights your senses are picking up all the time whether or not you're conscious of them. The senses are poetry's best friends, and while working to whittle an experience down to its literary essence of three lines brings beautiful metaphors and amalgams of sensation to the surface. The 5-7-5 syllable rule was shown to be a mistranslation, and a haiku can range from two to four or more lines so long as it is still trying to distill the human experience. That freedom helped me to realize the power of a great haiku: it helps you understand and appreciate humanity and nature's never-ending tango in a bite-sized sensual snack for the mind and soul.

It has become mediation of sorts for me, and to celebrate the Odyssey's recent decision to begin publishing original poetic and fictional work, I have decided to take the dive and share some of my haiku work with you.

Take these haiku as a gently arcing narrative that is meant to be savored like a strong cup of peppermint tea on a bracing afternoon - slowly and with focus. It is suggested to read each haiku more than once for optimal potency.

Thank you, enjoy, and when you're done, go write haiku about the highlights of your week!

"Time Shuffles" Haiku Anthology by Genevieve Breitbach

Time shuffles, slides —

The old man’s saunter

down the airport’s moving walkway


A thrown pebble collision

The world wrinkles

despair pairs with hope

like wine &

after dinner mints

falling face first

into summer stars

— the lake winks back

Glowing orb floats

To join the Milky Way

As we watch what we launched

Dragonfly zings—

—by my shoulder


sting of a kumquat

sits on the tongue

like words unsaid

Punch thrown

Through the dry-wall

Of my chest

Students hunch

To class

Like angry penguins

cherry berry

study break

man begs for a dollar

my coffee black

to prove

I can handle you

cracked ring dish

she has no right

to still want him

I wiggle my toes

walking on the moon

upside down

ping pong

raindrops play by themselves

against the brick

Friendship peeks out

Between the racks

Salvation army

leaning into the thunder

diamond shards

infiltrate lungs

Horse and man

Grow greyer as the years get

Plowed into stories

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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