Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Poets and Poems - Jessie Carty

If I had a Son

Good news your son is blind
Bad news He's an eyeball
Drum beats Cymbals

My son
Watching me Gauging
if I'm
how he'll define

He's a gelatinous ball of vein
wearing Chucks

I smile when I don't plan to

I imagine teaching him the theory of crosswalks
the angles of cathedrals
            what angels there are in dark chocolate

I'm a man he says
at the age of 5
walking in front of me
            staring people off

He holds my hand
with his little mitts
like mini hamburger
             helper man hands

when no one is looking

If you would like to participate in this series, send a photo of yourself composing a poem or writing or a picture of a location where you enjoy writing, along with one of your poems (the type/genre of poem doesn't matter). This series will allow us to see the various locations that inspire us or where we go to write.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Michele L. Harvey - Three Questions

Michele L. Harvey is a professional landscape painter living in New York. Her year is divided between rural Hamilton, NY and New York City, providing a lively contrast. Her poetry has kindly and widely been accepted by most of the current short form poetry publications. You may view both her paintings and examples of her poetry on her website.

1) Why do you write haiku?

The element of surprise. Like many, my first experience with haiku was in grade school. The Japanese masters (need I name names?) were a revelation. For me, it was poetry that engaged in an entirely different manner. Haiku demands the reader be nimble, engaged and totally open. Although, I did not find the contemporary haiku scene until recently, I couldn't resist jumping in. The exquisite pivot and enlarging use of kigo create a mind shift (the aha!) not experienced elsewhere.The more great haiku I read, the more I felt the challenge tug. I began to see the world with 'a haiku mind'.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Tanka is my preferred form. But it requires a much different mindset. It gives the writer more room for rhythm. I've done some haibun (prose + haiku), and some haiga, the best of which have been collaborations. Also, a bit of rengay and senryu. I plan to do more solo haiga & taiga (prose + tanka) with my own painting as background.

I have a huge tanka & haiku addiction, and have been known to carry my own hand-scribbled copies of favored authors' works. (I use them as a goad for my own writing.) As a matter of fact, many of you are right here, on Tobacco Road.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

The answer depends on mood and season. The haiku I'm most proud of was used as part of a haiga compilation on the AHAPoetry forum for a friend facing a serious medical challenge. ( My haiku was this:

not mind
nor heart, nor flesh am I...
sun on the water

AHAPoetry forum, March 2009

broom straws
bent by habit
migrating geese

Ambrosia, Issue 1 Autumn 2008

spring laundry-
the sun-washed snake
on the cellar steps

Ambrosia, Issue 2 Winter 2009

Thank you Curtis, for the opportunity to be part of your wonderful blog.

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 Michele answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

An Online Ginko, The Haiku Foundation, & Fleur de Lisa

Gabi Greve sent this invitation to an online ginko:

Dear Haiku Friends,

I invite you to a walk with me through a Japanese temple and see all the colors of hope for the New Year.

gradations of red . . .
a sight of hope
for the New Year

Join me in a ginko (haiku walk), look at some New Year preparations, enjoy the stillness and the colors and, if you feel inspired, write a haiku or two about it!

I was fortunate enough yesterday to catch a sunny day in our local temple, birthday temple of Saint Honen of the Amida Pur Land sect of Buddhism.

For a good ginko haiku, you have to empty your mind before letting it be filled again with impressions of what you see or feel or smell around you.

Here are the photos from Nr. 01 to Nr. 59.

You can also view a full slide show starting from here (click the top right small box labeled slideshow).

Here are my full colors of hope.



The Haiku Foundation has a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account.

An archive of Fleur-de-Lisa's December 18th interview and performance of haiku songs is available on the WUNC (North Carolina Public Radio) web site.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Chorus 2009

I had the pleasure of attending Christmas Eve Communion with my children tonight at Mayodan United Methodist Church. Frankly, I didn't feel like going. The last few days have been a blur of last minute shopping. I felt...drained.

But I'm glad I went. It was wonderful being part of a service of peace, especially with my family, and by that I mean my family and my church family.

So, to the readers of Tobacco Road, I hope you find a moment of peace during the holidays. Think about our little blue marble spinning in the cosmos and know that we are special. While some folks might argue that, in the grand scheme of things, our size proves our insignificance, I believe that our tiny size is precisely why we are special. After all, everyone knows that the best presents come in small packages.

We have an all ladies chorus this year. Men, your turn next year!

Christmas Montage 2009

"Season's Greetings" . . .
braggart's annual letter
fuels the yule log

Charlotte Digregorio
Modern Haiku, Vol. XXVI, No. 3, Fall, 1995

the creche
light glows still
in the blizzard

Merrill Gonzales

dog-eared script
I prompt a wise man
from the wings

Peggy Willis Lyles

snow falling
on the eyelashes
of the carriage horse

Penny Harter

rainy night
Christmas lights blinking
on the pub door

Ellen Compton
[from pocket change, Washington DC: Towpath, 2000]

out all night
the Christmas wreath, crooked
on the door

Michele L. Harvey

after the reindeer cookie
only a redhot
on her plate

susan delphine delaney

Christmas morning
the twinkle of tinsel
on the cat’s nose

Cathy Drinkwater Better

Christmas Day
a white gyrfalcon perches
on the patio

Johnye Strickland

christmas day
our kmart tree leans
to the left

Roberta Beary

Thank you ladies!

