On New Year’s Eve some words were going round my head and I realised that they made a pattern. One I hadn’t written down since childhood, as an exercise at school – a haiku. Seventeen syllables, three lines, a 5-7-5 pattern. Remarkably, with only a little alteration, the pattern fit:
I’m scared of living,
I’m scared of dying; I don’t
Know which scares me more.
But then I remembered that haikus are supposed to have a contrasting final section, and are supposed to convey an image or feeling but without subjective judgement or analysis. They are supposed to show not tell, perhaps even to be ambiguous, in order to allow the reader to feel their own emotions in response, and to draw their own conclusions. And so I tried again, in a different way, to write another imperfect haiku about fear.