the art of haiku

...matters of theart

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what is haiku?

“‘Tis better to be brief than tedious.”-- Shakespeare

Haiku is a sacred art marking footsteps in the life of the spirit.

The beauty of a haiku lies in its apparent simplicity.
A haiku evokes a moment of intense awareness and makes it present to the readers, so that they too may experience the moment in their own being, as their own moment of intense awareness.
A haiku expresses the reality of a moment of communion evoking a glimpse of the eternal.
A haiku is an arrangement of a limited number of words, that can be comfortably voiced within one breath cycle.
A haiku draws or paints in words a moment of perception without comment or interpretation - it evokes that moment thereby allowing its cosmic significance to be unveiled.
To carry its feeling across time and space, a haiku does not offer the idea of some experience, but re-creates the experience itself in the reader.
A haiku drifts up from the personal as a mist - one person's life in the created universe is no more than a fading memory as time and seasons move on.
The writer of haiku knows that crafted words, that evoke a resonating response in a human being, are seldom actually about emotions or ideas, but are most often about things seen, heard, smelt, tasted or touched.
Within the limited breath space that a haiku requires, haiku writers use images to set a scene in time and space over two thirds of the haiku.  The beginning (or ending) third of the haiku is an ejaculation image, that evokes and contains the instant of vision or enlightenment, implicitly present in the other two thirds.
The reader of a haiku will fill in from his/her own self what is significantly left out from the words chosen by the writer.  Every reader will see a haiku differently, taken up by what they see and respond to in the chosen words.
At the heart of haiku is loneliness - not loneliness as in lonely, but in that sense of separation that lies at the centre of the psyche of everyone who has ever lived - the loneliness that sex tries to overcome - and prayer.  It is that urge to complete union with a mystery within ourselves and other than ourselves.
We often experience the deepest peace and sense of being at one with creation as we withdraw our focus from our interior monologues, fears, and dramas and open our eyes to all that is not us.  It is in watching, with detachment, the unfolding drama of creation - the drama of an opening leaf, a cake rising in the oven, a tui's song, the prancing lamb, the cloud that passes across the moon, that we transcend our limitations.  A haiku turns one's focus from the all-powerful self and instead shares a fleeting glimpse of the ever-present mystery.
Many accounts of creation show that, when the Creator speaks, things that did not exist come into being: light, space, earth, seas, plants, sun, moon, stars and we creatures. A haiku attempts to speak the language of creation - the language of images and senses, of the created world, of things as they are, with a detached clarity of perception, that can make present the mysterious and eternal reality out of which they were formed.
The act of writing a haiku is an attempt to make present anew a quintessential moment, not only for the writer, but also for the reader, and to experience it as if for the first time. 
For me a haiku is as an ejaculated prayer of praise, expressed with great clarity and simplicity - a 'wow' moment, born out of my experience of creation as a created being.
I find myself at home with the haiku form as, for me, it comes from the same place as the 'prayer of unceasing'  that is my heritage - the Jesus Prayer.  
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me, a sinner."