Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Haiku Tree

Last Friday I began to ponder and explore 'H' words/themes for this week's Alphabe-Thursday posting. I put together a rather lengthy list of words that I felt I could use in both word and picture. From 'Happy' to 'Hydroelectric', my list contained reasonably appropriate words to suit my taste and wherewithal. As I was working to narrow my list to one or two prime candidates, I was reminded that it was Tennessee Arbor Day. As a certified 'tree hugger', I was caught up in the moment and all the blogging about saving our trees and forests. I was moved to compose an impromptu poem about trees. While composing this poem the appropriate 'H' word dropped on me, like the apple and Newton's noggin. 'Haiku'...that simple yet often misunderstood form of Japanese poetry. So, it was goodbye to Hoecake and Hominy(although this combination was tasty and tempting), Herons and Hawks. Sayonara to Haunted, Hinges, Holes and Honey...and Hello to Haiku!

Haiku, this simple form of Japanese poetry, has roots dating back to the 8th century. It traditionally consists of 3, non-rhyming, lines with a 5-7-5 syllable count. Often Haikus suggest singular moments using a 'natural' theme(human included) and typically with a reference to season. I have listed below some links offering an abundance of information on history and style if you choose to explore further. Folks often ask if there is a Buddhism-Haiku connection. The answer is no, although many historic and current masters of this literary form were/are Buddhists, most notably Matsuo Basho and Kobayashi Issa(a Buddhist monk).

Haiku Tree

resting winter tree

branches spread across the sky

waiting for spring green

-by jeff campbell

As part of this exercise, and if you feel so moved, I would like to have comments include your own Haiku…and as a bonus I include my impromptu tree poem that led to my 'H'...

The Gift

How can we live

Without the tree?

God's gift for us,

For you, for me.

The shade for rest,

The limb for nest.

What we are is spoken best

By how we treat our trees.


Haiku Links





I am a participant in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. I encourage all to visit her blog and participate. It is a great way to blog!

Jenny Matlock


  1. I've always like the haiku form but hate counting syllables

    not exactly 17 syllable but I just wrote this which I titled 'leaf' :

    silently it came
    an unspoken word descends
    hello wrap in a smile

    -- thanks for the inspiration & love the first tree photo

  2. Wonderful hubby
    cares about all living things
    has a very big heart

  3. www.adivashammer.com
    H meme

    Hi there Jeff, nice to meet you :P
    And I am so happy to hear/read your words...
    to have your pen spill upon the page,
    and to offer your revelations on both the ancient haiku and your inspired work!

  4. i took your post as a reminder to sit back and just absorb without reaction. I forget to do that each day....thank you for the respite for my cluttered mind.

  5. I so enjoyed hearing the process, considerations, and final choice for your H post. What lovely images and poetry. Here's my arbor offering.

    long since forgotten
    sensations of whisperings
    stirs the canopy

  6. My H is silly
    But it should bring you a smile
    Hope you Visit Me

  7. Winter is stubborn;
    unwilling to leave us yet.
    Let's go to Cancun.

  8. WOW... you have so many themes here!
    Haikus, Wonderful Haiku Tree,
    you have such a great imagination.

    I just started writing Haiku , in fact I just started writing poetry.
    Having real fun too.

    Very nice to meet you!


    the Haiku what the Buddha inspired are OFF THE RADAR!

  9. Hi Jeff...

    Jacque here...up North of you, I suppose, in the Sweetwater Valley, TN...actually in Sweetwater!! I'm new to East TN and am happy to meet you. Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company!

    I am not much of a poet..but, it seems that you are as well as lots of other bloggers. Thanks for sharing your "H" post with all us today.

    Have a great day!