Wishing you all a Joyous Holiday Season!

Curtis DunlapPhoto by Kristi Merritt

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Poets and Poems - Melinda Hipple

The Leading Trees

As stoic sentinels, they wait for me
o'er lane beneath the shadow of their arch.
These trees, that once were proudly kept, do see
how time, relentless, never slows its march.

They call with silent beckoning. Their twigs
the distant, outstretched limbs of mother's arms;
but close, their dark embrace is but a prig
to steal my peace, so toxic are their charms.

These blackened trees, with blacker hearts to match,
adorn the ruthless white of sun-drenched snow
and pull, with ties my childhood did attach,
entreating me to face an ancient foe.

A hollow place of blood relations, home;
so why is there this need to reconcile
a past so fetid that I have to comb
through years of buried truths extremely vile?

At twelve I was unspoiled and newly bloomed.
The green of spring just budding from each limb
cast shadows long to cool the lane consumed
by laughter, shoeless feet and childish whim.

But summer honey turned to bitter tang
when autumn stole my father from my life.
The midnight hearse crept by as heartache sang.
The trees bent low as though consumed by strife.

November wind rang hollow through the trees,
reminding Mother of her lover lost.
Her empty arms clutched wildly at the breeze
to snag another, but her heart was frost.

She drew a man, I cannnot say his name
(the fifteen elms did shudder when he passed).
He had no wish to thaw her heart with flame,
instead he sought to hold her sorrow fast.

He used her pain to gain a stranglehold,
as puppeteer, controlling what she'd see;
and with the blinders quite secure, stone-cold
he turned attention and his lust to me.

Through winter nights as chill as polar ice
I fought to keep my heart above the dread.
I prayed the leading trees would soon entice
a savior knocking, knowing the unsaid.

Without a word, he'd pluck me from the door
and cast a golden lance into the thief
who dared defile a child, then he'd restore
my mother's heart, releasing it from grief.

I prayed the leading trees would soon entice.
I prayed upon my father's bleeding soul.
I prayed until my own heart turned to ice.
I prayed until the silence took its toll.

At seventeen I passed between the elms
one final time, their branches sick with blight.
My father's ghostly hand reached from a realm
where restless souls are driven still to fight.

He punished root and bark and sagging bough
for failing justice, failing to defend
his daughter. As I passed, I heard him vow
my vengeance in the whisper of the wind.

The lengthy shadow of the elms did reach
from continent to continent. Desire
for peace was never stronger than the leech
of hate that was this all-comsuming fire.

True peace was a mirage upon the sand,
and though I left the man without a soul
I never lost the image of the hand
that could have stopped the damage, kept me whole.

And now she calls to me with dying breath -
a mother lost, a woman with regret.
But who am I to sanctify her death
while Father's breezes whisper, "Don't forget."

And yet I'm here. I stand before these trees
to watch them shudder in the bitter frost,
their hearts still black. I still recall my pleas
unanswered from a childhood long since lost.

Forgiveness. Is that something I can give
the dying? Do I want to know her heart,
or do I find it safer that I live
still damaged by the weakness on her part?

I hate the man who crept into my bed
pretending that his love was something pure,
and yet he'd never had my trust. The dead
will reckon with his tortured soul, I'm sure.

But what of Mother - loved and loving wife,
betrayer of the child when asked to choose?
Her failing cut much deeper than the knife
I used to slice away his damned abuse.

An odium so strong it smells of musk
draws deep from me desire to turn and run.
The leading trees turn gray with coming dusk
and I must choose to save us both, or none.


© Melinda B Hipple 2007
First published in Pirene's Fountain Jan. 2008

2008 Margaret Reid
Poetry Prize for Traditional Verse

If you would like to participate in this series, send a photo of yourself composing a poem or writing or a picture of a location where you enjoy writing, along with one of your poems (the type/genre of poem doesn't matter). This series will allow us to see the various locations that inspire us or where we go to write.

Contest Results & Publications

Winners of the Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine
Tanka and Haiku Announced

Follow this link to view a list of winners and their poems.

Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose #2
Winter 2009 published

MET Press is pleased to announce the publication of the second issue of the biannual journal, Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose, edited by Jeffrey Woodward. MH&TP 2 has been published in print, in PDF ebook, and in an online digital edition.

Follow this link to purchase or view online editions.

Norman Darlington sent this announcement:

Announcing 'The Renku Journal'

Following on the success of The Renku Group ( and the resultant growth of interest in this centuries-old poetic genre, we are pleased to announce our intention to publish The Renku Journal.

This exciting new journal will be devoted to all aspects of renku. It will be published and edited by Norman Darlington and Moira Richards, and will launch during 2010. It will include scholarly articles, poems, discussions, contests, critiques and more.

Send an email to (therenkujournal AT to sign up for notices of our progress reports, calls for content, and other news about The Renku Journal.

Norman Darlington
Moira Richards

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Victor P. Gendrano - Three Questions

Victor P. GendranoVictor P. Gendrano is our guest this week on Haiku - Three Questions. He writes:

I am a retired librarian from the Los Angeles (CA) County Public Library. Since high school, I have been writing bilingually in English and Tagalog, a major Philippine language. For 13 continuous years, 1987 to 1999, I published and edited Heritage Magazine, an English-language quarterly on Filipino culture, arts, and letters here in southern California. I only stopped publishing it due to the illness of my wife and her subsequent passing away.

