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Poetry Friday -- Haiku 1
I'm not big on practical jokes. 
They make me nervous -- and not just having them played on me, but also playing them on others. 
I say "April Fool's" before the joke is even finished, lest my victim spend a millisecond worried or confused. 

This morning when my Small One went off with her "broken wrist" wrapped in an ace bandage, it took great restraint not to follow behind her saying, "She's just joking, folks. Carry on. Nothing to look at here..."

I'm well aware that this makes me kind of a scrooge on a day like today, but here's the thing. I like surprises that make people float, rather than knock them off balance, surprises that make people expand rather than contract, surprises that delight.

And I really, really like surprises that come wrapped up in poems. 
So, it may not be my day but it's definitely my month: National Poetry Month!

Here are some surprises for you:
Get a poem-a-day in your mailbox from Knopf
Get a poem-a-day in your mailbox from Poetry Daily
Get today's list of Poetry Friday features at The Poem Farm.

And, if you're so inclined, you can get a haiku-a-day right here. Today marks the beginning of my third annual April Haiku Series in celebration of National Poetry Month, and I'm even extending the practice to haibuns this year -- at the invitation of one of my poetry sisters, Andi Jazmon at a wrung sponge.

A haibun is the practice of complementing one's haiku with a little prose. A little commentary, or journalling, to frame or extend the idea of the haiku. Basho created the haibun style as he needed a way to add a little narrative to his imagistic revelations. Sometimes I need that, too.


cat in the foxgloves
thinks he's hidden, quiet, pink
ears like white flags fly

Don't we all think our disguises are a little bit better than they are? Our self-perpetuated myths? Our masks and pen names? When really, we can't help but walk around revealing ourselves. Showing our cards and our hearts. Waving our white flags....

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Wonderful haibun! Can't hide those white flags :). Looking forward to reading your posts this month!

And really, why SHOULD we hide our white flags.

Says Jama: Looking forward to reading your posts this month!...me too.

(Deleted comment)
Susan -- It's MY first introduction, too. Andi told me about them and I'm going to learn as I go along! (Yipes!)

tanita says:

OOOH! I should have known about the poems from Knopf, but thanks for the heads up!! And I LOVE the haibuns...

And Tanita... If you sign up this year, they'll keep coming year after year!!

I love the way your haiku and prose harmonize in this haibun and can't stop thinking about our own cats and my own white flags. Good luck for the rest of April Fool's Day! I've got a house full of tricksters. (It's my own fault - I gave them rubber eggs on April Fool's Day when they were toddlers!) Happy PF! A.

Rubber eggs.
OK, now that IS kind of funny....

i am looking forward to your daily haiku:)

Thanks! Me, too -- I think!

annette simon says...

Liz, you are wonderful. No foolin.'

Re: annette simon says...

aww, right back atcha, Annette...

I am with you - I don't like April Fools Day. I did suggest a few jokes to my sons though... crazy but I couldn't resist it. We had snow falling and it was just too ridiculous not to extend that joke by suggesting they beg the teacher to let them go sledding at recess, knowing the teachers would be filled with dismay at the very idea of sledding in April. Forgive me. Thank God the snow didn't stick & the ground is graciously all wet mud.

Anyhow. I love your haibun! I can see that cat quivering. This is going to be fun.

Sorry, Liz, that was me. Forgot to sign in!


Happy National Poetry Month! I'm so glad that you'll be posting a new haiku every day during the month of April again this year. I had never heard about haibuns until I read it on Andi's blog yesterday.

Elaine M.

Elaine -- Haibuns are new to me, too! I love the idea, though, so am willing to give it a whirl!

I'm looking forward to learning more about haibun from you and Andi!

Well, you'll be learning along WITH me. (Why do I do things like in public????)

I'm definitely with you on April Fool's. Not my day either. Although my grandkids got a kick out of a couple of April Fools jokes on me. I have to say that was fun, even at my expense. Love the haibun. I wasn't familiar with this form, but it's a pleasant addition to the haiku.

My daughters always like dying my coffee green, which I can live with. But beyond that...

Oh, joy for another month of haiku (and haibun) from you!

Here's the one thing that's fun about April 1...when my own kids (and my students) "trick" me and I play along. Their faces when they think they've got me are delightful. :-) Can't wait to see you in Austin!

See, Natalie -- you're good and sweet. And I'm just crotchety...

See, now I didn't mention the April 1 years ago when my husband moved the clock forward one hour and I almost had a heart attack.

Back to the haiku....really, I think my all-time favorite (of ANY haiku) was the one about one of your girls turning cartwheels in the clover...I really should go back and find that and print it out. It was lovely, just like you, oh not-even-close-to-being-crotchety you.

Here you go, Nat:

she walks on her hands
through dirt and clover and dew
her feet touch the sky


Swoon! Off now to print...


White Flags!

Oh, I have had so many "ears like white flags" moments in my life! Nice poem, Liz - thanks. I'm looking forward to reading a new poem from you each day.

Julie Larios

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