Providing grounds for the greening of human language.





Valentine Haiku Chain by Patricia K.

by Patricia | 2.13.14

Swans Valentine

As part of Wilderness Interface Zone’s Love of Nature Nature of Love Month, we thought it would be fun to run a Valentine haiku chain. This is a just for fun song and dance event for many voices and dancing levels.

A haiku is a classical Japanese poetical form, usually 17 syllables all in a single line in Japanese, but there are longer and shorter forms. In English, haiku often take the form of one short line of 5 syllables, a long line of 7 syllables, and a short line of 5 syllables, but there are many ways–take your pick. If you’re interested, you can find out more about haiku here or here. (For fun, check out the “annoying haiku” at the first website.)

There’s no deadline for this activity and the only requirement is that you focus your feeling in a nature-oriented haiku. You can link your haiku to an image in a preceding one or simply forge a link out of new images altogether.  The chain runs as long as participants continue to forge links in the smithies of their minds.

Considered a mindfulness practice, writing haiku requires discipline–even if you’re writing effectively annoying haiku. So if you like the challenge of cramming your deepest feelings and most perceptive insights (or your silliest ones) into 17 syllables, this activity is for you.

Ready? Here is my opening Valentine haiku:

Tart flowers have shaped
bee’s dance; bee, flowers’ bouquet.
Almost, this is love.


Patricia Karamesines1Patricia Karamesines {} is the author of The Pictograph Murders (Signature Books 2004), an award-winning mystery novel set in the Four Corners area. Her poetry appears in the landmark anthology Fire in the Pasture (Peculiar Pages 2011) and has also been published in Dialogue and Irreantum. A long time ago, she was the founding editor of BYU’s literary journal Inscape, a feat she remains satisfied with. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and essays. She writes for A Motley Vision and runs the nature writing blog Wilderness Interface Zone that advocates for the greening of human language. Currently, she is an English tutor and adjunct at Utah State University-Eastern Blanding where she works closely with the university extension’s Native American student population.

32 Responses to Valentine Haiku Chain by Patricia K.

  1. Sarah Dunster

    Almost, this is love–
    a bee, a bud, the nectar
    trembling on my lips.

  2. sean

    From a bud’s lip slides
    A brief drop of molten snow
    Pilgriming earthward.

  3. Josh Weed

    Nectar trembles on
    lips for some. Not me: bees sting,
    Pollen aggravates.

  4. James Goldberg

    Pollen aggravates
    the nostrils, but cleansing rains
    drop grey on my soul.

  5. SteveP

    Drop grey on my soul,
    that it may turn bud-green bliss,
    condensing kisses.

  6. Tyler

    (Steve, you beat me to James’ last line! Ah, well: I’m springboarding off it, too.)

    drops gray as his soul
    the moment she left: rain
    trails down his face

  7. Tyler

    (Now to springboard off Steve’s last line:)

    condensation kisses
    the window: the outline
    of a heart returns

  8. EmJen

    my heart returns here,
    wilderness interface zone,
    where swans hold the love

  9. Th.


    Swans have held my love
    Swimming, dunking, drowning—yet
    I still float in thee

  10. Mark Penny

    I still float in thee–
    sun, storm and dolldrums. I still
    float with thee in us.

  11. Mark Penny

    Oops. Doldrums.

  12. Dave Westwood

    Birds do it, Bees too
    Love is blind, without a clue
    Haiku ought not rhyme

  13. Dave Westwood

    My life partner has
    Near limitless patience with
    my eccentrici . . .

  14. Sarah Dunster

    back for more:

    with us, the doldrums
    are sweet storms of gratitude;
    light, in passing clouds.

  15. Sarah Dunster

    Dave & I posted at the same time. Going off his,
    My eccentrici
    ty is boundless in times of
    Spring: wild abandon.

  16. James Goldberg

    No matter how wild
    our abandon, all living
    returns to one dance

  17. Rachel H

    return to my sight
    buds, robins, bulbs, and worms
    restore my springtime

  18. Jonathon

    Restore my springtime,
    bee and blossom-blessing honey-kiss.
    Thaw all, baptize, and bloom.

  19. Jonathon

    Spring thaw, baptism, bloom
    rebut the spindle-fingered cold and gloom:
    it’s almost love, this winter’s doom.

  20. Jonathon

    It’s almost love, this doom,
    This imminent again of bulb and worm. Almost.
    A few ticks more, then . . . love.

  21. ZD Eve

    Doom is almost love.
    At first light, black walnut trees
    Radiate in blue.

  22. Cherise

    In blue this true ab
    andon imprisoned in
    side this red we seep

  23. Sean

    Red-stained maple twigs
    Seep sugars drawn from snow-bound
    Roots, deeping past ice.

  24. ZD Eve

    Past ice is present
    mud, slow equinoctial slime.
    Spring gnaws from beneath.

  25. Sarah Dunster

    Spring is gnawing me
    red. I cannot ignore the
    floods rising inside.

  26. Cherise

    flood rising inside
    still. the great green groan sings, glides
    towards its own heaven.

  27. sean

    Own. Love is its own.
    Not belonging to lovers;
    Nor the beloved.

  28. Th.


    Nor the beloved,
    Nor the lost, nor the unthought,
    Nor me, nor thou; just us two

  29. Tyler

    not “I” not “thou”:
    one flesh cleaving
    beneath the new moon

  30. Jonathon

    Beneath the new moon,
    tentative feet try out the new-born mud
    as old snow drools its way to seed.

  31. sean

    Old drool crusts cracked seeds.
    Millet hulls melt into old,
    Greying, snow cover.

  32. Patricia

    Greying snow’s strands flow
    to creek beds where stones plait them
    into sunlit braids.

Leave a Reply