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

    • 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. These poems are really nice. They really put me in a fall mood. Also, I really like how you did four and not just one. It shows that you really care.

  3. Early Autumn is my favorite time of year! Refreshing after a hard, hot summer of work! Love the photo of apples. Now I must make some apple turnovers! 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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

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