Unfinished haiku

Origami

Unable to figure out the last step of an origami, I sit there, frustrated.
I unfold the paper and start over. Soon, I’m blocked again.
I flatten the paper on the table. The creases mark the battle. I sit still, imagining the finished origami (a tato box).
So close, and yet unable to finish.
It’s frustrating. Just like an unfinished haiku.
Every once in a while you get a flash of genius, a haiku that simply comes to you, but by the time you write it down, you forget the last line or a word. And the haiku is unfinished, imperfect.
You know the answer, it was given to you a moment ago. Now, the missing word is this big gap in the middle of the poem, staring you in the face.
And, just like a used origami paper, the haiku cannot be reused or repaired. It can only be trashed or recycled.

Origami    ancient warriors’ dreams   wander    in the recycling bin  (JT)

(Inspired by

The summer’s grass!
all that’s left
of ancient warriors’ dreams.

and

Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

by Matsuo Basho)

PS Check out the comments below to see what this blog post would look like as a haibun (proposed by Angelee Deodhar) or poem (proposed by Michael Dylan Welch).

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Unfinished haiku

    • Hi Dennise. Not to worry. I love this new samurai origami paper that I purchased recently (it’s double-sided) so I will try to reuse it, if possible, althought it’s near impossible to reuse origami paper.

  1. Angelee Deodhar e-mailed me that my blog post would work well as a haibun too. She sent me this revised version:

    Haibun:Unfinished haiku

    Unable to figure out the last step of an origami, I sit there, frustrated.I unfold the paper and start over. Soon, I’m blocked again.

    I flatten the paper on the table. The creases mark the battle. I sit still, imagining the finished origami (a tato box).So close, and yet unable to finish. It’s frustrating. Every once in a while you get a haiku that simply comes to you, but by the time you write it down, you forget the last line or a word. And the haiku is imperfect.You know the answer, it was given to you a moment ago. Now, the missing word is this big gap in the middle of the poem, staring you in the face.

    And, just like a used origami paper, the haiku cannot be reused or repaired. It can only be trashed .

    ancient warriors’ dreams wander in the recycling bin

  2. My original post had lots of line breaks, which made it looked like a poem.

    Michael Dylan Welch e-mailed “Jessica, your description is a poem itself, especially if lineated something like the following (see below)”.

    Unable to figure out the last step of an origami,
    I sit there, frustrated.
    I unfold the paper and start over.
    Soon, I’m blocked again.
    I flatten the paper on the table.
    The creases mark the battle. I sit still,
    imagining the finished origami—a tato box.

    So close, and yet unable to finish.
    Yes, it’s frustrating, just like an unfinished haiku.
    Every once in a while you get a flash of genius,
    a haiku that simply comes to you,
    but by the time you write it down, you forget
    the last line or a word.
    And the haiku is unfinished, imperfect.

    You know the answer—it was given to you a moment ago.
    Now, the missing word is this big gap
    in the middle of the poem,
    staring you in the face.
    And, just like a used origami paper,
    the haiku cannot be reused or repaired.
    It can only be trashed or recycled.

  3. aloha Jessica. on first reading i took your post as haibun (but then i subscribe to longer poetry being acceptable as the “written/prose” portion of haibun). So both versions work for me, the haibun and the prose-poetry (as the written part of the haibun).

    in addition i’d like to add this: cool paper such as this (worked or unworked) origami paper. . . . can always be used (especially imo, with the worked creases because that in itself gives the patina of being in touch with human hands—as well as “story”) in several ways:
    1- as collage material, which can include painting over portions to most all of it in some way (i like some transparency when doing this, but that’s a personal preference).
    2- scanning (or other ways) it into your computer to use in digital collage—which opens up a lot of options from haiga to haibun (imo) and more.
    3- and personally. paper such as this. . . . i’d be tickled with laughter to receive a gift wrapped in such human-touched-with-effort paper. no matter what the gift is.

    way fun. Mele Kalikimaka a Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year) aloha – rick

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s