Soaking up the rays


Soaking up the sun

on chosen cushions

sharing bliss

Moments before this peaceful scene they jostled and jumped from cushion to cushion until everyone settled down.  The fourth cushion could have been occupied, but our orange-haired cat tends to shun community events and the elderly dog currently visiting backed off when cushion selection became hectic (despite my efforts to help out).

I decided to write a haiku today after reading an essay by the late Haiku poet, Jane Reichhold (1937-2016) about composing haiku with a fragment and a phrase.  Her fragment and phrase theory makes sense to me.  Perhaps even more interesting are her words about how she related to haiku writing guidelines.  Here is a small excerpt:

There is, thank goodness, no one way to write a haiku. Though the literature has haiku which we admire and even model our own works on, there is no one style or technique which is absolutely the best. Haiku is too large for that. Haiku has, in its short history been explored and expanded by writers so that now we have a fairly wide range of styles, techniques and methods to investigate.

To read her full essay please visit Carpe Diem Universal Jane #17 fragment and phrase.

©2017 Ontheland

28 thoughts on “Soaking up the rays

    1. Your mention of haiku being too big for a single technique reminds me of the irony mentioned by Jane Reichhold that such a small poem has gathered so many ‘rules’ over the years. It’s hard to see in the photo as their fur is dark but two are little dogs and one is a cat 🙂 Our second cat generally won’t lie down next to the dogs…he can’t forgive their playful (?) chasing.


      1. It is amazing how much is written about such poems. The number of rules is mind boggling. I often think we could learn from Jack Kerouac and forget about counting syllables then I find myself counting them again 🙂 Sorry I mistook your dogs for cats. I should have looked closer. It’s a very cute photo anyway.

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      2. I know what you mean…when I think I ‘ll liberate myself from counting … the count still weighs in or sneaks in.. I didn’t tell the dogs that you mistook them for cats (and you weren’t the only one) 😉

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      3. 🙂 Yes, it keep from the dogs. As for writing haiku – dare I confess I actually like the syllable count. Even if I don’t always achieve it – it gives me a framework to work in.

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  1. I agree that the cats look very relaxed. (I have one purring on my lap right now.) Our two cats usually pick different sunny spots, but sometimes they still rest together.
    Interesting idea about haiku.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aren’t they funny ? And endearing! I enjoyed both pic and haiku, and I too particularly like that excerpt from Reichhold’s essay.

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    1. Thanks Denis…any angst was probably mine wanting the third guest dog to be able to hang out on his striped covered cushion but ownership is not a strong factor with this group….and apparently he’s taken to a rubber foam mat in the hallway….

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  3. You did a nice job on this “weekend-meditation” and your words at the end are so true. There are a lot of rules and techniques to write haiku, but the only one who creates the haiku as he/she wants is the haiku poet him/herself … creating haiku is an Art and the poets find there way in it, because they write from the heart. Basho once said “now you know the rules, you have to forget them immediately”. I think that’s the best lesson we have to follow. Write your haiku right from the heart … it’s your Art

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    1. Beautiful thoughts … art and heart…thank you … technique is useful but its hard to be immediate and tangled up in rules at the same time. I am also very happy to learn of these words of Basho that you’ve quoted.

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