Haiku originated in Japan in the 1700’s.  Basho is accredited with being the “founding father of haiku,” as explained in four previous volumes of poetry. Haiku is 5-7-5, three-line verse in praise of nature or terse perceptive observations on the awesome beauty of nature.

A reader from Japan sent me a harsh email message in 2001 telling me I had “no right to use haiku for my political purposes.  Poetry is poetry and should only be written as the originator (Basho) intended.”

I responded to the Japanese writer: “Basho was surrounded by an abundance of nature, beautiful lakes, flowers, forests, birds, and running streams.  He and the other haiku writers could easily compose poetry in praise of nature.  However, in our day, all those gifts of nature are vanishing. I have opted to write haiku in defense of a declining Earth. In the next life I will seek forgiveness from Basho.”

No response was forthcoming from Japan.

Please enjoy my Haiku, posted as comments to this article. You may comment on those you wish as well.

Domo Arigato

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