October 19th, 2010


The Senses of Autumn

On Saturday, The Southern California Haiku Study Group held its monthly workshop at the Pacific Asia Museum.

Poets writing haiku - the empty chairs represent poets who preferred to do the writing exercise in the museum's beautiful courtyard

Even with some of our long time members absent for various reasons, we still had twenty people.

After a read-around of recent haiku, I led a workshop "The Senses of Autumn." So often, we write haiku about images, I invited the group to write haiku using sound, smell, taste, and touch. After reading a few examples, we brainstormed the sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of autumn.

Here is a partial list:

crunchy leaves, howl of the wind, honking migrating geese, branches scratching the house, crickets, tires on wet pavement, crackling fire

smoke, baking/kitchen smells, mold, wet earth, incense for All Souls, La Dia de los Muertos,
first lighting of a furnance, fallen gingko fruit, rutting deer, cranberry candles, charred wood

cough syrup, baked apples, spice cider, cranberry sauce, vanilla

static electricity, slimy pumpkin seeds, scratch of wool sweaters, dry air, dry crumbling leaves, warm socks, sting of the wind, dampness, soft comforters

Then, we wrote haiku inspired by these and shared what we'd written. Afterwards, we had time to workshop about a half dozen of the haiku written.

the scratch
of the neighbor's branches
2 am insomnia