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Use If You Wish - Charles Henderson's Blog

About Charles Henderson
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Never would I have thought I would start writing at 73 years of age. I have thoroughly enjoyed my voyage into the written spirituality of poetry and am thankful for the opportunity.  In my seven years here I have met many new and wonderful persons. Having them accept me as a friend has been a moving experience.


Use If You Wish

Blog Posted:11/14/2012 1:03:00 AM

Haiku Checklist

          These are not rules, a word I never like to use, but suggested implementations for poems/haiku'>haiku which when used correctly will embellish your finished poem.  They are not for every poem, they are simply for the poem which asks for them.  Only you the poet can know the answer to that.  If one does not know, then one risks looking foolish to attempt before they have investigated how.  This is simply a statement of fact.  Probably most haiku poets have looked foolish many times while trying to get experienced in writing the form.  I know I have.   

     1  Try to use season word in your poem.  Lists are on line and in books.

2  It is permissible to use more than one season word if you poem calls for it.  The poem will usually decide the dominant season.

3  Try to make the poem look haiku.  Being simplistic in nature if one patterns their poem other than the three line poem, a simple balanced form will emphasize their words.  Whereas, a flowery script and burger dots emphasize the poets personality.

4  One needs to know one’s capabilities or more succinctly put, one’s limitations when writing metaphor and simile into haiku.  As in any form it can lend great visual sparkle if done correctly and with taste.  If not it can ruin an otherwise perfectly good thought.  Because you see the connection does not mean others will.  You should know how to incorporate it into the poem so anyone can make the connection, otherwise leave to those who can.  ie: the frisby tilt of a seagull is a good example of a good metaphor.  It isn’t wordy, or boring, rather it is factual and accurate.

5  Learn the differences between concrete objective haiku and emotion driven subjective haiku.  Depending on the way your mind works you may find one easier to write than the other.  I have always thought objective was easier, and maybe incorrectly suggested that all should start with that, but it could be a personal thing.  There seems to be no difference in the form or subject matter.  I have always used the term traditional haiku to describe everything up to the modern era.  I was also wrong to do that.  Shiki started writing in the late 1800’s and his poetry is very subjective in nature.  I suppose the way haiku first started out, being objective in content, is the reason we say traditional is objective and contemporary is subjective.  Yet, I know many poets who do not write subjective haiku, only objective.  It is so much easier for most of us. So be sure to first learn the difference.

6  Look for the secrets of everything, from the most minute to the largest, insect, mountain, plant, person, organization, suggestion, idea, relationship and a vast expanse of others.  Anything and everything has a secret story to tell in the haiku language.  You just have to seek it out, embellish it, write it and let it bloom. 

7)   Websites that can and will help you out are:


         Haiku Northwest-FACEBOOK

         Haiku Society of America-FACEBOOK

         NaHaiWriMo (daily haiku writing prompts) -FACEBOOK


         Open Directory: Haiku and Related Forms (portal site)

         Haiku and Related Journals (portal site for places to publish your haiku     

         Haiku (on Wikipedia)

         Haiku in English (on Wikipedia)

