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Haiku Hero

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Direct in Action

In one swift smooth movement to

Draw, slay, sheathe the sword.



Indirect in Speech

What is meant remains unsaid

In one thousand words



Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary notes Lucius has been playing the Legend of Five Rings Role Playing Game

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As I understand it, in Japan they do NOT adhere to a strict 5/7/5 count of syllables. I think that was perhaps an attempt to carry over into the Occident rules that pertained to number of brushstrokes or somesuch?


I think that might be because what we consider a Haiku in English not not really a Haiku. First, we say 5/7/5 syllables but syllables are not actually an important feature in Japanese; moras are. To illustrate the difference lets take a simple 1 syllable word that is actually composed of two moras: "I". This word is the combination of the two distinct sounds of [a] and . Each component accounts for a single mora and, had they not been put together, could count as a single syllable on their own. But as they were put together, they count as a single syllable in English. This, however is not true in Japanese. They would still be counted as being two distinct moras. So, the 5/7/5 rule is a rule for moras, not Syllables. Next, we also think of the Haiku as always being 5/7/5 but this is only half true. The original form is 5/7/5/7/7 repeated. There are also various other forms but that one (those two) are the more popular ones. 


As to the modern western take on them being far to light hearted and joking, that I think is both true and not true. Now a days I don't think anyone in Japan creates Haiku as a real past time but in the early days the 5/7/5/7/7 was actually part of various drinking games. People would get into contests while drinking to continue a Haiku and one-up the previous person. It would normally be 1 person creating 1 line or 1 half (5 vs 5/7/5: 7 vs 7/7). And they would continue this until someone could no longer think of one. I know there was a famous author (I don't know his name) who collected a variety of these in a travel book. Some of which are a bit lude but almost always funny or "poetic". Another famous one was Matsuo Basho but I don't think I have ever read any of his work: Wiki for Matsuo


Intrigued he was

to quench his thirst

the google he sought


answers a plenty there were

but what question do they match?


the wiki was grand

many details without end

where do the lies lay?


La Rose. 

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Though the heat we learn

All the joys of a cool breeze

A seed is planted


Mountains glowing red

A tussle of the cool wind

One leaf's journey


Snow falls silently

What lies beneath is unknown

Sparks of life await


Strong is their desire

Patiently they have waited

All will see them now 


A reprieve they give

The sun's heat you needn't know

A love given form


La Rose. 

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There are several benefits to doing this all in Japanese: no articles, no need for pronouns, no need to use plurals, and verb stems are just as good as fully expressed verbs. Granted, because they count moras and not syllables there is less room. 


La Rose. 

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I believe I mentioned playing Legend of Five Rings? These are from an online conversation I had with my friend Mike who is running the game.



This one confesses

Much of this game's appeal is

Excuse for haiku


Eight character traits

Two for each element but

None for emptiness



Only fifteen years

No wonder we know so little

Our lives barely begun


Will this one take vows

With shaven head go to serve

in some Shinto shrine?


Where the Kami call

This one will surely follow

As leaf obeys wind




I'm running out of haikuness. Haikuitude?




Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary says I have more around here somewhere that I wrote down....

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The day's deeds are done,

Sweat cascades off his brow,

Tears flow from his heart. 


A restless night awaits him,

Countless faces now haunt him. 




Dawn's light reveals all,

The faults of man obscene,

Souls reach out to him,


Etched in his heart their names,

But in time all names are lost. 




The roses are red

However, violets are blue

I'm La Rose, not you. 


La Rose. 

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A special one for our person who always mentions palidromes.


Live not on evil.


Evil, a sin, is alive.

Lived as a devil.


Have fun Lucious.


P.S. Credit to Dalibor Drekic over at palidromist.org

I can't reputize

This haiku of palindromes

To match its value


I give you my thanks.

I only wish that I had

Thought of it before.


Lucius Alexander


Well mounted I ride

My palindromedary

Even through haiku

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Re: Haiku Hero

Who can sail away

With no wind, no oars, no tears

For one left ashore?


It is I who can

Sail with no wind, no oars, but

Not without weeping.


Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary asks if I was trying to quote or edit.

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From darkness below

The ore is brought forth from Earth

This is the First Ring


Forge it into steel

The transforming power of Fire

This is the Second Ring


The bellows breathing

The work is rooted in Air

This is the Third Ring


Tempering the blade

Heat and light quenched in Water

This is the Fourth Ring


In the bushi's hand

Liberation of the sword

No rules bind the Last Ring




Lucius Alexander


Beyond rings

No rules bind the palindromedary

Taglines flow freely

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