Four Autumn Haiku

Today is the first day of autumn, and for my writing practice in the next few weeks I’ll begin a series of autumn or fall poems. This is my favorite season, my soul season. I’ve done a few different types of haiku ranging from traditional 17 syllables to a poem in a single line. Do you have a favorite?


biting into a Victoria plum, such guilty pleasure



spent blossoms–
the last swallowtail
sips alone

best swallowtail pic


soup 1

the season’s first soup
almost ritually cooked
stirs our senses


sweet windfall apples…
bruised memories
autumn of long ago

fallen apples

Modern English language haiku are not always seventeen syllables. A haiku can be many things, but always it is a brief poem with a strong image that evokes a season and a moment of time captured simply in lyrical language. Scroll to the bottom of today’s blog to find a list of essential qualities of haiku.

The following list from the wonderful journal, Heron’s Nest, lists important qualities that make a haiku.

 Here are some qualities we find essential to haiku:

  • Present moment magnified (immediacy of emotion)
  • Interpenetrating the source of inspiration (no space between observer and observed)
  • Simple, uncomplicated images
  • Common language
  • Finding the extraordinary in “ordinary” things
  • Implication through objective presentation, not explanation: appeal to intuition, not intellect
  • Human presence is fine if presented as an archetypical, harmonious part of nature (human nature should blend in with the rest of nature rather than dominate the forefront)
  • Humor is fine, if in keeping with “karumi” (lightness) – nothing overly clever, cynical, comic, or raucous
  • Musical sensitivity to language (effective use of rhythm and lyricism)
  • Feeling of a particular place within the cycle of seasons

33 thoughts on “Four Autumn Haiku

  1. These haiku are gorgeous, really breath-taking. I started writing haiku to help with my rambling problem, I thought they’d help me center in on the essence of what I wanted to express and they have helped. I love the list, it is perfect! I would have started haiku sooner if I’d come across this list. Fall is my favorite season as well XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carina, No, none of these four pictures were by me, I’m afraid. Just the haiku. A number of other pictures on my blog are by me. My main inspiration? What a good question. For the haiku, it was thinking about my feelings about autumn and also about how the season has a certain sadness as the year draws to a close. I’m glad you liked my poems.


  2. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for these lovely jewels. I immediately responded to 2 and 4, then I realized that is because my fall represents the passing of things rather than the beginning. So I reread and related to 1and 3 and immediately saw why you grouped them as you did-it is the very bittersweet nature if autumn that makes it so complex. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. haiku and fall has always been favorites for me.
    i’ll share one of the few poems i wrote oh so long ago:

    distant silver birds
    glistening like daytime stars
    in the autumn sky.:)

    jo anna

    Liked by 1 person

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