I’m ashamed to admit I totally missed International Haiku Day, typically celebrated on April 17th. I’m guessing they chose that particular day because April is Poetry Month and haikus have 17 syllables. For those of you who may not know, a haiku is a short, unrhymed poem that adheres to a specific three-line, seventeen-syllable format. Traditionally, haiku are about nature. Senryu is haiku’s cousin, structurally similar to haiku but senryu is concerned with human nature and its foibles. Since the average person doesn’t know much about Japanese poetry forms other than the haiku that they were (maybe) taught in school, the terms senryu and haiku often get used interchangeably, but purists will know the difference—and might even call you on it.


Since I missed International Haiku Day and today’s PAD prompt was to write an “emotion” poem, I thought it might be fun to combine the two. So I give you half a dozen haiku meant to express an emotion. I hope you enjoy them.

An octopus hides
predator sees coral shell
undersea laughter
Coiled snake in the grass
nothing moves in the desert
as the rattle shakes
Spring flower petals
waving in the sunshine
invite bees to drink
Ten little ducklings
scatter from their mother's rule
Quack! Quack! Get in line!
Monk seals sleep on sand
sunbathing without a care
People think he's dead
Asian Bleeding Heart
trembling in the downpour
smiling in the sun

~Elise Skidmore ©2024

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