My haiku have been published mainly in World Haiku Review, but also in Lynx, Stylus Poetry Journal, The Heron’s Nest, Simply Haiku, Haigaonline, Sketchbook, Notes from the Gean, and others. Some of them were also included in numerous anthologies. My first book of haiku, Rustle of bamboo leaves, was published in 2005. I am presently working on the next one.

Now to the three questions.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I relish the challenge to write in a few words the relationship between an occurrence in nature and human’s reaction to it at a given time and place which oftentimes resonate with each other.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

In addition to haiku, I also write tanka, haibun, Korean sijo, American cinquain and free verse.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

This is tough like you said. Here are three of my favorites.

sunny morning
a dewdrop holds
the universe

3rd place, The Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English, 2005 Annual Selection

sleepless night
I touch gently
her empty space

The Daily Yomiuri, Sept. 30, 2003

still in their box
the flowers start to wilt
Mother's day

World Haiku Review, Vol. I, Issue 1, May 2001
One of Takashi Hoshino’s Ten Winners in his World Haiku Kukai, April 12, 2001.

Sincerely yours,

Victor P. Gendrano

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 Victor answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Haiku, Submissions, & Contest Results

Paul Conneally has an amazing collection of 38 haiku online. He writes:

Hi Curtis,

Here's a link to a haiku series published online by the Edward Bach Organisation Research Programme.

All that's best,


Patrick Gillespie, poet and proprietor of PoemShape, sent this request:

I was thinking of putting together a post of Solstice Haiku. If everyone sends me a solstice haiku, including your readers, I'll put together something that we can all post at our respective blogs.

My e-Mail address is at my blog under Contact or, if interested, you can post it at my Guest Book.


The results of the 13 Mainichi Haiku Contest have been posted. A pdf document with more information is available here. It is a large file. Folks with dial-up Internet will have to wait for a long time while the document downloads.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poets and Poems - Robert Moyer


Innovative educators all, the state of North Carolina hired us to travel along the coast, across the heartland into the mountains to cajole and canoodle conservative teachers into using our unorthodox classroom approaches. Intoxicated by proximity, we hovered around each other buzzing from one constantly re-forming group to another, from off-beat coffee shops to two-star motel rooms around the Tarheel state.

After dinner, we end up at the New Bern beach. You and I drop behind the others, sinking deeper into the swell of our conversation, unable to stop talking about what we cannot stop talking about. The others disappear along the dark coastline. We edge toward the water.

ten years later
in your voice on the phone
salt air

Originally published in contemporary haibun online - June 2009, vol 5 no 2

Photo by Dave Russo

If you would like to participate in this series, send a photo of yourself composing a poem or writing or a picture of a location where you enjoy writing, along with one of your poems (the type/genre of poem doesn't matter). This series will allow us to see the various locations that inspire us or where we go to write.

Contest News

Saša Važić sent the following contest news:

The Haiku Calendar Haiku Competition

Deadline: January 31, 2010.

Awards: £360/US $600 total prize money.

12 haiku will be selected as monthly winners and will be published prominently in The Haiku Calendar 2011. The prize money will be divided equally between the 12 winners. 40 additional haiku will be selected as runners-up and these will also be published in the calendar.

Entrants may win more than one prize.


Haiku should ideally include a season word. This may be a direct reference to a specific day, month or season (e.g. New Year’s Day, June, winter), or a phenomenon or activity associated with a particular season. Seasonality should ideally align with the traditional Japanese (and English) consideration that the equinoxes and solstices occur at the midpoints of their respective seasons.

Haiku may be free-form or 5-7-5 and must be the original work of the entrant.

Previously published work is acceptable, though haiku previously published by Snapshot Press are not eligible.

Any number of haiku may be entered.

Entry procedure:

Each haiku entered should be typed or written legibly in English on a single 3" x 5" (75mm x 125mm) card. Your name should not appear on this card.

Each haiku must be assigned to a month. This month should be written on the reverse of the 3" x 5" card. (Entrants from the Southern Hemisphere are advised to transpose certain composition dates by six months.)

The first line of each haiku entered should be recorded on a separate sheet of paper along with the corresponding month. (No entry form is necessary, though one is available in pdf format here if required.)

Your real name and your address should be recorded on this entry sheet only.

If you would prefer to be published under a pen name, or for your name to appear in a distinctive fashion (e.g. all lower-case letters), please also write this prominently on the entry sheet.

Entry fee: £3/US $5 per haiku, £6/US $10 for three haiku, and £12/US $20 for up to ten haiku.

Please make cheques/postal orders payable to “Snapshot Press”. US checks and banknotes are accepted. Euro banknotes will be accepted at the same rate as US dollars. Please do not send cheques or postal/money orders in Euro currency. N.B. Please do not send cheques or postal/money orders drawn on banks etc. in countries other than the UK (sterling) and USA (US dollars). (Entrants in Canada, Australia and New Zealand should send US or sterling banknotes, unless they have a US- or UK-based bank account.)

Address for entries: Snapshot Press, Orchard House, High Lane, Ormskirk, L40 7SL, UK.

Results will be announced on March 31, 2010.

2010 Haiku Pen Contest

Only previously unpublished haiku poems accepted. Seeking high quality haiku poetry. There is no theme for this contest. Please type "Haiku Pen" in subject line to avoid deletion. Enter as often as you like by email (no attachments please) or by snail mail and you can make 1 total payment by paypal, US check or US money order.

