Daily Haiku: July 31, 2021

in the eyes
of a stray rabbit
my childhood
 
 
 
by Roberta Beary (Ireland/USA)
sharing the sun
Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology, 2010
Posted in childhood, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micro-poems, Roberta Beary, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 30, 2021

glittering path
down the width of a river
rolls the moon
 
 
 
 
by Michael Henry Lee (USA)
on down the road
Haiku Society of America 2017 Members’ Anthology
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Michael Henry Lee, moon, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 29, 2021

a mossy bench
in the back garden—
our forgotten conversation

by Sari Grandstaff (USA)

Haiku Dialogue, March 10, 2021

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Sari Grandstaff, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Free Verse by Radhamani Sarma

In search  of

by Radhamani Sarma

Not a beetle hiding

beneath  a slender bunch

of nodding  grass,

nor drawing pencil

lost a while ago,

nor a tiny tea cup

blown by  speedy wind

nor even a  mask yearning

for a  short rest on the ground,

but  your haiku on paper

its whereabouts all around.

Radhamani Sarma lives in India.

Posted in Free Verse, India, Poetry, Radhamani Sarma | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 28, 2021

senryu
road trip
the distance measured
in awkward pauses
by Helen Ogden (USA)
Failed Haiku, March 2021
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Helen Ogden, Poets, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Poem by Ruth Partridge

As Summer Evenings slip into Night

by Ruth Partridge

           
The heat of the day dissipates 
To a heady mix of scent 
And enveloping blanket 
Of stillness 
Of creeping damp
As beads of dew form on the lawn;
An owl hoots somewhere in the valley
The answer not given
The air hangs close tickling the cheek;
Dry leaves break the silence
Falling to the ground
From the oak, eager to shed its load;
Occasional rustling is heard 
From the tall grasses at the fringe;
The bank stirs of a proximal 
World of other creatures who wake
To this space;
Even the fish
Rise to the surface 
Of the dark, black pool
To circle and chase in the chasm
Lit by the iridescence  of the moon,
The rings marbling the surface
Like oil
In fluidity
Orange stain drawn through black ink;
The first stars peeping through
The pastel glow 
Sequins above the northern ridge
As seamless the transition
Binds evening to night.
https://runningintheslowlanelife.com/2021/07/21/as-summer-evenings-slip-into-night/ 
Ruth Partridge lives in Southwest England.
 
 
 
Posted in creative writing, Free Verse, Poems, Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: July 27, 2021

morning prayer
on the monk’s sandals
sparkles of dew

 
by Nikolay Grankin (Russia)
World Haiku Series, 2019
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micro-poems, Nikolay Grankin, Russia, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 26, 2021

splashes of sunshine

in the open countryside–

turnip flowers

by Nicoletta Ignatti (Italy)

Stardust Haiku, #52, April 2021

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Italy, Nicoletta Ignatti, Poets, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Thank You to Those Who Participated in the Poetry Open Mic!

Sponsored by the Winnetka Public Library, (Illinois-USA), just up the road from Chicago, I was thrilled to see so many of you attend and read today at the Poetry Open Mic! (Through Zoom). Participants included those from England, Ireland, Wales, India, and Slovakia. There were 34 in all, 26 from this blog. From sonnets, free verse, and rhyming poems, to the Japanese forms, great poetry from great poets was featured and appreciated! It was a pleasure for me to host this event, and meet you through Zoom!!

Attendees/Participants included:

  1. Ruth Partridge, England
  2. Roberta Beary, Ireland
  3. Radhamani Sarma, India
  4. Matus Niznansky, Slovakia
  5. Karen Harvey, Wales
  6. Mike, Davenport, Iowa
  7. Judith Kittredge, Tennessee
  8. Ruth Holzer, Virginia
  9. Rhonda Parsons, Illinois
  10. Bona M. Santos, California
  11. Jeri Frederickson, Chicago
  12. Colleen M. Farrelly, Florida
  13. Paul Smith, Skokie, Illinois
  14. Karen DeFranco, Ohio
  15. Marie Asner, Kansas
  16. Elaine Costanzo, Florida
  17. Rick Daddario, Hawaii
  18. Jennifer Hambrick, Ohio
  19. Ingrid Bruck, Pennsylvania
  20. Michael Henry Lee, Florida
  21. Shreya, India
  22. Hilary Naab, Iowa
  23. Caroline Giles Banks, Minnesota
  24. Susan Burch, Maryland
  25. Mary McCormack, Minnesota
  26. Beth Snyder, Evanston, IL

If I forgot anyone from this blog, please bring this to my attention! I will run one of your poems.

