Michael Rehling

NaHaiWriMo daily writing prompter for March 2016

1. How did you get started with haiku?

I got started writing haiku in 1964 when I bought a collection of Japanese haiku for $1 when buying books at the bookstore of Michigan State University. Alan Watts spoke at the University the next year, and mentioned haiku in passing, and I got pretty deep into the form, although I still wrote other forms as well. After fumbling around for a few decades, I got seriously and exclusively into haiku in the 1990s, and I have been literally hooked on the form ever since. I also spend a good deal of time writing haibun and creating haiga.

2. Tell us more about yourself.

I majored in theatre in college, but with a baby on the way I went into banking and finance, and worked in providing web-based financing, primarily to computer manufacturers offering their end users payment alternatives, and I did that for the next forty years. I have traveled the world, but am now almost locked in cement in the North Woods of Michigan, where I live in a small home in the woods of Presque Isle. Just a quiet vegan haiku poet, living in the forest with my wife and two cats. Simple and sustainable in our lifestyle, we are very happy. I edit a senryu journal called Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu.

3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?

I write haiku every single day. Please note, I did not say that I write good haiku every day, but it is a discipline with me to put words into haiku every day. NaHaiWriMo is valuable for anyone who wants to try his or her hand at the form, and who enjoys reading the haiku of others. The minor events of my life keep me busy, but I have been known to open any book, on any subject, and riff on a word or phrase from it in haiku form. Writing every day, and playing off the words of others, is a natural tool for any poet, not to mention that it’s really great fun. A prompt takes you out of yourself, and into the mechanics of the form.

4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?

The only advice I could give anyone regarding haiku is simply to read good haiku. That is why I spend time on Facebook and Twitter. I am primarily an Internet poet, and it keeps me in touch with all the flavors of haiku that are out there right now. Not to mention that Internet poetry is free, and most of the best poets are more active in the cloud than in print.

5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.

You can Google my name for links to many of my poems that are on the Internet, but here are a few that I like personally:

in the quiet

of my own mind

the poems of others

clock shop

noon proclaimed

over and over

pretending not to be there the whitetail and i