Contemporary Haiku and a Rigorous Analysis of the Stupid Bear that Ruined Camping

Haiku is an ancient form of verse dating back hundreds, perhaps even billions of years. The work Haiku is Japanese and means: I don’t have a lot of time right now to write a really long poem. I’m actually so busy that I don’t even have time to write a regular length poem. Writing a short poem would mean the kids would go without rice. I really only have time to write three lines of seventeen syllables divided into a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. 

Japanese Emperors used Haiku as a way to praise their magnificence. The emperor Isocool wrote this Haiku:

I so rock the world

That it felt like an earthquake

 The buildings fall down

This Haiku poem was written after an earthquake destroyed most of Japan. Isocool, who thought himself off the Richter, mistakenly assumed that his uncontrollable awesomeness and not tectonic plates shifting had caused the earthquake.

Because Japanese emperors at the time were allowed to take people’s goats and cut off the villagers’ heads whenever they felt like it, no one had the cajones to tell Isocool what had really caused the Earth to shake. There was not even anyone in his inner circle brave enough to call him a sissy-baby man for writing poetry.

I close my eyes and I feel the baby kick.

After Japan was conquered by centipede like dragons in 1689, Haiku continued to be a form of poetic expression throughout the world. Take this amazing Haiku that I wrote after a camping trip last summer:

 Here the great outdoors

The valley of the mountain

Crap, a stupid bear.

First time readers of this Haiku are usually struck by its simple beauty. Sometimes, they are so impressed that they have a seizure. This Haiku shows the beauty of being in the great outdoors. It shows how wonderful it is to be a man in a flannel shirt in the mountains.

If you plan to camp in the mountains, it is essential to have a hairy chest and wear a flannel shirt. If you do not have a hairy chest or are a woman, you can get a hairy chest but cutting hair from other parts of your body and gluing it to your chest (see testimonials below). Though you will not be as manly as someone who was born with a hairy chest, glue is your best option.

Once you have a hairy chest and a flannel shirt, it is important to unbutton the top 3-6 buttons of your shirt. If you button less than three, none of the animals living in the mountains will take you seriously. They will know that you are faking being manly and will not fear you. They will attack you. Even the squirrels. Especially the squirrels. Squirrels are one of man’s worst adversaries.

One false move buddy . . . that's all it takes.

Not because squirrel bites are larger than rabid mountain goat bites, but because, let’s face it, you got attacked by a squirrel and lost. Haha, look at the girlie man who lost to a squirrel! People will seriously say this to your face. How will you ever show your face in public again? You will not be able to. And it will be covered in squirrel bites.

You’ll have to build a cabin in the mountains away from your public shame and humiliation. But, as we already know, squirrels will attack you if you ever try to leave your cabin because they already view you as weak and silly.

But, let’s not get sidetracked. This Haiku I wrote is not just about man’s struggle against the wilderness. There’s so much more to it. Take the last line: Crap, a stupid bear. If you explore this line at length, you’ll see that it’s about how everything is going great, you and your buddies are camping in the woods, you’re all wearing flannel shirts sitting around the camp fire singing John Denver songs until a stupid bear decides to invite himself to the party.

Worse, Mr. Bear doesn’t even bring his own beer and snacks. He doesn’t even bring a bag of Doritos. And who comes to a party without so much as a bag of Doritos?

I’ll tell you who, Mr. Bear! So that’s how you roll, Mr. Bear? You just show up, raid our cooler and go all Wolverine on our tent and then eat grandma (in the bear’s defense grandma forgot to wear a flannel shirt). And who invited grandma on our camping trip anyways?

In brief, bears are the least cool animals in the forest. If I were a bear, I would have as many bear cubs as possible just so I could punish them for being bear cubs. I would not give them any of my mother-bear milk and they would be very hungry.

If you or anyone you know happens to be a bear, please stop being bears. No one cares about bears. Except for bear hunters. Good luck with them.

For more information about animals and their wild ways, specifically raccoons named Loco, please click here. 

Can we sit down and talk about this?

If you disguise yourself as a bear, the squirrels will fear you.

Diagrams by Andrea C. Johnson 

Luke Maguire Armstrong

Luke Maguire Armstrong

Oh Luke Maguire Armstrong knows the Muffin Man. Oh yes, he knows the Muffin man. Luke is an author/musician, raccoon survivor, who has done educational development work in Central America, The Bronx, and Kenya. His work to battle infant malnutrition was featured on ABC News 20/20. He has never fought a bear and is the author of four books, including "How We Are Human" and "iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About." Read his bullshit at or follow him @LukeSpartacus and he will sing you songs.