So I found out from Angela at the wonderful Bookshelf Muse blog that my entry for her zombie haiku contest was a runner-up.
I'm pleased because it's the first haiku I ever wrote, although I've read several. I've liked haiku ever since I read the poetry in Rumer Godden's Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, and my favorites are from Matsuo Basho and Kobayashi Issa.
That gorgeous kite
from the beggar's shack.
Passage through August, Kobayashi Issa
What I enjoy most about haiku is that they're so compressed. Taut. Stark and streamlined. There's no space for rambling or for too many thoughts. A haiku conveys an image and a tone, and does so in a restrained framework of syllables.
So I decided to use the horror factor of zombie-ism, but to make that subtle, maybe even poignant. I've always liked the ending of Stephen King's Pet Sematary.
A hand fell on his shoulder. Rachel's voice was grating, full of dirt.
"Darling," it said.
Other than the number of syllables, that's pretty haiku-like too, now that I come to think about it. With that in mind, I wrote this entry.
Digs a shallow grave,
All that's buried must arise.
In cold hands, house keys.
The winner was a hilarious entry by Mary Witzl, but all the haikus were fun to read. And, I hope, to write.