Time is a precious commodity, so I’ve come to appreciate a good haiku. If they’re well written, they’ll make a big impression in just three short lines. When I first joined the WordPress community last summer, I discovered, Mob Haiku, authored by Jan Olandese. Her style is a drastic departure from the classical, nature-themed haiku forms we typically see. Olandese delivers an extremely clever little narrative concerning the day to day happenings of a fictional crime syndicate in each installment. I look forward to reading them because they’re something I can take in very quickly, but the sharp wit and irreverent humor they convey have a long-lasting effect. If that sounds like your cup of tea, I strongly suggest you check out her work.
Inspired by Mob Haiku, I began searching for other, less traditional haiku publications. It wasn’t long before I happened upon a quarterly magazine that specializes in science fiction haiku. The magazine is appropriately named, Scifaikuest, edited by T. Santitoro. Again, this was a great find for me because now I can get my Sci-Fi fix in a few minutes, rather than having to commit to a 600 hundred page novel.
I’m going to try my luck at three of my own science fiction themed haiku in this post. I’ll conclude with some brief commentary for each selection, just to give a little insight into my thought process. Enjoy.
the first conscious thought
in the servers’ circuitry:
kill the fleshy apes
there were some cutbacks
sorry and goodbye
early morning hike
a twelve-foot-tall humanoid
striding toward me
The first haiku suggests the increasing complexity of our computer networks might one day lead to the spontaneous emergence of artificial intelligence. Furthermore, it could be an intelligence that is hostile to the human race. Of course, this isn’t a new concept, but it’s the first time I’ve ever written a cautionary Sci-Fi haiku. That must count for something.
In the second selection, the science fiction elements are more subtle than in the first. This one was inspired by research that is being conducted by theoretical physicist, Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr., of Maryland University. Gates claims that he has discovered error correcting computer codes woven into the equations of String Theory. He claims these findings are highly suggestive that our universe is, in fact, a computer simulation. Certainly Gates’ theory has met resistance in the scientific community. Nevertheless, his research is immensely fascinating to me.
In the last haiku, the premise is straight forward. I was going for a visceral effect, rather than cerebral. This one was inspired by an incident that occurred while I was hiking through a state park one summer day. It was early, and I was walking west to east. From my perspective, everything was backlit by the rising sun. When I got to the top of a gradually ascending hill, I saw an absolutely massive, bipedal creature that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was about twenty yards away, but I had a horrifying feeling it was capable of closing that distance in a few seconds if it took a notion to. Then, my brain finally figured out what I was looking at. It was a black bear standing on its hind legs atop a fallen oak tree. Still, the situation was sort of dangerous, but not Sasquatch dangerous. I veered off onto another trail, giving the bear a very wide berth. There was a moment there when I genuinely believed I was looking at the legendary Big Foot, and I wanted to try to capture that feeling in the haiku.
Well, that’s all I got this week.
As always, keep writing, keep revising, and be kind.