The Haiku Mindset


The Haiku Mindset for Nature Journaling

Haiku poems are very suitable elements in a nature journal. They capture a moment in nature like a snapshot as I described more detailed in my blogpost Nature Journaling and Haiku.

Today I’d like to explain to you how some attitudes behind haiku writing are also a great tool to develop your nature journaling practice as a whole!


3 Ways to use Haiku as a Mindset

#1 Haiku and Perspective

As a photo artist I’m used to look at the world through different lenses, which means seeing a part of nature as a whole or a litte piece of it enlarged.

A haiku has a similar way to describe a moment in nature:

The first two lines often show a wider perspective, the third line offers a detail of it. – it’s like zooming in 😉

This is a good way to observe nature for your journal pages – first look around  and then often you will discover something that catches your special attention.

You can sketch and write about the overall impression and/or about some detail that interests you most.


#2 Haiku and Observation

Traditional haiku poets focus on the seasons and use special words to indicate them, they are called kigos.

In Japan the cherryblossom for example is a kigo for spring.

To observe changes in nature is an important practice for nature journaling. Even when you live in a country without seasons, look out for special plants or animals which occur at a special time of the year.

Watch the sky carefully, light and moisture in the air or the colours of sunrises and sunsets may change.

Think about your individual seasonal words for special parts of the year.


#3 Haiku and Awareness

In most of  traditional haikus there is a noticeable break after the first two lines, in writing often made visible with a hyphen.

Take this as a sign to briefly pause during your nature journaling. Often there is so much to notice around you, that you may be overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start journaling.

Be still, wait a bit, and notice which of your senses will be stimulated, where your attention is drawn to. Be with nature and then you will be aware of your special haiku moment.

For the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho it was the leaping frog centuries ago …


I hope you get the idea of some of the attitudes behind haiku writing and want to try it out during your next time outside – happy journaling 🙂

I wrote this blog article to support International Nature Journaling Week 2021 for the topic of day 7 „Mindset Matters“.






Published by

Christiane Weismüller

I would like to inspire environmental awareness through my photographs, paintings and poetry.

Leave a reply

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert