Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ed Baker - Three Questions

Ed Baker
Ed Baker, artist and poet, was born in Washington, DC in 1941. Ed is our guest for a round of Haiku - Three Questions this week.

1. Why do you write haiku?

what's a 'haiku', anyway? I do "shorties"...

some are 247 pages long (Neighbor, G oo dnight, Song of Chin)

some are one line/breath long...

"they" just tell me what they want to be... then when lucky...POW! I just be them.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

well, this interview, for instance, is sort of a form...

can't tell either as a priori OR as a posteriori

I do like Thomas Wyatt's form... and Niedecker's and Eigner's and Shiki's (as translated...forms?) depends on a particular function, eh?

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)

let's see what I remember:

far beyond moon frog leaps


(or was that: far beyond frog moon leaps? form/function, again depending)

full moon
in her garden


Wild Orchid
with my mind

Wild Orchid, 2002, tel-let

and below is a little drawing (haiga?) a version of which was in Sketchbook

cheers, Ed

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Ed answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Brett Peruzzi will be our guest next week.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Chorus 2008

As poets, we tend to look at the world in a different light. The average person will usually glance at something and move on, expunging the image from their memory, but not a poet. A poet will pause or take a second look; something within his or her soul will stir and the seed of a poem will be planted. We were forever changed the moment we witnessed something that inspired us to take up a pen or pencil and share our experience with the other inhabitants of our little blue planet. Christmas is the season of giving, but poets give year-round.

We are a community of kindred spirits and a chorus of unique voices. With the help of a few friends, I've put together a Christmas montage that we hope you'll enjoy.

Christmas Montage 2008

short days
a baby born
with a long shadow

Paul O.Williams (California, USA)
Mariposa, 2002

savoring the crunch
of a Moravian cookie

Curtis Dunlap (North Carolina, USA)
Blogging Along Tobacco Road, Dec. 2008

speeding motorbikes―
Trini Santas with gifts in
yellow plastic bags

-gillena cox; 2008 (Trinidad and Tobago)
Trini = short form for People of Trinidad and Tobago

                Christmas Eve
the pavement-sweeper’s sweepings
              blow down the road

Matthew Paul (Twickenham, UK)
The Regulars (Snapshot Press, 2006).

first snow
at every window
a child's face

Roberta Beary (Washington, DC; USA)
Haiku Happens (1998)

in the snow
   the child flies—
        angel wings

Aurora Antonovic (Ontario, Canada)
Autumn Leaves (Volume 9 Number 3)

the autistic boy
conducts his own carols—
gulls beseeching

John McDonald (Edinburgh, UK)
zen speug, 2008

on the harp strings
Christmas Eve

Peggy Willis Lyles (Georgia, USA)
Woodnotes #31

Last minute―
Santa Claus catches
the bus

Angelika Wienert (North Rhine Westfalia, Germany)
Asahi, Dec. 2003

And for your viewing and listening pleasure, I present to you via YouTube another chorus: The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir. This scene is from The Bishop's Wife (1947) with Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. Cary portrays an angel in this wonderful holiday movie, sent to assist a bishop (David Niven) in the building of a cathedral. Here is but one of the many miracles the angel performs:

My sincere thanks to all who have given to me throughout 2008. May you all have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year!

Curtis Dunlap

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Susan Delphine Delaney - Three Questions

Susan Delphine DelaneySusan Delphine Delaney MD, MS is a psychiatrist practicing in Plano, Texas, assisted by her therapy dog, Gabriella. She has been writing haiku since 1968, introduced to the small poem when a friend gave her a book that featured Basho and Issa. Her haiku have been published in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, South by Southeast, bottle rockets, Simply Haiku, Woodnotes, Tundra, Persimmon, Medscape, World Haiku Review, Heron Quarterly, 3LightsGallery, Electronic Poetry Network, Kamakura Shrine One, Sketchbook, Haiku Page, the Chesapeake Bay Sajiki. Her poems have also been anthologized in the Basho Festival Anthology ('04,'05,'06), Red Moon Anthology, and Small Canyons (I, II, III).

Susan was the founding Vice President of the Fort Worth Haiku Society, and last year founded Haiku Poets of North Texas.

1. Why do you write haiku?

Like all haiku poets, I have a spiritual restlessness that finds peace in haiku moments - moments that exist outside of time - moments filled with meaning.

Like all haiku poets, I yearn to share these moments with others, to bring to others the same peace that I found in my haiku moment.