         Haiku Society of America             

         The Haiku Foundation

         haiku directory



Please Login to post a comment
Date: 11/16/2012 1:41:00 AM
Jim, I can't imagine having a pile of the worlds best donuts in front of me and be limited to two. I think you're fibbing there just a little. Why, I can eat 4 from the krispy kream down the street. Oh well, I do have a 33 inch waist, I guess that helps, and my friends all call me wormy. Jump in Nette, looks like it needs a few more anyway. This contest is mostly for fun and exposing some of our braver new people.
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Date: 11/14/2012 9:15:00 PM
i have entered a lot of your 'ku contests, charles, and won luckily... so, can i still join or keep my finger tied, lol... :) huggs!
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Date: 11/14/2012 11:36:00 AM
Proud to hear that Tracie, I'm glad for you. I agree with you Jim, we all act foolish sometimes and it is good for the psyche but we still need the opposite of the coin sometimes for good balance. I have always tried to be middle of the road on things which can range from too little to too much. Have you ever tried to really get full of doughnuts. I did once and the feeling did not last long.
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Goff Avatar
James Marshall Goff
Date: 11/14/2012 10:06:00 PM
Grand Marais, Minnesota...Charles! A place called "worlds greatest donuts" 2-hrs. From Canadian border....but my daughters only ever let me have 2...as we sit next to Lake Superior 20' away! Jimbo
Date: 11/14/2012 8:01:00 AM
endlessly facinating for those of us who are kept alive by challenge!
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Date: 11/14/2012 7:46:00 AM
I'm sure these are all great links for serious haiku writers. I have studied many websites on it and I know when I am doing them good or not, which is less than half the time. I like to cheat a lot, but hopefully I never write one that is too atrocious!
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Date: 11/14/2012 7:22:00 AM
Thank you, Charles for this information. I'll be sure and look up some of those links. Have a great day! Love, Kim
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Date: 11/14/2012 6:49:00 AM
picnic/ using the blanket/ as an umbrella --- I love this. From the Nov 9 HOLY C*R*A*P (excuse the language) you're not going to believe this... my catphca is CUT9... honest! My eyes are bugged out. I wrote a haiku (yes I know I did more telling and no showing, but I like what I wrote this morning) and it is Allllllllllllllllll about the cut. How weird can this get?
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Date: 11/14/2012 6:45:00 AM
Cool that you added those links. I really like daily haiku. It's a nice mix of the form, a hodge podge and I love the ease in which you can click through the days. http://www.dailyhaiku.org/ for any interested. They delight me.
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Date: 11/14/2012 4:11:00 AM
Thanks for the info Charlie.. Im part of Haiku Australia and its been a huge help in my Ku writing Ive even won a few contests xxx
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MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 11/14/2012 6:43:00 AM
Way to go Trac-a-rooski! :)
Date: 11/14/2012 1:38:00 AM
I just noticed that you can copy and past these links into word. And if you hold down control and double click the arrow on the link, they will work from there. You can copy and past into a file and have them handy. Of course you probably need the internet already up.
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My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
11/8/2017 Rising Haikusymbolism,
10/29/2017 Well, Here I Am, I Think Free verseallegory,
10/11/2017 Young of Mind and Heart Rhymeallegory,analogy,
8/27/2017 yesterday's pollen Haikunature,
7/7/2017 A Vow Rhymelove,
6/17/2017 my day Haikuanxiety,
6/15/2017 a secret Haikuallegory,betrayal,conflic
6/15/2017 deception Haikubetrayal,
6/9/2017 The Deep Proseadventure,inspiration,mys
6/4/2017 metamorphosis Haikubeauty,nature,
5/9/2017 wild dreams Tankadream,
