Daily Haiku: June 3, 2020

in eelgrass
the current reveals itself
summer stillness
 
by Alan S. Bridges (USA)
The Heron’s Nest, 18:3, September 2016
Posted in Alan S. Bridges, Daily Haiku, Haiku, imagery, Language Arts, Short Poems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: June 2, 2020

through balcony blinds
moonlight clings to the ocean–
a lingering thought
 
 
 
by Sari Grandstaff (USA)
Chronogram, December 2019
 
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, imagery, Sari Grandstaff, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Free Verse by Sally Hewitt

Touching Sky

We touched the sky

and asked for more, ever more.

 

The river bed fanned and spread,

coursing out toward the sea, 

spewing twirling leaves and wine, 

stretching time, our feet sinking 

in the sand, slowing motion,

minutes in a circle, seconds

riding thermals, our thoughts

internalized, doubled with 

inhibited smiles.

 

What of our time on earth and 

with whom we choose to spend it?

 

He drew rocks upon the rocks,

moving them to suit his art,

a garden amidst our sandy beach,

glaciated mountain touching sky, 

verdant forest standing watch,

we cavorted, children at heart,

spilling sand through our fingertips

like the span of time together.





by Sally Hewitt (USA)

Plainsongs, Winter 2018

 

Posted in Free Verse, Poems, Sally Hewitt | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: June 1, 2020

senryu
 
 
 
driving home
the twists and turns
of our conversation
 
 
 
 
by Jay Friedenberg (USA)
Modern Haiku, Vol. 49.3, Autumn 2018
 
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Jay Friedenberg, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: May 31, 2020

late afternoon–

the fullness

of the cow’s udder

by Carole MacRury  (USA)

Snapshot Press, The Haiku Calendar, 2008

Posted in Carole MacRury, Haiku, Poems, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

New Testimonials for “Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing”

Readers and Followers:

I thank all the people who’ve read my new poetry book and commented. Below is a brief description of it and new reviews:

Charlotte Digregorio’s timely book, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, is artistically-designed with nearly 200 haiku/senryu and haiku sequences. It also has 130 other poems of thirteen forms including tanka, haibun, and common forms one learned in school, such as sonnet, free verse, acrostic, cinquain, and limerick.

It isn’t just a collection of Digregorio’s award-winning poems, but an inspirational book with essays, prose passages that encourage the writing of poetry as a healing exercise (with attention to haiku), and exhaustive Appendices that spur poets to publicize their work/events.

It’s divided into 12-themed sections including: Nostalgia, Peace, Solitude, Creatures, People, and Seasons’ Potpourri. It has: an Introduction that features haiku, senryu, and tanka; a comprehensive bibliography of healing poetry collections including 22 haiku books; multiple lists of publications that publish poetry; ideas for general print/broadcast media that feature poets; and ideas on types of associations/organizations/businesses that promote poets through awards, interviews, readings, speaking/workshop engagements, and exhibits of their work. The Appendices with their lists of resources, open to poets nationally/internationally, are also useful to haiku poets.

 

It’s Digregorio’s hope that more haikuists will be inspired to write other poetic forms to enrich their knowledge of poetry, in general, and write more haiku, too.

“Many haiku poets that I know only write the Japanese-style forms,” Digregorio says. “The more poetic forms people read and write, the more inspired they will become to write their preferred forms of poetry, implementing new ideas and developing rhythmic and imagistic skills,” she says.

Your book responds to so many of the themes and issues that are central to my life experience. I hope this book makes its way to many people in these sad and complex times. A real help. You are appreciated.

–David Eyre (USA), Poet

Charlotte Digregorio’s indefatigable writing packs a strong poetic punch. This award-winning poet has the courage to face the truth about love, loss, aging, birth, death, and the upside down nature of life–the full catastrophe. Expect to be challenged and invigorated. Without question, Digregorio is a beneficial presence in this world, and I have a high regard for her fresh and poignant poems.

–Robert Epstein, Psychotherapist & Author, Healing into Haiku: On Illness and Pain

 

 

Digregorio’s poetry is healing, gets you through tough times, and saves lives. This book is one answer to the Coronavirus. Nuanced by childhood memories of oceans and jagged monoliths, of black bear and elk, she shares through reflection and meditation, poems with a spaciousness that speak of acceptance and gratitude for what is. She is like the sculptor in one of her poems, “creating equilibrium and harmony.” She reaches out and invites the reader to join her in solitude, share thoughts and observations. There’s an exuberance of life here that cannot help but touch you.        

–Mary Jo Balistreri, Poet and Author, Still

 

The bumper sticker on my car reads: “Nature: Cheaper than Therapy.” As an adjunct to nature’s treatment plan, I would prescribe Charlotte Digregorio’s Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. Her imagistic poems wind through diverse relational and emotional terrain, and never lose touch with the natural healing qualities of acceptance, wonder, gratitude, and harmony.  

–Mike Stinson, Psychotherapist, Poet & Author, extra innings

 

 

 

Charlotte Digregorio has the all-too-uncommon ability to put the reader in the poet’s place. One does not read, so much as experience her poems. Closing my eyes, many of these poems could have been memories from my own past. These very personal poems become personal to the reader. The poet uses words as her brush, and all senses are stimulated.

–Ignatius Fay, Poet and Co-Author of Breccia

 

 

An affecting collection. Charlotte Digregorio finds lyricism in solitude, finds reason to celebrate and transform into art the trifles in our gritty lives. These are poems of great skill, poems with a generous heart by a writer who cherishes the luminous particulars of every moment.

–Marsh Muirhead, Poet and Author of last night of the carnival

 

Award-winning poet Charlotte Digregorio offers readers an array of poems that delve deeply into the external, her Midwest surroundings, and the internal, the nature of her creativity. Digregorio’s delectable collection is one to be savored again and again.

–Roberta Beary, Poet and Author of The Unworn Necklace

 

The poems of Charlotte Digregorio possess a clarity of vision one seldom finds in contemporary verse. The images she creates are vibrant and alive. We Baby Boomers identify with her all too well.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Charlotte Digregorio, Free Verse, Haiku, Haiku Book, Healing, Inspiration, Poetry, Poetry Books, Poets, Reference, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Nisha Raviprasad

Arrival

 

The sky scarlet with streaks, golden

like the anklets on a bride,

studded with crows, black, beautifully scattered.

 

 

their raucous calls ring in the wind

the dazzling moon is awake,

she always was.

 

 
Her silver fingers play a romantic solo,

As vespertine flowers undress their howling fragrance

The dusk, enticing,

the winding day yawns and

stretches in colours of deepened ecstasy.

 

 
The dusk waits like a canvas

to be painted upon

waits to imbibe the ink of peace and

soft whispers of cuddling lovers.

 

 
As though she draws a long breath and gently caresses homes

mud roofed or concrete

puffs at the desperate smoke from their chimneys.

