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 –

talking

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!”

West_-_Benjamin_Franklin_Drawing_Electricity_from_the_Sky_(ca_1816)
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…

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

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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?

*

frontcrawling

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

transhumanism-dali-metamorphosis-of-narcissus

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

NARCISSUS

Shallows, storms, shadows,

Swollen sense of self swallowed…

Seeds sown of sorrow

*

empire-of-light
Magritte – empire of light (1950)

NOCTURNE

Exorcise the skies

Of light and nimbus, lo the

Eternal nocturne

*

Eduardo-Paolozzi-Cloud-Atomic-Laboratory-Garco-Robot-Nailing-Wooden-Box-featured-image
Eduardo Paolozzi – Cloud atomic laboratory (1971)

IF

Language were numbers…

Sentences: calculations…

Then how could I lie?

*

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

CODEX

Dreams are a codex:

Cognitive contortions which

Squirm beneath ego

*

butterfly-ship
Vladimir Kush – departure of the winged ship

PAINTED LADY

Sail through idle dreams

Through plumes of iridescence

Consciousness is nigh

*

temptation-of-saint-anthony
Max Ernst – temptation of st anthony (1945)

TEMPTATION

Bury desire –

Unleash the phantasmic hordes,

You cannot sate them

*

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

INSTINCT

How many neurons

Does it take to free us from

A world of instinct?

*

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Magritte – le grand style

VOID

The great void of space

Is a mere caricature

Of the unconscious

*

the aparition magritte
Magritte – the apparition (1928)

TRUTH

Truth is when words fail,

That moment when you stumble

Between stepping stones

*

Surreal-life&death
Magritte – 

VOLITION

Ultimate freedom…

to choose between life and death?

Or is this our chains?

*

paul-delvaux-april-
Paul Delvaux – the temple (1949)

TEMPLES

shards of ancient stone

conjured dreams of mythic hue

temples by moonlight

*