Gary Snyder Haiku

Gary Snyder Haiku
Gary Snyder Haiku

Gary Snyder Haiku




“The Dharma Bums” sat upon my nightstand for almost twenty years. A story written by Jack Kerouac which featured his fellow beat poets of the time as fictional characters. One of his characters is a portrayal of the Beat Poet Gary Snyder. The character portraying Gary practiced Buddhism and introduced ‘running down mountains.’  When growing up I would run down as many mountains as I could with thoughts on this specific scene in the book. Luckily, I never hurt myself.

Today a few books from Gary Snyder’s published works sit where ‘Dharma Bums’ used to reside. After reading Snyder’s ‘Turtle Island’ last year I found myself immediately drawn to this verse and his viewpoints on Ecology and Native American Culture.

Not too long ago I wrote a series of Haiku in honor of the work and life of John Muir. This series of Haiku is available here on TCE and in my poetry collection ‘A Life in the Sierra.’  Here is my second series of Haiku this time in honor of Gary Snyder.


Gary spent his childhood on a farm and attended Reed College in Oregon during his twenties. Following University, he worked as a Merchant Marine and spent years at sea. He returned to land to find a home with the Beat Poets of the 50’s where he found a friendship with Jack Kerouac.

Gary gathered lumber in the Rocky Mountains then travelled to Japan to live in a Buddhistic Monastery where he refined his belief in Buddhism. After living in Japan, he moved to New York and wrote ‘The Back Country’ which discussed his years as a logger, monk, and then living in New York in memorable verse.

A common theme tying these Haiku series together is Ecology and the joy and beauty of Mother Nature. If you have experienced my Haiku before you know I spend time in the forest of the Sierra Mountain Range. My poetry collection titled “A Life in the Sierra” is available on Amazon and contains poems on my concerns on Ecology and my strong belief in the power of the land we live on.


Gary Snyder Haiku


To define nature

a principle of order

twelve meanings of tree.


Cold mountain poems

written by frozen hero

upon this same land.


Bird on Redwood post

leaning on the rock filled ground

by yellow flowers.


One lone granite ridge

where one Pine Tree is enough

to shade a small creek.


Watered by the snow

small green meadow by granite

Aspens along edge.


Wild horses on the hill

grazes on Eucalyptus

naps under tree shade.


Floating shred of bark

folded and twisted around

falls beyond a hill.


Pressure of rock slide

fallen in pools of pebbles

a rattlesnake coiled.


Network of sunshine

White Crowned Sparrows on the pine

valley Rooster crows.




Hills beyond a hill

where many tough trees are crammed

growing through thin stone.


Started walking woods

wondering if I could leave

here I walk today.


Found an empty nest

various twigs and red yarn

bit from a bright life.


Mind wanders to moon

a million moonlit summers

endless mountain sky.


An old logging road

a freshly carved walking stick

made from Hard Alder.


Red Ants and pebbles

rock tells a thousand stories

from each creek washed stone.


Even hard rock breaks

words and books like this small creek

gone in the dry air.


A wide muddy field

stretches along the wood line

fire fed with Cedar.


Converging gorges

each jumbled cliff has a twist

extremely rugged.




Flick in the moonlight

upon Juniper shadow

Coyote watches.


A Heron flies by

on cot a Setter pup naps

near high rotten stumps.


Blade of grass in dew

bends in growing morning light

hangs gently on edge.


Sierra’s will dry

up and finally die

be ice scratched bent trees.


Coffee hot again

clouds linger up on lone hills

turn around in sleep.


Shiver in deep sleep

in the mountains always cold

on the hottest day.


For more works like Gary Snyder Haiku and other works by this author visit
Jamie Lee Hamann Author Page

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Jamie Lee Hamann
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Jamie Lee Hamann

My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished seven collections of poetry and plans for more. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

2 thoughts on “Gary Snyder Haiku

  • May 18, 2022 at 9:05 AM

    I really like these Haiku poems, Jamie. Nature is my church and sanctuary. I have often written about peaceful places in woods or forests and wish I could journey through them for real, like I used to. Lovely poems here about nature, Jamie. Well done.

  • May 23, 2022 at 7:12 AM

    Thank you Phyllis, I know my nature haiku is your favorite so try to include them every once an awhile. I hope you are well. Your friend. Jamie

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