Herein, The Haikook attempts explains why the heck he often writes and posts two or more (sometimes many more!) Haiku/Senyru poems on one day, and gives them silly numerical names…

WHAT’s in a Name (or Number) of a Poem?

WHAT is a Multi-Ku?  I often post more than one haiku/senyru in a single post, on the same day.  The additional poems are alternate versions, and variations on the same topic, or with the same words in different arrangements.  In my usual, daft, silly, word-smithy way, I chose to dub my multi-writings and multi-posts of thematically-related haiku and senyru poems, “Multi-Kus“, and went as far as to give each poem in a Multi-Ku series its own, ascending, numeric-name, adapted from Greek and Latin prefixes, as follows:

  • Haiku / Senyru – this is the main one, my fave, selected, chosen as the “Title of the Post” for that day, displayed in big, bold letters above the post image… (aka the Uniku or Monoku)
  • Twoku / Duoku, Diku or Biku
  • Threeku / Triku, Triaku or Trioku
  • Fourku / Tetraku or Quadriku

Then I switch to the old prefixes, because the English ones sound, well…silly:

  • Pentaku / Fiveku or Quintaku
  • Hexaku / Sixku or Sexaku 🙂
  • Septaku /Sevenku or Heptaku
  • Octoku / Eightku or Octaku…you get the idea…  🙂

Only ONCE have I posted more than eight (8 = Octoku) poems posted on a single day, in an outpouring of rage and sadness on 12/14/2012, but I simply numbered them that day, and will do the same if I ever again exceed the eight/8/Octoku level in a future Multi-Ku post…

WHY So Many Poems in One Post? 

Why do I write so many versions and post so many of them? Is it just so much haiku-clutter, verbosity, compulsion or caused by too much coffee?  Can multiple short poems on the same topic expand on, deepen,  explore or enhance the topic meaningfully?  Does my writing and posting multiple Haiku/Senyru defeat the purpose, dilute the essence, and/or bollocks the brevity of these poem forms?  Or am I simply out of control, and unable to restrict myself to just ONE?  Not sure if there is one answer–maybe there are multiple correct answers?!  How about this–I’ll tell  HOW the Haikumages writing and posting process works, so you can discern and decide WHY for yourself…?!

HOW Haiku & Senyru are Written…

Writing haiku/senryu is generally (traditionally, historically) a process of observing people, places, things and events of the world around us, and writing about them in a brief, structured, poetic form, using several elements of content, to capture the essence,  and perhaps even reveal something deeper about the subject or topic.  You can find much more detail on classic forms, syllables, and elements of haiku vs. senyru here, and more information about Haikumages’ approach and a definition of haiku here.

HOW Haikumages Was Born…

For The Haikook (me), as a lifetime lover of photography (my own and others), I am always observing and capturing the people, places, things and events of this world digitally or on film.  As I capture images through various lenses and devices, I also write and re-write captions and titles for the images in my head. My late father was a poet, wordsmith, and lover of the English language, who instilled the same in me, but it took almost 49 years for me to start writing myself (other than personal or business prose).

I was inspired, when a friend–intelligent, educated, articulate, creative and clever–started posting regular haiku Facebook status updates, after which I tried a few, then more and more.  Soon, my friend and I were responding to each others posts in verse, and finally–full of ideas, artistic excitement, and joy of creation–I decided to do more with my haiku and senyru (I had studied the forms by then).  I contemplated starting a blog, and dreamed of eventually, maybe publishing a book (or two).


At the same time, spurred on by the evolution of digital photography, and social media, I was posting many of my photographs to Facebook, a Tumblr blog, and eventually on Instagram. As a wannabe poet, and happy wordsmith, I reveled in captioning my photographs in interesting ways and words.  Then, one day, while reviewing the archive of my photographs on Tumblr, it hit me–my photo captions and titles were remarkably similar to the form and content of haiku & senyru short poems!  Without artifice or a conscious plan, I had been writing poetry, sort of…

The parallels were almost comically obvious–a haiku is a glimpse, an observation, a moment captured, just like a photograph!  And a really good photograph is not captured randomly, but of a chosen subject, a point of view, composed, crafted, and assembled like words into one or more short stories, just like a haiku or senyru poem! So…a photograph is like a haiku is like a caption is like a senyru is like a photograph is like a caption is…they’re the same, but different, and beautiful together.  Perhaps a combination of the two–a haiku and an image–could add another dimension?  I thought I’d give that a try, and Haikumages was born…  🙂

Silly Question: if a photograph is worth a thousand words (as they say), then what is the combination of a photograph with a haiku or senyru worth???

Silly Answer: either 11 or 17 syllables (unless you’re writing free form!), but a photographic image and one or more haiku or senyru combined in a Haikumage…is priceless!  🙂

HOW The Haikook Writes & Posts…

Well…a few of the haiku and senyru almost write themselves – they come flying out of my mind fully-formed, well-worded, in syllabic near-perfection (3-5-3 or 5-7-5).  But that’s only a very few of them…the rest are written in one of two modes:

  1. As a single poem, using words carefully (obsessively?) chosen, and lovingly (passionately?) arranged, crafted into a final form and cadence, which feels right enough to post (but is sometimes re-written after posting)…or…
  2. A pile of poems, written down furiously as ideas, variations, and related topics brainstorm through me, after which I re-write, edit, tweak, fiddle, and re-craft all or some of them, until they feel right enough to post, then cull out the less post-worthy poems, and select the better/best versions to post (but one or more may STILL be re-written after posting)…

Again…WHY So Many Poems & Multi-Kus?

In either mode of writing, there are usually myriad thoughts, feelings, observations and ideas going through my head, which don’t get written down–that’s my personal creative process.  Some of the many other ideas and variations are worth writing down, and some of those feel right to post together, perhaps giving a little more depth and dimension to the theme, topic or idea I’m playing with…and maybe it’s just fun for me to occasionally (or when I can’t stop myself) post more than one at a time?!

And, I suppose there’s another, lesser motivation behind my Multi-Ku posts!  From time-to-time, I’d like my readers (YOU!) to let me know which haiku/senyru they (YOU) like better or best of all!   Do you like the one I selected for the main/title of the post, or do you prefer one of the Multi-Kus in the body of the post?!  LET ME KNOW!!

However, as I’ve learned from years blogging and experience with (and consulting on) social media in general, many people who enjoy my Haikumages work (or any other cool content online), will rarely, if ever (not even my own children, best friends and other loved ones!), take the next, small step to hit the “like” button, leave a comment, or otherwise show their interest and/or appreciation!!!!  It’s not about me (hopefully) writing CRAP — even the BEST stuff out there is subject to this random reality — it’s the nature of humans online! Web, Internet and Social Media statistics prove this daily.  I just wish more good, intelligent people spoke, responded and acted according to their good, positive thoughts and feelings, to offset all the negative, wackadoodle spew from all the “Trolls” out there!

So, don’t worry, I don’t really expect any readers (YOU!) to pick a favorite haiku/senyru I’ve written on any particular day, but it would be really cool if you did! And if that’s too much effort, please just LIKE, Follow, Subscribe to this blog and related social pages and profiles for Haikumages, using the links listed on the Contact page…

Hey – if you actually read this far down the page, you must have too much time on your hands, are certifiably insane, or maybe you actually like my writing!  In any case, thanks for stopping by and reading!  I’ll be posting more of the same, hopefully improving and evolving, for you in the year ahead…

…and if you actually read this entire page – thank you!!!!  🙂

// The Haikook

haikumages / haiku / senryu / micropoetry / images