 

 
The dusk calls them all together,

the winged ones and enchantingly send them home.

She plays the solo all night long, the moon

and I lay asleep in deep solitude.

 

 

by Nisha Raviprasad  (India)

 

 

Posted in Free Verse, Nisha Raviprasad, Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 30, 2020

an old basket

my wishes 

wildflowers

 

 by Maria Concetta Conti (Italy)

Otata, 43, July 2019

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Italy, Maria Concetta Conti, Poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Haibun by Ignatius Fay

Food for Thought

My two young daughters and I are at the grocery checkout. Ahead is a homeless woman of indeterminate age, a fixture in the neighborhood for years. Stooped, hair in disarray, teeth in need of more than a good brushing, she is wearing multiple layers of clothing, several more than necessary for the warm fall weather. She keeps glancing through the glass storefront at the shopping cart full of her stuff that is chained to a No Parking sign.

summer hours
between her groceries and mine
a wooden bar

One at a time, she places sixteen cans of cat food, a box of crackers, a box of tea bags and a couple of bars of soap on the counter. Short of money, she puts the soap aside. The girls look at me expectantly, barely able to restrain themselves until we reach the parking lot. The woman and her cart are already quite a ways up the street.

‘Pretty bad choices, eh, dad?’ asks my younger. ‘She is so poor. As if she spends most of her money on food for her cat.’

We are most of the way home before they get the implications of my response: ‘But she doesn’t own a cat.’

homeless man
wearing my plaid shirt
cool fall evening

by Ignatius Fay (Canada)

GENJUAN International Haibun Contest 2019, Honorable Mention

 

Ignatius Fay, a retired invertebrate paleontologist, writes haiku, tanka, haibun, tanka prose and rengay. His poems have appeared in many of the most respected online and print journals. In 2012, he co-authored a collection of poems, entitled Breccia, with Irene Golas. He is the current editor of the Haiku Society of America Bulletin and does the layout for the HSA’s journal Frogpond. Ignatius resides in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Posted in Haibun, Ignatius Fay, Japanese-style poetry, Poems, prose | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 29, 2020

mother’s sepsis . . .
I help the undertakers
wrap her away
 
by Alan Summers (UK)
Human/Kind Journal of Topical & Contemporary Japanese Short-forms
& Art, Issue 1.1, January 2019
Posted in Alan Summers, Haiku, Poems, The Daily Haiku | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Free Verse by Sally Hewitt

Raven Black

Under the forest canopy, raven rested
Black sheen reflecting on the cedar trunk
Corvid enveloped by green understory
Eyes darting warily, survival strategies
Collecting courage for the next foray
Not quiet, his coarse voice resonated
Like a bold billows on the nearby river
Sending shivers down the spines of prey
A beacon call for the perching eagle
Higher on the food chain, recalcitrant
Hesitant, comfortable at rest at last
Not willing to be harassed by raven
Bald eagle flies away, out of sight
Raven’s reputation deters other outliers
Until the forest stuns with utter quiet

 

by Sally Hewitt (USA),  Author of Confetti Wind

 

Posted in Free Verse, Poems, writing nature poems | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: May 28, 2020

dawn light­­

deer prints point

to the pear blossoms

                                  

by David Käwika Eyre (USA)

Modern Haiku, 50:2, Summer 2019

 

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, David Eyre, Haiku, Nature | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Karen Harvey

Water Baby

I saw you first
on the scan
baby swimmer,
echolocation,
two heartbeats,
yours faster than mine.

Mine skipped a beat
at the quickening of you,
when you flipped within me
whilst singing the songs
of the deep.

You came eagerly
running the bow wave.
I helped bring you
to the surface,
glistening, warm blooded,
at last, your skin
against mine.

I watched you
take your first breath,
a gasp, no two,
yours and mine,
brought you to my breast,
love at first sight.

Today we run
into the sea together,
dive in and surface laughing.
You, now fully grown,
our two heartbeats,
in time.

 

by Karen Harvey  (North Wales)

Posted in Free Verse, Karen Harvey, Poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 27, 2020

leading the way
flowers in my
bicycle basket


by Lynne Jambor (Canada)

Posted in Canada, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Lynne Jambor | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Prose Poem by Mac Greene

A Writer’s Lament or Ten Years Among the Wordmongers

                                                                                

Dedicated to David Shumate and Tracy Mishkin

 

by Mac Greene

       So, here I am, a word bumbler trying to transform into an emerging writer, crawling through the smashing surf onto one of the endless islands in the Archipelago Poetico. My Grand Canyon poem washes up in Hawaii. The zombie piece rots on Deadman’s Rock. Several haiku gardens blossom in Japonesia. I land a Christmas tree and a raft of ravens on Wilderness Isle, just as waves slam me down and pull me back to sea. My chapbook lights up the phosphorescentalgae, and then fizzles in the pounding waves. Drums and orators vociferate around all-night campfires on SlamBam as my rap poem bobs in a craft beer bottle. I steer clear of the broken crags and ivory towers of MFAland, especially Solipsism Reef and Overly Mannerd.
       Writers emerge from water spouts and whirlpools, only to be dragged back into the surf, sand in the crotch of our swimsuits, fighting against rip currents and flesh-eating jellyfish. I hear the mad cackling of Prosapomia Absurdia, where Neruda opened his briefcase and the room filled with seagulls and porpoises suck strawberry daiquiris at poolside bars. The Poet Laureate asks Ronald for directions to McDonalds and reserves an Air B&B with a chatty fox squirrel. She is serenaded by a cello full of bumblebees, while ants build empires beneath her feet. Forever emerging, I retreat on a shark-bitten surfboard searching for the mythical Sanity Isles in the Peach Glow Sea.

Flying Island, April 2017

 

Posted in Mac Greene, Poetry, Prose Poem | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 26, 2020

afternoon tea

drinking in the pinks

of a magnolia

 

by Amy Losak  (USA)

The Asahi Haikuist Network, April 17, 2020

 

Posted in Amy Losak, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Signature Haiku Anthology Is Published!

This announcement has just come in from Editor Robert Epstein:

Every committed poet has a haiku, senryu, or tanka that he or she personally cherishes as his or her best––perhaps, favorite––poem.  It may be the poem that the poet wants to be remembered by.  This is what is rightly called a signature poem.  In these pages you will find signature haiku, senryu and tanka by dozens of English-language poets from around the world.  Some may be instantly recognizable as classics, while others will quietly stir the reader’s imagination for their depth, passion, incisiveness, poignancy, subtlety or humor––to name but a few of the qualities associated with signature poetry.  Collectively, these wide-ranging, distinctive, and enduring haiku, senryu and tanka represent the very best of what the brief form of Japanese poetry, ever-evolving in English, has to offer.  They are an impenetrable ballast of truth and innocence against the dark forces at large in the world today. Read some sample poems below.

foghorns –

we lower a kayak

into the sound

    ~ Christopher Herold

a quiet spell

herbs burning on the hearth

rosemary

sage and berry – a prayer

for our suffering earth

    ~ Joy McCall

Don’t try 

to figure me out—

everything I write

is fiction 

all of it true

    ~ Alexis Rotella

Robert Epstein, a psychotherapist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a haiku anthologist as well as a haiku poet.  He has edited, All the Way Home:  Aging in Haiku. His recent book of original haiku is, Turning the Page to Old:  Haiku & Senryu

Posted in anthology, Haiku, Robert Epstein, Senryu, Tanka | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Haibun by Mary Jo Balistreri

Day of Remembrance

 

This Memorial Day is different. My father places a small carton of artefacts before me on the kitchen table—things I never knew he had. In seventy years, he never once talked about it, deflecting all questions with “There’s nothing to talk about.” 

