Friday, March 28, 2014

Haiku in Brooklyn

Last week at this time, my spouse and I traveled to visit an ill friend in Brooklyn, some 150 miles from where we live in upstate New York.

She was too sick to visit long with us, an indirect side effect of her treatment-a virus she couldn't fight off and became a bacterial situation.  And, in fact, she ended up in the hospital, and has been there the last week.  She was released yesterday.

The friend's husband graciously let us stay in their house, although we did have a "plan B" place to go. We had a lot of time to think, to walk, and to eat Brooklyn food.  We drank in all the good Brooklyn vibrations.  I took pictures which I hope to share with you next month (I've shared some already.)

Yesterday, on Facebook, a high school friend who also lives in Brooklyn told me about a haiku contest the New York Times was running.  

The contest runs until April 5.  This is not true Japanese haiku, just the 5-7-5 formation.  There are  six themes to choose from. You don't need to mention the actual theme, just be inspired by it.

I thought about how we walked in my friend's neighborhood while awaiting news of her condition.  It was warm, in the low 60's, with a strong wind blowing.  Trash (sadly, New York City is a city full of trash and it is everywhere) swirled around my legs, as birds sang everywhere.  Many side streets in Brooklyn are residential, and there are lots of trees.  And birds.  I loved especially the squawks of Quaker Parrots, an imported bird that can be a nuisance - but I, after all, am a visitor, not a resident.

 I chose loneliness.  Thanks to the WordCount Blogathon (a yearly month long blogging challenge) I had a little experience in writing haiku - writing haiku is one of their optional theme days.

This is my original entry, written on the spot,one of 444 (so far).   The birds (the small dots) in this photo are not Quaker parrots - I think they are starlings, another imported bird.  Alas, they weren't asking for photos, just haiku.

Lonely in Brooklyn
Wind swirls garbage around me 
Quaker parrots cry

Last Saturday beat all the rain we are getting today, here at my upstate New York home.

If you decide to enter the contest, feel free to share your haiku with me.  I have no idea what the prize is, but it would be a treat to be published in the New York Times.


  1. :-)

    Sorry to hear there's that much garbage in Brooklyn.... Things have really changed in the 40+ years I've been gone...

  2. Nice Haiku. :) I hope your friend is better now and will have no more problems. Peace.

  3. I am with Jeanne on this,hope your friend resting peacefully.

  4. Haiku is such a strange practice. I can never see the value in it. I like rhythm and rhyme. I guess I'm too structured. I need to let go, like you.

  5. I loved your Haiku- I've never really attempted to write them!


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