  10. What excellent poetry, I do love the impromptu Tree poem most of all :) . Wonderful photography as well.

  11. Beautiful photos, and poetry. I enjoy this post, and nice to meet you through cyber.

    (To answer your question on my post, the photos are of dried and dead head coneflowers)

  12. I will be happy when my trees are full of green leaves. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Your blog is full of so much peace. I'm curious what kind of energy healing you do. I'm a massage therapist who does cranial/sacral, acupressure and reiki, but I can't seem to help my 96-year-old mother make her transition. This has nothing to do with alphaba-Thursday, except maybe HELP!

  14. ohhhhh I love your post today! I love the photo of your bare branch trees and your Haiku is beautiful, as well as your poem, the Gift. I love trees too.

    Here's my Haiku:

    heated by the sun
    playful wind cools my damp skin
    so good to be free

  15. great pics to go with your poem :D

  16. H is for homework .... i had to do my homework for this one!!! poetry is not my strength ... on a walk this week we found an inukshuk sitting on a stump

    tiny inukshuk
    the likeness of a person
    marking the path home

  17. What an awesome post this is, and a gorgeous tree indeed! Thanks for stopping by my H post:)

  18. WOw! I love your writing and the beautiful artistic photos!!!! Very inspiring!

  19. On the same wavelength
    Crossing borders of time and space
    Thoughts of Japan

  20. We liked Holland America very much. We don't have too much to compare it to, having one Norwegian Cruise Lines and one Russian Riverboat trip under our belts. I felt thoroughly rested after the HAL trip to Japan. The food, the service, the generally quiet tone of everything on the ship was restful. There was enough on offer so that my Great Dane found lots to do and I was content to read, nap, read, stitch, nap...I'm sure you get the picture! We'd certainly book another HAL trip, and in fact we're looking at options now.

  21. OMG...I'm afraid I'd be here all night if I tried to write one. Enjoyed your post. You live in a beautiful state! I used to drive from Texas to NC and back. I took the route that went right through the mountains. I loved it!

  22. Beautiful photos and lovely haiku, Jeff.

    Bare branches dangle
    Frozen against the gray sky
    Waiting for springtime.

  23. a pretty haiku
    trees are a thing of beauty
    thanks for sharing this

    Happy Alphabe Thursday! melinda

  24. a Hem!

    First I must say I am very proud of your creative post.

    A+ for creativity.

    Next I would like to say that I am impressed with your photography!

    A+ for Art.

    And finally I would like to say that your haiku is superb.

    A+ for writing.

    Thoughts of my cozy bed
    Trump thoughts of haiku
    So sorry must sleep now.

  25. I am sure I learned this years ago. I use to love poems when I was young but have not read them much for years. Thanks for sharing and for the beautiful pictures. Have never tried my hand at this type of poem before.
    the fog rolled in with
    the rain today as the sun
    hid for hours on end

  26. How wonderful Hwors and Haiku!
    And monochromatic photos are great!!

  27. Love the poem, love the photos..


    Rocky Mountain Woman

  28. Thought I would let you know that the recipe book we are using has gluten free recipes included. Maybe you and Mrs C could find it at the library and give it a whirl.

  29. Beautiful photos, and lovely words. The winter tree is a beauty. But the last photo really speaks to me, just gorgeous. Kathy

  30. Almost chose haiku
    for a happy H blog post
    but I'm no poet ;)

    I enjoyed looking at your photos, they're lovely.

  31. Hi Jeff...to make up for my poorly constructed haiku I am sending you this recipe for yummily constructed GF molten lava cake:

    Molten Lava Cake

    4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
    4 tablespoons butter
    4 tablespoons sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 375. Melt chocolate and butter together, over double boiler (or take a pan of boiling water and place a bowl on top to melt them in together..and some might like to use a microwave). After they have both melted, take off the heat and add 2 tablespoons sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. Mix.

    Separate eggs. In separate bowl beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of sugar, beat about 2 minutes longer.

    Fold in the egg whites into the chocolate until just combined. Get 4 ramikins, 6 ounces, and place on baking sheet. Divide batter between the ramikins and bake for about 22-25 minutes.
    And eat!