 

He’s in his nineties, and I wonder, why now? But do not voice my question, elated that he has decided to share these things with me. He leaves the room to give me space.

 

secrets

out of the closet

articles of war

 

Dumbfounded, I dig out his aluminum dog tags, the size of a half dollar; register the cold, impersonal touch on my palm, wonder what it was like around his neck. Letters from my mother are enclosed within a heavy envelope on top—her picture, a lock of her hair. Unsettled, I put them back, leaving the letters for last. Remaining are two pocket sized black books—Dad’s diaries.

 

I open to the slanted script, ink smeared in places, fragments rather than sentences—a decimated Japanese village, little kids lost, crying; bodies in the rice paddies, bodies huddled together in fear—killing them out of fear. His handwriting is trembly, and as I continue on to the second book, I hear the uncertain, quivering voice that haunts these pages. Pausing to catch my breath, I stop for a while. I never heard my father cry. These books are full of tears.

 

brittle leaves 

falling from the trees…

my tea’s bitter taste

 

I stare out the window, watch flags hanging limp in the afternoon desert sun. The Sousa marches that stirred the early morning air are now replaced by images, death-stilled and sun-hollowed. How does one reconcile the spirited and robust music of patriotism with killing for one’s flag?

 

Continuing with the second book, father’s handwriting becomes almost illegible—names of the dead, of the wounded—men he would never see again. I hear loneliness and loss, in spite of the entries about the band he sang with on board his ship. A picture unmoored from its scotch tape shows the young men in his group. All dead except my father.

 

eviscerated—

the mouse no match

for the hawk

 

Together in the living room, we finally talk about his war, his years of silence, my unknowing. How he’d been lost inside that war. He said coming home alive to a loving wife and two small children had saved him. He’d been afraid, ashamed, beaten. Now in his last years, he’d wanted me to understand. 

 

flowering Katsura

in their midst

my father’s shy smile

 

by Mary Jo Balistreri (USA)

The Haibun Anthology, Issue 1:2, 2019

Tipperary, Ireland

 

Posted in Haibun, Japanese-style poetry, Mary Jo Balistreri, Poetry | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 25, 2020

black and white swirl
our two naked bodies
sleeping together
by Carole Daoust (Canada)
Posted in Canada, Carole Daoust, Daily Haiku, Haiku | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free Verse by Pravat Kumar Padhy

HOW BEAUTIFUL ….



If birds could talk

Trees could walk with us

Flowers could express their cause of smile

Spring could speak its desire

And meaning of songs to the rocks

Waves could stop for a while so that

We could have some words with them.



 

Silence could spell out its

Aim of being a saint

Past could return and

Open its petals afresh

Graveyard could wake up

After the sunrise

And chat with us.



 

by Pravat Kumar Padhy (India)

The Indian Express, July 9, 1983

Posted in Free Verse, Poems, Pravat Kumar Padhy | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 24, 2020

SENRYU

pitting an olive

in my mouth

his name

by Mary Stevens (USA)


Modern Haiku, 50:3, 2019

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Mary Stevens, men, Senryu | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Prose Poem by Mike Gallagher

The Clonmel Set



Benny is subtle. Stray notes skip in and out of aural focus like fleeting shafts of light on a driven avenue. Only gradually do you become aware of a pattern as he moves off the lower register and challenges the bar’s steadfast din. Next to him a guitarist, ear askance, catches the key and marks the beaten track.
Pat strolls into this, still lazy path, all dark curled bonhomie. Tree-limbs and gnarled fingers belie a tender deftness of touch on bow and bridge. A couple of banjos loiter with intent, indolently picking, impatient for the inevitable onslaught. Conlon’s flute is comfortably mellow in this quiet Bluehill glade. A long-necked heretic purrs easily in the background. Bodhrans and bones hibernate, awaiting the call.
It comes with a yelp from Pat, a slam from Benny. Lightning fingers accelerate over invisible black keys as he leads the gallop through the foothills. Pat takes up the chase, his Moses all benign smiles and guttural urgings. He leads his people across gurgling pools; guides them through magical fairy groves; drives them up hill and down dale. Now his bow angles across his cheek, its top end doing a mad St. Vitas dance, hoppin’, leppin’, trippin’, slidin’ over imagined river rocks. Then in the high ground, it is erect, plunging, lunging, forcing, demanding. Around him, Benny piles triplet on gilded triplet, leaps and bounds, draws and pushes, pushes and draws, tingling fingers cascading over pliant keys. The guitarist’s easy strum races into frenetic, frenzied slashings, a devarnished, abstract patch above his fret the victim of a deranged plectrum. The flute scurries in and out, goaded by the surrounding swirling, whirling madness. Banjos, free at last from restricting melody, race hither and thither, grace notes bounding off grace notes, driving, diving, delving, thrusting. Bodhrans and bones, frolicsome scamps, explore, explode, subside, rattle in exuberance. Electric renegade, no longer purring, growls, barks, snarls resentment.
 The bar, thrashed, abandons its chattering nonsense and submits to the pagan music’s adrenalin howl, carried on the churning wave to a crazed crescendo.
Suddenly… violently…on the up… the set ends.

by Mike Gallagher (Ireland), Author

Stick on Stone

Posted in Mike Gallagher, Prose Poem | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku Special Feature for Saturday, May 23, 2020

Many of you are familiar with Marta Chocilowska’s haiku. She is very active internationally in the haiku world.

Below is her biography and nine of her haiku poems:

Chocilowska lives in Warsaw, Poland. She is a cat–lover, cyclist, co-author of domestic and foreign haiku anthologies, and winner and judge of several haiku contests.

She is widely published in international haiku, senryu, and haiga journals. Her haiku are translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, and Russian.

