My short poems may not seem like haiku, because they do not follow the traditional form that many readers might expect. My haiku 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 Freestyle Haiku, 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.

A meaning-rich haiku can be challenging to read; treating one like prose will leave it flat. The goal of a haiku is often to conjure up something beyond the words and their individual meanings. The reader must add themselves to the poem, to experience the words in the way they’re presented, to try and feel the poem. A good haiku will leave the reader with an experience.

-Monk Mattō

Tai Chi in the Park

Practicing Tai Chi outside Union Station in D.C. Photo courtesy


Monk Mattō: poet, author, photographer, filmmaker, artist, inventor, teacher, engineer, carpenter, producer, entrepreneur, spiritualist, martial artist, Chimera wrestler, and Jedi Knight.

…Ok, maybe those last two are only true in a figurative sense.

Thank you for allowing me to share my poems with you. If you’d like to learn more about me, check out my main website:

If you’d like to read my poems on an e-reader, or if you’d like to support me on, you can find my poetry collections on (this is an affiliate link that costs you nothing and helps support my work).