Posted in Open Mic, Poetry, Poetry Open Mic, Poetry Reading | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 25, 2021

senryu
 
 
 
in the pancake batter a shapeless haiku
   
 
by Susan Burch (USA)
brass bell: a haiku journal, July 1, 2021
Posted in Haiku, micro-poems, Senryu, Susan Burch | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Special to The Daily Haiku: July 24, 2021–Review of Barbara Tate’s Latest Collection

dar cover (1)

Thus far in 2021, Poet Barbara Tate has published two significant collections of haiku, tanka, and haibun. The first one, “far more than I ever was,” has already been reviewed on this blog. The second one, just released, “darkness in a noonday night,” has now crossed my desk. In reading and re-reading both books, it’s evident that Tate has mastered the aesthetics of Japanese-style poetry, its brevity and simple elegance about the “suchness” of everyday life.

Tate’s poetry appeals to not only the seasoned poet, but the beginning one or non-poet. The sentiments behind her poetry are something for everyone to appreciate. We delight in her observations and insights about life, and find ourselves nodding in recognition. (She writes many senryu focusing on human nature.)

Whether lyrical tanka, matter-of-fact haiku/senryu, or haibun, her work touches our hearts. We appreciate her rhythm, alliteration, and expert line breaks that lead us to the moment of revelation.

As Tate states in the Prologue of “darkness in a noonday night,” writing the Japanese-style forms of poetry have resulted in “a journey of discovery that has seen me through good times and the not so good.”

Below are just a few poems from “darkness in a noonday night”:

Tanka

incoming storm

sitting on the sea-wall

me and a cranky sand crab

letting go of memories

one at a time

 

Haiku and senryu:

 

marathon

finishing the race

before my shadow

 

visiting hours

everyone brings their own

opinion

 

isolation

one day closer to the day

no one remembers me

 

blind date

reading the menu

prices first

 

winter’s chill

one more day of mother’s silence

 

wrapped in fog

the whisper of owl wings

above my head

 

Don’t miss reading Barbara Tate’s work from cover to cover. To order the collections of this gifted poet, you may reach her at: dbandr2006@gmail.com

Further, in her decades as an author, Tate has published many short stories and flash fiction, and has also published collections of lyric and narrative poetry.

 

Copyright 2021 by Charlotte Digregorio.

 

 

 

Posted in Barbara Tate, Book Review, creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Poets, Tanka | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Daily Haiku Special: July 23, 2021, Minal Sarosh (India)

 

 

walking stick

Granny taps it softly 

generations listen

 

by Minal Sarosh (India)

Prune Juice, Issue 28, July 2019

lockdown . . .

his beard grows longer 

than his neck

by Minal Sarosh (India)

Failed Haiku, A journal of English Senryu, Vol. 6, Issue 64, April 2021

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, India, Minal Sarosh | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 22, 2021

left by children

in the rain-filled streets

laughter

 

by Rick Daddario (USA)

https://19planets.wordpress.com/

Posted in children, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micro-poems, Rick Daddario | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 21, 2021

senryu
 
 
 
contractors
they used to be my age
these young men
 
 
by Susan Spooner (Canada)
Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, February 2021
Posted in Aging, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Life, Living, Senryu, Susan Spooner | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Learn How to Be a Great Wordsmith!

You can be a great wordsmith!

You don’t have to be naturally creative to become one. All you need is Selma Glasser’s classic book The Analogy Book of Related Words: Your Secret Shortcut to Power Writing.

I don’t usually review books, but this one is irresistible.

It’s not only one that will educate and train you to be the skilled wordsmith you want to be, but it will also provide you with hours of entertainment and amusement.

Are you an author, freelancer, novelist, poet, storyteller, educator, speaker, minister, entertainer, public official, contester, ad copywriter, publicist, or speechwriter? These are just some of the people who need this book.