Entry Fee: $2.00/haiku or $7.00/ set of 5 haiku

Winners and Honorable Mentions will be posted on website.

Open December 15, 2009 - April 15, 2010.


1st Place Prize - $ 100.00 (US) & Certificate
2nd $ 50.00
3rd $ 20.00

Send to:

Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine
The Editors
1900 Centre Pointe Blvd., Ste. 49
Tallahassee, FL 32308

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alice Frampton - Three Questions

Alice Frampton, a licensed pre-school teacher, stumbled upon haiku in January of 2000 while reading The Poet's Market. Luckily, she discovered Frogpond and a very helpful editor, Jim Kacian. Since then, she has been coordinator for the pacifi-kana region of Haiku Canada, taught haiku to elementary and high school poetry classes, helped found the Seabeck Haiku Retreat, had her haiku and related works published in many excellent journals and books, been embraced by numerous other fine haijin, and is now an associate editor for The Heron's Nest. In 2007, after thirty-four years living in Canada, she moved back to her hometown in Washington State to be with her aging mother. She is the author of one book: a gate left open (2009) published by Red Moon Press.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I write haiku to create. After trying many different forms of poetry, I found haiku is the way I want to express what I am feeling right here, right now. Mostly I write for people, to convey what I would like to show them at any given moment. Does this mean that I write solely from an instant? No, it means that something jogs a moment and I want to share it with a friend and maybe, if it goes out into the world, with other poets. Since my youth, I have always written down snippets of ideas that touch me. Haiku fits this nicely.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I love writing for children: poetry, songs, word play, even stories. I enjoy using nursery rhymes and songs and creating more verses for them. And I’m fond of using these as fun teaching tools, the sillier the better. I’m pretty good at limericks, too.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you’ve written, what do you consider to be your top three?

These are my favorites:

so much to do

my son points out

the lightning

Haiku Canada Newsletter Vol. XIV February 2001

all the answers

in the back of the book –

summer solstice

The Heron’s Nest Vol. X September 2008

snow-covered hives

miles to go

for groceries

Frogpond Vol. XXVIII No. 2 Summer 2005

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 Alice answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Contest News and Submissions

This just in from Dick Whyte:

Would you mind announcing that Haiku News is looking for Christmas submissions? Not necessarily Christmas themed (although, that is fine) but poems to put up over Christmas and in to the new year. What kind of news is happening this Christmas, and how does it interact with the holiday season? Particularly local news.

All the best-
Dick Whyte

Ðurda Vukelic-Rozic sent this:

We have a new "little haiku contest". Please, let the poets know about it.

Thank you,

IRIS haiku magazine, Ivanic Grad, Croatia

A little haiku contest theme:

2010 - International Year for the
Rapprochement of Cultures

Please send two unpublished haiku.

Deadline: January 15, 2010

Judge: Boris Nazansky

10 awards: A free copy of the haiku magazine IRIS

e-mail address:

Subject: A little haiku contest

“The General Assembly, on 17 December 2007, declared 2010 the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (resolution 62/90). It recommended that events be organized on interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace during the year, including a high-level dialogue and/or informal interactive hearings with civil society“.

Haiku, too, is a bridge between cultures. It is timeless and a worldwide phenomena. We hope to receive haiku by poets telling us about their experiences in meeting people, cultures and Nature at different latitudes and longitudes of our Planet.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scott Owens & Basho Haiku Challenge

With much thanks to Jessie Carty and her excellent video poetry journal, Shape of a Box, here is Scott Owens reading from his new book of poems entitled Paternity.

Click on the thumbnail to order Paternity.

And I apologize for this bit of news getting by me: The winner of the 2nd Annual Basho Haiku Challenge was announced on December 3rd.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Poets and Poems - Carol Peters

Swamp Fox Passage

And along the track, white sand
   and orange needles
in the narrow stretches, close-hauled shrub
   and shallow pools of rainwater
beyond the track, the swamp like an inland sea
mirrors in all directions
   so that the track seems a fragile dike
and the flooded pools, home to demons
seething, flicking their tails, the black tongues
anticipating dark delight
   a lone rider
pedaling like Fortune's child
   and her eyes peering forward to see what's coming
without a thought
   for beasts sunken in dark water
and when the bicycle's wheels are slinging rooster tails
   her socks and shoes brown with mud
a demon breaches
   and like Cupid's poison arrow, knocks her down.

If you would like to participate in this series, send a photo of yourself composing a poem or writing or a picture of a location where you enjoy writing, along with one of your poems (the type/genre of poem doesn't matter). This series will allow us to see the various locations that inspire us or where we go to write.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Publications and Contest Results

Penny HarterPenny Harter is happy to announce that copies of her children's book, The Beastie Book, a richly illustrated alphabestiary of rhyming poems for imaginary creatures, have just arrived at the publisher and are now available. Since folks both at HNA and Seabeck asked when they might get one, Penny says that if you want the book before Christmas, you should order directly from the publisher at, or from the link Penny provides on her blog The book is also now available for order on, with a somewhat muted picture of the cover (the colors are richer). If you order from amazon, though, they say you'll have to wait until after Christmas for delivery.