I often read haiku to settle me before sleep. I read from my own 'Lifelist', or from the work of others.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Although I expect to spend the rest of my life becoming an excellent haiku poet, I occasionally write a senryu, a tanka, a haibun or free verse.

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)

One of my fondest memories is of Dad bundling the five us up, still in our pajamas, and driving us downtown to watch the sun rise thru the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin.

cherry petals
street dancing
on windswells

Basho Festival Anthology 2005

I remember walking before dawn and enjoying comet Hale-Bopp. A man, already dressed for work, came out to get his paper. I asked him if he had seen the comet. He excitedly talked of a cyberspace visit with Bopp the night before. I asked him again if he had seen the comet. He looked at me quizzically. I pointed to the comet, then moved on to let him enjoy it in real space.

crackling campfire
the comet's tail
streams toward morning

Small Canyons Anthology II

And a celebration of single life:

sipping champagne
enjoying the tiny sounds
of living alone

bottle rockets V4, #1
Red Moon Anthology 2002

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Susan answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Ed Baker will be our guest poet next week.

Blogs and a publication note

Blogs have become an idea way to disseminate information more quickly between periods of waiting for a journal or book to arrive. They often satisfy my poetry-fix until I can thumb through the pages of a new publication, the scent of fresh ink tantalizing my olfactories.

Many places I frequent on the Internet are listed on this blog (scroll down, right-side) and on my links page.

When you have a moment, you should browse over to:

Norbert Blei's Bashō’s Road and see what he's doing with the short poem.

David Giacalone has a recent post on his f/k/a blog about the Haiku Society of America's new anthology entitled dandelion clocks.

Don Wentworth, proprietor of Issa's Untidy Hut, has an entertaining blog plus he often publishes poems from previous issues of Lilliput Review.

On an online publication note, a new issue of Contemporary Haibun Online is available.

Happy Reading!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

A message from Penny Harter

Penny Harter has asked me to post the following:

Thank you all so much for your loving support during these months following my loss. From your phone calls, e-mails, and condolence cards, to haiku honoring Bill on various web sites, and the special tributes and poems in the journals--you have been so generous, and your caring has meant much to me. I know he would feel both honored and moved (and perhaps he does). I'm doing reasonably well, considering that it's the holiday season. This past Wednesday would have been Bill's 70th birthday, and he had hoped to really celebrate that day. I ate a simple meal at home, raising a glass of white wine in his honor.

I'll be spending Christmas with my family, then madly packing boxes as I prepare to move during the third week in January to a small condo in Mays Landing, NJ, (a little ways inland from Atlantic City), where I'll be only about fifteen minutes from my daughter and her husband--love those grandkids (Courtney aged 8 and Conor, 5)! Bill's daughter Beth, her husband, and their two boys (ages 15 and 20) live in north-central Pennsylvania but have other family near Philadelphia, so I'll hope to see them fairly often as well. There is an active poetry community down in South Jersey, many of whom I already know, and I'll be near two colleges that are quite active culturally. I'll also be very near the Atlantic County Main Library. I can't yet tell you my new phone number or exact address; however, postal mail will be forwarded from my Summit P. O. box for a while. When I have my specific new contact information, I'll send it to Curtis for posting. Meanwhile, my e-mail will probably stay the same for some time:

In closing, I'm pasting below an account of the first dream I had of Bill since his death. I wrote the introduction to the dream prior to sharing it at a reading I was invited to give at Overlook Hospital--
for the palliative care community, the doctors and nurses who worked with us during Bill's weeks there, and the public. I was grateful for the opportunity to give back to them. I read from my new book of longer poems, The Night Marsh, a few poems I'd written since Bill's death, and a haibun Bill wrote eight days before he died (which will be in Frogpond). I closed that reading by sharing the dream--a pre-dawn gift to me that same morning--and my waking interpretation of it. May it bless you as it did me. I'm not sending Christmas cards this year, but this can kind of be one, perhaps from both Bill and me. I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a fine new year!