For example, with this book, contesters will enhance their ability to win prizes. I have a friend who is gifted at winning writer’s contests, and this book has greatly enhanced her skills.

And, this book is invaluable for those who generate advertising copy and constantly need a flow of ideas.21TBJPGVJNL._BO1,204,203,200_

In Glasser’s superb reference book of words, terms, examples, clever slogans, jingles, verse, epigrams, puns, parody, and limericks, anyone– at any level– can develop their writing and speech.

This book will stimulate you to write your own fresh and engaging analogies to make you sparkle in print or before an audience. Glasser’s striking phrases, illustrations, humorous quips, and clichés give you a foundation for incorporating analogous words into your work or hobby interests.

Glasser makes the analogy process simple. All one has to do is find a subject area in the book with a word list that one likes, choose words that would fit into your own subject matter, and use them.

For example, you can use words associated with agriculture to write a slogan for business people.

Glasser’s example is:

To CULTIVATE customers and REAP goodwill, RAISE quality, not prices.

As another example, she uses words associated with nationality to create this:

I shop at (department store name) because their suits feature SCOTCH thriftiness, FRENCH verve, ENGLISH excellence, AMERICAN style, and UNIVERSAL appeal!

I really like this one using basketball phrases:

When you SHOOT off your mouth, you COURT disaster, put people in a FOUL mood and get everybody on the DEFENSIVE.

As for limericks, Glasser uses one involving words associated with football:

To college Dad sent his son Jack
Paying bills every year by the stack
Now what can Dad show
For spending that dough?
All he got was a lone QUARTER BACK!

If you like jingles, Glasser offers this clever one using musical terms:

If HARMONY is what you crave,
Go get a TUBA Burma-Shave!

As you can see, Glasser’s imaginative examples grow on you, and her comprehensive book is jam-packed with them.

I highly recommend this delightful book by an author who has made guest appearances on many television shows, including the “Today Show.” Her work has appeared in top publications including: The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, Saturday Evening Post, Playboy, Harpers, and the Los Angeles Times.

“The Analogy Book of Related Words” is published by Communication Creativity, copyright 1990. It has 210 pages. It’s a timeless book. U.S. customers may buy a new copy from me  for $12.95 plus $4  for USPS Media Mail shipping. For more details, contact me, Charlotte Digregorio, c-books@hotmail.com

Copyright 2021 by Charlotte Digregorio.

Posted in Advertising, Contest Writing, Instruction, Novelists, Publicists, Speakers, Teachers, wordsmiths | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 20, 2021

field of buttercups

I take a photo

of just one      

by Ronald K. Craig (USA)  

bottle rockets, No. 39, 2018

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micro-poems, nature poems, Ronald K. Craig | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 19, 2021

a homeless woman
sips from a birdbath
wrinkles in a rainbow
 
 
 
by Robert Witmer (Japan)
Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, February 2021
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, homeless, nature poems, Robert Witmer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Writers’ Tools of the Trade: Those Relics!

Try showing these to youngsters! They would need instruction to operate them.

After decades of moving these relics from home to home: my dad’s old Remington Rand “Noiseless” from 1950; his Torpedo portable typewriter from the early 1960s, (that I later took to college with me); and my word processor from the 1980s, I finally parted with them!

(Oh yes, I still have two rotary dial phones from the 1970s, olive green and beige. I love the ringtone of them! Today’s kids don’t know how to operate them, either.)20210709_11164620200621_100708(0)

20210709_142752(1)

I guess I’m just a collector at heart. But, I must say, that I feel that it’s liberating freeing up space in my home. The clutter can get to you.

What do you have, that you have trouble parting with?

Posted in typewriters, word processors | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 18, 2021

senryu
 
 
 
bookmark
your place
or mine?
 