The Beastie Book
[Penny Harter photo by Michael Dylan Welch]

The results of the 11th Haiku International Association Haiku contest have been posted.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ian Daw - Three Questions

Ian Daw has been writing haiku for over five years and has been published in a number of journals and anthologies. He is currently at work on his first collection.

1) Why do you write haiku?

There's a strange perfection to a good haiku, it seems to show you how very much you don't understand and never suspected, when it takes the world right out from under you. This moment is usually presented in terms of tranquility and enlightenment, but in a way its extremely unsettling. In writing haiku I'm attempting to pursue and hopefully achieve that quality, but coupled to darker, more visceral imagery.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Originally I read and wrote free verse, but after I read some tanka by Borges I got more and more interested in the idea of compaction.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

I don't know about wonderful, but I do have my favourites.

cracked mirror -
a part of my face
falls through

New Resonance 4

out of a nightmare -
all these bones
in my chest

Acorn 18

first incision -
a sparrow vanishes
in the sun

Roadrunner VI:4

Many thanks,


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 Ian answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Publications, Contest Results, Call for Submissions

A new issue of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature has been released:

The November 2009 issue of Roadrunner has been released:

The results of the Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2009 have been released. Scroll down the page to see the competition results:

From: Sketchbook Editors, Karina Klesko and John Daleiden:

Hello Haiku Poet,

Please consider celebrating the end of a successful year by participating in two haiku activities for the December 31, 2009 Sketchbook:


"winter solstice" Haiku Thread: Submission deadline—Midnight, Sunday, December 27, 2009:


"year ends" Kukai: Submission deadline—Midnight, Sunday, December, 20, 2009:

Sketchbook is now accepting submissions for the next issue. We publish all genre: tanka, rengay, haiga, renku / renga or other eastern genre as well as western genre such as free verse, cinquain, fibionacci, tetractys sestina, sonnet, etc. Here is a link to our current Sketchbook.

Submissions are due by 20, December 2009. Send to:

The Sketchbook Editors send you seasons greetings and a happy new year. We look forward to your submissions in 2010.

The next issue of Sketchbook, Dec. 31, will be released during the first week of January 2010 at An e-mail notice will be sent to you when Sketchbook goes online.

Karina Klesko and John Daleiden


Apokalipsa haiku contest/corrected, see under limit


Deadline: January 20, 2010 (postmark or email date)

Limit: 6 haiku, in English (please note: poets from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina may send their haiku in their mother tongue)

Snail mail:

The (one) envelope must include:

* 4 copies of 6 haiku, each marked with the nickname

* a separate envelope, marked with the nickname, including: author's name, post address, email address, phone number

REVIJA APOKALIPSA, Ul. Lili Novy 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, "12th Haiku Contest"



In the body of email: 6 haiku, in English; author's name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poets and Poems - Ellen Olinger

Deeper Places

I want to live
in the deeper places

where flowers
always get to bloom
at their appointed time

and are loved as much
weathered and dormant
and covered with snow

I want to live
in the deeper places

where loss is felt
tears are cried and
night becomes a friend

and then loss
dies too
new life arrives again

Oh, I want to live
in the deeper places

by Ellen Olinger, first published in Time of Singing (2003). Photo by Karl Olinger.

In memory of the loved ones in all our hearts during this beautiful season of hope.

If you would like to participate in this series, send a photo of yourself composing a poem or writing or a picture of a location where you enjoy writing, along with one of your poems (the type/genre of poem doesn't matter). This series will allow us to see the various locations that inspire us or where we go to write.

Fleur de Lisa & a senryu call for poems

This just in from Richard Krawiec:

Fleur de Lisa will be on NPR's The State of Things Friday, Dec. 18 between noon & 1, probably towards the end of the show. They will be discussing their work and singing new songs, not on the Willow Songs CD. They are finishing the recording of their new CD, which features work by Basho, Issa, Japanese Death poems, Roberta Beary, as well as work based on free verse poems by Jaki Shelton Green and former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byers.

Fleur de Lisa

Editor Al Pizzarelli is currently seeking SENRYU poetry for publication in upcoming issues of the Simply Haiku website.


1. Poets are urged to read the Editor's Introduction in the Simply Haiku Senryu section and read among the many examples of senryu in the SH archives.

2. Both unpublished and previously published senryu are invited. All previously published senryu must include the name and year of the publication in which they first appeared.

3. There is no limit to the number of submissions.

4. All submissions should appear in the body of the e-mail. Attachments are not acceptable.

5. Response time is a week or two from the date of submission.

6. Accepted poems are published within a year of acceptance. Some appear sooner than others depending on the featured topic of each issue.
Note: Topics are determined by the related subject matter of accepted poems and are not announced prior to each issue.

7. Bios & Photos should only be submitted by request of the editor.

8. Submit regularly.

Send submissions to:

Al Pizzarelli
SENRYU editor
Simply Haiku

Want to learn more about Senryū?
Listen to Haiku Chronicles: Episode 3 - Senryū, Son of Haiku

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Publications and a contest

The December issue of of The Heron's Nest is online and ready for viewing.

A new issue of Notes from the Gean has been released.

Notes from the Gean

A new issue of Haiku Reality has also been released.


