Daily Haiku: Alan Summers’ Week, Dec. 3 through 9

It’s Alan Summers’ Week once again. Alan is from the UK. Those of you who are avid readers of The Daily Haiku know that I regularly run Alan’s haiku and senryu, and often feature a week’s worth of his poetry. I have posted seven of his poems to last you the whole week, today through Sunday, Dec. 9.

We hope you enjoy these seven poems, and we do, in fact, enjoy comments about all posted poems.

Thanks to all for your readership!


train journey
the spreadsheet
of city lights

Stardust, Issue 22, October 2018

night frost . . .
each breath holds
an owl’s hoot

Stardust, Issue 20, August 2018


the sharp tang
of thorn

TroutswirlA Sense of Place

The Haiku Foundation, October 2018

a dog fox slips
into snowflakes…


after Kate Bush

note: ‘after Kate Bush’ in italics

blackbird-braille is a term created by Kate Bush for her album and title song “50 Words for Snow”

ephemerae, vol. 1, issue 1, April 2018



petting zoo
my reindeer dreams
of snowflight


note: “snowflight” as one word


Stardust, Issue 7, July 2017


the speed of snow
pigeons clench tight
along the railing


Issue 61, 2018


sky shift
a Chinese lantern
hits the moon

空の変化 中国のランタン 月を打つ

Japanese translation by Hidenori Hiruta


International Haiku New Year’s Festival, 2011

Akita, Japan



About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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30 Responses to Daily Haiku: Alan Summers’ Week, Dec. 3 through 9

  1. madhuri says:

    Loved them all, particularly ‘petting zoo…’ poignant.

  2. haikutec says:

    Reblogged this on Haikutec’s Weblog and commented:
    I hope you all enjoy this unusual ‘train’ journey. If you haven’t heard of Kate Bush you are in for a treat. Here is the title track (which contains blackbird braille): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pocXNt9D64

    enjoy the track while you’re reading my poems!

    warm regards,

    • haikutec says:

      Thanks Madhuri! 🙂

      Not only an incredible voice, but her writing, musical arrangements, choreography, and in depth allusions to literature (incl. poetry) are phenomenal.

      And exciting news!!! 🙂

      Three days ago:
      “Kate Bush has confirmed details of a pop-up shop in London next week.
      The shop, which is situated at Coals Drop Yard in Kings Cross, will sell her recently released lyric book How To Be Invisible, as well as the new remastered versions of her music catalogue on vinyl and CDs.

      Each book sold will include an exclusive bookmark, while all profits from the shop will go to national homelessness charity Crisis.”

      So I’m going to look into that! I wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t mentioned her in your post, thanks! 🙂

      warm regards,

  3. Always enjoy reading Alan’s haiku, and this was no exception. Well done, Alan. Thanks for posting these Charlotte. ~nan

  4. Enjoyed your poems very much, Alan. the city lights “spreadsheet” Is an amazing comparison; the second one I can identify with because we’re having nights of fog and hoar-frosted trees and can hear the great horned owl in the woods beside us. His hoots are more infrequent, though. 😉

    I can believe the deer get weary of the chorus of squealing children — and can just see those pigeons hanging on tight during a storm. The term blackboard-braille draws a blank for me, sad to say.

    • haikutec says:

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your in-depth comments, much appreciated. I’ve done a lot of train journeys both short and long distance ones, often very early pre-light morning, or evenings into night.

      There is something both glorious and primeval about owls at night, in particular, as well as their impact on folklore and children’s fiction.

      As an occasional Mall Santa I can imagine some deer would love to fly! 🙂

      Those pigeons, sadly I didn’t get to use my camera phone on that occasion, were the very vision of the famous James Hackett haiku too! 🙂

      You said:
      “The term blackboard-braille draws a blank for me, sad to say.”

      If you have never heard of Kate Bush, you have missed a treat! Check out my comment a above where I include the title song of her collection Fifty words for Snow. She creates new words for snow which as she sings, Stephen Fry reads them out.

      warm regards,

      • haikutec says:

        HI Christine, again,
        I spotted you thought it was blackboard-braille, so I can understand why it didn’t make sense! 🙂

        It’s actually blackbird braille (as in the bird, not a school blackboard). 🙂

        Think of the little bird tracks left in snow. Kate Bush has an incredible imagination and this one really struck me as I’ve always nipped out early when there’s been snow for the first time! 🙂

        a dog fox slips
        into snowflakes…

        after Kate Bush

        Published: ephemerae, vol. 1, issue 1, April 2018

        NOTE: blackbird-braille
        It’s a term created by Kate Bush for her music album and title song “50 Words for Snow”

      • My mistake! I did read it right the first time, but sometime later going back and rereading, got it wrong. I can picture this now, though birds tracks in the snow are more like “braille in reverse.” We’re seeing a lot of these, too, these days. Also see deer tracks criss-crossing the yard — perhaps in flight, but not flying.