 
 
by Robert Epstein (USA)
loose change
Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology, 2005
 
 
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Relationships, Robert Epstein, Senryu | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 17, 2021

harvest moon
the long pull
of faraway children
 
 
 
by Roberta Beary (Ireland/USA)
loose change
Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology, 2005
 
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Family, Haiku, micro-poems, Roberta Beary | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 16, 2021

open window

a sparrow pecks on

my keyboard

 

by Maya Daneva (The Netherlands)

Cold Moon Journal, May 25, 2021

Posted in birds, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, Maya Daneva, micro-poems, nature | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 15, 2021

red-tailed hawks
above bobbing pumpjacks
endless summer
 
 
 
by Claire Vogel Camargo (USA)
The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XXI, No. 1, March 2019
Posted in birds, Claire Vogel Camargo, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: July 14, 2021

swift scream
down cobbled streets
bikers follow
 
 
 
by Clive Bennett (North Wales), Author
Feathered Skies, 2020
Posted in Clive Bennett, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, micro-poems, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 13, 2021

the doe in the cornfield
followed by
fawn ears

by Mary Stevens (USA)

Winner

Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar, 2014

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Mary Stevens, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 12, 2021

November

seasoning

the skillet

 

by Elmedin Kadric (Sweden)

The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, March, 2021

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Elmedin Kadric, Haiku, Poets, Short Poems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: July 11, 2021

senryu

 

skateboard in hand 

he walks his children 

home from daycare 

 

by Mike Montreuil (Canada), Author 

Riding the Bus, 2011

 

Posted in children, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Mike Montreuil, Parents, Senryu | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Last Call for Poetry Open Mic: For All from Everywhere!

Charlotte Digregorio, this blog’s editor, has organized a poetry open mic through Zoom, sponsored by the Winnetka (IL, USA) Public Library, that is open to poets globally. 

Beginning  and experienced poets will share the spotlight, 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 25.  (Chicago/USA Time). Don’t be shy! Join in. We will be a supportive group. And, if you just want to attend to listen, that’s fine, too.

Charlotte Digregorio will kick off the program by reading a few poems from her latest reference book, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing.

For more information and to register, click: https://winnetkalibrary.libcal.com/calendar/events/?cid=3782&t=d&d=2021-07-25&cal=3782&inc=0

Hope to see you there!

C.D.

 
Posted in Charlotte Digregorio, Open Mics, Poetry, Poetry Appreciation, Poetry Readings, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 10, 2021

birds quieted . . .
the golden afterglow
of sunset

by Tom Clausen (USA)

https://tomclausen.com

October 2016

Posted in birds, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, nature, sunset, Tom Clausen | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 9, 2021

summer storm
pavement steam rises
to meet rain
 
 
 
by Robyn Hood Black (USA)
Acorn, #37, Fall 2016
 
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Robyn Hood Black, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Jennifer Dotson

LNTSF Cover 2020

Cooking Together

It wasn’t my first BBQ.

When we met, I feared

I was just a crust,

a shell, a broken yolk

but your savory attention

set my broth to boil.

You whisked my batter

to a froth and I quickly

flipped my outlook on

life and love.

You didn’t sear me

with your flame

leaving my insides

raw or frozen,

instead you braised

me with wine and herbs

and I’ve been simmering

your spicy stew ever since.

by Jennifer Dotson (USA)

First published in DuPage Valley Review, 2016.

Included in, Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems, Kelsay Books, 2020

Posted in creative writing, Free Verse, Jennifer Dotson, love, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 8, 2021

senryu

sign language
reading the love words
on your lips

by Eufemia Griffo (Italy)

Haiku of The Day

The Haiku Foundation, May 11, 2021

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Eufemia Griffo, Haiku, Italy, love | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 7, 2021

skyscrapers
my collar turned up
to the cold
 
 
 
by Joe McKeon (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 44:2, Spring/Summer 2021
 
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Joe McKeon, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 6, 2021

morning has broken
chirping birds on branches
the voice of mama
 
 
by Lisbeth Ho (Indonesia)
Haiku Dialogue, June 16, 2021
 
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Indonesia, Lisbeth Ho, Mothers, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 5, 2021

tango
i dance to the tune
on the warm sun spots
 
 
 
by Lidia Rozmus (Poland/USA)
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Lidia Rozmus, love | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 4, 2021

lonely winter
I write your name
on the frosted glass
by Mona Bedi (India)
tsuri-doro, Issue #4, July/August 2021
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, love, Mona Bedi, Poets, Relationships | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Book Review by Robert Epstein

Book Review: Three Simple Lines: My Pilgrimage to the Heart and Homeland of Haiku

by Natalie Goldberg 

Reviewed by Robert Epstein 

(Reprinted from Frogpond, Vol. 44:2, Spring/Summer 2021, with Robert Epstein’s permission)

Natalie Goldberg is a beloved American writing teacher and memoirist whose Zen-infused Writing Down to the Bones has won her worldwide acclaim. Her latest book, Three Simple Lines: A Pilgrimage to the Heart and Homeland of Haiku, is the perfect antidote for haiku lovers (and others) sheltering-in-place due to these ongoing, pandemic days.

