Billy Ketch Allen

A Mostly Volleyball Blog

Haiku Battle

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A friend and I are in the midsts of a Haiku Battle. We exchange poems like a hail of bullets in 5-7-5 barrages. Moves and countermoves, each building on the last. He mentions a park and then I’m writing about a carriage-horse and then we’re at an old abandoned carousel where the horses sit lifelessly…and then we’re writing about death.

I check the shared google document regularly to see if it’s my turn. At this stage, about a week in, we are at 32 combined haikus and looking back to the beginning we’ve both already improved. It’s fun writing such a condensed format with inherent constraints. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep it up–probably not long, but I like to imagine us in our 70s, finding a new Haiku submitted and sitting down in our sky-suites to compose our retaliation.

Here are some of my own favorites so far:

Life is a haiku

Days counted like syllables

then, over too soon.

____

Remember the night

we climbed to your roof then fell

into a slow dance.

____

The tossed cigarette

explodes on the dark freeway

bright as dynamite.

____

Hey, amphibians!

Make up your minds already

Walk or swim, not hard.

____

Defunct carousel

Cracked horses wait in silence

for riders to come.

____

Death is patient, Death

is unkind. Proudly Death boasts

a perfect record.

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