Monday, May 11, 2009

American Low Budget Travel Haiku

A River of Red
Driving up I-95
Bored, I fall asleep
Cheap Roadside Motel
Stale Smoke and airfreshener
Prostitutes knocking
Waffle House coffee
Grits, steak, no pancakes, waffles!
Where is the green food?
Room near the tracks
Thin sheet and a lumpy bed
Car doors slam, locks beep
How may I help you?
Cheeseburger, fries and a coke
Drive to the window
The sunlight wakes me
My body covered in spots
Get the manager!
Lesson from the road
Pay twenty dollars extra,
Get yourself some sleep.


  1. Been there! Except, maybe the spots. I have vowed to avoid rooms on the ground floor where the cars park. Remote car locks beeping all morning really mess up trying to recover sleep lost during the night because of a lumpy bed. Making the whole experience into haikus really add to the fun of your post.

  2. p.s. your side haiku concentrated a whole day's snow into seventeen syllables!

  3. I had a great deal of fun putting this series of Haiku together.

    The side Haiku was from an earlier post. It is a more serious attempt to get at the double and triple entendre that you find in Japanese Haiku. It is about snow, but it is also about death and grief. There is the cyclical death of winter alluding to the tragic loss of a loved one. It echos the cycle of death and rebirth found in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. The white feathers represent fluffy snow, but also the wings of angels. The tears provide the deep cleansing of profound grief and the resulting purification. The wearing of white symbolizes a close family death in some Hindu and Buddhist traditions. I will put a link under it so that you can find the original post. Thank you for noticing.

  4. Wow Butternut! This is brilliant! These words flow out and it sounds so easy, but telling this story, so to the point must have taken hours to work out. There are visuals, and smells and bites and all in one short story.
    I'm a new fan of Haiku as of last week. Before this Haiku Festival, I haven't been much aware of the art form ( even thought I have a special place in my heart for things and people Japanese).

    Three cheers to you for an excellent work of art with a moral to the story even!
    You go girl.


    ps Your job sounds fascinating!!

  5. Very cool. You nailed the whole experience of car travel.

    I love the one on the side bar as well. I'll have to try one.

  6. These were such fun... and the final haiku ( stanza) made me laugh outloud.
    Yes the side bar one is magic and, indeed, many layered.
    Your son's was great!

  7. WOW!!! love it! I have created a Haiku story that flows...takes us right along on the road.

    brava!! BRAVA!!!


  8. ughhh...I meant of course YOU!!!!! created:)

  9. This was really great. Very well done.

  10. These are hysterical! I can't choose a favorite because I can (unfortunately) relate with all of them:)

  11. I love how you have combined two cultures into one glorious poem!

  12. Hi there, its Delwyn here,
    I have followed Tulsa to you place but have seen you at many mutual 'friends' prior to this.

    Your string of haiku tell a great story. I have only ever received the red spots once and it was from tatami mites in Japan!

    Happy days

  13. Wow! Brilliant, truly great. Funny and spooky. Thank you!

  14. Fiction or truth? Either way, I'm itching.
    And too, remembering just how different it is to travel in the States, versus Canada.

  15. Haiku or poetry you have the gift Butternut.

  16. Sadly it is all truth. I am in a motel about 30 weekends out of the year, in the Midwest or on the East Coast US. I've never experienced bed bugs until Ashland, Virginia. Considering some of the gritty places that I've slept, in various countries, that is pretty remarkable.

  17. These are great, great haiku. Different from other entrants.

  18. Brilliance and originality..who could ask for more? Thank you!!

  19. I love camping in my van!
    You did a great job telling why I can't stand these places! yikes.

  20. Road trips are often memorable. I recall a roadtrip my family took to Florida during my childhood. It was a three day excursion and we slept in motels each night. My parents took turns sharing 10 hours of driving per day day. They were still exhausted when we reached our destination. I recall friends whose parents drove the trip in two days, taking turns driving through night and day. That seems a bit over the top, but they savoured every stage of the experience anyway.