There’s an urban myth floating around that says the following: 

In Japan , they have replaced the impersonal Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku Poetry has strict construction rules: Each poem has only 17 Syllables – 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. They often achieve a wistful, yearning, and powerful insight through extreme brevity.

Aren’t these better than “your computer has performed an illegal operation?”

Now–according to, these aren’t Japanese at all, but the collected winning entries from a contest sponsored by SALON in 1998.  That sounds more like it.  🙂  
The Web site you seek

Cannot be located, but

Countless more exist.

——————– ————————
Chaos reigns within.

Reflect, repent, and reboot.

Order shall return.

Program aborting.

Close all that you have worked on.

You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death.

No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked.

Today it is not working.

Windows is like that.

Your file was so big.

It might be very useful.

But now it is gone.

Stay the patient course.

Of little worth is your ire.

The network is down.

—————————– —————
A crash reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:

Death, taxes and lost data.

Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,

But the water has moved on.

This page is not here.

Out of memory.

We wish to hold the whole sky,

But we never will.

Having been erased,

The document you’re seeking

Must now be retyped.


Serious error.

All shortcuts have disappeared.

Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

I ate your Web page.

Forgive me; it was tasty

And tart on my tongue.
From Angie:

Now you have read these–
Do you share the same feeling?
Write your own poem now.



  1. jan

    did you write all of those? that’s
    really good!

  2. Elsi Dodge

    Aren’t they delightful? Go to and type “haiku” in the search box to get the back story for this clever fable.

  3. Angela

    Oh, no, I only wrote the last one! And according to (thanks, Elsi!), these aren’t Japanese at all, but entries from a SALON contest back in 1998.

    In any case, they are delightful. Who else would like to write one?


  4. Kay

    Click the button once
    Expecting a quick response
    ha ha ha ha ha


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