Chocilowska is the author of “Seasons in Polish Kigo,” President of the Polish Haiku Association, the editor of the PHA’s Almanac, “Migratory Birds,” and administrator of The Haiku Foundation’s Haiku Registry.

my grandfather’s smile

from beneath

the scarecrow’s hat

Brass Bell: a haiku journal, December 2017

cherry blooms . . .

even the moon

turns pink

Asahi Haikuist Network, March 3, 2017

church candles

shining in new splendor

worn wedding rings

Asahi Haikuist Network, Feb. 16, 2018

slice of bread

step in step with me

a seagull

Otata, 32, August 2018

Friday evening . . .

the pub door swings

in front of a boy

Otata, 31, July 2018

summertime—

our old swing

still creaks

The Mainichi, Haiku in English Best of 2016 Annual Selection

springtime

the bareness of mannequins

in shop windows

Golden Triangle Haiku Contest, 2019

stray dog

a beggar splits his sandwich

in half

Brass Bell: a haiku journal, April 2017

sultry night

you don’t let me sleep till dawn

grasshopper

Peonies/Божури – a bilingual haiku anthology, Sofia, 2019

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, Marta Chocilowska, Poland | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

May is National Mental Health Month

Many of you are familiar with the haiku of Robert Epstein from reading this blog. You’re also familiar with his haiku collections and the anthologies he publishes that feature great poets’ work, like yours.

During National Mental Health Month, I’d like to remind all of you to read Epstein’s work. Epstein is a psychotherapist and he has published dozens of his own collections and anthologies.

Here are just a few that are available on Amazon:

Posted in anthology, Haiku authors, Poetry, Robert Epstein, Senryu | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Vanessa Proctor

A dragonfly

rests motionless on my finger

as I gently unravel

the spider’s silk

that is caught

around its wings and thorax.

It seems weightless,

with its dark, slender body,

and six fragile legs on my skin.

I unwrap each strand

until the dragonfly is free,

yet it doesn’t move.

We become a stillness

that dissolves into the morning

until suddenly it shimmers away

on brilliant wings

transparent into the blue.       

by Vanessa Proctor (Australia)

Quadrant, Vol. 57, No. 1-2, January/February, 2013

Posted in Free Verse, Poems, Vanessa Proctor | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 22, 2020

late autumn
a puppy catches
the first snowflakes
 
 
 
by Nikolay Grankin (Russia)
Harusame,  March 31, 2019

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, micropoetry, Nikolay Grankin, Russia, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Barb Germiat

Golden Giants

 

Giant goldfish swimming

in Harold’s’s stock tank

entranced me, a little girl

who knew nothing but the farm.

 

Now I call them koi,

but that doesn’t make them

any less wonderful,

teasing the cows’ tongues.

 

On our farm, whimsy was subtle,

like yellow sugar on white frosting.

Work was hard; play was rare,

but golden giants swam next door.

 

 

 

by Barb Germiat (USA)

 

 

Posted in Barb Germiat, Free Verse, Poetry | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 21, 2020

waiting

for the first night star

cricket song

 

by Rick Daddario (USA)

https://19planets.wordpress.com/

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, Nature, Poems, Rick Daddario | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Free Verse by RM Yager

Grampa’s Life of 86 Years

 

They called me from the Nursing Home

to come and collect his belongings

 

So I went

 

Gathered up, a Red clock radio,

orthopedic tennis shoes, several Readers Digests, wool socks, boxer shorts,

yellowed t-shirts, 12 flannel shirts in many colors and plaids, a blue velour bathrobe with matching slippers.

 

Old sweatshirts, many miss-matched pairs of sweat pants, several pairs of Sansabelt trousers, some old books,

a wool overcoat, old umbrella, and several containers of talcum powder,

vaseline, Ben Gay, Vicks Vaporub, Polident, toothbrushes, 3 plastic emesis basins, a plastic wash basin

 

One pair of Ted hose, an ace wrap. an old warn wrist watch with a metal stretch band. A scratched up uncharged cell phone.

 

His old worn billfold contained an expired drivers license, voters registration card, Butchers Union Card, from the 1950’s, and a $20 bill.

 

I put all the family pictures in a small cardboard box

 

These he had kept on his dresser and bedside table so they would be the first thing he saw when he woke up in the morning.

 

I carried out the remains of his life possessions

In 4 big black plastic bags.

 

 

by RM Yager (USA)

Boston Literary Magazine, 2020

Posted in Beginning Poets, Free Verse, Language Arts, Poems, Rita Yager, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 20, 2020

seaside in summer . . .
the sound of the undertow
cradles all my dreams

by Rosa Maria Di Salvatore (Italy)

Haiku Dialogue, Aug. 14, 2019

The Haiku Foundation

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, micropoetry, Poems, Rosa Maria Di Salvatore | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 19, 2020

May sunrise
a few more flowers
on the Christmas cactus
 
by Ellen Grace Olinger (USA)
Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, Ellen Grace Olinger, Haiku, micropoetry, Poetry | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Free Verse by Ellen Grace Olinger

Poem for Georgia O’Keeffe

 

The ripples of a life:

Your black iris hangs

In my study–

(the walls are grey and

you would approve);

How could you know the beauty

You would bring into our lives

You, who painted flowers

big to make us see–

Intensity of color to

Mirror intensity of soul,

And, having found

Expression, tranquillity of

Soul.

 

 

You couldn’t have known, not truly.

You were simply working hard,

Faithful to what you saw.

 

 

You painted your way

And your passing grieves me.

 

 

by Ellen Grace Olinger (USA)

HARD ROW TO HOE, Reviews From Rural America, Vol. III, Winter 1994

The print referred to is from a showing of O’Keeffe’s work at The Madison Art Center:

Paintings 1919 – 1977. March 3 – April 29, 1984.

Posted in Ellen Grace Olinger, Free Verse, Poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Final Call: Biographical Listings for Living Haiku/Senryu Anthologies

The Living Haiku and Senryu Anthologies are invaluable resources for all haikuists to appear In.

 

Please read this important interview with Don Baird about the Living Haiku Anthology and The Living Senryu Anthology that you should participate in, so that your poetry will be well known throughout your life and after you die. All poets who write haiku in English are welcome to participate.

 

1) When did you begin writing haiku, how did you discover it, and why do you have a passion for it?

 

I am a professional martial artist. The arts introduced me to eastern philosophy, poetry, their arts in general. It was from there that I discovered haiku and its mighty power in such a concise package. While I dabbled in it over the years I honestly had no idea how to write it. The form proved awkward for me and I lost interest. Someone mentioned to me that there is a group called Haiku Hut. Mike Rehling was running things. It turned my haiku world upside down. After 2004 and onward, haiku grew on me quickly; I found myself writing almost everywhere I found myself! Soon, I won Kusamakura, 3rd place, two years in a row when Dr. Richard Gilbert was the editor. Eventually, Tanka Press published my first haiku book and now, as they say, the rest is history!

 

2) How and when did you get the idea for the Living Haiku Anthology and The Living Senryu Anthology?

 

Stephen Bailey, my partner, and I were chatting one day. I had some life-threatening medical problems which left me with nothing but time on my hands. The idea came up during a Facebook chat about creating an online anthology of haiku for everyone to enjoy, read, and use as a research source. I ran it by him and he said he had some of the same ideas. We struck a deal that evening, I believe around 2013. Today, we house hundreds of poets and thousands of poems. The Living Senryu Anthology is much more recent, having been around for only a couple of years. Then, of course, we own and operate Under the Basho which is going very well. We have an amazing team of editors — just stunning!

