Having Trouble Writing This Haiku

A poet friend of mine asked me for a disability haiku in response to his. I won’t give too much away as this is just the start, who knows where it will go. But I find myself not too pleased with my attempts–maybe because the subject is somewhat new as a focus.
Here is how I started:

the cane’s tap
accompanies me
like a cricket

Then of course I thought the cane was more like a dog, but that sounded pretty silly. But the problem here is that the tap tap really isn’t the chirp chirp of the cricket. Also, “like” isn’t really used much in haiku.


Tried some intermediate versions where the cane was going tap tap tap more vigorously, finally settled on

tap of my cane
accompanies me–
autumn crickets

which I rather like because now the cane just co-exists with the crickets. A weakness though, that tap tap is a wooden cane on the hard floor of Santa Fe Community College and the crickets were later and outside–they don’t co-exist perfectly.

Any advice?

PS. Note to self–start using cane with rubber tip at work–the other is too noisy!

9 thoughts on “Having Trouble Writing This Haiku

  1. It is interesting to see the progression as one writes a poem. I agree–the second haiku is an improvement on the first. I like the two images next to each other. As you said, they co-exist nicely.

  2. Staying with the one you offered, how about ‘click’ rather than ‘tap’ – then you also have internal rhyme with ‘cricket’ which sets up an expectation as well as the hard ‘c’ of click and cane:

    click of my cane
    accompanies me –
    autumn crickets

    Just curiously: why did you choose 4-5-4 rather than the traditional 5-7-5??

    Thanks for sharing. This is fun 🙂

  3. Thank you Sarah–like the sound!
    I don’t work 5/7/5 as a rule, but lines that are 5 or shorter etc. I got this from my haiku mentor Elizabeth S. Lamb. Sometimes I do follow the syllabic count, but I’m actually more focused on the hinge or turn in the haiku. Poets seem to vary on their approach these days–thanks for asking.

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