Written in Goldberg’s inimitable raw, impassioned, and ingenuous style, Three Simple Lines recounts several trips to Japan (with an interlude involving cancer) that constitute a unified pilgrimage, reflecting Goldberg’s deep love of the Japanese haiku masters: Bashō, Buson, Issa, and Shiki, as well as Chiyo-ni, an outstanding 18th century female poet. With travel guides and companions who are real people with real feelings (not incidental stock figures), Goldberg makes her way from birthplace to Zen monastery; from gravesite to tea garden and more. By virtue of her astute powers of observation and penchant for immediacy, the reader is imperceptibly drawn into Goldberg’s compelling memoir, feeling like a fellow traveler through Kyoto, Tokyo, and a variety of small mountain villages.

The subtle purpose of Three Simple Lines has everything to do with the haiku mind, which can easily be missed by the unknowing reader hungry to learn about the mechanics of haiku from this celebrated writing teacher. By virtue of her innocence, candor, sensitivity, genuineness, openness and zigzag effort (to name but a few qualities I discern), Goldberg deftly communicates the Zen art of listening, observing, and intuiting which, for her, is vital for writing haiku. In this she echoes Bashō.

Goldberg’s reverence for these masters, especially Buson, is moving; she appreciates his willingness to be more open and self-revealing than she finds Bashō to be. Here she is at Buson’s gravesite:

 

       I prostrate three times before the grave. The scattered leaves and needles strewn on the ground smell rich and musky as I lower my head to the dirt. . . .

       I stand up, suddenly shy. “What can I say?” I tell Buson. “Your haiku have touched me, centuries later, in another country. Thank you.” I fold my hands over my chest, do a standing bow.

 

Listen to Goldberg’s poignant take on Shiki, who brought haiku into the modern world despite the ravages of tuberculosis, which ultimately took his life:

 

   . . . even in his suffering, he is able to ponder the cockscombs

     –– how many, fourteen or fifteen? He accepts ambiguity, a

   high mark for haiku. He accepts the mind of uncertainty and

   expresses it, making this haiku modern: conventional, banal,

   unassuming, mortal, almost like a whisper.

 

Catching herself trying to power through her own murky feelings to some kind of poetic clarity, Goldberg transparently stumbles on an important insight:

 

   Any emotion one feels, pure and simple, moves, passes, if accepted.

   Earlier I was trying to dominate my confusion, make it clear. Haiku

   reminds me that it clears on its own, with patience, over time.

 

For anyone who understands haiku, this is not only helpful advice, it is a precious teaching.

The reader learns it was Allen Ginsberg who introduced a young Natalie to haiku poetry in a class she took with the author of Howl in 1976. She vividly recalls what he said about haiku:

 

   . . . ‘upon hearing one, your mind experiences a small sensation of space’ ––he paused; I leaned in breathless –– ‘which is nothing less than God.’

 

This is language that the Beat Poets –– including Jack Kerouac –– used: vast, primal, pulsating, crisp. It is not typically the language of contemporary English language haiku, but she learned it well and puts it to exceptional use in Three Simple Lines.

To her credit, Goldberg realizes during one of her trips to Japan –– decades after the Ginsberg class –– that she has been constrained by her mentor’s description of haiku which she enthusiastically absorbed. I was startled by her self-disclosure, which one would never hear from a teacher preoccupied with guarding her well-established reputation:

       For years I believed in Ginsberg’s idea that “this little sensation of space, nothing less than God” is the only true haiku test. But what if God exists quietly, without sensation or without space? What if God takes many different forms?

