Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Scifaiku (A Haiku-Based Form)

Since my first two posts were rather intense and contained free verse, I feel like sharing my attempts at what may be seen by some to be an “odd ball” form, scifaiku, e.g.:

an embrace of tentacles:
oh, for the willows
of Earth

Scifaiku is basically a science fiction/fantasy/horror form based on haiku. I enjoy it thoroughly as it gives full rein to imagination, and as you’ll see below to the absurd, while maintaining that lovely distilling quality of haiku -- if I do it well, of course.

Before sharing more scifaiku, I’ll briefly mention two points about my approach to haiku (the underlying form for scifaiku):

One, I do not necessarily adhere in haiku (or scifaiku) to the well-known convention of three lines of 5/7/5 syllables. Although in Japanese that is the convention, Japanese is a polysyllabic language. Therefore, there are likely to be fewer words in a Japanese haiku of 17 syllables, than might be in a 17 syllable English haiku. So to come close to what the “feel” of a Japanese haiku might be in English, I believe fewer syllables are required. Plus, the more I wrote haiku when I started, the fewer words I found myself wanting to use.

Two, the issue of one word in a haiku indicating the season it is set in. This is a tradition I mostly try to honor. But I can find a season word to be a challenging prospect, especially in scifaiku or dream-based haiku (e.g., what would be the season, if any, on Jupiter?). So I sometimes do not use one in a haiku, and rarely in a scifaiku.

Though not all scifaiku writers would necessarily agree with me, the email group I have been participating in for much of six years, embraces all sorts of form experiments. And I recently entered a Japanese haiku contest that actually requested non-traditional, experimental haiku, such as those without season words and differing syllable counts. Suffice it to say, adhering to these two aspects of the traditional form (there are others I am not addressing here) as closely as I can was and still is a useful and rewarding writing experience. However, I equally enjoy experimenting, as do many other haiku writers. And I hasten to add that I continue to learn; that I do not consider myself a polished haiku/scifaiku writer, by any stretch of the imagination. Just one who really enjoys the challenges and focus the forms afford.

Back to sharing scifaiku; these are some of my earliest attempts:

across the dark
of her plastiskin
cherry blossom petals

(Clearly, I was still very attached to the translated
Japanese haiku I’d been reading. :-D

* * * *

moons rise
overlapping shadows
lead us home

(This is a bit of a “cheat,” tweaking a haiku
into a scifaiku by pluralizing “moon.” :-D

* * * *

jumping the broom’s
more fun in free fall

(I’d just been to a Pagan wedding. As the couple
jumped the broom I was grateful there was lots
of hooting and applauding, because I got intense
giggles imagining them in free fall.)

* * * *

moonless world:
we crane our necks

(Another one heavily influenced by Japanese haiku.)

* * * *

solo dancing:
held only by
this planet’s rings

* * * *

in the nick:
his jaws trap only dust
as we blast off

* * * *

land of endless day:
alien skeletons
dazzle like beach glass

(A no-no in haiku is simile/metaphor, but I like the image
and it’s a scifaiku so maybe I can get away with it? :-D

* * * *

acid tipped antenna
explores my cheek

* * * *

fragile cloud turns
on its ardent pursuer:
death tango

These next are more recent:

tsunami season
the satellite arks
eclipse the moon

(My imagined solution for a world prone to many tsunamis
– precipitated by our globe’s recent one.)

* * * *

new house program:
semi-feral dust bunnies

(Obvious wish fulfillment!)

* * * *

death games
shadows play tag
beneath the ice

(Dream-based, placed on an alien world.)

* * * *

an ego for lunch
hungry again in one hour:
psi-vamp on the prowl

And this last is a “scifaibun” (a haibun is a prose paragraph capped by a haiku):

The Sentient Trees

I tell my friend that this is my favorite
time of day when the sentient trees long
violet and pale green branches flicker
like strippers' boas in the sky,
turning into lightning fast whippers:

the darkling sky
armed trees

(Dream-based. I woke up both intrigued and laughing.
The “stripper/whipper” rhyme is straight from the dream

So, there you have it, a very brief sampling of my attempts at contributing to the form called scifaiku (link is for I love how it’s far out -- and often far in -- scope can challenge, expand, relax, move, and amuse. I’m sure I’ll share more of this form in the future.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me – it’s under “View my complete profile” – for permission. * * * *


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home