      • haikutec says:

        Thanks Christine!

        Yes, braille in reverse, depending if under or over. 😉

        Here are some fox prints, very fresh, before the snow was mushed up by morning pedestrians not starting out as early as me! 🙂

        virgin snow
        a fox makes prints
        for the morning

        Alan Summers
        Publication credits:
        Icebox, Hailstone Haiku Circle Japan (2010); The Haiku Calendar 2012 (Snapshot Press)
        Anthology: a little help from my friends (Red Dragonfly ePamphlet 2011) ed. Melissa Allen; fox dreams ed. Aubrie Cox (April 2012); Inking Bitterns editor/illustrator Dru Marland (Gert Macky Books December, 2013)
        · ISBN-10: 0992678315
        · ISBN-13: 978-0992678319

        Award credit:
        Runner Up, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2011 (Snapshot Press)

        The Haiku Foundation re:Virals 14 December 18th 2015

      • Lovely! Those “fresh new day” impressions, especially with pure white snow, have inspired poets all through time. 🙂

      • haikutec says:

        Yes, fresh snow is the blank canvas whether you are an artist, a writer, or someone excited about tobogganing! 🙂

        You can scroll down for a fun illustrated haiku of mine about tobogganing!

  5. d w skrivseth says:

    So enjoyable. Alan Summer’s haiku reveals the moment.

  6. Paul Beech says:

    In the hurly-burly of Christmas shopping, how nice it is to take a few minutes out with Alan’s haiku over a cuppa.

    In his quietly humorous way, with acute observation laced with imagination, a masterly use of kire coupled with gorgeous imagery, Alan finds the music of the moment for us to enjoy and be heartened by.

    I shall remember the spreadsheet of city lights, owl’s hoot, tang of thorn, blackbird braille, reindeer’s dream, clutching pigeons and Chinese lantern as I return to the fray.

    My very best,


  7. haikutec says:

    Wow, thank you Paul! 🙂
    I was worried that somehow these haiku are not connecting with people and wondered why. There are always intriguing reasons.

    I was just thinking of humour in haiku, as ‘hai’ can mean humour but not the guffaw inducing kind.

    I’m delighted that they work for you, and so well! 🙂

    Paul said:
    “In his quietly humorous way, with acute observation laced with imagination, a masterly use of kire coupled with gorgeous imagery, Alan finds the music of the moment for us to enjoy and be heartened by.”

    For anyone not sure about the word ‘kire’ I wrote this a while back for John Hawk’s sadly missed journal Multiverses.

    More than one fold in the paper: Kire, kigo, and the vertical axis of meaning in haiku

    Paul said:
    “I shall remember the spreadsheet of city lights, owl’s hoot, tang of thorn, blackbird braille, reindeer’s dream, clutching pigeons and Chinese lantern as I return to the fray.”

    Thank you for clutching these haiku over a cuppa! 🙂

    warm regards,

  8. haikutec says:

    the speed of snow
    pigeons clench tight
    along the railing

    Presence, Issue 61, 2018

    I write many haiku direct from experience and this was no exception! 🙂
    I was in a hurry, and daren’t stop to use my camera phone even, as I was running late for the train. But it was a fast and thick flurry of snow (which I love) and the pigeons were half covered in snow, literally clenching each other tightly along the railing by the river. I was crossing the river Avon in Chippenham towards the station approach.

    The sight of the pigeons instantly reminded me of one of my all time favourite haiku by James Hackett. In fact there are a number of versions by the iconic haiku author, here I include two of them:

    A bitter morning:
    sparrows sitting together
    without any necks.

    (Haiku Poetry Vol. One, page 12)
    and contest winner (JAL Contest 1964)

    Bitter morning
    sparrows sitting
    without necks

    American Haiku 1:1 (1963)

    I loved both the 575er and the shorter versions. I’ve seen many birds grouped together looking miserable to some extent but this was the strongest image. As it’s a favorite spot, as it leads into a park, I am sure visitors would be feeding those pigeons a little later in the morning.

    warm regards,

  9. Barbara Tate says:

    Thank you Alan and thank you Charlotte for this delightful journey.

    • haikutec says:

      Thank you Barbara! 🙂

      And thanks to Charlotte’s ongoing support of my work too! 🙂

      All kinds of editors can really engage with fellow poets in so many positive ways, and Charlotte is definitely one of those!

      warm regards,

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