Goldberg continues:

 

Sitting again on the ratty, half-collapsed outdoor chair at the pond,

   I think, I’ve held myself hostage with Ginsberg’s ideas since 1976.

 

This candor extends to Goldberg’s own haiku writing. Lest anyone assume she has rid herself of all insecurity, Goldberg publicly admits:

       Please don’t imagine that my decades of writing practice

   and Zen meditation have silenced or fully pacified the angry

   self-critics in my head. That’s not how things work. I’m just

   much better at managing those voices.

 

Back home, she joins a monthly haiku group, co-led by the well-respected poet, scholar and former editor, Charles Trumbull. Goldberg readily acknowledges that she has a lot to learn about the Japanese form, despite her widely recognized accomplishments as both writer, painter and teacher. She submits to multiple haiku readings and critiques and confesses with humor and a hint of self-deprecation: “When I read my brown sock haiku [quoted in the book], it falls like a dead horse on dead ears.” Incredulous, I also read: “Eventually, what I begin to enjoy most is simply not knowing how to do it. I haul in my haiku each month, and they usually land like dead lead. I like not being good, not having a clue.” [emphasis added.]

This is not an ordinary reaction or rationalization; it is an extraordinary response by someone who is wide-open to everything, including pain, frustration, embarrassment, disappointment, even cancer. This is the Zen Way merging with the Haiku Way. The fruit of this integration is a poem, the revelation of truth, that Goldberg shares with the group which thrills her:

 

Fast mountain creek

In dark, cold stones

my original face

 

Upon hearing some affirmative comments, Goldberg writes:

 

   I burst inside, like a firecracker. It’s been three decades since I felt like this after finishing a poem. I want to do somersaults, flips, across the room.

 

Three Simple Lines includes its share of controversy, which may arouse readers. For one, not everybody knows –– or believes –– as Goldberg does, that Bashō was gay. If this was true, one wonders what the literary significance of his sexual orientation would be for his legacy or the development of the poetic form.

Goldberg’s book is very much focused on the inextricable connection that she sees between haiku and Zen. English language haiku critics will not be happy about this; for the past two decades or more, they have been vociferously arguing that haiku has little or nothing to do with Zen, in particular, or Buddhism, in general.

Haiku poets seeking formal guidance and direction in the art of haiku writing may not find exactly what they are looking for in Three Simple Lines. Although there are plenty of haiku penned by the masters and a handful of poems by fellow participants in Goldberg’s haiku group, Three Simple Lines is not a how-to manual (with the exception of “A Haiku Lesson” written by Beth Howard, one of her students, in the book’s last chapter). Nor will one find a scholarly critique of contemporary English language haiku; there is, for example, no mention at all of innovative developments such as gendai (modern), concrete or minimalist haiku.

It is also true that virtually no one in English language haiku talks about lineage, but Goldberg does. She says forthrightly: “Haiku is a true lineage.” Not so long ago, the late Canadian poet, Eric Amann, would have understood what she meant, as would the late Robert Spiess, longtime editor of Modern Haiku. So would the award-winning poet, artist and Zen practitioner, Ron C. Moss. Goldberg’s love of the Japanese masters puts her squarely within their lineage.

What is the foundation of lineage? Love. It is love and devotion that impel one to undertake a pilgrimage, and it is love that prompts a devotee of haiku to pay homage to those who pioneered the Japanese poetic form. This is precisely why Natalie Goldberg reveals her true heart in all its innocence and spontaneity in Three Simple Lines. In a discussion over Bashō’s last poem –– Sick on a journey/my dreams wander/over withered fields –– with her late teacher’s dear friend, Harada Roshi, his son, and her travel companion, Mitsue, the latter offers a deeper understanding of “withered fields.”

Goldberg has a sudden realization:

       I take a step back. Tears spring to my eyes. On his deathbed, Bashō

   embraced the whole impermanent field of the universe.

 

In her love of lineage and all it implies, Goldberg “shines one corner of the world,” to quote Zen teacher, Suzuki Roshi. Her message, her teaching? Just this: If you care deeply and live fully in the small, fleeting moments, your very life will be a poem. This is the Way of Haiku, dating back to Bashō, Buson, Issa, and Shiki. I am certain all four haiku masters–– plus Chiyo-ni and Allen Ginsberg––would bow deeply in recognition of Goldberg’s Great Effort. I bow, too.

