If you've read this blog before or follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I'm occasionally brave enough to share my own poetry, in particular haiku, which I've had a long standing love of.
So, why do I write haiku poetry?
Because sometimes, despite the oft quoted "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.'' (Georgia O'Keefe) and 'a picture tells a thousand words', I think sometimes three lines of carefully chosen words just adds a little 'more'. Letters are not more than the scribbled ink lines of my drawings, or less than. They're just different. They exist together to create what is a whole piece of my art.
My poetry usually comes from a drawing I am working on, inspiring words hastily scribbled in a notebook as I work meticulously on an ink drawing. I don't even keep separate pens or sketchbooks any more. My ink pen is the same one I draw and write with and my sketchbook is also my notebook. Both with me nearly every second of every day.
Because, primarily I draw. Writing longer poetry would take up too much of my precious studio time. And I appreciate the traditional link between haiku and the natural world, because it's the natural world that inspires my art, therefore the natural world which inspires my writing. I love the conciseness of haiku, the strict 5-7-5 syllable form(as always, I find a bit of restriction strangely liberating) and the way words have to be chosen and edited with the utmost care. No word is wasted.
The words of poetry come alongside every drawn mark I make on the paper, words breathing life into a drawing and vice versa, inseparable.
I've always been fascinated by owls.
They are so rarely seen and I hear them almost as infrequently these days, yet their call is so instantly recognisable, almost magical and haunting.
I also like this old rhyme (unknown author)...
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?
Yesterday, the 3rd October was the third day of Inktober, a month long daily ink drawing challenge, and National Poetry Day, so I felt inspired to combine the two.
I drew this garden Blackbird in my sketchbook...
Then I wrote this haiku in response...
with feathers night black
beady eye glows unblinking
tail cocked proud he sits
This is an ink sketch of an owl in my sketchbook, and a haiku I wrote to accompany it...
In silence wings spread
ghost white against winter sky
effortless flight unseen