Beyond Me There is a point at which thought unravels, where cosmic dust swims on waves our brains are not equipped to comprehend. This is the reason we learn to speak of concrete things caught by the senses – the fragrance of flowers, light and shadow, bird song, the weight of snow. Holding tight to the literal, we learn to survive.
My heartfelt thanks to editor Clare MacQueen for publishing this haibun in issue 7 of MacQueen’s Quinterly. It had originally appeared in the Wales Haiku Journal.
It’s at its loudest in the early morning hours. Before light dissolves darkness, before the neighbour leaves for work, before the birds start singing, his laboured breathing comes over the baby monitor whispering, gurgling, rattling, spluttering….
I lie awake listening to the crack of thunder, the roaring waterfall, the sounds of the sea emitted from his chest. A car starting, the exhaust backfiring, the train leaving station. The boat reversing in the harbour. Light rain. A soft meow. His breathing renders a whole world. In this soundscape, I make out the stories he told me when years ago he put me to bed.
Soon, light dispels the apparitions, and his breath comes over the monitor soft, steady, regular, lulling me to sleep.
A woman reading a letter in the light pouring through an unseen window. Hair pulled back from the forehead, she is pictured in the style of her favorite painter against an expanse of soft yellows. Areas of blue for the shadows, the armchair and her top allude to hidden layers.
the temptation to see
Her upper body is turned towards the light, held by it, trapped by it. Arrested in the moment, her Parkinson’s is invisible. In a minute or two, she’ll have to change position, align her spine, prevent stiffness from setting in.
Amsterdam to Delft…
in their seats now, the old couple
remove their face masks
This is a good day. In the early hours of the morning, she’d lain listening to the woodpecker hammering time. As the hours rolled in, she made fabric out of wool, squeezed poetry out of the daily grind, mailed her loved ones. Read their letters…
to what matters
This haibun, a collaboration with artist and daughter Maria Pierides, appeared in the project Love in the Time of Covid
Delighted to announce a surprise, special issue of RIGHT HAND POINTING: Haiku 2021! (A nice set-up for our new print journal of haiku/senryu, first frost, coming this May). Thanks to our pal Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco for curating the issue. Enjoy!
Here the writer is more obviously in the picture. We can easily imagine someone who is still in bed, waking to this familiar (and thereby reassuring) but perennially thrilling sound. The experience as conveyed has an energy that could well inspire optimism.
Thrilled to see my poem appear as (Per Diem) Haiku of the Day on the Homepagebof The Haiku Foundation! Many thanks to Ralf Broeker for including it in his collection on Spirits, and to Rob Scott for running the feature.
A Happy New Year 2021 to all my friends! A year filled with Health, Love, Creativity, Happiness, and Peace!
Meanwhile, still in 2020, JuxtaSix: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship, the print issue, is available! I just received my print copy from Amazon. It is a very interesting and well-presented issue. I am happy to say it includes an article on Haiku and the Brain that I co-authored. Many thanks to the editors, and reviewers, and well-done to my fellow authors!
What a wonderful project! The brainchild of Krzysztof Kokot, the International Picture Postcard Project “Haiku Connects Us” brings together poets and poetry from around the world. Beautiful pictures, coupled with haiku…what a treat! So pleased to see my contribution included here!Thank you, Krzysztof!
Robert Epstein describes a signature poem as “a unique and authentic expression of one’s haiku spirit or sensibility,” a poem by which the poet would wish to be remembered.
Now Gregory Pico, noting in one of his posts that “Some writers selected their most awarded and anthologized poem, while others chose a poem that best captured their poetic style, or portrayed a place or event of deep personal importance,” selected a few of these poems to feature on his website. Mine was included! Thank you so much, Gregory Pico!
Haikupedia opened its doors on 21 June 2020. Now in its seventh week, it has released articles on haiku in several countries, biographies, awards and contests, and other articles for study, for research, and enjoyment. All you ever wanted to know about haiku is being written by experts and gathered in one place: Haikupedia. Every week new material! It is growing and it is getting better. And it is always open, always there. You can visit anytime you like: https://www.haikupedia.org
After a few false starts with seedlings disappearing overnight, flowers dropping off unpollinated, good news at last. My first courgette is now growing! Swelling by the hour. A wonder! Now the question is, after all the effort, setbacks, heartbreak, patience, pleasure, and pride, how could I possibly eat it?
It is June 21st, 2020, and The Haiku Foundation just announced the debut of Haikupedia, its encyclopedia of all things haiku! I copy below the Troutswirl blog post about the first week of Haikupedia’s existence:
Each week for the next several months we will release a few new articles in our ever-expanding encyclopedia of haiku. These we hope will give you a sense of the potential scale of this enterprise, as well as entice you to become a part of the project.
We begin this week with a long biographical article on Japanese master poet Kobayashi Issa. We present the full English text of the Matsuyama Declaration, a landmark in the establishment of “world haiku.” Our featured country this release is New Zealand, not least because of their supremely executed management of the Covid-19 pandemic. You will also find short biographies of this week’s featured writers, David G Lanoue and Sandra Simpson, as well as the several people behind the start-up of Haikupedia: Editor in Chief Charles Trumbull, Managing Editor Stella Pierides, Photo Editor Iliyana Stoyanova, Haikupedia (and Haiku Foundation) Website Manager Dave Russo, and THF Founder and President Jim Kacian.
Haikupedia is a vast and wonderful project and I am both humbled and honored to be part of it.
Literature, Art, Culture, Society, and lots of Haiku