What if the Maui town of Haiku formed a Japanese poetry club? It would have to be called the Haiku Haiku Club.
I published the following note in Woodnotes #13, Summer 1992, page 21:
David Elliott wrote recently about the town of Haiku on Maui ([referred to previously in] Woodnotes #12, page 25). He explains that “the word is Hawaiian, not the Japanese word. It is pronounced something like high-ee-ku, and it means sudden, abrupt, or steep, either in speech or in topography, according to W. S. Merwin, the poet, who lives there.” Even though the town’s name isn’t the “haiku” we may have hoped, it seems fitting that a poet such as Merwin should live there. Two of Merwin’s books, Finding the Islands and Asian Figures, each contain hundreds of haiku-like poems, and are clearly influenced by haiku. Look for his books at your local bookstore.
Helen K. Davie submitted the following note published in Woodnotes #24, Spring 1995, page 38:
In January, Helen K. Davie and her husband Frank Cowley took a short anniversary trip to Maui. Their first stop was the small town of Haiku (or written correctly, “Haʻiku”), which means “Kahili flower” in Hawaiian. The town is about 12 miles southeast of the airport, off the Hana Highway. There, Helen discovered and photographed the Haiku Mart, Haiku Lumber, Haiku Tire Company, Haiku Natural Foods, Rainbow Flowers of Haiku, and the Haiku Chapel, and even sent a postcard (with several haiku on it) from the Haiku post office (96708). Just above the slot for “out-of-town” was one marked “HAIKU ONLY.” Back home, Helen put her photos into an album and wrote a few more haiku to accompany them, including these:
high tide line—
the perfume of a stranded lei
blows through Haiku
sending a few short lines
waiting in a long one—
Haiku post office