Category Archives: Haiku

Happy 200th birthday, Emily.


Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emily Bronte.

Haworth, where the Brontes lived, holds a special place in my, (and my children’s), hearts.

We visit the place as often as we can.

Here’s a little haiku I penned after a walk on the Moors with my daughters a couple of years back.

IMG_4373

Knee deep in heather,

Bright red sock wavers aloft,

Boot stuck in peat bog.

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Brontë Parsonage Museum

 

Brontë dining room

Brontë dining room

This is the room where, Emily, Anne and Charlotte did most of their writing. And that is the actual sofa in the background that Emily died on aged just 30. (I didn’t pass that information on to my children.)

Patrick Brontë's study

Patrick Brontë’s study

If you haven’t read Wuthering Heights yet, I urge you to do so. I promise you, it’s like nothing you have ever read before. It’s a complex and staggeringly passionate tale of unrequited love and dastardly deeds, set amidst the bleak and rugged Yorkshire Moors.

And, if you get the chance, watch the recent film adaptation by Andrea Arnold. It’s a pretty radical take on the book and one of the best interpretations I’ve seen to date. (See trailer below.)

wuthering-heightsIt’s not just the collective brilliance of the Brontë siblings that I find inspiring, but the whole beautifully barren backdrop of the moors. That, coupled with the picturesque cobbled streets of Haworth itself, makes perfect for a day out.

Haworth

Haworth

"Top Withins" Emily's inspiration for Wuthering Heights. (Now a ruin.)

“Top Withens” Emily’s inspiration for Wuthering Heights. (Now a ruin.)

"Top Withens" as it would've looked back in Emily's day.

“Top Withens” as it would’ve looked back in Emily’s day.

P.S. It’d be positively churlish of me not to also include this classic by Kate Bush… whose 60th birthday it also is today. Bit of a spooky coincidence, don’t you think?

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Stellar new haiku


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I can see the stars

Rotating in unison.

No, wait, it’s the clouds.

 

 

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New haiku


IMG_4373

Knee deep in heather,

Bright red sock wavers aloft,

Boot stuck in peat bog.

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Winter Haiku


A belated Happy New Year.

This is my first post of 2015. (Not including my last post which was a reblog.)

I started following a blog by Ashi Akira and he’s inspired me to get my haiku quill out. (It’s a fascinating blog – particularly the story about the Japanese and American WWII fighter pilots – well worth a visit.)

IMG_4372

 

Rabbit carcass rots,

Heather bends its purple head,

Wuthering Heights call.

 

Listen to the song

Of the sparrows in the hedge,

Feeding time for chicks.

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Things for which I am grateful #365/365.


Some folks might think this is a bit of a cheat. I started with my kids and I’m going to finish with them. In my defence, I have two of the little rascals so I’m counting it as one post apiece.

There is nothing more precious to me on this Earth than my two daughters. Anyone who has children will know that something changes inside of you – chemically, biologically – and nothing else seems to matter.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to every parent, and true, the pesky varmints do get on your nerves a lot of the time. And yes, they bicker constantly. And they manage to talk in a stream of consciousness James Joyce would be proud of. But, when all’s said and done, they don’t outweigh all the adorable moments. I simply couldn’t live without them.

It’s been an epic year of blogging. Thank you for sticking by me and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Right, I’m going for a lie down.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 16.32.04

Here are my 365 things that I am grateful for:

