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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poets and Poems - Natalia L. Rudychev

~wings of flight~

Ray Johnson
sea somewhere
said last good bye
a parti-colored line
of letter-leaves
is stretched into
the sunset
the verses cover clouds
in close print
the name of primal yearning
for those
who drifting in the stream of ages
create a patch of light
with brush of solar beam
at School of CorresponDANCE
bits of mail
are sent to death
and bear triangle stamp
Ray Johnson
waves form lines for notes
of long-awaited letter
pecks one by one
the twinkling lights of night
Ophelia … Ray Johnson
…..wings of flight…..

[This poem was first published in English in American Open Mike Press, 2005 on page 33. It was inspired by life, death, and creative work of Ray Johnson.]

Seabeck photos - Michael Dylan Welch

Michael Dylan Welch sent this:

Curtis, I've now posted my photos of the Seabeck Haiku Getaway online at:

Everyone's welcome to view them, and I hope they might inspire people to come and join us next year. Next year our retreat will have an extra day, starting on Thursday night, and will most likely be the first weekend of November, with a larger meeting room.

Michael Dylan Welch

One note, I could not view Michael's gallery until I logged out of my Gmail account, copying and pasting the URL. I assume the issue stems from Google owning Gmail and Picasa Web Albums and the fact that I have my own Picasa Web Album.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Curtis Dunlap - Three Questions

Curtis DunlapGood friends, the Haiku/Tanka - Three Questions queue is empty. No, this doesn't mean that the series will end. I will continue to publish poets who happen upon Tobacco Road, see the list of participants and decide that they would like to add their voice to our unique choir.

Now, that being said, I felt that my readers should have someone to read about today. :)

Curtis Dunlap lives near the confluence of the Mayo and Dan rivers in Mayodan, North Carolina. He works in Information Technology at a local community college. He enjoys reading and writing poetry and has been published in a variety of journals. He was awarded 3rd Prize in the 11th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition in 2006 and the Museum of Haiku Literature Award in 2008.

1) Why do you write haiku?

To preserve, share, and savor snapshot moments that are as fleeting as the small poems used to convey the experience to the reader. Time goes by at an incredible pace, especially now that I've passed the half century mark. To me, writing haiku is akin to taking the finger off of life's fast forward button, slowing the pace down, and revisiting events that struck a chord with my artistic soul.

In looking back over this series, I find many of the reasons I write haiku in Richard Straw's list. Perhaps we all write haiku for some or all of those reasons.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I've written haibun, rengay (of course, with a partner), senryu, and tanka. I enjoy writing free verse and have had a few poems published.

In recent months I've enjoyed reading free verse or listening to longer poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, Charles Bukowski, Dave Etter, Sam Ragan, Aurora Antonovic, Alexis Rotella, Lenard D. Moore, Penny Harter, Pris Campbell, Albert Huffstickler, Helen Losse, Scott Owens, Ted Kooser to name a few. In an email to my good friend Warren Gossett, I said:

"I dislike poetry that I don't understand. Poetry shouldn't give the reader a brain cramp figuring out what the poet is saying or trying to convey. I want poetry to whack me a good one in my heart and soul. I have enough technical stuff to read and keep up with to cramp my brain."

That pretty much sums up the type of poetry I enjoy, in all forms.

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

Dang, Mr. Dunlap! What kind of question is that? They (poems) are like children, you love them all, even the red-headed step child! No, I won't dodge the question, especially since 88 participants in this series have been kind enough to answer what I'd consider is your toughest question. Comparatively speaking, if haiku were a singing trio and I had to pick three that best harmonize, who I am, where I came from, these poems would stand out:

tobacco market
the auctioneer pauses
to catch his breath

Chasing the Sun: selected haiku from Haiku North America 2007

a rusty still
by the dry creek bed –
blood moon rising

The Heron's Nest X:1 - 3, 2008

Appalachian wedding –
the fiddle player
slides into a love song

Frogpond Volume XXVIII:3 (Nov. 2005)

Ask tomorrow and the three will undoubtedly be different.

[Photo by Kristi Merritt]

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 Curtis answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Haiku Registry and Contest News

This just in from Billie Wilson:

I’ve been asked to remind poets who have published haiku in English in any edited publication (print or online) that they are invited to participate in The Haiku Foundation's Haiku Registry. This Registry will be not only a beautiful gallery highlighting the work of haiku poets from around the world, but also a good research tool for anyone interested in English-language haiku. Volunteers are also needed to provide in-depth information about deceased poets for the memorial section of the Registry.

Carole Macrury sent this:

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is pleased to announce a new spring deadline for the 2010 Haiku Invitational.

While the cherry blossoms bloom from March through May, you are invited to write your haiku with fresh inspiration. The poems will be judged during the summer and winners announced in the fall 2010. Winning poems will then be featured during the 2011 festival. So start planning now to submit your cherry blossom haiku this coming spring.

An official invitation will be announced in February. Online submissions will begin March 1, 2010 and close May 31, 2010.

Please visit the festival web-site to view past winning haiku with 2010 updates coming soon.

And a couple of readers sent this about a new poetry competition:

First Annual James Kirkup Memorial
Poetry Competition


Judges: Terry Kelly, Tom Kelly and Alistair Robinson.

