Traditionalists in the haiku world prefer nature. The wonders of the natural world is their playground. And why not, nature is endless and powerful. Abandon a building, automobile, or TV outside and eventually it will be swallowed up by nature. Mother Nature is one bad mutha. She is also beautiful and full of countless wonder. It’s no surprise that Basho and his buddies would be nature freaks. They were more intimately immersed in it and a part of it. Nature was a part of their daily life. And sure for many of us living in contemporary times, nature plays a significant role. It’s right outside the door. Beautiful vistas, wildlife, trees, flowers….you name it, even pesky bugs with their compound eyes and spastic antenna feelers buzzing around maliciously intent on maximum irritation, are there to be observed.
Yet for me, the urban environment is where I live, work, and play. My natural environment is populated with animals. They are everywhere and their behavior, habits, and appearance is fascinating. The human animal dominates. They walk, strut, stumble, dance, and drive mechanical things. Humans are fascinating and at the root of what I write about mostly. Haiku has evolved from its roots in 17th century Japan, where Matsuo Basho’s poems were influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him—the natural world. Today, my natural environment is the city. That’s the world I live in and write about.