Haiku on ecology and the environment Return to the main Sustainable Development pages ...
Haiku on ecology and the environment
Haiku is traditional Japanese poetry that was just three lines long, having five japanese characters in the first line, seven in the second, and five again in the third line. But writing Haiku in English is not strict, and is usually limited to the 'three-line' rule.

Poetry-in-miniature, Haiku's attractiveness lies in its ability to pack so many images, ideas, thoughts, and memories in such short lines. Reading this -

"Longing to hear her voice
I called her number
to listen to her answering machine"

- is not only poignant, but also shows Haiku's contemporary appeal!

All haikus in this page were written by Hari Srinivas

Nature does with a breeze,
what takes man
a hammer and chisel.
It was autumn here in Japan. Leaves were turning yellow and brown and gold and maroon and olive. I saw this leaf on the sidewalk. Just lying there, so perfectly curled up, and it reminded me of the Ionic columns of Greece ... the countless hammer hits it must have taken to create the ionic curls. All that nature had used to curl this leaf was a gentle breeze.

Falling leaves in autumn
Apologetic trees
A bad case of dandruff
Aah, but the romance of leaves in autumn can easily be broken by jarring images and memories!! I will always remember this single tree in a large expanse of grass, branches bare and all its leaves scattered around it in a perfect circle

Silence of the forests
Elegant insects on leaves
Chewing their food slowly
In the middle of the beautiful forests in Karuizawa, Japan ... a whole new and different world is put on view

Sakura trees in winter
waiting buds giggle
to burst out green in spring
The green bud leaves are such a delight - of the coming joy of spring, of changing seasons, of a new dress, rejuvenated spirits ...

First snow of the season
Embarrassed flakes on the window
Quickly melt into water
The first snow in winter can be quite exciting, actually ... everyone rushes to the window just to see it fall, what a spectacle, what an event!!

A cold winter morning
Breath condenses in the air
Everyone pollutes
Pollution, in all its forms, is becoming as common, as automatic, as unconscious, as breathing. When will we ever emerge out of this cold winter? How can we shock ourselves into action? What will, indeed, destroy this human apathy??

Smooth river pebble
Witness to a thousand changes
As it changes itself ...
I found this tiny smooth shiny pebble on the banks of Lake Biwa in central Japan. Target of intense clean up activity and focus on fresh water reserves, the stone represented Biwa itself - the many changes it had undergone over the many centuries ...

Large oil tanks
Arranged like sake cups
What giant drinks this??
I was bicycling past an oil processing plant, and saw these huge, huge oil tanks, arranged so nicely like the sake (wine) cups on a plate ... and wondered ... what kind of 'giant' drinks from these cups?? Man's thirst for energy, even if it comes from a non-renewable source known to pollute and negatively impact the environment, is difficult to understand.

Middle of a smoggy, noisy city,
a circle of birds settle in the river
quacking in concern
Early one morning, I was looking out of my apartment, and saw a flock of birds settled down in the middle of the nearby river, in a tight, white circle. Within the circle they were agitated, with birds flying in and out. They seemed concerned about something. It seems like humans have given up on the city,. In going about their daily lives, they have left it smoggy and noisy. The birds are concerned.

 Return to  Sustainable Development
Return to Sustainable Development
Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org