About this Site

about  haiku
about hockey
Haiku is a poetry form of Japanese origin.

Western haiku has traditionally contained 17 syllables arranged in three unrhymed lines.   But many experts argue that the original Japanese convention does not precisely translate to ``syllables,'' and that shorter Western poems better capture the spirit of haiku. Rather than take sides, I have included examples of the popular 5-7-5 form as well as a shorter 4-5-3 form that seems to suit.   A few are in free verse.

Strictly speaking,  many of the poems contained here are not haiku (which is supposed to create an intense sensation relating to nature),  but rather more like senryu (which isn't, necessarily).  

Why haiku and hockey?  Well, it seems an obvious match to me. Certainly those familiar with hockey will recognize its many zen-like qualities, for example:

  • Intense focus on the moment. Hockey is too fast to accommodate elaborate plays, or even much planning. Players must respond instinctively yet with focus to the chaos around them.
  • Illogicality.  Like life, hockey is not fair.  Like zen, it lives in a realm beyond reason.
  • Altered states of consciousness.  Goaltenders, for example,  are known to regularly enter zen -- they call it ``being in the zone.''  

The real question is: why not more hockey haiku?

Hockey is a sports form of Canadian origin.

It is traditionally played by teams comprising six skaters (including the goaltender), on an ice surface divided into three zones, in three 20 minute periods.

I believe most of these haiku can be appreciated by people who don't know anything about the sport, but the glossary of hockey terms below might help you enjoy them more:
  • Butterfly:  Many goaltenders use the modern butterfly style, which involves wide-spread feet and an ability to drop to the knees instantly. 
  • Deke:  To feint a move in one direction and then move in the other. 
  • Enforcer:   The guy on the team who is supposed to do the fighting, usually either to protect the star player or to stir up the crowd.  
  • Line: A group of three forwards (right wing, center,  left wing).  The players on a line are usually rotated on and off the ice together. 
  • Octopus: Detroit Red Wing fans have a tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice during playoffs, to encourage their team to win eight more games (in two  best-of-seven series).
  • Québecois: An unusually high number of NHL  goaltenders are from Quebec.  
  • Shinny: An informal pickup game usually played outdoors.


Ain't the web a wonderful thing? I have tried to obtain permissions where it seemed necessary, but some of the photos I included did not seem to be attached to any email addresses.  Do please let me know if you wish to be acknowledged with a link, or if you would like your photo removed.   You can send me email at the address on the home page for my real life.

The people listed below contributed some haiku, which is marked on the relevant pages with their initials