A touching tale of father and son, conflict and reconciliation, told entirely in haiku form!

Haiku Story

 

The big day had come.
A doctor sat his son down
for a solemn talk.

He said to his boy,
“Son, what would you like to do
when you’re all grown up?”

“I will write haiku!”
replied the lad. The man smiled
as if his son joked.

“No,” he tried again,
“I meant: what will your job be?”
“A haiku writer!”

“A haiku writer!”
the doctor later roared. “He said
he would write haiku!”

“What’s wrong with the boy?
What kind of living is that?
Do haiku save lives?“

The doctor’s wife soothed.
“He’s just twelve. Not everyone
can save lives like you.”

The doctor’s mood plunged.
He watched his son, suspicious.
He drank way too much.

Sometimes, he caught him
ticking off the syllables
upon his fingers.

“Mark my words,” he said,
“This will not end well. That boy
is wrong in the head.”

But he grew up fine.
He got A’s, played high school sports,
and found a girlfriend.

(He wrote her haiku
love poems. She dreamed of him
in brief vivid scenes.)

He did his homework
in haiku. Essays, reports.
His mother hid them.

One day, the man learned
his son had won a school prize –
in biology!

He was ecstatic.
Now the world was coming right!
They went to the school.

The winning project
was a test of how the brain
discerns syllables.

He divorced his wife.
He denied her child support.
“This was all your fault!”

But mother and son
were content. They played word games
in the calm evenings,

sometimes inviting
the girlfriend over to watch
subtitled movies.

The doctor meanwhile
changed his practice, focused on
mental disorders:

obsessive verbal
compulsiveness in children
and how to cure it.

He threw out letters
sent by his son unopened.
(He knew what he’d find!)

  

The son finished school
top of his class, gave his speech
(that’s right!) in haiku,

went on to major
in Haiku Studies, was hired
straight out of college

by Hallmark, and rose
to VP in record time
in that cutthroat field.

“He says what’s needed,”
was his reported secret,
“no more and no less.”

He married his love
from high school. Naturally,
they wrote their own vows.

“You are the seven
to my five. Following you,
I surprise myself!”

“You are my first thought
and my last. You begin me,
and you complete me.”

That day, his father
remained at home, emptying
his cache of liquor.

He thought, “Well, at least
I’m rid of him now.” (Lucky
for him, he was wrong.)

Years later, the man
was taken hostage by a
sick child in his care.

“Concise syllabics
imply no incoherence!”
the boy kept yelling.

“I don’t understand!”
the doctor cried. But the boy
only cocked his gun.

The son was flown in.
By that time, he was living
in another state

and had three children:
one seven year old daughter
and twin sons, age five.

The police briefed him
on his father’s plight. They came
to where he was held.

“Concise syllabics
imply no incoherence…”
his captor yelled out.

“…but an ordered mind!”
called back the son. The boy gasped,
understood at last.

He put down his gun.
The fingers of his raised hands
ticked off syllables.

Father embraced son.
The son forgave his father.
His mother looked on.

“I thought you were nuts,
but really, it was simply
that you were not me,”

confessed the doctor.
“Dear?” his ex-wife pointed out,
“You spoke in haiku!”

They left together.
Above them, among the stars:
a bright crescent moon.


Please share this story – and Haiku Diem – with your friends. If you’re not already following my ongoing attempt to write one new haiku every day (not a missed day since July 2010!) you can subscribe by choosing the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, RSS, or email options from the Haiku Diem home page.

I’d like to thank Kerry Dennehy for creating the illustrations for this story – with his eyes closed! For examples of what he can do with his eyes open, check out his blog, his gallery, and this recent online installation.

Kerry was also one of the illustrators for “Haiku Diem: the Best of Year One”, a collection of the best haiku from my first year of daily haiku.

-

Haiku Story

11:40 am February 16, 2011

A touching tale of father and son, conflict and reconciliation, told entirely in haiku form!

Haiku Story

 

The big day had come.
A doctor sat his son down
for a solemn talk.

He said to his boy,
“Son, what would you like to do
when you’re all grown up?”

“I will write haiku!”
replied the lad. The man smiled
as if his son joked.

“No,” he tried again,
“I meant: what will your job be?”
“A haiku writer!”

“A haiku writer!”
the doctor later roared. “He said
he would write haiku!”

“What’s wrong with the boy?
What kind of living is that?
Do haiku save lives?“

The doctor’s wife soothed.
“He’s just twelve. Not everyone
can save lives like you.”

The doctor’s mood plunged.
He watched his son, suspicious.
He drank way too much.

Sometimes, he caught him
ticking off the syllables
upon his fingers.

“Mark my words,” he said,
“This will not end well. That boy
is wrong in the head.”

But he grew up fine.
He got A’s, played high school sports,
and found a girlfriend.

(He wrote her haiku
love poems. She dreamed of him
in brief vivid scenes.)

He did his homework
in haiku. Essays, reports.
His mother hid them.

One day, the man learned
his son had won a school prize –
in biology!

He was ecstatic.
Now the world was coming right!
They went to the school.

The winning project
was a test of how the brain
discerns syllables.

He divorced his wife.
He denied her child support.
“This was all your fault!”

But mother and son
were content. They played word games
in the calm evenings,

sometimes inviting
the girlfriend over to watch
subtitled movies.

The doctor meanwhile
changed his practice, focused on
mental disorders:

obsessive verbal
compulsiveness in children
and how to cure it.

He threw out letters
sent by his son unopened.
(He knew what he’d find!)

  

The son finished school
top of his class, gave his speech
(that’s right!) in haiku,

went on to major
in Haiku Studies, was hired
straight out of college

by Hallmark, and rose
to VP in record time
in that cutthroat field.

“He says what’s needed,”
was his reported secret,
“no more and no less.”

He married his love
from high school. Naturally,
they wrote their own vows.

“You are the seven
to my five. Following you,
I surprise myself!”

“You are my first thought
and my last. You begin me,
and you complete me.”

That day, his father
remained at home, emptying
his cache of liquor.

He thought, “Well, at least
I’m rid of him now.” (Lucky
for him, he was wrong.)

Years later, the man
was taken hostage by a
sick child in his care.

“Concise syllabics
imply no incoherence!”
the boy kept yelling.

“I don’t understand!”
the doctor cried. But the boy
only cocked his gun.

The son was flown in.
By that time, he was living
in another state

and had three children:
one seven year old daughter
and twin sons, age five.

The police briefed him
on his father’s plight. They came
to where he was held.

“Concise syllabics
imply no incoherence…”
his captor yelled out.

“…but an ordered mind!”
called back the son. The boy gasped,
understood at last.

He put down his gun.
The fingers of his raised hands
ticked off syllables.

Father embraced son.
The son forgave his father.
His mother looked on.

“I thought you were nuts,
but really, it was simply
that you were not me,”

confessed the doctor.
“Dear?” his ex-wife pointed out,
“You spoke in haiku!”

They left together.
Above them, among the stars:
a bright crescent moon.


Please share this story – and Haiku Diem – with your friends. If you’re not already following my ongoing attempt to write one new haiku every day (not a missed day since July 2010!) you can subscribe by choosing the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, RSS, or email options from the Haiku Diem home page.

I’d like to thank Kerry Dennehy for creating the illustrations for this story – with his eyes closed! For examples of what he can do with his eyes open, check out his blog, his gallery, and this recent online installation.

Kerry was also one of the illustrators for “Haiku Diem: the Best of Year One”, a collection of the best haiku from my first year of daily haiku.