Haikus by Kerouac (and a few of my own)

I occasionally dip into Kerouac’s Book of Haikus or ‘pops’ as he called them. He once said “a haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture”. And so they‘re not inhibited by the rules of traditional haiku, just free, random, and spontaneous.. three lines to capture a scene or moment or idea… and he was a master of it.


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


And here are a few of my own inspired by Kerouac:

a swooping swallow

sketches the outline

of distant mountains

a falcon perches

on the crash barrier

waylaid by human logic

everyone else

saw white walls

she saw snowy hills

in some childish dream

he smeared paint onto my cheek

I tipped into infinity

driving by night

the snow hits the window

like stars at warp speed

will you fall

into these words

or stumble over them?

in heaven


through clouds of people

Gauguin humbled

by these people of the forest

who spoke only truth

body aflame

mind soaring

on a higher plane

a  robin

prancing branch to branch


birds in flight at dusk



cold white mornings

beautiful december


leaves in icy stasis

like mosquitoes

forever in amber


“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



Some haikus & artwork

transhumanism-dali-metamorphosis-of-narcissusSalvador 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



Fateful motorcade

Wherein history careened

Like a stray bullet

(Based on Rosenquist’s ‘President Elect’ (1961))

Branches arc

into electric blue sky

static no more