Haikumages are original words, pixels, images, haiku and senryū musings, from the twisted brain, blurry eyes, cracked lens, and bleeding heart of the Haikook (Russ Murray).  See additional “definitions” below or visit the “Forms and Syllables” page of this site for more information about haiku, senryū, forms, and syllables.

Why, if haiku and senryu should stand alone as poetry (words only) has the Haikook chosen to add images?  Because I was a photographer first, and realized I was writing and posting my images (Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) starting in 2010, with captions that were essentially haiku or senryu anyway!

How did I get here? After fancying myself a wordsmith and word-player since childhood, and formally dabbling with haiku posting in 2010-2011, I launched a special, year-long, post-per-day project  for 2012, at the urging (call-to-action) of WordPress themselves – a challenge!  In a moment of weakness, Haikumages accepted the challenge, and began to post once-per-day for all of 2012…  It was not a bad idea necessarily, but I was afraid it would not be possible to write something worthwhile every, single day… Nevertheless, I committed, and jumped in–it was a beautiful, creative exercise, an emotional outlet, and a great deal of fun, connecting me to many new people around the globe along the way.  As it turned out, it was not impossible to write daily, but it was difficult, and ultimately unsustainable…

The real problem with posting daily ended up not being whether I could write enough haiku/senryū, or take enough pictures–I do both constantly (just ask my kids), every day. But with life’s distractions and demands, I often can not find the time to sit, pull the words and images together, post here, and out to all the other social sites… So, I tended to go on periodic posting binges, catching up with missed days, posting 5-10 days worth in one day…

At this point, I’ve got 300+ unpublished haiku/senyrū written/waiting, gigabytes of images/photographs, and life presents me with new subjects, observations, events and feelings to write about and capture daily… My writing keeps changing (improving?) over time, I have the desire to visit my peers, revisit and study more deeply the haiku/senryū written by the masters (ancient Japan and contemporary English), to re-infuse classic elements and rules, while also breaking them, and exploring free-form and alternative syllable structures…

I will continue to write and post when I can…especially since I can’t seem to stop myself! Thanks for traveling with me for a little while on this road!

Find other ways to socialize and get in touch with Haikumages on the Contact page.  🙂

// the Haikook (Russ Murray)

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hai·ku [noun \’hī-(,)kü\] [plural: haiku]  An unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively (senryū is similar, but more ironic/satirical, with less emphasis on nature/season).

i·mage [noun \’i-mij\] [plural: images]  A visual representation of something: as (1) a likeness of an object produced on a photographic material (2) a picture produced on an electronic display (as a television or computer screen).

hai·ku·mage: [noun \’hī-(,)kü-mij\] [plural: haikumages]  An inspiring and/or provocative combination of a haiku (or senryū) with an image, carefully selected to be greater than the sum of its parts.

hai·ku·mag·es: [plural noun \’hī-(,)kü-mij-ez\]  Haiku + Images by Russ Murray.

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Disclaimer: many of the haiku here are not in the traditional form and are missing one or more of the classic elements (seasonal note, cutting word, etc.). Some are in the traditional form, but the rest have been subjected to my daft, deft, deep, daring manipulations, with liberal amounts of artistic license, wordplay, humor and punning (often called the lowest form of humor). No offense is meant to any haiku or senryū purist who stumbles across this blog…

Invitation: please do not comment only to complain that my haiku or senryū is non-traditional, broken, depraved, misfit prose, or that I am a poseur–it may be, I am, and I already know it! However, please, please COMMENT away, if you are a lover of words, language, poetry, photography, imagery, beauty and silliness in all its forms. If you are such a person, I invite and welcome your meaningful, thoughtful commentary, and look forward to exchanging words with you…

Haikumages in a book? One day there will be one or more books of original haiku, senryū and images by Russ Murray, under the name of Haikumages, or some other equally unintelligible pseudonym. Check our Facebook “Book” page for details, and updates…

haikumages / haiku / senryu / micropoetry / images