Flowers in the Night Haiku

Kooky Vase

Flowers in the night
Strange vase of agapanthus—
looking cool in delft.

I don’t know why haiku is such enduring and endearing poetry. But I fell in love with it way back in the day when I took a 20th Century Literature class and we spent some time with haiku. It was because of Ezra Pound we spent time with haiku, not because it was a 20th century thing, although evidently it took the name haiku in the late 19th century. And ever since then I’ve written bad haiku on whims. I even think in it sometimes.

I must get to Church
to say morning Mass for all.
the faithful gather


The Vatican ‘note’
on the economic mess
is ridiculous.

Not that that’s genuinely haiku of course.

Technically there should be two contrasting elements, and 17 sound units which in English is usually just three lines, five, seven, and five syllable. And of course in modern haiku, as with most things modern, you can do whatever you want.

So, if I contrast bright cheery flowers with the darkness and drear, then there should be a cutting element, which brings the two together somehow. Every now and again it turns maudlin.

Flowers in the night
cheerful lights midst the darkness
breaking up the gloom.


Agapanthus bright,
night filled with darkness and drear
lift my spirits please.

It’s a good thing I didn’t take up poetry as a career. Life would have been very painful.

Dear Lord, Jesus Christ.
a mere sinner needs your love
grant me wholeness, please.

The Rev. Kenneth Allen