"A song ... with lyrics tells you what to think. ... with an instrumental composition you can think what-ever you want". (Miles Davis)
The technical, artistic, lyrical, & sometimes spiritual challenges (include haiga with it's visual component as well) effecting these ehi (english haiku idioms) are intersectional and multi layered. Creating ehi, especially haiga is akin to creating polyrhythmic sound. All of ehi's components must stand on their own merit, while simultaneously complimenting every other.
With ehi as with jazz as Miles suggested we initially "tell the reader what to think". We are creating a starting point for an artistic dialogue between the writer and the reader. After doing so we must leave it open ended; all of which may or may not be apparent to the reader depending on their level of familiarity with the art form. As writer we do so with our words, ambiguity, space, pragmatic particles, and the cutting/kireji - or the level and style of contradictoriness we communicate to the reader with.
Then we leave the poem open ended so that the reader can seamlessly pick up our literary baton and take things a step further in their minds eye. This is where our poems acts as Miles suggested as a "instrumental (or literary) composition", which as he suggests allows the reader to "think what-ever you want" with your minds eye.
Without imagery poems that are more spiritual in nature tend to have fewer subjects, while those more centered in non-spiritual or secular subjects tend to have multiple subjects, This tends to be true whether those subjects reference nature or humanity.
Incorporating original poems and imagery, originally known as haiga:
When we incorporate visual imagery things become even more complex. This inclusion of imagery in the form of haiga most closely resembles Miles's polyrhythmic sound. The haiga image has to compliment the poem and vice versa, all without overwhelming one another. How? By communicating specificity with it's imagery, imagery that act as visual lyrics that tell the reader what is being communicated, both in the image and the poem. This is akin to as Miles put it "telling you what to think".
Or the image compliments the poem and vice versa with its more abstract-ambiguity, which also creates a wider spiritual opening. This abstractly-ambiguous opening acts as a visual catalyst with which as Miles put it, "you can think what-ever you want".
Incorporating established haiga or imagery
For instance writing poetry specifically to accompany the woodblock prints of say Hokusai or Hiroshige is called jikuzo-shi. Here the image is created first to "tell you what to think", then the jikuzo-shi poem is created as an after thought to reinforces the print. It does so by speaking of what is transpiring within the image. This is rarely if ever spiritual in nature.
Honka-dori: Long story short, Honkadori are created from works that are derived from haiku's literary cannon, essential poems. Honkadori is akin to the way Jazz Musicians derive from their cannon of Jazz Standards, and create their own cover versions or reinterpretations. It may or may not tell us what to think, and may or may not be spiritual in nature.
Miles Davis on living-traveling overseas for the first time in 1949.
"I had never felt that way in my life. It was the freedom of being in France and being treated like a human being, like someone important."
Paris was where I understood that all white people weren't the same, that some weren't prejudiced and others were. I had kind of known this after I met Gil Evans and some other people, but I really came to know it in Paris. It was an important thing for me to know and it made me conscious of what was happening around me politically. . . . It was (difficult) for me to come back to the bullshit white people put a black person through in this country.
In Paris - shit, whatever we played over there, right or wrong, was cheered, accepted. That ain't good either . . . We came back over here and couldn't even find no work. International stars and couldn't get jobs. White musicians who were copying my Birth of Cool thing were getting the jobs. Man, that shit hurt me to the quick. . . .Twenty three years old in 1949 . . . Started to drift . . . I didn't care anymore . . . What got me strung out (on heroin) was the depression I felt when I got back to America." (Davis Miles, MILES: The Autobiography, Simon & Schuster, 1989)
64 years later, in 2013. In the Ashibetsu Mountains just northeast of Sapporo Japan. I was on a six month paid artist in residency. Much like Miles, whatever I created right or wrong sold out. That wasn't good either, although it gave me a sense of unbridled confidence, self determination, and sparked an unrelenting artistic drive in me; I would need it once I began facing the artistic disappointments and setbacks I would encounter upon returning to the states.
In Tokyo & Sapporo much like Miles in Paris, I too was treated as Miles put it "like a human being, like someone important". I too had to then "come back to the bullshit white people put a black person through in this country".
Much like Miles upon my return "I came back and couldn't even find no (poetry writing) work". To paraphrase Miles "Man, that shit hurt me to the quick . . . Forty eight years old in 2013 . . . started to drift . . . I didn't care anymore . . . What got me strung out on living alone in the woods like a hermit was the depression I felt when I got back to America." For me living in the woods was my form of coping, my heroin, and still is.
Living, hiking, meditating, writing, and photographing in the woods, was and is for me my euphoric heroin like escape, it helps me cope, only in a healthy, but nonetheless addictive manner. What will happen to me when I can't get my backcountry fix no more?
"People all over the world ... That's the barometer of what your doing; not the critics; the people. They don't have no hidden agenda or hidden motives. They paid their money (in my case to view my books & prints) to see you, and if they don't like what you are doing, they're going to let you know, and quick" (Miles Davis)