Freestyle Haiku

For more than a decade, I’ve been writing and publishing free-form spiritual poetry at Sometimes I write a bunch a month–sometimes I don’t write for a bunch of months. Currently, there are more than 1200 poems posted.

The following passage is from the project website’s ‘About’ page:

My short poems may not seem like haiku, because they do not follow the traditional form that many readers might expect. My haiku are written in a free-verse style, that I call Freestyle Haiku. I discovered the possibility of this more freeing style of haiku from the writings of the Zen priest, Santōka Teneda (1882-1940). He wandered and traveled during the later years of his life while writing haiku.

I enjoy writing Freestyle Haiku, because I can express abstract and powerful feelings in only a few words–free from a mandated structure. These poems are the most direct crystallization of my feelings and experiences, and the brevity of haiku draws attention to the exact words I choose.

A meaning-rich haiku can be challenging to read; treating one like prose will leave it flat. The goal of a haiku is often to conjure up something beyond the words and their individual meanings. The reader must add themselves to the poem, to experience the words in the way they’re presented, to try and feel the poem. A good haiku will leave the reader with an experience.

-Monk Mattō


Below are some recent posts from the project’s site, but note that they lack proper formatting on this page. Still, it’s better than nothing, and if you like the idea of what I’m doing, check out the site.

  • 1240
    by Monk Mattō on February 28, 2020 at 10:47 am

    A fear is an icy gripOne that chills to the bone.Breaking free is hardAll warmth seems fleeting. The post 1240 appeared first on Freestyle Haiku.

  • 1239
    by Monk Mattō on February 16, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Lines overlapping Rope hamper by the door Both dark and light Changing by the moment Home, and life, and Emptiness, and beauty. The post 1239 appeared first on Freestyle Haiku.

  • 1238
    by Monk Mattō on January 16, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    No matter the number of emails, calls, or texts The sun still rises on all of us pests, And while our lives are filled with tests, The great cycle of the world, never rests. The post 1238 appeared first on Freestyle Haiku.

  • 1237
    by Monk Mattō on January 2, 2020 at 4:21 am

    Hear the click and whine– Check the clock and resign Another lap, all is fine But still, theres no sign. He misses his bigger sister He longs for his second mother And for the tenth time, I wonder Why don’t you chill, mister? The post 1237 appeared first on Freestyle Haiku.

  • 1236
    by Monk Mattō on December 31, 2019 at 9:00 am

    A sea at first glance on a chilly morn But more a forest of craggy mountains Red, brown and gold in the sunrise Interrupted by a passing shadow. The post 1236 appeared first on Freestyle Haiku.