Whatever our faith tradition, most of us believe in God, or some kind of caring deity, and in some kind of survival of the spirit. I believe there is something beyond! And there is Love. Toward dawn this morning, I was blessed with the following dream, the first I’ve had of Bill since his death. To close this reading, I want to share it with you:


12/11/08: First Dream of Bill after his death

It is the Christmas season. I am sitting in the dark in the middle of a large church—it looks like Crescent Avenue Church where I used to sing in the choir—and it seems to be a Christmas concert. A choir is on risers on the steps to the chancel, and they and we, the congregation, are singing “Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming.” Though I am in the midst of the congregation, I am not really aware of them visually. Yet we are all singing together. I look up at the choir and there, standing in the top row, is Bill, looking hale and hearty. Our eyes lock, and he smiles at me as I sing directly to him, and he to me, these particular words of the carol:

It came, a floweret bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night.

And I feel love flowing between us.


Given that those words, in particular, were what personally passed between us, I woke up feeling that the message of the dream was that I should be like that rose, blooming amid the cold of this winter of loss, the middle of this night. And since the “night” was already half spent—that I was already beginning to bloom, and should continue to do so. I also felt that the message was that I should celebrate the Christmas season, rather than mourn.

And, perhaps, since the dream came on the eve of this night of my giving back to the Overlook Hospital community, the message affirmed that my reading this evening should especially be an opportunity for me to be that “floweret bright.” Although in the original lyrics the floweret refers to Jesus, in this dream I knew that those words were for and about me as well. So I will continue to celebrate life, to find joy in loving and giving of myself.

And may we all be reminded that both in sorrow and in joy, we should strive to celebrate the blessing of being here on this old planet, and the opportunity to share both the blessings and challenges of our lives with one another.

Penny Harter

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bob Moyer recites haiku

Let's close the work week with my good friend Bob Moyer reciting one of his haiku. BTW, it may interest you to know that Bob has also competed in numerous Poetry Slams.

Friday Interlude: Harpo Marx

Our Friday Interlude selection for this week is the multi-talented Harpo Marx performing Franz Liszt's The Second Hungarian Rhapsody.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Doctorate conferred upon L. Teresa Church

Lenard D. Moore sent this news about North Carolina Haiku Society member, L. Teresa Church:

On Sunday evening, Lynn and I attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Commencement, where the doctorate was conferred upon L. Teresa Church. It was a wonderful ceremony. As you know, Teresa is a member of The North Carolina Haiku Society. She's also a member of The Haiku Society of America. Her poem "a patch of silver" appears on page 19 of the Haiku Society of America Members' Anthology 2008, dandelion clocks, which Roberta Beary and Ellen Compton edited. Teresa's mother, sisters Gail and Laverne, one of her brothers, and her brother-in-law Lawrence also attended her graduation.

All the best,
Lenard D. Moore

In honor of Teresa's major achievement, I thought it would be nice to display a sampling of this gifted lady's haiku.

vintage airshow
the dragonfly's
double wings

Beneath the Willow Tree (NCHS Anthology 2007)

lanternless walk
through dark winter night
foxfire glows

Simply Haiku Winter 2008, vol 6 no 4

chenille bedspreads —
silver queen corn tassels
in a Carolina field

The Chapel Hill News (April 23, 2008)

tobacco harvest
women in lamplight
tie the quilt

The Heron's Nest, Volume X, Number 1

There are also a couple of Teresa's free verse poems on this page including sound files of Teresa reciting the aforementioned poems.

Congratulations Dr. L. Teresa Church!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Charlie Smith recites haiku

Continuing our series of video haiku readings, Charlie Smith of Raleigh, NC recites one of his haiku. Charlie was our Haiku - Three Questions guest poet on November 2, 2008.

Jack Kerouac reading haiku

Undoubtedly, many of you have already heard or seen Jack Kerouac reading a number of his "haikus" via the Internet. Here's a YouTube video that I periodically revisit:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Andrew Riutta - Three Questions

Andrew Riutta was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For twenty years, he has lived in the Grand Traverse Region. He is the recipient of the 2008 William J. Shaw Memorial Prize for Poetry, and in 2006 he won "honorable mention" in the Michigan Liberal Arts poetry contest. This past spring, his first full-length poetry collection, Cigarette Butts and Lilacs, was published by Modern English Tanka Press. He and his daughter, Issabella, enjoy walking in cemeteries and eating pancakes.

1. Why do you write haiku?

Because, sometimes, the most effective way to say more is to say less. Ultimately, words lock moods, images and concepts into little boxes. And so, the fewer the words, the less confined those things will be. This ambiguity is both primitive and futuristic.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Tanka, free verse, ghazals, fiction and creative non-fiction.

