J. Zimmerman's poems have been published internationally (including Australia and Germany). She is co-editor & contributor for "Poetry at Ariadne's Web". She wrote her first haiku by accident, by chopping away the non-essential from longer poems. Currently she lives along the west coast of North America. She is practicing ukulele and to be a Halloween Biker Granny.
1) Why do you write haiku and tanka?
Haiku to savor a moment.
Tanka to reflect on a lifetime.
Both haiku and tanka to preserve and share this dewdrop world.
2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
For a few decades I have studied and written in various traditional forms and their modern and international adaptations: my current favorite poem is John Yau's "Chinese Villanelle". I was finally able to appreciate and write tanka two years ago, after tanka poet Mariko Kitakubo's presentation at Asilomar (2007 YT Retreat) let me hear the sound of tanka.
3) Of the haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?
The first of my current favorites happened because I was returning very late from the beach to continue a kigo workshop with my haiku mentor, Patricia J. Machmiller: I had no time to put on my shoes ...
Barefoot on gravel
if only I weighed much less --
a cloud of butterflies
October 2009 Chrysanthemum
(Thanks, Dietmar Tauchner)
- - - - -
Second is this one where I was experimenting with the "inner landscape" technique that I first saw in the haiku of Fay Aoyagi; I like its blending of a tanka sensibility into a haiku:
Sunset and moonrise --
if only I could learn
to be faithful
The Heron's Nest Volume XI, Number 3 (September 2009)
(Thanks, sub-editor Peggy Willis Lyles)
- - - - -
Thirdly, this was one of my few attempts at a one-line haiku:
Cutting the plum tree's shallow roots autumn equinox
Modern Haiku Volume 39, Number 2 (Summer 2008)
(Thanks, Mr. Trumbull).
I know you only want 3 haiku, but this is my life-long favorite as it was my first "real" haiku and was voted "top of the pops" in the kukai vote of the January 1996 Geppo:
waiting for moonrise
the man on the yellow cart
If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that J answered. You must be a published poet to participate.