 

3) What are the Living Anthologies’ purposes?

 

The concept is truly based on serving. We wanted to create a source for reading haiku poets’ poems from around the world; we wanted their work to be readily available for anyone that wanted to sit and read a bit. We have poets from many countries and languages. While we focus on English language haiku, we do represent authors that we have published in two languages — their native language as well as English.

 

4) How and when did you make them happen? Who were the poets who helped organize the project?

 

Stephen and I developed it all right from the beginning. He said, “Give me your ideas and I will make it happen on the website.” It was so exciting. We dreamed together, or so it seemed.

As I spoke he was already there; as he contacted me for something, I was already in tune. Within an extremely short time, we had a website. Our beginning was at hand and we were ready for poets! We put some invites out there. The flow of submissions was awesome. LHA was growing rapidly and hundreds of poets have come to join in. We continue to represent new poems of current poets as well as approve excellent submissions from new applicants.

 

5) How is the project financed? What have the main costs been?

 

Whatever the costs have been, I have financed them myself. As time went by, we placed a PayPal invite so that folks could donate. I recover a bit of my investment from that. Our costs are all website related. Stephen (known as Hansha Teki, poet) and I remain unpaid volunteers and continue to focus on serving the haiku community. I’m very fortunate because he is one of the best webmasters out there. He is lightning fast. I don’t understand that side of things. But I know for sure, he is truly amazing at what he does for LHA.

 

6) How many poets have been featured? And, from how many countries?

 

Literally thousands of haiku and hundreds of poets. I don’t have the exact numbers on hand but they are high. Visits to the websites are high as well.

 

7) What challenges have you encountered along the way?

 

At first, there were several things we had to hurdle over. One is, we had to come up with a fair and reasonable approach as to what we would accept. There are a lot of opinions out there as to what haiku is or isn’t. That became one of our first stumps. We decided early on that in order for a poet to be qualified to have a place in the LHA, they would have to be published by a haiku journal, with credit, and by a haiku editor. Second, we decided it was important to not accept less than five published haiku as an initial submission; what would be the point? I recall that our first requirement was 10 or more. We reduced it later. Of course, we remain somewhat accepting as to what haiku is (as long as they were published by a haiku journal, somewhere). I think readers can fend for themselves and discover what they like and don’t like on their own. Still, though, there is a lot of short poetry descriptive writing going on out there that the authors believe are haiku. I’m the bad-guy that has to inform them that we are not accepting the haiku for publication. It’s a sticky area. I’ve come up against it a few times where the poet truly believes he/she is writing haiku. I attempt to remain very broad-minded, accept what I feel I can, and let go of the others. It’s tough. Not everything that poets write are haiku; it’s on me to figure the boundaries if any.

 

8) What educational institutions have been involved in helping?

 

Dr. Richard Gilbert assisted LHA significantly a few years back. He came just at the right time to stimulate us to perk up some areas of the Anthology. His efforts and advice have been crucial. We made important changes that caused the LHA to be more significant on a worldwide presence. We tuned the site to be more research-friendly in order for them to easily find what they were looking for in their research. Dr. Gilbert has many LHA represented haiku in his more recent books.

 

9) How will you ensure that the project will continue?

 

That’s a great question. I am turning 73 and Stephen is getting up there as well. We have talked a few times about this issue. It’s a current topic and one that we need to resolve. We both agree that the LHA must not ever die — that it goes on for generations to come. That would be awesome. My wife is aboard and knows that if anything happens to me that she will continue paying the costs of owning and operating the website. It isn’t a lot, frankly. Stephen and I are currently looking for people to assist us. Possibly, that will lead to the solution. For now, we’re both in and going strong.

 

10) Is there anything like it in other languages?

 

There is nothing that is published that is anything like it as far as I know. When you glance through LHA you will find so many fantastic sections filled to the brim with numerous very fine haiku poets.  Articles, essays, discussions, readings . . . on and on. The LHA has become more than what we originally anticipated. An amazing journey.

 

11) Can any haikuist who writes English and who’s been published be featured?

 

Yes, mainly. I do watch over the LHA with a caring hand. I attempt to assist the poets along their path to being published by LHA. It can get sticky, though; poets believe in their work. Unfortunately, I do have to decline submissions from time to time. Neither of us wants to be the haiku police. At the same time, we don’t believe that everything we receive is a haiku. As a side note, we do not automatically publish poets who are self-published. We might or might not accept their submission; I will have a look and make a decision.

 

12) How can poets contact you for inclusion?

 

They can reach me at underthebasho@gmail.com or from the LHA submission form.

Posted in Haiku, Living Haiku Anthology, Living Senryu Anthology, Poets, Senryu, Submissions, Writers' Biographies | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Alegria Imperial

Mirage

 

Shredded blooms,

hair parted in the wind,

the pavement wavering—

my cane unwilling

to step with me.

 

 

Light shimmers ahead

I swear I am on solid land.

But the air has turned into water

and I suddenly shed tears—

but I’m not crying.

 

 

The girl behind me

races a breeze and she stumbles.

My cane falls but I remain

suspended between air

and water uncertain—

 

 

I think I’m flying,

flying with the sparrows:

could they be lost?

Or falling wingless like the moths

from a pink tree.

 

Oh, my cane tiptoes

back to me winged, its crook a hand,

growing fingers, prodding me

to rise. I rise, stilled

between white air and water

 

 

—the ground at least, has

ceased spinning.

 

 

by Alegria Imperial (Canada)

Honorable Mention

Passager Poetry Contest, 2007

 

 

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Daily Haiku: May 18, 2020

shards of glass—
a white lily’s
perfume remains
by Maria Teresa Piras  (Italy)
Otata, 39, March 2019
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Maria Teresa Piras, micropoetry, Poetry, Publishing, Short Poems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free Verse by Debbie Strange

for Calum

 

they straggle out of their black-houses

silently greeting the peaty air

as they untether their hopeful boats

leading them like dogs to the end of the grizzled pier

 

 

the sleep-fuddled sea rolls over and grumbles

into the thickened waist of morning

and the blue-breasted hills

breathe in the slanting sighs of heathered moors

 

 

hand-hewn oars slice through buttery water

drawing and quartering the awakening sea

with its insatiable craving for the rarefied taste

of smoked and salty Lewis men

 

 

with a careless wave and shrug of swollen shoulders

winter’s teasing tongue of storm lashes out

licking heaving decks

flicking crumbs of frozen fishermen into the greedy bay

 

 

wind-whipped dogs limp home and nudge the lamenting shore

with torn sails between their legs

without their singing masters and silver creels

they bring no solace to the widowed croft

 

 

 

by Debbie Strange (Canada)

First Place

The Writers’ Collective/Winnipeg Free Press Poetry Contest, 2011

 

Black-houses were traditional thatched huts on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Fires were built in the center of the living area and there was no chimney. The smoke escaped through the roof, blackening the interior of the dwelling.