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)

Tough thing to nail down. Signature poems can be deceiving. What might be deemed my "best" may not be my favorites. But, I suppose, there are some that dip into both realms:

apple blossoms
my grandfather snaps
his suspenders

Moonset, 2007

midday heat
the carpenter's tool belt
full of plums

Roadrunner, 2006; Red Moon Anthology, 2006; Reeds, 2007.

in my coat pocket
through births and deaths
the same empty matchbook

A New Resonance 5, 2007

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Andrew Riutta answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Susan Delphine Delaney will be our guest poet next week.

Richard Straw recites haiku

Richard Straw of Cary, NC and I have occasionally written collaborative poetry. Such exercises are challenging, but they can entertain while honing ones' haiku eye.

Richard is a versatile poet. In the last two years, he has had numerous haibun and haiku published. We add a video credit now. ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Interlude: Haiku (of a different kind)

The name of the piece is Haiku. Close your eyes and listen; allow this talented lady to lead you on a ginko of the heart, mind, and soul.

Johnye Strickland recites haiku

The greatest pleasure I've had at haiku conferences is spending quality time with my friends either over a meal, ginko, or conversing in a hotel room.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you my friend and poet pal, the lovely and vibrant Johnye Strickland:

The 2009 Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards

This just in from Elizabeth Fanto:

The 2009 Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards, sponsored by the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland, will mark the fourth annual competition dedicated to the memory of Baltimore-based haiku poet and teacher Anita Sadler Weiss.

Deadline: IN-HAND by JANUARY 31, 2009.

Sponsor: The Haiku Poets of Central Maryland.

Eligibility: Open to the public, aged 14 and up. (Only the contest coordinators are prohibited from entering.)

Awards: Total of $300.00 in prize money: First Place, $175.00; Second Place, $75.00; Third Place, $50.00. Five ranked Honorable Mentions will also be awarded. (Contest coordinators reserve the right to lower the prize money if sufficient entries are not received to cover the stated awards.)

Submissions: All entries must be the original work of the poet, unpublished, and not under consideration elsewhere.

Entry fee: $1.00 per poem. Poets may enter up to 15 haiku. Entry fee must accompany submission.

Submission Guidelines: Print or type each individual haiku on three separate 3” x 5” index cards. On the back of ONE CARD ONLY print or type your name, address, and email address (if one is available). Include a No. 10 (business-size) SASE (or SAE plus US$1 for return postage for entries sent from outside the U.S.) for notification. Also enclose your entry fee in U.S. currency or check or money order payable in U.S. dollars. Make checks or money orders payable to “HPCM/Elizabeth Fanto.” ENTRIES NOT FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES WILL BE RETURNED OR (IF SUFFICIENT POSTAGE AND/OR ENVELOPE ARE LACKING) DISCARDED. Entries without SASE or SAE + return postage will not receive winner notification.

Send entries to: Haiku Poets of Central Maryland, c/o Elizabeth Fanto, 51 Gerard Avenue, Timonium, MD 21093 USA. DO NOT EMAIL ENTRIES.

Notification/publication: Winners’ list will be mailed on April 1, 2009, to commemorate Anita Sadler Weiss’ birthday (April 6). Notification of winning poems will be sent to all competition participants and made available to the public for an SASE while supplies last. The winning poems will also be published in The Dragonfly, the newsletter of the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland. All rights remain with the poets.

Adjudication: The name(s) of the judge(s) will be announced concurrently with the winning haiku.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Roberta Beary recites a haibun

The beautiful and talented Roberta Beary graciously accepted my offer to film her reciting one of her haibun at the recent Haiku Society of America quarterly meeting. You may recall that Roberta's book of haiku and senryu entitled The Unworn Necklace was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Book Award given by the Poetry Society of America.

Without further ado I present to you the remarkable Roberta Beary:

A couple of publication items...

The new issue of Sketchbook is online and ready for viewing.

Also, John Barlow sent this:

Dear haiku, tanka and poetry friends

I’m afraid 2008’s end-of-year missive has an all-too-familiar ring to it: times are tough, for all of us. And while that’s a constant state of affairs for a one-man-band hand-to-mouth small press, as we enter our twelfth year it seems that it has never been more so. We need to sell books to survive, and if there’s no realistic demand for those books, there’s no realistic reason for us to exist. So, if you like what the press does, and would like to see more of it, please consider getting a treat for yourself, or someone else, this holiday season.

