This week I am beyond excited because my fellow podcaster and talented haijin Roger Watson is our guest haiku poet.

As you know if you’ve been following my attempts at learning how to write haiku, I am currently reading about and trying out different techniques of writing haiku. This week my technique is association.

What is association?

As you know I generally find Jane Reichhold to be an accessible teacher of the art of haiku, when I consulted her writing for this topic this is how she describes it: “how different things relate or come together. The Zen of this technique is called oneness or showing how everything is part of everything else.”  (1)

I searched for something that I would understand more readily I found this explanation by Patrick Gillespie:

He says that Association is : “How different things may be associated.” (2)  He illustrates it with this example:

a handle
on the moon –
and what a splendid fan

Think of a fan, shaped a little like a table tennis bat, it does look like a handle on the moon doesn’t it?

Continuing with my research, I came across this haiku, which I think also illustrates association. It’s written by Nick Avis  (3)

november nightfall
the shadow of the headstone
longer than the grave

To me the most obvious association is that of November and the grave. November has always been the month of the dead to me. In the christian church all souls day is commemorated at the beginning of November.

Here are the best of my week, using association:

planting the rose
a drop of blood
falls

or maybe a one liner

planting the rose, blood

Two different things, a rose bush and blood. What is the association? Well I might be pushing it to be honest. The whole haiku is about childbirth. The planting of the rosebush is about giving life, bringing life into the world. More often than not when I’m planting up my roses, I manage to scrape myself one way or another and blood flows.  Bringing new life to the world hurts, it draws blood, but the end result is joyous.At least that’s how I felt. Same with planting roses.

A second one:

diamonds cluster
around a sapphire-
the Zürisee

It struck me as I was out riding my bike along the lakeside that the Zürisee or lake Zürich as you might know it, is very much like a piece of jewellery. The lake is the sapphire, the diamonds are the snow capped mountains.

Let me introduce to you if you don’t know him already, Roger Watson. He is the inspiration behind the next haiku podcast special on the topic of women but I’ll tell you why when we get to that podcast. Remember I’m still accepting submissions until July 20.

Back to Roger. I really enjoy his haiku and I was excited when he told me he was listed on the living haiku anthology. (4)  What a star!

Roger, who is a professor of nursing at the University of Hull, was born in Scotland, has lived in Scotland, Ireland and now lives in the current UK city of culture, Hull.

He finds the writing of haiku is one of the few things that take his mind off his work and it occupies those boring hours as he flies round Europe and the Far East. Haiku brings him pleasure not just through the writing of it but the friendships from the communities he has found in the process of writing and improving his work.

And speaking of improving your haiku he recommends that you get involved with the haiku foundation (5) which offers daily bulletins, an app and a lot of free content including books.

I present to you his haiku:

airport fly
arriving
or departing?

Roger particularly enjoys writing haiku where he can see a potential double meaning or alternative interpretation of a word, I think this is really clear when you read or listen to this haiku. I found, that like a fly, this haiku buzzes round my head, but in a good way.

Reading Roger’s work gives me immense pleasure. Not just because he writes great haiku but I know how hard he works at his writing and it gives me hope that if I work as hard as he does, someday I will write successful haiku more consistently.

Thanks Roger.

We will be hearing more from him in the future but if you’d like to learn more about him here’s a link to his blog (6) , his Twitter handle (7)  and his haiku podcast (8)

Don’t forget you can send me submissions on the topic of women by the 20th of July. But if you would like to submit your haiku on any topic I would be delighted to read it and consider it for the podcast. You can find details on how to submit on the poetrypea website.

Take care.

  1. Jane Reichhold – Writing and Enjoying Haiku. A hands on guide.
  2. https://poemshape.wordpress.com/tag/haiku-techniques/
  3. Haiku Moment An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku edited by Bruce Ross
  4. The living haiku anthology https://livinghaikuanthology.com/index-of-poets/alphabetic-index/421-w-poets/watson,-roger.html?layout=
  5. The Haiku Foundation https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/
  6. Kawazu Haiku http://haikuflyku.blogspot.com/
  7. @rwatson1955
  8. https://soundcloud.com/roger-watson-543695177/blackbird-haiku
Week 31: The Haiku Chronicle Podcast – Fly me to the moon