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 –

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

***

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

frontcrawling

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

will-o-the-wisp

birds in flight at dusk

breathtaking

effortless

cold white mornings

beautiful december

silences

leaves in icy stasis

like mosquitoes

forever in amber

***

“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

***

 

Some haikus & artwork

transhumanism-dali-metamorphosis-of-narcissusSalvador 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?

*

magritte-le-grand-style3853
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

*

22/11/1963

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