A Haiku Love Poem a Day

A February Poetry Challenge

Holly Lyn Walrath
Feb 1 · 3 min read

Last year in February I wrote 28 tiny love poems on post-its. Valentine’s Day is coming once again and I’ve once again decided to write a poem a day in February to celebrate. Last year I was surprised by how many people enjoyed my tiny poems. I guess there is something simple and sweet about the concept of love — and that translates well to short poems.

This year I decided to give my poems a twist and use the haiku form. However, you may have noticed that my first poem in the series isn’t a strict haiku. Standard haiku form follows the following syllable count: 5/7/5. Haiku typically contain a kigo, or seasonal reference, and a kireji, or verbal caesura (cutting word). You may notice that I will sometimes invert the form to 7/5/7. I may also explore similar forms of tanka, senryu, chōka, haikai, renku, and hokku. I love playing with traditional forms and tweaking them. Haiku has come so far from where it began that while I love the classical form, I also acknowledge that it’s a framework, a jumping-off point for inspiration.

Haiku hails from Japan and gained popularity in the 1600s with the poet Bashō. My personal favorite poems of the form are jisei or Japanese death poems, written by poets before they died or at the end of their lives. But haiku also are commonly about love, like this one by Takahama Kyoshi (1874–1959):

Nizi tachite
Tachimachi kimi no
Aru gotoshi

The rainbow stands
As if you are here
In a moment.

Day 1:

I love you like mountain snow
so fresh, so fallen
but the path waits for breaking

Day 2:

Thank goodness for you
The subtle way you smile in
February sun

Day 3:

I spoke you into life
My words unbraiding your bones
Don’t you need me now?

Day 4:

Together in clime
We two stones stood for decades
slanting ever near

Day 5:

Why don’t you see me?
Invisible like starlight
I ping between skies

*

Invisible like starlight
It takes forever
To get your attention, dear

*

It takes forever
For you to touch me
Like I wish you would

*

For you to touch me
I have to traverse planets
Why don’t you see me?

Day 6:

Stay tuned for more poems as February continues!

Thanks for reading along with my February tiny-poem-a-day challenge. The hardest part about writing such a small poem is realizing that the story is in the details. Love isn’t these big grand gestures. It’s not always pretty or perfect. It’s the tiny things that get you through the day.


Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor based out of Houston, Texas. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She provides editing services for writers and organizations of all genres, experiences, and backgrounds, but enjoys working with new writers best. Find her on Twitter or visit her website.

Write Wild

On Writing, Books, Reading, and All Things Literary

Holly Lyn Walrath

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I'm a writer, editor, and poet. Find me online at www.hlwalrath.com.

Write Wild

On Writing, Books, Reading, and All Things Literary

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