Three moons

Making a big effort to write short poems that sound like haiku for Frank Tassone’s challenge.


Moon filtered

through budding branches—

owl hunts, skims silver.


Hazy moonlight

soft as feathers falls—

silver dapples.


Ice cold, the sky,

moonlight glitters on water

bright as diamonds.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

43 thoughts on “Three moons”

      1. It did. There’s something about haiku, the way the image has to be presented that I’ve never quite got. So many haiku I’ve read seem (to me) to start with a recognizable image then finish on something completely unconnected.

    1. Thank you! I tried hard with these to ‘do it right’. The syllable count thing has always been more of an exercise than poetry, but once you get rid of that, the poem seems more ‘poetic’.

      1. there is such a lot going on, and to consider, for such a short form. it’s a process we can all undertake, however we each have to start from exactly where we are. I’m constantly surprise by discovering something new that i then want to go into my haiku thinking. that’s always fun too of course. fun on. aloha r.

      2. ha. I’m a rambler too. haiku has helped me become more succinct. not that i don’t still ramble, however too. yeah, haiku often does not follow the same concepts of poetry that other (western) forms value. with haiku, contrasting or exploring a maximum of two images is ideal (2 sequential lines for one image, and the other single line for the other image). those two images also with very limited description words, and no judgments, or abstractions involved as well. whew. that can be a tall order. yet in so doing, the haiku expands, enabling each reader to create their own vision from their own experiences. when we add more information, it limits what others can see, or explore, from within their own experiences. th more we go after those limitations, the more expansive our haiku become. really interesting concepts. and fun to explore. fun on that. aloha r.

      3. That’s right. Honing a whole vision of a season or a landscape into three tight lines using a single emblematic image is a great literary exercise. It really helps prose writers to stick to the point, pick out the essential and leave all the peripheral stuff to the imagination.

      4. yes. exactly. in haiku we only need to work on two images, even tho they are in three lines. that’s fragment and phrase thinking in haiku. the phrase being the two strongly linked sequential lines. and the fragment being the single line. keeping that in mind helps when creating haiku. as does writing in the now-moment tense. three different images, one per line, does not work well, if ever, in haiku. three independent lines, each with their own image, in haiku, is sometimes called a shopping list (rather than haiku). that’s where compare and contrast come in, you can work compare and contrast well with two images. it falls apart with three images. haiku is like fitting a puzzle together. each haiku is a new puzzle. fun on that.

      5. yes, to me it’s a very explorative time for haiku now. and yes, it is challenging to write a good haiku. still, the only way we improve, is to start exactly where we are with our own haiku and as you say, persevere. i would suggest and encourage you read lots of haiku, of all kinds, good, bad, masters, translations and all, as well as articles on haiku. little by little by doing this, your haiku thinking and knowledge will grow. the more it does, the greater our ability to appreciate haiku will be. i think it’s more important to keep writing your haiku and growing your knowledge of haiku, than to worry about setting down the perfect haiku each time. over time our haiku change because we become more knowledgeable about the genre. so, yeah, just go for it, every day. learn a little something new about it, every day, and you’ll get it more and more. way fun on that journey. it’s one we can share with everyone. fun on. aloha r.

      6. Good advice. I only wish there were more hours in the day to work at each style of writing that pleases me. Haiku isn’t at the top of my list even though I enjoy the imagery of it. When I’ve got a few bestsellers published I’ll sit back and take haiku more seriously.

      7. yeah, i hear you on hours in the day. about 36-40 hours a day might work. i agree, focus on where your interest is. that’s where it’s fun. fun on. aloha r.

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