‘Of This World’ HSA Award, Judges’ Comments

So pleased to have received an Honourable Mention in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards! I announced the news earlier this year here. The Judges’ comments appeared in the latest issue of Frogpond, the Society’s Journal (41.3, Fall 2018, p. 119). 
This is what they say:

In this fine haibun collection, Pierides addresses a wide variety of subject matter as she moves fluidly between tones—-philosophical, heart-wrenching, ironic, humorous. Some of the prose is conventional and some highly experimental; likewise the haiku (a frog jumps in / intertextuality / for beginners). No matter how short or light-hearted, none of the pieces feel slight, and the variety is delightful.

Many thanks to Judges Melissa Allen and Brad Bennett!

Of This World,haibun,

Available from Red Moon Press and Amazon.

3rd Annual Haiku for Change Event 2018

This September I took part in the Haiku for Change Event organised by Michael Smeer of the Facebook community My Haiku Pond, in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change (Global) 2018. Poets were asked to write one haiku (or senryu, haiga, or photo-haiku) on change: climate, environment, earth.

Entries were included in the Haiku for Change Event ebook Anthology, a pdf posted on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change blog, and archived by Stanford University as part of their program to document the 100 Thousand Poets for Change movement and community.
Here is my offering:

rising seas
a clutch of turtle eggs
in the park sandpit

The pdf is now up and can be downloaded from the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Blog

AFL Grand Final Kukai 2018

This is the second year I participated in the Australian Grand Final Kukai, organised and hosted by haiku poet Rob Scott. I enjoyed the event itself, learning about the footy teams, the preparations and festivities leading up to Grand Final Day, and then following the game on internet radio in the early morning hours. Writing poems during the game was not easy, but as they say, strike the iron while it’s hot! And I tried! The best thing? Being part of the group of poets watching the match and responding with poems. I enjoyed their contributions immensely!

What heartbreak though. The Magpies ahead most of the match, the Eagles sweeping ahead in the end to win the final.

tachycardia
and swollen vocal cords…
Grand Final fever
*
grand final eve —
eagle and magpie fans feast on
chicken wings
*
magpies and eagles —
the stuff that dreams
are made of
*
live on air
the stadium roars
and roars
*
on the airwaves
the ebb and flow
of hope
*
half time —
believing in my spirit
animal
*
grand final
after all the hard work
… rain

‘match countdown’ on Per Diem: Daily Haiku

Thrilled to have my poem featured on Per Diem: Daily Haiku, The Haiku Foundation site. The poem will be up all day today the 23rd of September 2018 here
Many thanks to editor Rob Scott for selecting it!

This poem was written for the AFL Grand Final Kukai 2017 and included in The Tigers’ Almanac 2017, p. 187 (Malarky Publications)

haiku,poem,

Clover and Cows

clover,

clover in flower
the Holsteins come
with four stomachs

This week’s poem by Dan Schwerin (Modern Haiku 49:2, Summer 2018), discussed at The Haiku Foundation feature Re:Virals, attracted delightful responses that illuminated the poem from different and serendipitously complementary angles.

The week’s winner, Garry Eaton, provided an interesting and robust commentary seeing the poem’s environmental concerns, alluding to 19th century farming changes by

… highlighting the mindless, mower-like and digester-like efficiency of cows as in massive numbers they convert landscapes into milk and excrement in an endless search for more green.

The other commentators too, in their own way, provided fascinating inroads to the ku.

One paragraph from Julie Warther’s commentary caught my eye:

We each have our empty places looking to be filled. We hold common yearnings for love, acceptance, safety, sustenance and purpose. The natural world and those in it have much to offer. Do we come ready to receive? Do we return hungry for more? Do we have the capacity (four stomachs worth?) to take in the goodness, beauty and bounty surrounding us?