Romanian Haiku Contest

The editing board of the Journal of Romanian - Japanese cultural interferences «Haiku» will organize the annual competition for haiku poems in fixed form, during the first trimester of 2010. The competition is open to all poets. Send six haiku poems in 5-7-5 format to the address of Mr. Constantin Stroe, Şoseaua Giurgiului nr.125, Bloc 4Ş, Scara 1, Etaj 8, Ap.31, Sector 4, Bucureşti, Of.Poştal Bucureşti, România, or to the following email addresses: (French), and (English). Deadline is March 31, 2010.

Only original haiku poems will be accepted, which have not been previously published in newspapers, journals, author volumes, or in any other forms up to the date of the competition. Hand-written text will not be accepted; texts should be list typed, with correct diacritical symbols and signed.

The texts of the foreign authors should be written in English or French as well as in the original. We prefer to send the texts by e-mail, New Times Roman 12.

A jury nominated by the editing board of the Haiku Journal will analyze the received poems, will grant qualifications and decide on the awarded poems. The results of the competition will be published in the Haiku Journal nr. 43 - Semester I - 2010, and the prizes and diplomas will be sent to the winners by mail. Quality poems which have been sent, even those who will not win awards will be selected for inclusion in International haiku Anthology 2010, Edition II.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

J. Zimmerman - Three Questions

J. ZimmermanJ. 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
whistles Puccini

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.

A haiga gallery, a contest, and contest results

There are many beautiful haiga created by Robert D. Wilson on display in The Wonderland Amusement Park photo gallery.

Saša Važić sent the next two items:

The December 1st deadline is rapidly approaching for this haiku and tanka contest:

IRIS haiku magazine 3/4 2009
A little haiku contest Theme: Mars and Moon watching

Judge: Boris Nazansky
Awarded haiku

Pamela A. Babusci, USA

Mars viewing
or moon viewing
scent of fireflies

promatrajući Mars
ili promatrajući Mjesec
miris krijesnica

John Tiong Chunghoo, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

the sea tonight
sweeping to us
the stars

more noćas
doseže nam

Tanja Debeljački, Užice, Serbia

a black musician
and the moonlight
the ivory keys

crni muzikant
i sjaj mjeseca
dirke od slonovače

Marisa Fazio, Melbourne, Australia

mars -
my daughter asks
for toffee apple

mars -
kći me zamolila
jabuku u karamelu

Krzysztof Kokot, Nowy Targ, Poland

night-scented stocks smell -
in the rocking armchair
I'm looking at stars

miris noći u mirisu klada -
u stolcu za ljuljanje
gledam zvijezde

Jacek Margolak, Kielce, Poland

here & there
on the pond
the star

tu i tamo
na ribnjaku

Vera Primorac, Viškovo, Croatia

Expecting the Mars
From the Moon hangs

Čekam Mars
Na Mjesec obješena

Stjepan Rožić, Ivanić Grad, Croatia

August night
swollen Mars floats on
the cricket's song

kolovoška noć
na pjesmi cvrčka lebdi
nabubrio Mars

Eduard Tara, Iaşi, Romania

Mars deeper
than all the coins –
wishing fountain

Mars dublje
no svi novčići -
fontana želja

Justine Zhang (11), Christchurch, New Zealand

Moon and Mars
United together
Cheese and wine

Mjesec i Mars
Sir i vino

Verica Živković, Starčevo near Pančevo, Serbia

the shadows
of an abandoned station -
August Mars

napuštene stanice -
kolovoški Mars

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Poets and Poems - Tim Peeler

gravity 189

He ran like the thing itself

across the lazy hills where

the cows once lay just before

sunset licked the pines above

Lindsay’s field.

He ran slow as a wheeze

in October’s deep chest,

pumping his spindly arms,

through wild moustache grass

un-mown since late June.

He ran like the gentle hush

that falls over the field after

midnight, and his feet were

like the hands of an old clock

finding their way.

Two haiku related updates

Micheal O hAodha recommends these books by poet, haikuist, playwright, Gabriel Rosenstock (click on the images for more information):

Both books are available at and

Penny Harter sent this news item about Herman van Rompuy.

A sample of Herman van Rompuy's haiku is located here:

I used Google Translate to translate the page into English:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Melinda Hipple - Three Questions

Melinda HippleMelinda Hipple is an award-winning artist, photographer and writer. A native of Missouri [USA], she now lives in Kansas teaching art and belly dance classes, and writing in many different genre. She is the haiga editor for Notes from the Gean, a Journal of Japanese Short Forms.

Among her many works are two science fiction novels, a mystery novella and several poetry collections. She was a past editor and columnist for Up the Creek News and her published works include haiku, senryu, tanka and haiga.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I began writing haiku simply because I write. I love all forms of writing, but eventually I learned enough about the genre to understand 'why' to write it. Once I learned to read/write it more properly, I fell in love with the power held in this tiny form. I no longer sit at the computer and set out to compose a haiku, but do the traditional thing of carrying a small notebook to capture a moment. I will scribble on napkins or backs of checkbooks to put a moment on paper before it's gone.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I love all forms of writing from novels to long, metered/rhymed poetry. The most important thing for me in reading an author's work is for them to give me enough to wedge my way inside their meaning and catch a glimpse of what they are trying to communicate. If an author is too vague, then perhaps it should be filed away with those poems (as are some of my haiku) that have personal meaning but don't translate to the outside world.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

Always, I find new levels of understanding so I do hope the top three are always changing. These three are among my current favorites. I've been criticized for 'one moment ago' being written in past tense, but the moment of perception is present tense - 'this light.' I hope it brings to the reader the same sense of wonder I felt when I wrote it.

one moment ago. . .
this light that touched
the moon

the moon
a little less than full
hope chest

lingering light. . .
a wasp barely visible
against the sky

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 Melinda answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Bartholomeusz, Sketchbook, & Stevenson

Into the Sun: Selected Haiku and Tanka, by Edith Bartholomeusz. Black Cat Press, Eldersburg, MD, USA. Drawings by Cathy Drinkwater Better. Softcover; size, 5-½ in. x 5 in. (similar to quarto size), 80 pp; ISBN 0-9766407-9-1. $12.00, postage paid. Published November 2009. Available, signed, from the author; email or write to 2713 W. Ashurst Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85045 USA.

