Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hike with Me; I'll Haiku with You

My haiku poets and hiking partners, Bridger and Chuck

During spring break, my husband introduced my youngest and me to the Grand Canyon.

"Grand Canyon, Denise and Bridger. Denise and Bridger, Grand Canyon."

"How do you do?" Yes, it went much like that, but before we got there, Chuck suggested we play our Haiku game with Bridger. Now, it's not exactly a game, per se, as much as it is a poetry challenge when we are in the car. 

The Haiku game began last October, when Chuck and I first met, and were passing the time during our vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. We are both word nerds, and love to play with words. 

At the end of our first week together, Chuck asked me to marry him, using the haiku's elements of three lines; five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. (I wrote about that in I Fell in Love with His Words.)

Generally, we assign a topic, and each person works on their three lines, and then we share. There is a lot of whispering and tapping of fingers as we count our syllables while we figure out our submissions. The driver is at a definite disadvantage, so I usually have him dictate his poem to me, and I type it into my phone. There are no prizes or winners, just mutual admiration and "oohs" and "ahs" from the other participants. 

We left our home in south-central Utah early, and Chuck and I stopped in Piute County to snap some pictures of the frosty art created by the irrigation wheel lines in a pasture. The sight had inspired us, and we worked on some haiku while Bridger slept.
Photo courtesy of Chuck Bennorth (Thank you, Sweetheart.)

Cold desert morning,
diamonds made of frozen spray;
jewels in the sun. 

Sparkling in the sun,
icy barbed wire in the field;
farmland's dazzling gems.

When he woke up, we shared our haikus with him, and asked if he'd be game to try some with us. Lucky for us, Bridger is into words, too, so he was a natural at the haiku format.

Our first group assignment was to write about the small fissures in the northern desert of Arizona as we approached Grand Canyon National Park. They were like miniature versions of the Grand, harbingers of the greatness to come. Here are some of our attempts at haiku.

Flat, barren landscape
devoid to the unkeen eye.
Treasures lie in wait.

Crevices open;
its destination unknown.
Pathways in the hills.

Winds and rains erode
revealing small, raw canyons,
like the Grand began.

Photo Courtesy of Random Tourist Using Denise's Camera

Of course, we had to take a stab at writing haiku odes to the Granddaddy of the Canyons...

Cloudless skies above.
Warm winds uproot tumbleweeds.
The Grand lies beyond.

Photo Courtesy of Chuck Bennorth

Scars; deep, jagged, rough.
A reminder of the past.
'Tis the Grand Canyon.

Awesome chasm hidden,
appearing at your feet.
Quiet, breath-taking splendor.

Photo Courtesy of Chuck Bennorth

Our road trip was full of pleasant conversation, endless snacking, and easy laughter. Bridger and Chuck kept us laughing with their witty banter. This last haiku offered by Bridger sums up the feeling of fun that surrounded us during our spring break at the Grand Canyon:

Haikus are 5-7-5
most of the time.
This one is not.

I love road tripping with you guys!


  1. Replies
    1. I especially love that one, Janet! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. BRIDGER, love his Haiku, a kind of Haiku unbounded. Gorgeous pictures. What a fun trip with all that poetry and laughter. Mmmmm.

    1. Hello, Tonia! I've just been reading Roslynn's poems from your ranch. Made me kind of homesick. Or would that be vacation-sick? That long weekend was just what I needed during that time. I miss you!

  3. Yep, LOVE the last one, Bridger! LOLOL!


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