Rockers Rick Springfield, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Keller Williams write haiku


In my last column written in honor of National Haiku Writing Month, I offered examples of haiku by well-established poets.

This time I figured I’d take a different approach. Anyone can write a haiku. In fact, in Japan, most people do. These little poems are written as a matter of daily life. People from all walks of life participate, as opposed to in this country where only a select, literary few have poetry in their daily lives.

“Working Class Dog” Rick Springfield – soon to appear again as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” – takes a shot at haiku.

So I figured for this column I would focus on amateur haiku. But, with a twist. The amateur poems you are about to read are by rock stars.

The following three-line poems were written by good-natured musicians who were willing to play along and indulge my request that they give haiku writing a shot.   

Many remember Rick Springfield from his time in the 80s as Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera “General Hospital.” It was a time when you’d also find him sporting a pink suit and feathered hair singing his hit “Jessie’s Girl” from his hit album “Working Class Dog.”

When Springfield had to reschedule a recent New Jersey concert due to illness he sent me the following haiku announcing his rescheduled show.


Was sick as a dog

Rescheduled Show will Rock Out

Music All Night Long


Speaking of 80s hits, surely ZZ Top’s guitar-driven “Gimme All Your Lovin'” and “Legs” are among the decade’s most memorable tunes. 

Here is guitarist Billy Gibbons’ fun attempt at haiku, which he also sent to me in advance of a local performance. 

 Fire up that gee-tar…

turn it up to eleven…

and get it dirty…


I especially liked how Gibbons emphasized the sound of the word guitar, illustrating that he wrote the poem in 17 syllables. Many believe that haiku should be written in 17 syllables­—the first line having five syllables, the second having seven syllables and the third line going back to five. 

The last entry is from a current favorite musician of mine. The AllMusic Blog calls Keller Williams a “one-man jam band” whose live shows are “fascinating.” His quirky creativity can be seen in the haiku he sent me. 


I like your moonshine

It’s clear like your hair is blond

It makes me feel good


Stay tuned for more rock star haiku in the future. It’s a pet project of mine!


About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
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