I don’t get out much. Living where I do, there’s nowhere to go, and my big jaunt is usually from the little farmstead I inhabit to one of the nearby tiny towns, a distance of 10 or 15 miles depending on which way I go.
This is why so many of my haiku are about the dogs, or coyotes, or the weather. There’s not much going on around here. Someone more keenly attuned to the natural world than I am would find enough haiku moments to fill a calendar. As it is, I have to look pretty sharp and then hope a coyote howls at a different kind of moon than I wrote about last time. Needless to say, I’m missing a lot.
But seeking the constellations of life is a valuable thing in itself; writing a good haiku after making the discovery is the cherry on top. As one looks more, it becomes a habit. With diligent practice, the constellations become more numerous, more sharply defined, more richly patterned.
Jeanne Emrich has written about getting into the haiku habit. This is in many ways a primer, but it also reminds those of us who have written haiku for years what it is we’re looking for and what to do with it once we see it. Jeanne has illustrated her essay with some excellent haiku.