In the commentaries, desire, pleasure and insatiable hunger come together through the poem’s image of cows with multiple stomachs, mowing down environmental resources. Perfect metaphors for humans for whom – on individual and societal levels – the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and who will employ all means necessary to consume, to obtain the next piece of land, the next oil field… The effects on nature, climate, resources are all around us to see. As Warther asks, do we have the capacity to process and digest what we receive, to ‘stomach’ it, to experience ful/fillment? To contain our desires? To create a sustainable environment, where the milk we receive is both sufficient and good enough to nourish us?

In Schwerin’s poem, c/love/r is in flower. It is not the first time, and it won’t be the last. In the optimist’s reading, the ‘clover in flower’ in this rural idyll has survived previous years, and it sounds that, with care, it is going to survive the next ones.

Refreshing to see clover — considered an invasive weed in the context of gardening — standing for ‘milk’ in its use as animal fodder, and the cows — whose milk is usually associated with nourishment — standing for ruthless, destructive urges. But that’s another poem, and another story.

You can find the full re:Virals post here.

If, like me, you enjoy thinking about these matters, make sure you receive The Haiku Foundation posts. Re:Virals, managed by Danny Blackwell, appears Fridays.

Philoxenia

Philoxenia

Yesterday I attended an event at the Elixirion Greek restaurant in Augsburg, where, in a kind of experiment, a number of strangers had been invited to sample Greek Cuisine. Extending over three hours, the meal featured an amazing array of perfectly cooked dishes, drinks, and desserts, with the invitees paying at the end whatever they thought appropriate.

Our hosts — Angelos Gkantzos and his team — opened their doors and hearts to a sizeable group of Grecophile and hungry strangers and through their friendly and generous welcome made us all feel immediately at ease.

The word Philoxenia came to mind. Love and friendship towards strangers, towards visitors, generosity combined with eagerness to show hospitality. Here, this evening, the concept became reality through the experience of togetherness and being received in a generous and good-natured spirit.

Elixirion restaurant, The food was perfectly cooked and delicious, the drinks cool and flowing, and the ouzo something that Odysseus himself would have stayed for and enjoyed!

Many heartfelt thanks to the owner Angelos Gkantzos and all the staff who created this wonderful event and helped us remember the concept of Philoxenia. And to the fellow invitees who helped make the evening a most enjoyable event.

Photo altered to protect privacy.

‘World Cup Final’ 1st Place in CKK

Football,Africa,
Handmade Football

Thrilled to place 1st in the 125th Caribbean Kigo Kukai on the theme ‘World Cup Final!’ Congratulations to Mark Gilbert, Martha Magenta and all participants for such a good game! Many thanks to the organiser Gillena Cox!

world cup final
the old couple holding
hands

Many thanks to the anonymous commentators:

COMMENT 1: A warm, touching haiku
COMMENT 2: In a crowded stadium this haiku focuses in on one couple – the word ‘final’ suggests it might be their last match
COMMENT 3: A modern fairy-tale ending, with they lived ever after. The old couple has won.
COMMENT 4: Sporting tournaments bring people together and you imagine this old couple have been watching their team play for many years. Maybe this is the first time they have attended the actual final.
COMMENT 5: Though this world cup final has not yet been played, I find the poet’s imagination is very vivid. A moment of anxiety has been captured vividly.
COMMENT 6: Like #2 (lullaby) in reminding us that there is more in the world than the World Cup (Full disclosure: I’m one half of an old couple myself).

*

Photo from ‘Whatever you think about football

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“Ammersee Symposium” in honor of VSSA (IV)

Last weekend, VSSA IV, the fourth international quadrennial symposium on Visual Search and Selective Attention, took place in the Bavarian School of Public administration, Holzhausen, nr. Utting, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Ammersee. I wrote a haiku sequence in honor of the symposium using themes and terms from the talks and social life of the meeting. I understand this haiku sequence was briefly projected on screen before the concluding session of the symposium.Ammersee Symposium haiku

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Literature, Art, Culture, Society, and lots of Haiku