In all other ways 2008 has been a great year for the press. In April, Roberta Beary’s debut collection of haiku and senryu, The Unworn Necklace, was honored as a Finalist in the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Awards; and, along with Matt Morden’s second collection, Stumbles in Clover, was also honored in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards.

September saw the publication of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku, with launches at the Poetry Society’s HQ in London and at Mr B’s, the current British Independent Bookshop of the Year. Thanks to the dedication of Alan and Karen Summers of With Words, these events were packed and greatly enjoyed by all. (Photos can be seen at a new section on the Wing Beats site, Described by the late, and much-missed, Bill Higginson as “a very important book”, and by the eminent writer and naturalist Mark Cocker as “a triumph of seeing, expression and poetic control”, I can honestly say that Wing Beats has been a delight to everyone who has seen it, whether their interest is in haiku, birds . . . or neither of the above! (Please see

But don’t believe the hype? Why not get a copy of one of these (or any of our) books for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, and make your own mind up! And then tell me what you (or they) like, what you don’t like, and what you would like to see more of from the press. I may not always be able to reply to every comment or suggestion, especially at busy times, but feedback is always welcome.

Another ‘new’ publication, now in its tenth annual ‘edition’, is The Haiku Calendar 2009. And, if I’m to continue fighting my natural aversion to marketing, this really does make a great Christmas or New Year gift – and not only for haiku poets. It’s perfect for sparking an interest in haiku, or for instilling some understanding in baffled relatives and friends – and it’s far easier to ‘show’ than ‘tell’! For further details please see

There’s still time for Christmas orders. The last order date for the US and Canada is Tuesday December 9; for western Europe it’s Thursday December 11; and for the UK it’s Friday December 19. Orders to the rest of the world may get there if they are placed soon, but aren’t now guaranteed by the postal service. If you would prefer not to order online, get in touch and let me know your payment is forthcoming, and I’ll don the elf suit and make sure the order is sent out immediately.

And, to close: with various haiku commitments November passed me by in blur, but I was honoured to be the featured poet for the month on Mann Library’s Daily Haiku at Cornell University in New York state. So, something for free! 30 haiku (and many, many more by some excellent poets besides) at:

now and again
through wind-flattened grasses the tips
of the hare’s ears

a half moon
all my change
in the beggar’s hand

There are a few tentative plans for the years ahead (please see, but, as I said, please get involved, and let me know what, in general, you would like to see the press doing.

In the meantime, thank you again for your ongoing support of the press (which, being completely independent, couldn’t otherwise exist).

All the very best for the holiday season, and happy writing and reading in 2009.


John Barlow
Editor, Snapshot Press
w: /

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lenard D. Moore recites haiku

Though I'm out of town, I owe the readers of Blogging Along Tobacco Road a Sunday post.

For your viewing and listening pleasure, I present to you HSA president Lenard D. Moore:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Interlude: Buster Keaton

I'm off to the Haiku Society of America's quarterly meeting in Winston-Salem this weekend. It looks like we have a full schedule of events. Please drop by if you are in town.

This week's Friday Interlude comes at the request of Liam Wilkinson, editor and curator of 3Lights Gallery of Haiku. Like many of us, Liam appreciates the classic entertainers of yesteryear.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

haiku anthology of flowers

Call for submissions: bottle rockets press will be publishing a haiku anthology of flowers due out sometime in 2010. The book will be a perfect-bound glossy covered book with an ISBN. (The third anthology in the series.) Submission can cover any aspects of flowers. Any type of flower is welcome.

Previously published poems accepted with name of 1st publication, volume number, issue number, and year. If unpublished please indicate next to the haiku. Please also indicate the season next to the poem and any other useful information. All submissions need to have the name, address, and e-mail on the top right corner of the page. No e-mail submissions accepted inside or outside of the USA. Submissions in the USA need a SASE/size 10 envelope. Outside needs an SASE and 2 IRCs. All submissions must be typed. 5 haiku per page. Please send up to 20 haiku. This will be a highly selective process. Any submission not following these strict guidelines will be discarded without notice to sent to author. Deadline for submission August 1, 2009. brp reserves the right to discontinue this book project if it does not acquire enough quality work. Send submissions to:

Stanford M. Forrester, Editor
bottle rockets press
PO Box 189
Windsor, CT 06095


Monday, December 1, 2008

December issue of The Heron's Nest

The December issue of The Heron's Nest is available. Browse over to to read 123 new haiku by poets from around the world.

This issue also contains seven pages of haiku written to honor the late William J. Higginson.