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1000 Islands Haiku


A Short Haiku Primer:

Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry popularized by Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694), traditionally characterized by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is almost always represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 syllables in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 respectively.
  •  A seasonal reference, now widely ignored

In traditional and Japanese form, haiku are printed in a single vertical line. In English haiku often appear in three lines, the first line of 5 syllables, the second of 7 and the final line of 5.

In current English haiku, the images juxtaposed must be directly observed everyday objects or occurrences. This is the style which I employ in all my haiku.

There are many haiku clubs around the world which express the love and experiences of their own locale.


During my recent June visit to Thousand Islands I found it impossible to resist writing a few haiku. Some are shared below.


The machines asleep

Birds singing, whole world list’ning

Not even one leaf moves

- - -



Natures’ Spring greeting

Are you still there? Did you sleep well?

Do you still love me?

- - -



Flock of geese lift off

Over Sagastaweka

Honking trail of sound

- - -



Learn to read nature

Twisted limbs, leaves, moss, rocks, stars

Each one shares its tale

- - -



Not wanting to move

Not wanting to talk or think

Drinking nature’s wine

- - -




Evening island meal

Summer visits us again

Along with old friends

- - -


Ah, the flowered patch

Arisen from the cold earth

Smiles in the sunset

By Ronald Hammond, Nyack, NY

Ronald Hammond was born in northeastern Ohio in a farming community.  He came to New York to Nyack College where he received a BA in Social Science and Biblical studies. Always a lover, of nature he spent much of his early years in the woods and streams, hiking and camping, participating in Scouting and achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. His professional life was spent in various management positions in electronics and ERP software consulting. Now partially retired he consults with small companies improving their integrated management systems.   Ron’s hobbies include sailing, gardening, singing in an Episcopal Church choir, and writing haiku.

Posted in: Poetry
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Comment by: Laura ( )
Left at: 5:32 AM Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Thank you, Ron. Your poetry lifted me this morning. After an extremely hectic three weeks, I was almost dreading the scheduled trip to the islands next week; all the packing and planning began to seem like work in my mind... til I opened this and remembered why I'm going...

River take me back.
All the worries washed away,
with one silent breath.

Ron Hammond
Comment by: Ron Hammond ( )
Left at: 8:05 AM Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Thank you for sharing. I love your poem too. We live near the Hudson and know the feeling of entering a different world when on or even near the river. Peace to you and yours,
Geraldine Leighton
Comment by: Geraldine Leighton ( )
Left at: 1:39 PM Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Ron Hammond is a beautifull human being and a wonderfull haiku poet. Ron and Gaby are always in my heart.
Carol Demont
Comment by: Carol Demont ( )
Left at: 9:57 AM Sunday, July 20, 2014
Ron, thank you for sharing these wonderful poems. You and Gaby bring light and joy to all of us, wherever you may be... dear friends and true family! Carol

Sunday morning dawns
Thousand Islands beauty shines
In poetry’s soul
Johan bourne
Comment by: Johan bourne ( )
Left at: 12:21 PM Wednesday, July 23, 2014
this is One of my favourite styles. One can paint a big picture on a small canvas. Here are two more.

Dust Devils dancing
Across the thirsting prairie
Before summer rains.

The Cicadas sing
During the heat of the day
tuning their back legs
Lynn McElfresh
Comment by: Lynn McElfresh ( )
Left at: 8:11 AM Monday, August 4, 2014
Thanks for sharing. You've captured some beautiful island moments in your haikus. Loved haiku when I was a teenager and have revived my interest this summer. The islands provide lots of inspiration. Taking time to pause and focus on my surroundings is very soothing.

River ebbs against
Stoic granite in a loving
Fluid caresses

haunting tremolos
echo over still water,
soon swallowed by hush

Mackerel skies are
A textured canvas for sun’s
Day-end masterpiece

fog envelops isles
in a soft, misty embrace
hushing and soothing