some great haikus by Kerouac

I occasionally dip into Kerouac’s Book of Haikus or ‘pops’ as he called them.. They’re so free, random, spontaneous.. That’s what made him great I guess…


the sun keeps getting

dimmer – foghorns

began to blow in the bay


the sky is still empty,

the rose is still

on the typewriter keys


In the sun

the butterfly wings

like a church window


You’d be surprised

how little I knew

even up to yesterday


praying all the time –


to myself


the bird came on the branch

-danced three times-

and burred away


Drunk as a hoot owl

writing letters

By thunderstorm


Useless! useless!

heavy rain driving

Into the sea


Halloween colors

orange and black

On a summer butterfly


Wild to sit on a haypile,

Writing haikus

Drinkin wine


Gull sailing

in the saffron sky-

The Holy Ghost wanted it


Barefoot by the sea,

stopping to scratch one ankle

With one toe


Perfectly silent

in the starry night

the little tree


Swinging on delicate hinges

the autumn leaf

almost off the stem


rain’s over, hammer on wood

this cobweb

rides the sun shine


“Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning!”

Benjamin West – Franklin drawing electricity from the sky (1816)

“I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish. Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud!”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra


raptured conductor

beckons the glorious maelstrom

to o’erthrow the ages



Wordsworth haikus

Under rapturous gaze

Grasmere transformed,

lost in a lyrical haze


sublime visitations,

captured in clearest cadence,

he wandered, wondered…


with scrawling quill

words leapt over landscape

and soon began to soar…


top of Wordsworth’s back garden at Dove Cottage
“within the bounds of this huge concave; here should be my home, this valley be my world” – from Wordsworth’s poem ‘Home at Grasmere’
grasmere caves
the first page from Wordsworth’s first handwritten manuscript of the Prelude … awesome to see it up close


Haikus inspired by Kerouac

Above all, a haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi pastorella – Jack Kerouac

These are some haikus inspired by Jack Kerouac – there is no syllabic conformity, they are ‘free of all poetic trickery’ as he says. Just 3 simple lines of writing to channel an idea, or truth or image. The key is simplicity and total freedom of thought. They are very therapeutic in a way…


swooping swallow

sketches the outline

of distant mountains


Word shards

jagged approximations

that get me by


A falcon perches

on a crash barrier

waylaid by human logic


During the eclipse

a beautiful smile

with stars for eyes


everyone else

saw just white walls

she saw snowy hills


Driving by night

the snow hits the window

like stars at warp speed


player piano

whispers jazz

into an empty bar


will you fall

into these words

or stumble over them?



in heaven

through clouds of people


Gauguin humbled

by the people of the forest

who told no lies


body aflame

mind soaring

on a higher plane


jumping jackdaw

with charcoal wings

prancing in the park


(childhood memories)


wide-eyed child

awed at his sketches

and gentle guitar ditties


a pipe smells homely

pop inhale pop inhale

hazy calm surround


wade into the lake

where the rotten pike waits… 

water gushes into wellingtons


An avalanche of Westies

the first thing they saw

our beaming faces


sunsets & rockpool hops

wandering Welsh beaches

a bottlenose greets us!


cave mouths by seashore

return our whoops and wails

through the rasping waves


looking through loopholes,

of lofty castle remnants

time here afolly


He’s laughing, dancing

through bleached corridors

in a hospital gown!


alone skimming stones

bobs, bobs, bobs, away

under soft lilac sky


Art & Haikus


Salvador Dali – ‘The Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ (1937)


Shallows, storms, shadows,

Swollen sense of self swallowed…

Seeds sown of sorrow


Magritte – empire of light (1950)


Exorcise the skies

Of light and nimbus, lo the

Eternal nocturne


Eduardo Paolozzi – Cloud atomic laboratory (1971)


Language were numbers…

Sentences: calculations…

Then how could I lie?


Dali – dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate moments before awakening (1944)


Dreams are a codex:

Cognitive contortions which

Squirm beneath ego


Vladimir Kush – departure of the winged ship


Sail through idle dreams

Through plumes of iridescence

Consciousness is nigh


Max Ernst – temptation of st anthony (1945)


Bury desire –

Unleash the phantasmic hordes,

You cannot sate them


Henri Rousseau – exotic landscape with lion and lioness in Africa (1902-1910)


How many neurons

Does it take to free us from

A world of instinct?


Magritte – le grand style


The great void of space

Is a mere caricature

Of the unconscious


the aparition magritte
Magritte – the apparition (1928)


Truth is when words fail,

That moment when you stumble

Between stepping stones


Magritte – 


Ultimate freedom…

to choose between life and death?

Or is this our chains?


Paul Delvaux – the temple (1949)


shards of ancient stone

conjured dreams of mythic hue

temples by moonlight