3/6/2017 Massacre of Glencoe Narrativebereavement,
2/26/2017 The Culmination Free versemuse,
2/25/2017 Legacy Tankaallegory,
2/21/2017 Tribute to my Wife Dramatic monologuedevotion,love,
2/10/2017 In My Mind Rhymeallegory,character,emotio
2/4/2017 snails Haikunature,
2/2/2017 A Sunday Drive Proselife,
2/2/2017 reheating Haikulife,
2/1/2017 moments Haikulife,
1/23/2017 about snails Haikunature,
1/23/2017 All I need- - -Is A Little Sunshine Free versechange,character,confiden
1/15/2017 faith Haikuinspirational,
1/11/2017 The Angel's Tribute Rhymetribute,
1/9/2017 tall pines Haikunature,
1/9/2017 lady bugs Haikunature,
1/8/2017 deluge Haikunature,
12/24/2016 Reflection Rhymeallegory,
12/8/2016 The Campout Free verseimagination,
12/7/2016 the final chapter Tankaangst,
12/4/2016 Aurora Borealis Free versebeauty,dedication,univers
11/22/2016 Futility Free verseallegory,
11/12/2016 loneliness Haikuanxiety,
11/6/2016 The Keys to the kingdom Rhymefaith,
10/30/2016 aloneness Haikuappreciation,
10/30/2016 mt fuji Haikuphilosophy,
9/7/2016 To My New Grands and Great Grands, et al Free verselove,
9/3/2016 The Blurb Proseangst,
9/2/2016 Izzy Baby Prosebest friend,dedication,
8/28/2016 Zodiak Rhymeallegory,
8/28/2016 mood indigo II Free versefeelings,muse,sensual,
8/24/2016 The Celts Free verselove,
8/23/2016 blank eyes Haikupeople,
8/23/2016 standing tall Haikusimile,
8/23/2016 bent limbs Haikubody,nature,sorrow,
8/8/2016 keeping time Haikunature,
8/8/2016 a new dawn Haikunature,
8/8/2016 Education Haikuemotions,
8/8/2016 Equalizing Haikuappreciation,
8/8/2016 freedom is Haikunature,
8/8/2016 majestic Haikubeauty,
8/8/2016 The Girls From Worchester Rhymeenvironment,humor,
8/8/2016 evening mist Haikunature,
8/8/2016 quiet Haikunature,
8/6/2016 day passes Haikupeople,
8/5/2016 morning dew Tankasenses,
8/5/2016 whispers Haikuchild,
7/21/2016 Spring Rains Tankalife,
6/16/2016 Possum Branch Road Narrativehumorous,
5/21/2016 her reply Haikujudgement,stress,
4/26/2016 Temptress Free verseallegory,
3/30/2016 the old man Haikulife,
3/30/2016 aspiration Haikulife,
3/29/2016 strong grip Haikunature,
3/24/2016 tiny fingers Tankafamily,father,father son,
3/24/2016 My Child Tankamemory,
3/21/2016 on my broom Haikulife,spring,
3/17/2016 in the bath Haikunature,
3/11/2016 a mother's breast Haikumother,
2/19/2016 Into the new wave Free verselove,
2/10/2016 wild grapes Haikunature,
1/31/2016 Karma Proselife,
1/31/2016 A Day In the Life Of An Old Man Free verselonely,old,people,
1/27/2016 The Crossing Free versedestiny,old,
1/26/2016 the grave Tankadeath,
1/24/2016 the Shag Rhymeart,beach,bio,birth,dance
1/23/2016 life's changes Senryulife,
1/21/2016 the first time Haikubeauty,
1/19/2016 Indian Summer Prose Poetrynature,
1/17/2016 Old Jake the Critter Lover-A Parody Proseparody,
1/17/2016 Old Jake Sonnetintrospection,
1/15/2016 more and more Haikupeople,
1/13/2016 limping badly Haikuage,
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12/31/2015 the gingko Haikuremember,
12/29/2015 memory Haikumemory,
12/25/2015 Purity Tankafriendship,
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Hard Times Cowboycowboy-western,family,fun
Petal Verselove,
Violin Personificationdeath,love,rose,
The Sowing Free versedevotion,
Disposable Wisdom Rhymeage,cat,life,wisdom,world
Footprints Free verseintrospection,life,
Alabaster Night Free versenature,planet,sea,
Forgotten Heroes of the Somme Rhymebrother,death,history,lif
Mona Lisa Free verseartme,
Love Beyond the Pale Quatrainabuse,devotion,lost love,
Humanity Coupletlife,peoplechild,lost,chi
Frosted Panes - re-post Quatraingirl,life,me,sea,time,win
When Madness Rides on Moonlight Sestinagod,life,
-Unlatched- Rhymechildhood,family,mother,s
Missing Mother Versedepression,devotion,me,mi
her silent seams Free versewords,
Wet but Wiser Quatrainadventure,funny,pets,
Closer Free versehope,life,love,peace,blue
Love Passing By Rhymelove,love,pride,
- My Dreams - Versedream,faith,hope,love,
A Police Man's Grave Epitaphdeath,funny,
Long Goodbyes Sonnetfaith,happiness,holiday,n
Hear Oh L-rd Kyriellefaith,family,happiness,un
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Light A Candle Versefaith,history,
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