This premiere compilation of haiku and tanka by widely published poet Edith Bartholomeusz includes both previously published and new work. A number of the poems have been illustrated in pencil by poet and haiga artist Cathy Drinkwater Better. The author’s engaging prologue presents a fable on creativity.

“The prologue to Into the Sun: Selected Haiku and Tanka is an ars poetica that offers insights into the patience required to write poems that have been patiently distilled to reveal the purest essence of experience,” said Carole MacRury, award-winning poet and author of In the Company of Crows: HAIKU and TANKA Between the Tides. “Edith’s haiku and tanka speak with poignant clarity to the transience of life…,” she added. “She looks at the world with a painter’s eyes…sharply focused yet always on the horizon.”

Said Curtis Dunlap, creator of Blogging Along Tobacco Road, "Vivid imagery with a moving yet powerful evanescent flair permeates the poems of Edith Bartholomeusz. Into the Sun: Selected Haiku and Tanka is a keeper, a treasure that you will want to share with your friends."

[Photo by Will Kunzler]

Edith Bartholomeusz

The September/October issue of Sketchbook, featuring 101 authors from 18 countries, is online and ready for viewing.

John Stevenson's third book of haiku and related forms, Live Again, is available from Red Moon Press. John is the managing editor for The Heron's Nest and past editor of Frogpond.

Click on the image to visit the Live Again Red Moon Press page.

Pages: 64
Size: 5.25" x 8"
Binding: saddlestapled softbound

Friday, November 20, 2009

John McDonald CD & a challenge

I've received a pleasant surprise. Scottish haiku poet, John McDonald, has self-produced a magnificent CD of his poems which arrived in my mailbox last Wednesday. As he does in his books, John first reads each haiku in Scots, then in English. There are three tracks on the CD, one for each of his books, over an hour's worth of John reading his wonderful poems with that superb accent.

With John's permission, here are a couple of clips from the CD:

John McDonald clip one

John McDonald clip two

The amazing thing about John's CD is that the recording was made with a handheld digital voice recorder. I think you'll agree that the quality is surprisingly good, very good, in fact. Inspired, I recorded myself reading three of my poems last night:

Curtis Dunlap clip

I purchased my digital voice recorder a few months ago from the local Wally World, the cost, a reasonable $35. It has a USB port, plugs directly into my computer. On its best quality setting, sound is recorded and formatted as a WAV file. I use Audacity, a free sound editing software program to trim, delete, or silence certain parts of my recordings.

Fellow poets, I humbly suggest and challenge you to find the time and means to record yourself reading your poems. Some of you may be thinking who would want to hear me read my poems? I can assure you, someone will read your words someday and wonder what it was like to hear the poet's voice…family, friends, other poets, future generations. Think about it. Our time on this world is limited. We are all just passing through. Not only is it important for us to preserve our poems through written word, but we should also preserve our poems through spoken word and, yes, have them archived at some location.

For those of you interested in receiving John's CD, copies can be obtained for the price of postage. Email John at for specifics.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poets and Poems - Larry Kimmel

Larry Kimmel

A Cup Full of Seasons

The cup
was a tin cup bearing
in bas-relief a cast
of five figures from
a nursery rhyme.

First Season
At breakfast on cold mornings
sitting by the oven
getting warm enough on one side
for both sides
and looking out the frosted window
over snow-laden hills
to hills ice-blue in the distance
and being cozy beside the oven
scorched on one side
still shivering on the left
I'd drink my dark brown Postum
hot from that Winter cup.

Second Season
Over the fresh plowed field
by the fence line
where trees grew
with barbed wire deep in their guts
and brush grew up through stones
picked and piled there
from years of spring-plowed fields
ending along the fence line
where the dying cherry tree loomed over
the budding dogwood
where the maple sap ran down
the elderberry spouts
to drip into buckets
that sat on stacks of stone
there I'd take a taste of sugar water
cold and sweet from that Spring tin cup.

Third Season
Down by the barn in summer
towards evening
big green flies caroused the manure pile
outside the small barn
that held some rats, an uncle's car
and standing big-eyed and docile
in the dusky stall the cow named Betsy
who allowed herself to be milked by Grammy
who sitting on a three-legged stool
in the dusky stall milked Betsy
amongst the fragrant hay and dung
the first squirts torrent sounding
in the hollow bucket
there amongst the dust of chaff and straw
I'd have a Summer cup
of animal warm and frothy milk.