 

 

Posted in Debbie Strange, Free Verse, Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 17, 2020

a jar of frogspawn
now her grandad remembers
my childhood
 
by Susan Spooner (Canada)
Blithe Spirit, 28:3, 2018
Posted in Aging, Canada, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems, Susan Spooner | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free Verse by Tricia Knoll

The Witness of Rings

 

Each stump tells a story.
Years build up and out,
fat, lean, dry or green,
a few under attack.

 

Draw the rings of your heartwood.
Color the circles in a hue
that soothes you. Sketch
tight lines for years you forgot,

 

bark stretch of early memories –
swimming in the lake with alewives.
Shade under the napping crabapple tree.
The car with a clutch that you drove away

 

from home. That summer locusts erupted.
Concentric circles in certain years.
Swellings for tragedies or births
when a burl began to bulge.

 

Before you decay in the way of leaves,
pin up this wavery star chart and bull’s-eye
to an oak in the skyscraper woods
where your grandchildren play hide and seek.

 

by Tricia Knoll (USA)

 

 

Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Free Verse, Poems, Tricia Knoll | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: May 16, 2020

SENRYU
listening to the story
of the lump
in my throat
by Mary Stevens (USA)
Frogpond, 39:3, 2016
Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, Mary Stevens, micropoetry, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Writing/Publishing Haiku and Haibun

Three Tips: Writing/Publishing Haiku & Haibun

by Roberta Beary

 

Roberta Beary is a longtime haiku and haibun poet, and the author of The Unworn Necklace and Deflection. (You can read my two reviews of these books at the end of this post.)

  

  • What is your advice to haiku poets for writing effective haiku?

 

When writing haiku, try to capture a small moment that illuminates how you respond to an image. What feelings does the image invoke in you? Remember, each reader’s response to your haiku will differ from your own as it is colored by the reader’s experience. Try to steer clear of poetic language.

 

  • What is your advice to haibun writers for writing effective haibun?

Good haibun is a trinity of title, prose, and haiku, with each part contributing to the whole. Read as much haibun as you can to immerse yourself in its varied forms. When submitting, make sure work on a similar theme has not appeared in the last few issues of that journal. As an editor, I look for innovative haibun, and that includes theme as well as structure.

 

  • As an editor, what protocols should writers follow to deal effectively with editors?

Rejection is hard. I, too, have received a slew of rejections, including from good friends. If you are open to edits, let the editor know, and remember to keep emails exchanges private. MFA students are writing and submitting haibun, along with widely published poets who are new to the form. Competition for publication in quality journals is extremely keen.

 

The Unworn Necklace

As many of you know, Beary is a multi-award-winning haiku poet, and most recently, the 2017 Roving Ambassador for The Haiku Foundation, supporting the study and advancement of haiku. Currently, she lives in Ireland. As part of her recent work for the Foundation, she has spent the past few years meeting with haiku poets in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Sweden, spreading the word about haiku and its relevance in our daily lives.

Beary is a frequent presenter at haiku conferences and haiku contest judge. In 2013, when I was an officer of the Haiku Society of America, I invited her to be a guest speaker at our Annual National Haiku Meeting/Symposium in the Chicago area that drew poets and speakers from across the U.S. and foreign countries. Her presentations are always intriguing and inspirational.

And, many of her haiku and senryu have been featured on The Daily Haiku in the last few years.

Beary’s poems can be read regularly in all the prominent haiku journals, along with being featured in Haiku in English The First Hundred Years (Norton, 2013).

In reviewing The Unworn Necklace, it is difficult to select just a few from the many memorable poems. I like to review books that are accessible to everyone, regardless of their experience level in haiku, and this is one of those books.

We often say haiku is “simple and elegant,” and Beary’s haiku epitomizes this adage, as everyone can appreciate and learn from her writing style and wisdom. Her images stick with the reader long after they are read. Her poems often speak of the human condition, specifically, love and loss, and family dynamics.

She also writes prolifically about nature’s moments of beauty with her fine-tuned observational skills. And, her senryu are delightful in their insights of human nature. Beary’s poems, consisting of just a few precise words, reach the core of the reader’s heart.

I include just two of her poems:

 

the sound of the name

i used to have

soft falling snow

 

not hearing it

till the cat stirs

birdsong

 

 

Deflection

I have about 5,000 books in my personal library, so it’s rare for me to take the time to re-read any of them. However, I keep coming back to “Deflection” by Roberta Beary, published in 2015. Back then, my curiosity piqued with its title, because the word illustrates the pattern of my life, as with the lives of most of us. We veer off course, are sideswiped, our journey  too often knotty.

With less and less time in my schedule, I can’t review books on my blog, though lately, I’ve made a couple of exceptions.

“Deflection” is a book of spare poetry that includes haibun and haiku and tanka sequences. Understatement is so beautifully executed in these poems that evoke so much emotion about subjects including: a failed marriage, caregiving and the deaths of loved ones, child abuse by a person close to the family, the author coming to terms with her son being Gay, the grandparents’ difficulty in dealing with their grandson’s homosexuality, and a relative’s drug addiction. There is a strong sense of the author’s resilience after loss when, for example, she moves forward to a second marriage.

Life’s adversities are expressed so simply, with depth and insight that touch our hearts. We very much respect Beary’s courage in writing the book. One can imagine that these poems of grief must have slapped her in the face while writing them, and will forever affect her when she re-reads them. They are so revealing about the human condition that readers will most certainly be moved.

Beary’s work is at its finest here, as her Japanese-style poetry is spare.  Deflection is a collection filled with  loss and the questioning of life–­ why things happen as they do.

The book isn’t all somber. For example, In “Summertime Blues,” a sequence, we find the single poem:

 

suddenly single–

a carpenter bee gives me

the wrong kind of buzz

 

Individual haiku from the sequence “Caretaker II” are particularly moving:

 

resurrection sky

mother somewhere between

here and there

 

day of blossoms

a nurse erases

mother’s name

 

In the latter haiku, anyone who has navigated the healthcare system with a parent or other relative comes to know the often impersonal nature or even callousness of personnel. Also, in this haiku, we are touched by the contrast between spring and the end of life.

 

Here’s a passage from the haibun “Nighthawks,” during the deathwatch of her mother:

 

i keep watch: rise and fall of out-of-breath beats. too soon it

comes. ebb tide.

 

autumn coolness enters a hand long held in mine

 

After her mother’s death, Beary expresses feeling off-balance in the title poem “Deflection,” another sequence:

 

tai-chi rain

all my weight on

the wrong foot

 

In dealing with child abuse, below is a passage from “Irish Twins,” with its powerful curt lines that skillfully illustrate Beary’s fear of abuse by a person close to the family. As a child, she escapes to an imaginary world during the episodes. (Although the poem ends with a haiku, the main passage below strikes the reader stylistically as being free verse.)