1 My daughters

2 Water

3 Poetry

4 Baths

5-7 Notebooks, pens, pencils

8,9 Butterflies and moths

10, 11 Softball and baseball

12 Fresh coffee

13 Sound / masts

14 Indoor toilets

15 Stepping Hill Hospital

16 Birds of Paradise

17 Roget’s thesaurus

18 Mother Earth

19 Clingfilm dispenser

20, 21 Yorkshire pudding and onion gravy

22 Jorge Luis Borges

23 Classic cars

24 Curry

25 Tim Berners Lee

26 Charles Bukowski

27 Yorkshire

28 Shiraz

29 Food

30 Katell Keineg

31 Tao Te Ching

32 A roof over my head

33 Peat fires

34 Street art

35 Friends (as in – mates, not the T.V. show)

36 Wilfred Owen

37 The Penguin Café Orchestra

38 The fry-up

39 Wolves

40 W.B. Yeats

41, 42 Cherry blossom trees and haiku poetry

43 Bread

44 Boules

45 Maps

46 Refuse collectors

47 Candy Chang

48 Sparrows

49 The tomato

50 Studio Ghibli

51 Oliver Jeffers

52 Johannes Gutenberg

53 Tom Waites

54 The cello

55 Mothers’ day

56 The Phoenicians

57, 58 Bacon and brown sauce

59 Tulips

60 Fish and chips

61 Giselle

62 Airfix

63 Firefighters

64 Rain

65 Libraries

66 Raymond Carver

67 Toulouse-Lautrec

68 The Goldfinch

69 Wings of Desire

70 Silence

71 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

72-99 Ireland

100 Talking Heads

101 Sylvia Plath

102 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

103 My mum

104 Modigliani

105 Kurt Vonnegut

106-128 Electricity

129 The pop man

130-147 Comedians/comedy

148 Commando magazine

149 Pastry

150-156 Social media

157 David Bowie

158 Football

159 D-Day

160-194 France

195-230 Novels

231 Graphic Design

232 Viva! Roxy Music

233 – 274 Art

275 Betty Blue

276 Writing

277 Joy Division

278 – 287 Scotland

288 – 324 Italy

325 – 352 Photography

353 Leeds Utd

354 Love

355 Universe

356 Advertising

357 Pan’s Labyrinth

358 – 363 Democracy

364 Miscellaneous

365 My daughters II

If anyone wants to read any of the previous posts simply type the title into the search box on the right. (It’s underneath the ‘topic’ cloud.)

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Cantankerous Yorkshireman wants to be ‘liked’.


Dear Fellow Bloggers and Followers,

I wanted to ask a favour…

Hello?

Where did everyone go?

I’ve finally gotten round to setting up an author page on Facebook and I’d be very grateful if you could pop along and ‘like’ it for me. Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/thereisnocavalry

What’s in it for you?

Well, you’ll get to hear the latest about what I’m working on. (Big deal.)

A sci-fi short story called 'Little Snow'.

A sci-fi short story called ‘Little Snow’.

I’ll post some funny stuff about writing. (Meh.)

Tell it like it is.

Tell it like it is.

There’ll be some words of wisdom and encouragement from famous writers. (I have a Pinterest account too, you know.)

Aaawww.

Aaawww.

Let’s be honest, it’s really just a vehicle to promote my books. So, if you’re not that interested in novels, short stories, poetry or screenplays written by a cantankerous old Yorkshireman, then it’s probably not for you.

Buy my book!

Buy my books!

 

 

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Things for which I am grateful #41 & 42


Cherry Blossom trees and haiku poetry.

cherry blossom tree

cherry blossom tree

cherry blossom tree

Pink Cherry Blossom

Tree rains petals upon child’s

Outstretched fingers.

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If you’re unfamiliar with haiku poetry, it’s the Japanese art of writing verse in 17 syllables over three lines – 5 – 7 – 5, respectively. Although, a lot of contemporary verse tends to ignore the exact syllable count. Personally, I usually, (but not always), stick to it. I find it adds a certain amount of discipline.

The stone

Meets its reflection

As it skims across the lake.

I have a theory why non-Japanese poets ignore the syllable count because, when the great haiku poets such as Basho and Buson were translated into English, (or any other language), they didn’t conform to 5-7-5.

Maybe I’m mistaken. If anyone knows, feel free to share the knowledge.

 

Siesta time nears,

Though the fountain does not sleep.

Listen, it speaks: Shhhhhhhh.

 

By Hiroshige

By Hiroshige

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