Fourth Season
Up hollow
below the Mennonite Church
down the road a way by the creek
where we had fished
for chubs and minnows the summer long
in the shade of the giant oak
its red leaves falling now
down on the weathered building
blowing inside the weathered building
right there in autumn
with all the good smell of apples
ripe and bouncing up the clanking belt
spilling red from the clanking belt
tumbling down to the grinding
clattering machinery below
right there in autumn
I'd have an Autumn cup of cider
sweet and warm from that noisy press.

The cup
was a tin cup bearing
in bas-relief a cast
of five figures from
a nursery rhyme.

by Larry Kimmel

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Frost, Simply Haiku, and a video

Saša Važić sent this link to the Robert Frost International Poetry Contest that includes a category for haiku:

The Winter 2009 issue of Simply Haiku has been released.

And finally, here is a brief video poem:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Howard Lee Kilby - Three Questions

Howard Lee Kilby is a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas. He is a member of the Haiku Society of America and Haiku Canada. He attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa on the G.I. Bill and studied zen with Robert Aitken of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha. He loves life.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Haiku captures immortality for a moment. It is a creative act. In Murfreesboro, Arkansas there is a real diamond field that is open to the public. Some people find diamonds in the dirt. Wouldn’t that be a haiku moment?

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I like freedom. Free verse works for me. But, I lose interest in longer forms quickly. I read The New Yorker and rarely read more than a few lines of a poem. I am a new fan of Billy Collins. I hope I have the pleasure of hearing him in person someday. Whatever he does, I like.

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

No one died today
Funeral directors stand outside
Watching passing cars

Modern Haiku winter 1994 or spring 1995

*(I met Allen Ginsberg in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas in 1994 and he asked me if I was a poet.

"Yes," I replied. "I’m having a poem published in Modern Haiku."

"What is it?" he asked.

I told him the poem.

"How did you write it?"

"I was driving down the street past the Hot Springs Funeral Home and saw six funeral directors standing outside, as I passed I looked at them. One man, with clear blue eyes looked at me. Our eyes met. I drove on down the street and as I approached the red light it came to me.")

I’ll write more about this exchange someday.

with each feeding
the homeless cat
comes closer

HSA Anthology (I think)

spring moon
where did it come from?
a small meow

HSA Anthology (Maybe)

Sorry to be so maybeish.


Howard Lee

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 Howard answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Several updates - Publications & a Ginko

“January sunset / putting aside her journal / to peel an orange”

Offering a modern approach to haiga, the juxtaposition of haiku and art work, Peeling an Orange combines poet Peggy Heinrich’s exquisite haiku with botanist/photographer John Bolivar’s stunning black-and-white photographs. Both poems and photographs carry the reader through the seasons of a life as well as the seasons of the year to produce an effect that is more than the sum of its parts.

Heinrich's award-winning work has been described, according to one editor, as always finely rendered and thought through. The final haiku in Peeling an Orange, “around the fire / the widening circle / of silence,” was cited by noted artist and teacher Kaji Aso as “an original, neither a second-hand Basho nor Buson, [in which] a basic sense of human life and warmth of heart is well captured.”

A runner-up in the Nikon International Photo Contest, John Bolivar has won many awards and is currently working on a book of his garden photography. His work has graced the ads of many commercial clients including Patagonia, UPS, REI plus Outside, National Geographic, Sierra and many other magazines.

“Poet Peggy Heinrich is an insightful and empathetic companion as she invites the reader to travel with her through the seasons of haiku. Her poems are marked by intricate layers of juxtaposition: city and country, sun and rain, solitude and company, humor and poignancy, and above all a deep appreciation of the present steeped in the remembrance of things past. Peeling an Orange is like an enso, offering the reader a complete journey from the ripples in a spring pond to deep winter’s ‘widening circle/of silence’.”

— Pamela Miller Ness, Past President, Haiku Society of America

“The poems in Peeling an Orange can only be written by a master poet and Peggy Heinrich is one. This book captivates the reader with its haiku & senryu, and just when you think that it can’t get any better, it does. Over the years I’ve thinned out my bookshelves, but this book is a keeper and it is wonderful to have a collection of such work in a single volume.”

— Stanford M. Forrester, editor of bottle rockets: a collection of short verse

Available from

$11.95 Paperback 84 pages

Ships in 3-5 business days

Publisher Modern English Tanka Press

Copyright ©2009

This just in from Jörgen Johansson:

Found a pile of my MUD ON THE WALL chapbook which i had forgotten i had left "Selected Haiku, Senryu & Tanka poems of Jörgen Johansson"

Kinda thick(44 pages) and gives a good perspective on where i stand 'ku etc wise.

Only 100 copies made so it's bound to become a collectors item(blink blink)

So here's the deal, get in touch with me and i will send a copy for FREE, great eh?

If u want it signed, just let me know.

So throw yourself on the comp. keybord and w R i T e soon!



A review of JJ's book of poems is available on this page:

tinywords: a journal of micropoetry is returning and is currently accepting submissions. More information is available on this page.

Deborah P Kolodji sent this journal entry (with photos) of a Ginko Walk at Bolsa Chica.

Red Moon Press has several new releases. You may recall that two books were mentioned in an earlier post. Visit...

...for a complete list of new offerings.

Expect a follow-up in reference to A New Resonance 6: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, soon.

An finally, if you have not subscribed to moonset, you are missing one of the best journals of Japanese short-form poetry. The editors have their fingers on the global pulse of what is going on in haibun, haiga, haiku, tanka etc.

More about this remarkable journal soon.