The Mystery of Haiku : by Jan Dobb

book on rock
photo: Ron Moss

Why do I read and write haiku?
Like so many people, I guess, I’ve always been intrigued by what I can only call the mystery of life. What are we? Questions, questions, questions . . . In younger and more certain days I looked for answers and followed many trails only to end up with even more questions. Now, in my ageing and more mellow days I’ve come to accept questions for just what they are – questions. At last I allow mystery to be mystery. And this is where haiku fits in.

Haiku with its wonderful ‘ah’ moment is a thrilling yet gentle reminder that I am merely part of all that exists.

one distant bleat
a zillion winter stars
inch nearer

There is a wonderful camaraderie about the reading and writing of haiku. Thanks to the tireless generosity of editors and publishers, I am moved and inspired by the superb work of other poets. To have a haiku anthologised with theirs is to be in privileged company. To meet up in person with other haiku poets, both local and visiting, is bonus indeed. Mystery then acquires a human face, as it were, as we read and laugh and enthuse about our love of haiku and its power to convey the universe so succinctly.

two rosellas
enter the yellow elm
little leaf-falls

And – everyone says it, yet it always rings fresh. The more you live with haiku the more you notice a wonder in the ordinary world around you. And wonder it is indeed! Haiku is a wake-up call to live life fully, mystery and all.

grey day …
from a ladle the colours
of vegetable soup

Jan Dobb


‘one distant bleat’: A Hundred Gourds 5:2
‘two rosellas”: Kokako 27
‘grey day’: cattails Jan 2015, Snapshot Calendar 2017

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