Posted in Book Review, Haiku, Natalie Goldberg, Robert Epstein | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 3, 2021

midnight

a light in every window

for his wandering spirit

by Barbara Tate (USA)

Frameless Sky, June 2021

Posted in Barbara Tate, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Relationships | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Free Verse by Ellen Grace Olinger (USA)

not always sure and yet I know

by Ellen Grace Olinger

not always sure
and yet I know
in winter
how gardens
will grow in time
from frozen earth
to snowdrops
lilies and goldenrod

not always sure
when one flower
leaves the stage
and another begins
I look up from a page
or from the kitchen window
and purple phlox are gone
daylilies and hosta soon

 

Posted in creative writing, Ellen Grace Olinger, Flowers, Free Verse, nature | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 2, 2021

senryu

 

talking philosophy

as we cross the park

the snowman’s pipe

 

by Michael Fessler (Japan)

Modern Haiku, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, Fall, 2000

 

Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Michael Fessler, micro-poems, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: July 1, 2021

bases loaded
a full moon clears
the right field fence
 
 
 
by Tom Painting (USA)
Modern Haiku, Vol. 34.1, Winter-Spring 2003
 
Posted in baseball, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, moon, Tom Painting | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: June 30, 2021

long day

from the pine barrel

last glass of lemonade

 

by Lenard D. Moore (USA)

Modern Haiku, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, Fall, 2000

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Lenard D. Moore, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: June 29, 2021

year’s end–
the old dog’s ashes
still in a box
 
 
 
by Marjorie Buettner (USA)
Modern Haiku, Vol. 38.2, Summer 2007
 
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, death, dogs, Haiku, Marjorie Buettner, Poets | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Rhyming Poem by Robert Mucci

INDEPENDENCE DAY

            by Robert Mucci

 

A lightning flash, a smoky plume,

Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop BOOOMM!

Children gaze at the evening sky

To see fireworks on the Fourth of July.

 

All across our nation

From sea to shining sea

Are heard the sounds, and seen the lights

of Lady Liberty.

 

The sky becomes a canvas

For aerial artistry

Rockets racing upwards

Explode for all to see,

 

“The rocket’s red glare

The bombs bursting in air

Gave proof through the night

That our flag was still there.”

 

Look upon the Stars and Stripes

The granite headstones, hear the pipes

This “bangled banner proudly wave

O’er the land of the free and home of the brave.”

 

Wave the flag for all to see

The strength that is democracy 

Remembering history’s legacy that

Freedom is not always free.

 

Cherishing our free existence

We celebrate our Independence

From Alaska and Hawaii far beyond Lincoln’s tomb

Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop   BOOOMMM!

 

Posted in Independence Day, July 4th, Poetry, rhyme, rhyming poem, Robert Mucci | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: June 28, 2021

unable to match
the speed of a cricket’s song
my paint brush
 
 
by Glenn G. Coats (USA)
Modern Haiku, Vol. 38.2, Summer 2007
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Glenn G. Coats, Haiku, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Register Now: Two Free Poetry Events!

Register Now for Two Free Zoom Events: Poetry Open Mic and a Haiku/Senryu Workshop

Free and open to all from everywhere, these two events are sponsored by the Winnetka (IL) Public Library (USA) and led by Author/Blogger Charlotte Digregorio.

 

Join in with your fellow global poets!

 

Poetry Open Mic, Sunday, July 25, 2 to 4 p.m., (Chicago/USA Time)

Calling All Poets! Poetry has a tradition as a performance art since ancient times. Share the spotlight with beginning and experienced poets alike. Participants will introduce themselves, tell why they like to write poetry, and share up to five of their poems. Winnetka Author Charlotte Digregorio will kick off the event by reading some poems from her new book, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. Non-poets are especially welcome as audience.

https://winnetkalibrary.libcal.com/calendar/events/?cid=3782&t=d&d=2021-07-25&cal=3782&inc=0

 

Writing Haiku and Senryu, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2 to 3:30 p.m., (Chicago/USA Time)

Learn all about the art of haiku and senryu. These short poems are about life, nature, seasons, and human nature. Enjoy crafting/publishing insightful, wise, moving, and healing poems that capture your life’s moments. Participants will have the opportunity to read a poem during the event (optional.) Led by Charlotte Digregorio, author of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, and editor of The Daily Haiku.

