This is a training exercise. It helps condition the muscles necessary for making haiku.

Write down the month.

Next to the month write another single word that names or indicates some feature of the day (sun, rain, moon, clouds, wind, whatever).

Now look out the window or go outside.

Without thinking too much (or at all, if you can manage) write a short description of any detail you see (any thing and/or any action).

Look in another direction. Write a short description of any detail you see (thing and/or action).

Turn your head and write down another detail.

Do this at least 7 more times.

When you have at least ten (TEN) little descriptive phrases, none of them longer than a single short sentence, go to a comfortable spot and choose one of your phrases and write part of it on the line immediately beneath the line you wrote when you first started.

Write the rest of your chosen phrase on the line beneath that one.

Skip a line.

Write down the same month and the same detail of today you used on the first line.

Write part of one of the remaining phrases on the next line.

Write the rest of that phrase on the following line.

Do this until you run out of phrases.

This is only an exercise, not a test. Do not pass any judgment on yourself, on your performance, or on what you have written. Do the best you can.

Put this sheet of paper with at least ten (TEN) little balls of words out of sight. You do not need to think about them at all for a while.

Tomorrow, repeat this exercise. Completely. Don't think.


The day after tomorrow, repeat this exercise. Don't think.

On the fourth day, after you complete your exercise, take out the first sheet and read it several times (three or four is enough), and put it away.

On the fifth day, read the second sheet.

In one week, a single week, just seven days, you will have taught yourself more about haiku than it's possible for anyone else to teach you.


November trees

shadows stretching all the way

across the lawn

November trees

a white car speeding along

the river road


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