1st prize: publication of pamphlet
24 other finalists will be published in a pamphlet anthology

  • Entry is free.
  • You may enter only once.
  • You must be over 17 years of age.
  • Your entry will be judged anonymously. Please DO NOT SHOW YOUR NAME on the same sheet as your entry. Enclose a separate sheet with your name, address, telephone number, email address and the title of your poem. Please mark your envelope 'James Kirkup Poetry Competition'.
  • Your poem should be typed on one side of A4 paper (you may use any number of sheets).
  • Poems may be in any style, of any length, on any subject.
  • Your poem will not be returned to you. If you would like an acknowledgement of receipt please enclose an SAE marked 'Acknowledgement'.
  • No alterations may be made to a poem once it has been submitted.
  • Overseas entries are welcome.
  • Poems must be in English (or English dialect).
  • Poems must not have won or be under consideration in other poetry competitions.
  • Poems must not be a translation of another author's work.
  • Employees of Red Squirrel Press are not eligible to enter.
A celebratory event will be held at South Shields Central Library at 7.30 Friday 23rd April 2010 (on what would have been James Kirkup's 92nd birthday).

Send entries to:

James Kirkup Memorial Competition
Red Squirrel Press
PO Box 219
NE61 9AU
United Kingdom

We are unable to accept entries by e-mail.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wild Goose, Dead Mule, and Poetea

The fall 2009 issue of The Wild Goose Poetry Review is online. North Carolina Haiku Society member, Richard Krawiec, has a poem in this issue and one other NCHS member has a couple of poems.

Also appearing in this issue are William Alton, Jessie Carty, Harry Calhoun, Daniel Casey, Tawnysha Greene, Marvin Lurie, Felicia Mitchell, Grant Morgan, Simon Perchik, Sam Rasnake, Tony Ricciardelli, Gabriel Shanks, John Sibley Williams, and A.D. Winans.

Poetry, book reviews, and more...

The November issue of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature is also online. Southern Legitimacy Statements are available on the poetry page. After reading the SLS, click the poet's name to read their poems.

Appearing in this issue are Tim Peeler, Scott Owens, Jane Crown, Lance Levens, Adrianne J. Odasso, Rusty Barnes, Barry Basden, Anthony Robbins, Sandra Ervin, Adams, Lesley Doyle, Nancy Posey, and yours truly. :)

And finally, here's the third and final video of Poetea IV:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poets and Poems - Helen Losse


I want to eat ambrosia,

dine with the gods. Dance.

Seraphim at the gate, velvet-winged.

“A plea is not a call,” says the tallest angel.

“One should not taste of success too soon.”

“Yes. Wait’s a word to ride the wind,”

says another. “And who will know the

mind of God?”

A celestial chorus in a quick response.

And I, reaching upward, raise uplifted palms.

A spurt of boldness: Each—in its own way.

The voices fade, and things I reach for seem too far.

Then just as silence slices through morning,

heaven’s jagged edge cuts my finger to the bone.

Helen Losse is the author of Better With Friends (Rank Stranger Press, 2009) and two chapbooks, Gathering the Broken Pieces and Paper Snowflakes and the Poetry Editor of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Her recent poetry publications and acceptances include Shape of a Box, Right Hand Pointing, Hobble Creek Review, The Wild Goose Review, and Blue Fifth Review. Educated at Missouri Southern State and Wake Forest Universities, she lives in Winston-Salem, NC.

Helen will be reading from and signing copies of Better With Friends 7:30 tonight in Room 204 of the Z Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC). Please drop by and see Helen, if you are in the area.

88.5 WFDD radio interviewed Helen recently. An mp3 of the interview is available here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lenard D. Moore, 'Calico Cat' haiku contest, and Modern Haiku

Haiku Society of America President, Lenard D. Moore, is the featured poet this month at the Mann Library Daily Haiku web site. You can visit the web site daily to read Lenard's poems or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Here's a video rewind of Lenard reading a haiku from last December:

This just in from Origa Olga Hooper:

Tenth bilingual 'Calico Cat' haiku contest.

Anyone may participate in this contest by sending up to three haiku on the theme of my new sumi painting "Solitude" (Goose and Torii). This contest is a blitz, so you only have two days and two nights to submit. Your haiku should appear in the comments section of this post no later than Thursday, November 5th, before 8 am EST (New York time).

For all the details, please visit:

And finally, the autumn sample issue of Modern Haiku is online featuring poems from many poets who have participated in the Three Questions project. Information about the Robert Spiess Memorial Award Haiku Competition is also available, along with an essay by Randy Brooks.

Congratulations also to Roberta Beary for having the favorite haibun of the summer issue.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stephen A. Peters - Three Questions

Stephen A. Peters
Stephen A. Peters lives in the Pacific Northwest, Bellingham, Wa. The daily routines of taking his vitamins, cleaning the cats' litter box, going to work and also getting some physical exercise takes up a good portion of his time.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Attempting to tap into the universal flow of things when the motivation is there and the phase of the moon is right I sometimes feel the need to do. When this happens the challenge for me, trying to say something in three lines that has the proper amount of resonance is what I enjoy in writing haiku.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I like senryu and tanka. Physical activity, going on daily walks is a personal poetic form I also enjoy.

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

A few poems that come to mind at this moment are...

scattered leaves
the argument
didn't go so well

Spring/Summer 2008

alone tonight
Valentine's Day
a bit overrated

Modern Haiku
Summer 2009

that kind of day
the wind at my back
most of the time

The Heron's Nest
Dec. 2008

Photo by Sandra Mulhern

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 Stephen answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Basho Haiku Festival 2009, Frogpond & Nicholas A. Virgilio judges' comments

Saša Važić sent this link to the results of the Basho Haiku Festival 2009:

This just in from Randy Brooks:

Here are a couple of updates to share. The "Online Splashes" web sampler of the Autumn 2009 issue of Frogpond is available at:

Also, the Nicholas A. Virgilio high school haiku awards with judges' comments are also available at: