NEW! Check out my book of Hillbilly Haiku, entitled TJKY: The Kentucky in the Boy on More detail here.

Seasonal Pertty
Everday Nature Down Home
Hillbilly Haiku

As many a school child has been, I was captivated by the seeming simplicity of the Haiku form of poetry. Three lines, 17 syllables and no rhyming necessary. Just enough rules to recognise the form, but not enough to make it boring. Furthermore, I found Haiku to have a rhythm not far off the short, clipped cadence of the rural Kentucky people I grew up around and admired so much. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the many friends of the family spoke in a way that often seemed simple, but bore generations of wisdom and lingering insights into the workings of the world. Phrases that said far more than the sum of their words like “that dog won’t hunt”[The item or person in question is not fit for purpose], “a cat in a room full of rocking chairs”[the said person or animal is quite nervous], and “like a mule eating briars” [a forced smile that is less than genuine given the task at hand]. It was through this lens that I began to look further into the Haiku and its predecessors. The connection with nature and the seasons agreed with my rural folk. The sly surprise often found in the meaning and the willingness to sit back and let something sink in found resonance with me and my folk as well. This website and the publications you find herein are my little contribution to the people I respect in a literary form that may be geographically displaced, but kin in any other fashion.

A word on the study of Japanese poetry. As many of you will know and just a little bit of research will show, there are some questions and arguments about forms, requirements and the history of the Haiku and its related forms. I have used what seemed to me to be as close to consensus as I could find on the subjects. With this in mind, I constructed all of these poems in strict accordance with tradition, except when it didn’t suit me none.

  • Some of you may remember that I used to promote The Christian Appalachian Project on this site. I no longer promote them, because they have fallen prey to the same methods that so many non-profits do. Namely, they send a constant stream of junk mail with gimmicks like a nickel glued to the letter. I have told them repetitively that I do not like these methods and asked them to stop. They refused to stop, so I have stopped supporting them with my money and my sponsorship. I now focus on charities local to me where I can see the good they do.