 

https://winnetkalibrary.libcal.com/calendar/events/?cid=3782&t=d&d=2021-09-19&cal=3782&inc=0

 

Posted in Charlotte Digregorio, Haiku, Open Mics, Poetry Events, Poetry Workshops, Senryu, Workshop | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: June 27, 2021

graveside
mother would have hated
this waste of roses
 
 
 
by Barbara Kaufmann (USA)
Acorn, #37, Fall 2016
Posted in Barbara Kaufmann, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micro-poems, roses | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Two Classic Books: Latest Comments from Readers!

Adobe Photoshop PDF

My original inspiration for writing haiku was “Haiku: This Other World” by Richard Wright. My original education to write quality, publishable poems was “Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All,” by you, of course!!! I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement over the years.”

Dr. Ronald K. Craig, Professor of Psychology (Ret.)

 

RipplesCover020120.indd

Your poetry is so profound, beautiful, and wise. I find myself revisiting and rediscovering the imagery, the layers of meaning. Your poems remind me of the words in Simon and Garfunkel, “I’ve got my books and my poetry to protect me/ I am shielded in my armor.”

Terry Loncaric

These two reference books will help you write better poetry through their instruction. For more reviews, see below:

About “Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All”–

An altogether brilliant work that must be read by anyone with so much as a passing interest in haiku. Charlotte Digregorio has penned a masterpiece! She has written the definitive guide to one of poetry’s most fascinating genres. This work belongs on the bookshelf of any poet who is serious about writing the kind of haiku that editors want to publish.

John J. Dunphy, Author and Poet, Touching Each Tree 

Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing comes in a year when healing is in even greater demand than usual. In this book, we not only get a well-written poetry collection that promotes healing, but a how-to guide for writing poetry that aids healing. As I read it, I often paused to implement Digregorio’s suggestions, jotting down poems of my own, and filled several pages. The author is particularly well known as an authority on the Japanese forms of haiku and senryu, and many of the poems in this book follow them. Others are in free verse and a dozen other forms. The collection is structured into sections containing poems about various subjects you can consider writing about. Each section is introduced by a page of prose that includes the author’s sage comments on why the subject is relevant and how the poems influence healing. The poems and writing advice are clear, accessible, and beautifully lyrical. Her point is: look, you can do this.  I highly recommend this book.

Richard Allen Taylor, Author of Armed and Luminous

Book Reviewer, The Main Street Rag

Contact me for more information: Charlotte Digregorio, c-books@hotmail.com

And, if you are interested in pursuing haiku and senryu, attend my free Zoom workshop, sponsored by the Winnetka (IL) Public Library, open to all globally. Sunday Sept. 19, 2 to 3:30 p.m. (Chicago/USA Time).

With thanks and gratitude for reading my blog,

Charlotte

Posted in Author, Books, Charlotte Digregorio, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Instruction, Poetry, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: June 26, 2021

between us
a rock and moss
drifting clouds

 

by Erin Castaldi (USA)

Third Prize

Wild Plum Haiku Contest, 2019

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Erin Castaldi, Haiku, Relationships | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Haibun Special by Roberta Beary

Piano Practice

My grandma speaks in a thick accent. I try to keep her away from my school friends. I don’t want them to make fun of me. At home it’s different. I like having her around because she likes me. That puts her way ahead of both my parents and my sister. Those three avoid me at all times. So when my grandma tells me to play the piano, I obey. I like the way her face lights up as I stumble my way through five easy pieces for classical piano. It warms my insides. Fast forward three lifetimes. My therapist says that someone must have loved me very much when I was young. He tells me he can see that love in my face, in my smile, in my eyes. Yes, I answer, there was one person.

 

on the broken

    middle c

  winter dusk

 

 

by Roberta Beary (Ireland/USA)

Frogpond, 38.1, 2015

Posted in grandmothers, Grandparents, Haibun, Haiku, prose, Roberta Beary | Tagged , , | 20 Comments