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Welcome to Freestyle Haiku

Est. 2010. Free forever. By Matto.

Most Recent Poem:


Simmering uncertainties Slow breath calms the mind Cloudless sky surrounds.


Simmering uncertainties

Slow breath calms the mind

Cloudless sky surrounds.

About the Poet:

Matto practicing Tai Chi outside Union Station in D.C. Photo courtesy

Matto: author, photographer, filmmaker, artist, inventor, teacher, engineer, carpenter, producer, entrepreneur, spiritualist, martial artist, monk, lover, fighter, Chimera wrestler, and Jedi Knight.

…Ok, maybe those last two are only true in a figurative/abstract sense, but I did actually join the Jedi Order at one point.

If you’d like to learn more about me, check out my main website at If you want to be social, find me on Twitter as @MonkMatto.

About the Project:

Lotus blossom, photographed by Matto at the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, Washington D.C.

I started writing poetry to help me process and appreciate the heightened emotions I started to experience in 2010. While a traumatic event triggered these changes, I used the practice of writing poetry to focus my mind and allow myself the opportunity to reflect on my spirituality and humanity.

I decided to publish the poetry to a public blog (that I didn’t tell anyone about) to force myself to become more comfortable with sharing my emotional, spiritual, and sexual nature. After a couple years, I had hundreds of poems written and I started to share my work. I never stopped.

This project has shaped me as much as I have shaped it.

Associated Project:

This is a rendering of Ensō #0. It is the first token minted by the Ensō program on the Ethereum mainnet.

Ensō: a JavaScript-powered generative project that will create 1,000 individual and unique (1/1) NFTs that are hosted immutably on the Ethereum blockchain.

In Zen, ensō is a symbol that represents elegance and enlightenment. It is typically painted by hand in an uninhibited way, allowing for unexpected and beautiful results. Inspired by sumi-e (ink wash painting), this project mimics the practice of painting an ensō in ink by utilizing p5.js.

They are created upon purchase at (which is climate-neutral). You can read more about the project and its climate-positive impact at

About the Poetry:

The majority of my poetry is short and haiku-like, but they don’t follow the traditional form that many readers expect. These poems are written in a free-verse style that I call Freestyle Haiku. I discovered the possibility of this more freeing style of haiku from the writings of the Zen priest, Santōka Teneda (1882-1940). He wandered and traveled during the later years of his life while writing haiku.

I enjoy writing poetry, because I can express abstract and powerful feelings in only a few words–free from a mandated structure. These poems are the most direct crystallization of my feelings and experiences, and the brevity of haiku draws attention to the exact words I choose…

But sometimes I write longer poems, too,

Which might be more like a renga, than haiku,

But this doesn’t really matter to me…

and I doubt it does to you. ;)