I love the silent hour of nightAnne Brontë, Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters
For blissful dreams may then arise,
Revealing to my charmed sight
What may not bless my waking eyes.
Thanks so much for coming along to week 8 of Haiku for You! This is a 12-week interactive blog-series where I will inspire you to write haiku for your daily mindfulness.
If you would like to know more about my series, feel free to revisit my introductory post where I explain why I began this journey with you all. My biggest intention is that my writing prompts you to find some calm moments within the hustle and bustle of your daily lives.
Before we continue, make sure you find yourself a snug space where you can watch the evening draw in. If the day is already over, make sure you can comfortably gaze into the jewelled darkness around you.
Take a slow, deep breath in …
…and then back out.
This week, we are going to write haiku about
Thoughts about night-time
It’s natural that anxiety and other mental health issues are prone to visit us more often in the night-time than in the daytime. That’s not to say that they aren’t as determined during a sunny afternoon, but it’s in the depth of darkness, when we are supposed to be sleeping, that we are often left alone with our thoughts.
Have you ever found yourself peeking through the curtains in the early hours of the morning and wondering why everyone’s windows are in darkness other than yours? While the rest of the street is in a deep slumber, do you find yourself tossing and turning whilst reflecting upon a decade of troubles? Don’t worry, the offensive remark you accidentally made to an acquaintance back in February 2017 was most likely forgotten in February 2017.
On average, we spend one third of our lives sleeping, but even though my previous post on dreams discusses the importance of sleep, and how to help us do this (which I am definitely reinforcing), right now, I am going to talk about how to appreciate the night while we happen to be awake.
The night is different to us all
Night-time can mean either relief or excitement for many who have a love-hate relationship with sleep. This can change over a course of months or years, depending on our circumstances. Some of us work night shifts, some collapse into bed at nine pm, some stay up for midnight feasts and TV, while others gaze at the stars, waiting for a little magic to happen.
But I think we can all agree that there is often something romantic about an evening closing in; the way it leaves us wanting that little bit more time while its dark sky is pulled over us like a blanket after an exhausting day.
So, what kind of night are you having?
Is it a thundery night, where you are wrapped in a blanket with a mug of coffee? Are there hailstones thrashing against the roof, or rain, rising like flames from the pavements? Is there a summer breeze teasing through the window? Will you go for a safe evening stroll with the dog? Are you lying in bed and waiting for dawn to show itself?
What does this night-time sound like?
Can you hear an owl t-wit t-woo? Or, if you are especially quiet, the flicker of a candle’s flame while you have a bath? Maybe you can hear a partner, family member or pet snoring or breathing heavily? In the stillness of the night, can you hear a clock ticking, or pipes creaking?
When it is night-time, you don’t only have to hear your own thoughts.
Haiku about night-time: some examples of my own
An evening in - hot cocoa and sweetened sleep, for a faithful mug.
Blue skies become black, a pinhole becomes the moon; light grows from darkness.
Kiss of summer dusk - awake with early birdsong, it dawns upon me
How to write your own haiku about night-time
Exercise duration: approximately 30 minutes
1. What time of night is it?
Is it the light touch of evening, or the early hours of the morning? Make a note of this.
2. Describe the atmosphere.
Is there silence? What can you hear? Write down three sounds.
3. Now, return to your surroundings.
Is it warm or cool? What is the mood of this night? The mood of the night does not have to be the mood of you.
4. Accept it as a moment passing.
How would the moment look if someone were to paint it? Pretend you are outside your head and paint the whole picture with words.
5. Remember, you are not alone. We are all writing these haiku together.
6. It’s time to write!
Now, using your notes, write your haiku about night-time.
Just remember, it’s three lines of 5-7-5 syllables! Refer back to How to write Haiku guidelines.
So, close your eyes and take another deep breath in …
and then back out …
How did you find it?
It can be all too easy to end up dreading the arrival of nighttime because it is when we can feel isolated, lonely, sad, be reminded of everything we are missing. However, there are plenty of good things to be aware of.
For many, the night-time is actually a popular time for creativity. Many famous artists and writers call themselves night owls and have achieved their best work during the twilight hours. This doesn’t mean you have to be an artist of any kind. It just means if you think you may be able to channel that unexpected night-time energy into haiku, go for it!
As my own day is drawing to a close, I would like to thank you again for using this time and space to be mindful, and allowing your eyes adjust to the daily darkness.
As always, I appreciate the poetry some of you have left in the comments sections over the previous weeks, and I am looking forward to your night-time words. Next week, I will be here with a brand new theme, but for now, I’ll keep that under wraps…
Remember, whether you are an early bird or a night owl, embrace the flight. While we are all looking at the same moon, we are less alone.
Now, let’s haiku away!
If you are happy to, please leave your beautiful haiku about night-time in the comments section below each post.
See last week – Week 7: Haiku about Animals