The Art of Haiku

Selections from Ukku Spring Haiku 2006
ukku is launched --
the Mohawk* finally
freezes over

* The Mohawk River,
Schenectady, NY, USA
Valentine's Day —
the new sign says
"Thin Ice"

all this talk of
shoots and buds —
back indoors, my glasses fog
brushing off the snow —
warm enough today
for a park bench moment
coldest day this winter —
the early buds
ukk, ukka. ukko, ukku

With wind chills around 0 F. all day, this was not an outdoorsy (much less Springy) Saturday, here in Schenectady, New York, USA. I found myself online, at One Look Dictionary, checking to see if "ukku" might actually be a word. While it has not yet made One Look or its hundreds of searched reference works, there are a number of "ukk" listings that I found to be interesting and/or ironic:
  • UKK this acronym is the Finnish analog of FAQ: Usein Kysytyt Kysymykset is Finnish for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • UKKA is the acronym for the United Kenpo Karate Association (USA)
  • Ukko is the most significant god in Finnish mythology, and is the god of sky, weather, crops (harvest) and other natural things.
  • The Finnish word ukkonen means thunderstorm and is derived from his name ukko which in contemporary Finnish means "old man."

you're only as cold
as you feel
winter break ends —
we shrug into parkas
the great lord
forced off his horse...
cherry blossoms

Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

Today is Presidents' Day here in the USA, and we especially honor George Washington (apocryphally known for chopping down a cherry tree and admitting it) and Abraham Lincoln, known for his honesty, courage and humor. Rather than posting a poem of my own today, I thought Issa's set the right tone.
c'mon, equinox —
anxious to plant

Nisqually Delta Review
(Winter-Spring, 2006)
it's time
for dandelion clocks
mid-March thaw —
et tu,
(snow) buddha?


full March moon —
is that
a friendly face?

some ides of march trivia
drawing the
designated driver straw —
st. patrick's day
spring arrives —
new snow bleaches
old snowbanks

[it was a very different spring equinox one year ago in Schenectady; no snowbanks this year]
almost april —
baked apple season
the smile that humbles
the cherry blossoms —
too far to see

p.s. Today, the cherry blossoms have reached their peak in Washington, DC. — f/k/a celebrates.
he stores away
the snow-blower:
she's knocking on wood
trudging back inside
to fetch a snow brush —
april showers!
on my bald spot —
recalling dry-scalp Aprils
Good Friday
for the apostate—
scarecrows on crosses
to dogwood blossoms —
the boys like pink today
easter monday —
a day-late basket filled
with half-priced candy
farewell picnic —
wind blows the blossoms
off the dogwoods
p.s. Thanks Alison, Matt & Eric for bringing us all together into this effervescent haijin community. Thanks, too, to everyone who submitted poems and images and comments, to make the experience so rich for us all. To celebrate my ukku Spring haiku experience, I have put together a sequence that you can download:

welcoming Spring: ukku haiku (2006)

It has my complete ukku spring output and is set up to be a printable, two-sided, three-fold sequence brochure.
David A Giacalone
David A Giacalone aka dagosan was born in 1949. He is a retired lawyer-mediator, haiku advocate and ever-aspiring haijin. He is editor of the f/k/a weblog. His haiku diary is at

| Angelee Deodhar | Gerald England | Laryalee Fraser | Denis M Garrison | David A Giacalone | Eric Houck Jr (1) | Eric Houck Jr (2) | Eric Houck Jr (3) | J Andrew Lockhart (1) | J Andrew Lockhart (2) |Paul David Mena | Alan Summers (1) | Alan Summers (2) | Alison Williams |

The other contributors were Aurora, John Barlow, Jason Sandford Brown, Norman Darlington, Dustin aka Texas Haijin, Eric Dutton, Little Onion, Matt Morden, RedGreenBen, Sangeet, Timothy and Yansidara.

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This page last updated: 19th June 2010.