Friday 29 March 2024


Came across Basho recently. 

Some interesting facts:

He was the father of the haiku. 


The Edo Period in Japan. Also known as the Genroka period 

A high point in Japan's Renaissance similar to the Elizabethan Period 100 years before.

His name means a grand tournament in Sumo wrestling...Wow!

His most famous haiku is called  The Old Pond

Old pond

a frog jumps in

sound of water

or in Japanese

Furu ike ya

kawazu tobikomu

mizu no oto

So what are the rules for structuring a Haiku?

It has 3 lines

It has 5 syllables in the first and third lines

It has 7 syllables in the second line

Its lines don't rhyme

It includes a kireji or cutting word

It has a kigo, a reference to season.

The kireji had me perplexed but it is apparently a sort of spoken punctuation of one or two syllables that causes you to stop and think...a bit like the word but...

There's an interpretation of this haiku in the link below

So I decided to make up my own haiku which had to involve our one eyed Kit.

Our Kit on patrol

circles winter bird table

feathers fall from sky

Try it for Spring fun  

 head wrecking to be honest

but worth the effort....

Thursday 21 March 2024

Spring Buds

To dig myself out of this long fallow period

I picked up a poetry book by Billy Collins.

It's not that I don't read any other poet, honestly,

it's just that most contemporary poets are often for me obscure.

I do have to look up the odd word or two of Billy's like burgeoning, 

which brought to my mind someone wielding a wooden club

but actually means increasing rapidly 

coming from the old french word borjon- as in Spring bud.


And I'm probably thinking of the word bludgeon anyway-

see the difference a letter or two can make in a fallowed mind!

And then there's Billy's references which invariably take me on a google flight,

as with his mention of Saint Denis, the third century Christian martyr.

Did he really pick up his decapitated head and proceed to make a speech 

to the motley spectators on that hill in Montmartre?


So by and large, as you see, I get an education or an insight

or a trip down google search and at least feel,

after weeks of  being ploughed and harrowed,

the burgeoning desire to sprout something...

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2024 All rights reserved