 

I know he is there.

I feel his weight.

Never on my side.

Always on the side she sleeps.

When the bedsprings sing their sad song

I fly away.

 

In “The Offer,” a haibun, she relives her visit later in life with the abuser who is now demented and helpless. It seems she arrives at his house to offer help, trying to put what happened in childhood behind her. However, she is unable to follow through:

 

. . . He needs a shave. He needs a haircut, He needs a

wash. This man who used to scare me to death.

 

Unable to handle his ravings, she departs in her car:

 

rear-mirror the stunted pine’s red robin

 

In the haiku sequence ,“Last Rites,” one would guess that she is reliving her father’s death. This is the sequence’s final poem:

 

day of the obit

inside his wallet

me at eleven

 

Further, she writes the haibun, “Memorare,” telling of her prayers for either a drug-addicted relative or someone close to her. A recounting of her recitation to the Virgin Mary for intercession on this person’s behalf, she wonders if prayers will be answered. She intersperses passages from the translated prayer that Catholics recite by rote in parochial school, with stream of consciousness, remembering what children were told to do by nuns to live an immaculate life:

 

. . . that never was it known that anyone who fled

to thy protection implored thy help or sought

thy intercession was left unaided patent leather

shoes are not allowed because boys must be

kept free from temptation . . .

 

 

meth addict

the baby face

in my wallet

 

 

She skillfully captures this recitation without punctuation, not only for the effect of stream of consciousness, but to illustrate how parochial school children often pray, in a rambling way,  without fully understanding the words.

 

Beary completes her collection trying to come to terms with yet another loss in the haibun “What Remains.” This focuses on someone else’s loss of a son, perhaps that of a sibling she was estranged from. She is regretful of the young person who drives carelessly and dies. She is haunted by what she was told transpired:

A police car sets its revolving light on a mother’s house. The shadow of two men appears.

The front door opens. One man

is a policeman. This is where the story ends. The other man is a

priest. This is where the story begins.

 

We praise Beary for having the courage to write this book that ultimately makes us feel less alone in life as a fellow traveler through adversity. It is a highly recommended work of art. Further, its stunning book cover is the creation of Kevin Beary, her brother.

 

To contact Beary, you may email her at robertabearywriting@gmail.com

 

Copyright 2020 by Charlotte Digregorio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in advice, Haibun, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, Poetry, Roberta Beary | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free Verse by Carole MacRury

The Light in Blue-Black

 

In this my fifth decade,

I rouse

like a drowsed bee drunk on pollen;

begin to feast on fresh figs,

listen

to green rubbing against green

and hear a world,

echoed,

in the hollow ping of a raindrop

falling on metal eaves.

 

 

I lift the skirts of life;

see the rootwad of fallen giants,

rotting,

becoming nurse-logs—

heartwood softening

to new-birthed saplings;

a new green fuzz of fern.

 

 

And I cradle you close –

my daughter’s firstborn;

my tiny Pallas Athene;

unafraid

of the raven’s throaty vowels,

his blue-black wings—

knowing

you wear the shape of my lips,

carry a trace of my seed.

 

 

by Carole MacRury (USA)

Poets Gone Wild Anthology, 2005

 

 

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Daily Haiku: May 15, 2020

SENRYU

railroad flat

last room

razor in a mug

 

by Sydell Rosenberg (USA), 1929-1996

The Living Senryu Anthology

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, Poems, Senryu, Sydell Rosenberg | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Free Verse by Maureen Weldon

SINK AND THE GREAT HOUSE

 

‘My poor hands, red and rough,’

this is what Sink hears as the greasy-spiky water

sloshes,

scullery maid scrubs with gentle precision

porcelain plates, cups, saucers, jugs …

 

On freezing five o’clock mornings

Sink feels scullery maid’s hands  un-stiffen.

 

Sad, her pretty hands

torn, oozing.

 

But she is smiling,

remembering …

 

As the greasy-spiky water sloshes.

 

 

by Maureen Weldon ( North Wales)

Crannog, #41, Spring 2016

Posted in Free Verse, Maureen Weldon, Poems, Wales | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 14, 2020

SENRYU
menu
boiled eggs
and fly
by Pere Risteski  (North Macedonia)
Prune Juice, #28, 2019
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Macedonia, Pere Risteski, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Free Verse by Jane Richards

Why I go to the ocean when life veers into disorder

 

Approach the edge of the continent,

face the wildest of the wilds:

are you not startled?

Behold the sea:

its endless hand pressing against the horizon,

its rude shoulder shoving at the earth,

its whispers and roars

emerging darkly from below.

 

 

And what of its accomplice, the wind?

With potent arms

it whips up deliriums,

explodes water skyward,

hurls it ashore,

then claws at the palms

tearing and shredding.

 

 

The mayhem keens day and night,

the sea and the wind,

violent revelers that will not rest.

Though bedlam swirls,

I hold my stance,

anchor my feet in the sand,

release taut lines,

discover calm waters.

 

by Jane Richards (USA)

The Weekly Avocet, #294,  July 22, 2018

 

Posted in creative writing, Free Verse, Jane Richards, nature poems, Poems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: May 13, 2020

the rain
almost a friend
this funeral
by Alan Summers (UK)
Azami, #28, Japan, 1995
Posted in Alan Summers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, death, Haiku, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Free Verse by Marion Clarke

Imprints

 

 

I am about to rearrange the cushions,

but notice they are as you left them,

one on top of the other, nest-like,

footstool pad indented,

as if your feet still rest there.

 

 

I know that the cup and plate

cannot remain on the side table,

but I am unable to move a thing –

this proof of your presence,

a memory of our Wednesdays.

 

 

I take my phone, photograph your seat,

dismantle the soft structure, piece by piece.

The image a reminder, a safeguard,

in case you don’t make it

next week.

 

 

 

by Marion Clarke (Northern Ireland)

Anthology: Find by Community Arts Partnership, Belfast, 2019

 

Poet’s note: Little did I know when I wrote  this piece that my mother would have to stop coming to stay on Wednesday evenings due to Covid-19.

 

 

Posted in creative writing, Free Verse, Ireland, Language Arts, Marion Clarke, Poetry | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: May 12, 2020

white window vase
the peacock feather deep
in autumn dusk
 
 
by Roberta Beary (Ireland/USA)
Presence, Issue No. 66, March 2020
Posted in Art, creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, imagery, Roberta Beary | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Free Verse by Paul Beech

THE UNFORGIVEN

 

Well past middle-age,

bald,

he sits there with his love,

milkshakes –

his banana, hers vanilla –

as midnight drizzle beyond the pane

slicks the black tarmac

of the car park

of this garishly neon-lit

deserted

retail park,

a daughter’s email on his mind.

 

 

Cast out

for seeking happiness with his late love,

he sips through a straw,

smiles,

a kiss on the back of his hand,

some old rock number playing,

a kiss on his lips this time,

her brown eyes forever his world now,

his joyous world now,

the Unforgiven.

 

 

by Paul Beech (Wales)

Further Within Darkness & Light

Nothing Books Publishing, 2018

Posted in creative writers, Free Verse, Paul Beech, Poems, Relationships, Wales | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Calling All Haiku Poets Who’ve Published

The Living Haiku and Senryu Anthologies are invaluable resources for all haikuists to appear In.

 

Please read this important interview with Don Baird about the Living Haiku Anthology and The Living Senryu Anthology that you should participate in, so that your poetry will be well known throughout your life and after you die. All poets who write haiku in English are welcome to participate.

 

1) When did you begin writing haiku, how did you discover it, and why do you have a passion for it?

 

I am a professional martial artist. The arts introduced me to eastern philosophy, poetry, their arts in general. It was from there that I discovered haiku and its mighty power in such a concise package. While I dabbled in it over the years I honestly had no idea how to write it. The form proved awkward for me and I lost interest. Someone mentioned to me that there is a group called Haiku Hut. Mike Rehling was running things. It turned my haiku world upside down. After 2004 and onward, haiku grew on me quickly; I found myself writing almost everywhere I found myself! Soon, I won Kusamakura, 3rd place, two years in a row when Dr. Richard Gilbert was the editor. Eventually, Tanka Press published my first haiku book and now, as they say, the rest is history!

 

2) How and when did you get the idea for the Living Haiku Anthology and The Living Senryu Anthology?

 

Stephen Bailey, my partner, and I were chatting one day. I had some life-threatening medical problems which left me with nothing but time on my hands. The idea came up during a Facebook chat about creating an online anthology of haiku for everyone to enjoy, read, and use as a research source. I ran it by him and he said he had some of the same ideas. We struck a deal that evening, I believe around 2013. Today, we house hundreds of poets and thousands of poems. The Living Senryu Anthology is much more recent, having been around for only a couple of years. Then, of course, we own and operate Under the Basho which is going very well. We have an amazing team of editors — just stunning!

 

3) What are the Living Anthologies’ purposes?

 

The concept is truly based on serving. We wanted to create a source for reading haiku poets’ poems from around the world; we wanted their work to be readily available for anyone that wanted to sit and read a bit. We have poets from many countries and languages. While we focus on English language haiku, we do represent authors that we have published in two languages — their native language as well as English.

 

4) How and when did you make them happen? Who were the poets who helped organize the project?

 

Stephen and I developed it all right from the beginning. He said, “Give me your ideas and I will make it happen on the website.” It was so exciting. We dreamed together, or so it seemed.

As I spoke he was already there; as he contacted me for something, I was already in tune. Within an extremely short time, we had a website. Our beginning was at hand and we were ready for poets! We put some invites out there. The flow of submissions was awesome. LHA was growing rapidly and hundreds of poets have come to join in. We continue to represent new poems of current poets as well as approve excellent submissions from new applicants.

 

5) How is the project financed? What have the main costs been?

 

Whatever the costs have been, I have financed them myself. As time went by, we placed a PayPal invite so that folks could donate. I recover a bit of my investment from that. Our costs are all website related. Stephen (known as Hansha Teki, poet) and I remain unpaid volunteers and continue to focus on serving the haiku community. I’m very fortunate because he is one of the best webmasters out there. He is lightning fast. I don’t understand that side of things. But I know for sure, he is truly amazing at what he does for LHA.

 

6) How many poets have been featured? And, from how many countries?

 

Literally thousands of haiku and hundreds of poets. I don’t have the exact numbers on hand but they are high. Visits to the websites are high as well.

 

7) What challenges have you encountered along the way?

 

At first, there were several things we had to hurdle over. One is, we had to come up with a fair and reasonable approach as to what we would accept. There are a lot of opinions out there as to what haiku is or isn’t. That became one of our first stumps. We decided early on that in order for a poet to be qualified to have a place in the LHA, they would have to be published by a haiku journal, with credit, and by a haiku editor. Second, we decided it was important to not accept less than five published haiku as an initial submission; what would be the point? I recall that our first requirement was 10 or more. We reduced it later. Of course, we remain somewhat accepting as to what haiku is (as long as they were published by a haiku journal, somewhere). I think readers can fend for themselves and discover what they like and don’t like on their own. Still, though, there is a lot of short poetry descriptive writing going on out there that the authors believe are haiku. I’m the bad-guy that has to inform them that we are not accepting the haiku for publication. It’s a sticky area. I’ve come up against it a few times where the poet truly believes he/she is writing haiku. I attempt to remain very broad-minded, accept what I feel I can, and let go of the others. It’s tough. Not everything that poets write are haiku; it’s on me to figure the boundaries if any.

 

8) What educational institutions have been involved in helping?

 

Dr. Richard Gilbert assisted LHA significantly a few years back. He came just at the right time to stimulate us to perk up some areas of the Anthology. His efforts and advice have been crucial. We made important changes that caused the LHA to be more significant on a worldwide presence. We tuned the site to be more research-friendly in order for them to easily find what they were looking for in their research. Dr. Gilbert has many LHA represented haiku in his more recent books.

 

9) How will you ensure that the project will continue?

 

That’s a great question. I am turning 73 and Stephen is getting up there as well. We have talked a few times about this issue. It’s a current topic and one that we need to resolve. We both agree that the LHA must not ever die — that it goes on for generations to come. That would be awesome. My wife is aboard and knows that if anything happens to me that she will continue paying the costs of owning and operating the website. It isn’t a lot, frankly. Stephen and I are currently looking for people to assist us. Possibly, that will lead to the solution. For now, we’re both in and going strong.

 

10) Is there anything like it in other languages?

 

There is nothing that is published that is anything like it as far as I know. When you glance through LHA you will find so many fantastic sections filled to the brim with numerous very fine haiku poets.  Articles, essays, discussions, readings . . . on and on. The LHA has become more than what we originally anticipated. An amazing journey.

 

11) Can any haikuist who writes English and who’s been published be featured?

 

Yes, mainly. I do watch over the LHA with a caring hand. I attempt to assist the poets along their path to being published by LHA. It can get sticky, though; poets believe in their work. Unfortunately, I do have to decline submissions from time to time. Neither of us wants to be the haiku police. At the same time, we don’t believe that everything we receive is a haiku. As a side note, we do not automatically publish poets who are self-published. We might or might not accept their submission; I will have a look and make a decision.

 

12) How can poets contact you for inclusion?

 

They can reach me at underthebasho@gmail.com or from the LHA submission form.

Portrait

 

Posted in anthology, Don Baird, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Living Haiku Anthology, Living Senryu Anthology, Poetry, Richard Gilbert, Stephen Bailey | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments