USA

  • Deborah P Kolodji

    the traffic home
    from the hospital
    winter rainbow

     

    violins
    at his remembrance service
    that old portrait

     

    autumn leaves scattering
    my younger self skips
    to school

     

    reindeer antlers
    on the car behind me
    my red nose

     

    prickly pine cone
    she doesn’t return
    the hug

     

    the name left off
    the gravestone
    her dog’s ashes

     

    weeds after rain
    a mailbox filled
    with medical bills

     

  • Don Baird

     

    drifting here under moon debris under

     

    river wind meeting an owl's hoot

     

    atonal tin can tapping nerves

     

    only shadows allowed between

     

    mind in mind outside the bark

     

    moon print pissing on a tree limb

     

     

  • Don Baird

    late autumn
    the sunset sketches
    a flamingo

     

    falling moon
    the calligraphy
    of shadows

     

    autumn palette
    a red truck dangles
    from the oak

     

    transparent
    her words hanging
    in moonlight

     

    tsunami –
    the swirls of poppy dolls  
    and children

     

     

    Don Baird is an internationally known martial arts teacher and poet. He specializes in eastern poetry forms such as haiku, tanka, haiga and haibun. He is moderator of the Simply Haiku Yahoo Group Workshop.

  • Don Baird

    memories
    those restless gallops
    in the wind
    shouts of children playing tag
    under the stars near the moon

     

    the loss
    of you from my pillow
    a sleepy hollow
    where thoughts drum along
    with the beggar down the alley

     

    her eyes
    limpid in the white lights
    of a Ferris Wheel
    stopped at the starlit crest
    kissing the moonlight

     

    Don Baird is an internationally known martial artist with a passionate love for haiku, tanka, haiga, haibun, and renga. He is moderator for the Simply Haiku Yahoo online workshop, and an author of a book of poetry. He has placed 3rd twice in a row at the Kusamakura International Haiku Contest. He is well published and has recently released his latest book, Haiku Wisdom (Met Press - Modern English Tanka).

  • Edden, Maureen

    eye to eye
    with a blackbird
    we discuss breakfast

     

    moonlight
    on their faces
    soft focus


    finger painting
    on blue jeans
    blackberry picking

    sipping tea
    in cupped hands
    her bone china

     

    contemplating
    the tip of my nose
    a state of zen

  • Edward Cody Huddleston


    upping my meds
    more snow
    in the forecast

     

    the jeweler
    explains her return policy
    first frost

     

    red clay
    shaking the sunset
    from my boots

     

  • Elaine Wilburt

    empty fields
    through frost lace on the glass—
    silent night

    C-U Haiku, The News-Gazette, 12.09.18

  • Elaine Wilburt


    cicada holes—
    after so many years
    what’s left behind

    Hedgerow #128, Summer 2019

     

  • Espenmiller, Lisa

    closing a window
    against the neighbors -
    sharp moon


  • Esther Zimmerman

    pumpkin picking --
    looking for
    the misshapen one

  • Evening Primrose


    pale spirit in fog—
    a sycamore waits by
    the ancient river

    daybreak unveils tender shoots
    spring touches the river banks

    the sundrop
    primrose in yellow
    still upright through winter

    children dream of flying
    above teacher's monotone
    raptors ride the breeze

    primrose hesitates
    blooms in the evening

    an old man
    collects the child
    at the school gate

     

    Darlene O'Dell, Asheville, North Carolina
    Janine Lehane, Asheville, North Carolina

  • Fantasy called Life


    Berlioz’s ‘Les Troyens’
    in the background
    who will be Cassandre
    heralding the coming
    of something wicked?

     

    out front
    the thick pink
    of mums
    cuts through
    the darkness

     

    in bed
    in pajamas
    hearing
    the sound of a car’s backfiring
    somewhere

     

    tonight
    he hasn’t picked up the phone ~
    on the bedside table
    a book of tanka
    and one of senryu

     

    munching on a piece of chocolate
    can’t help
    turning around abruptly
    there’s a sense
    of something behind me

     

    whisper of leaves
    and the voice
    of the night sprinklers …
    the moon is God’s
    all-seeing eye

     

    Verdi’s “O Mon Dieu”
    or will it be Strauss’s “Salome?”
    none of those
    i head to the kitchen
    for a bit of chocolate

     

    the kid’s in the back room
    building
    a city out of Leggos
    i stare in the mirror
    making faces

     

    nothing transcendent
    happened to me
    the way
    he spoke to me earlier
    something’s lingering

     

    i want dahlias and
    a hint of baby’s breath …
    i want Mahler’s music
    playing in this fantasy
    called, ‘my life’

     

    Orrin Tyrell
    Dallas, Texas

     

  • Featured Haiku Poet: Ted van Zutphen

    by Robert D. Wilson


    It's not easy to find a haiku poet today whose poetry embodies Basho's admonition: "Follow the zoka, return to the zoka." Most of what is passed off as haiku today is Imagist free verse claiming to be the new haiku in touch with the now, only the now is then, and the people writing the poetry follow teachers who rarely post their poetry on the web except when one of theirs has won an award. They say kigo isn't necessary, and therefore, not the heart of a haiku. They say it's the "haiku moment" that's the heart of a haiku. The "haiku moment" is an invent of Kenneth Yasuda and R.H. Blyth, who believed falsely that haiku is a Zen Buddhist literary genre. Nowhere in the teachings of Basho and his disciples, is this "haiku moment" mentioned; in fact, Basho wrote some of the haiku for his travel diaries before he went on treks across Japan into zoka's bosom. The "haiku moment" was very popular with the Beats and later, the flower children, who have since become deflowered, as it advocated a NOW mindset that didn't take much time or effort: go there, be there, close your eyes, follow the march hare down the rabbit hole into the White Rabbit's lair. Flow, go, and make up the rules as you go along, don't listen to the red queen, sit at the feet of the Cheshire Cat, and you'll be ten feet tall.

    Enter Ted Van Zutphen, a poet born and raised in the Netherlands when it was still called Holland, then moved as an adult to the United States where he married and raised his children. Most of the good haiku poets I encounter today didn't learn their art in a university or from an online Captain This or a Commander That. They see haiku as a path instead of a hobby . . . The mystical dao of poetry Shotetsu and other Japanese master poets traveled on in the cerebral cortexes of their minds and urged others to follow as well. The old masters and those today who aren't lazy observe the zoka with empty minds free of subjectivity, not concerned with two-dimensional objects they enclosed in imaginary picture frames borrowed from the Hallmark Card Company. Haiku become multiple-dimensional when one convenes with the zoka in the writing of a haiku and makes use of aesthetic tools that unearth the unsaid, yugen (depth and mystery), and other styles that breathe breath into a poem the essence music from the Zhuangzi's pipes of heaven.

    van Zutphen knows haiku is not the object-biased Imagist free verse called Modern American Haiku. Instead, he writes activity-biased haiku concerned with the process, the always changing, unpredictable zoka that creates, deconstructs, reconstructs in an endless continuum of time that's not limited to Zen Buddhist thought or the concrete two-dimensional Anglo- Western mindset that places humankind above nature. Humankind destroys, nature sculpts, transforms, and doesn't follow the latest trends.


    waves speaking
    in ancient tongues . . .
    spring morning

    waves: not an object as it’s liquid air, each wave its own creation, part   
                 of a symbiotic dance with the wind and tides.


    speaking: an action verb AND a descriptive modifier using     
                personification to set the stage for an in-depth look at the zoka
                sculpting waves superior to anything a human can sculpt, a
                living, endless string of haiku that's ageless, continuous, and     
                ever-changing.

    ancient tongues: an action word used as an allegory indicating that
                the sea is not dead, and sings its own song; a term used in
                the New Testament Book of Acts, glossallia, called the 
                language of angels, spoken in prayer, when a follower of
                Jesus Christ is filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

    spring morning: a season indicator and the time of day; a kigo
               reference when used in the right context. Too many today   
               think kigo are nature words instead of that which brings life
               into a haiku, celebrating and emulating the creative power of
               nature. The reason people in the Anglo-West think this way,
               as do many Japanese, is due to a shared German-based
               university system that defines aesthetics, the arts, literature,
               social science, and philosophy with a language ill-equipped
               to fathom and describe Eastern thought. Japan was colonized
               when it adopted this university system that still prevails in
               Japan.

    van Zutphen's haiku is a process (activity)-biased poem that leaves room for a continuum of interpretations. Re-read it a couple times.


    mountain
    the spring sun
    in its depths

    Again, van Zutphen's haiku, an activity-biased haiku (is there any other kind?) takes readers on a journey concerned with change created by the zoka.

    mountain: something that cannot be picked up or studied in a
               laboratory; an object only if one considers the earth 
               to be a single object. Is this planet living or non-living
               organic matter? Is science capable of making such a
               distinction?

    the spring sun: a season indicator. The sun is not a tangible object
               nor has anyone done anything more than make scientific
               theories as to what the sun is or isn’t.


    Read this a few times. van Zutphen juxtaposes line one with lines two and three to form an amazing, living activity-biased haiku. As a reader it is your job to finish the poet's haiku with your own interpretation. What does this haiku say to you? Notice the focus of this poem is the creative power of nature, the zoka. A kigo only becomes a kigo in the proper context.

    Read the rest of these gems with the zoka in mind. This is real haiku: relevant, activity-biased, and deep.



    oh rock …
    how long will it take
    to wear you down?

    shrouded mountains...
    your presence pierces
    the distance

    misty morning -
    the dogwood blooms
    my breath

    riverbank...
    willow branches reach
    for their roots

    setting moon...
    the wall between us
    brick by brick

    dawn moon...
    the red river flows
    into its past

    tidal moon -
    where does the sun rise
    tomorrow?

    hiding moon -
    still the bloodstains
    on his hands

    morning dew . . .
    your words filling
    the void


     

    Ted van Zutphen grew up in the Netherlands, lived and raised his family in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he observed life through the windshield of a bus for 32 years. Since his retirement last year he has been studying and writing haiku and other Japanese short form poetry. He now travels the US in his small RV, visiting family and friends, while experiencing the endless beauty, hope and despair of this country. Previously published in Notes from the Gean, haijinx and Simply Haiku.


  • Flanagan, Michael

    sometimes late at night…   
    I must pause to console     
    the child deep inside     
     
     
     
    October dawn
    a prayer for skill and deer  
    sipping schnapps   
     
     
     
    evicted—homeless    
    three months, six days in a truck… 
    yet now we laugh       
  • Fractled


    Spring cleaning...
    the stain of memories
    I fail to remove

     

    the struggle
    of what blooms...
    April snow

     

    Winter moonset —
    the light of day in full
    just before dawn

     

    more ripples —
    a migration of fish
    as the rain stops

     

    young orphans
    and human traffickers...
    Mother's Day

     

    record heat...
    people wearing shorts
    this late Winter

  • Fractled

    spring cleaning—
    he finally comes out
    of the closet

    Frogpond #42.1 - 2019

  • Fractled


    traffic lights
    only the echo of sparrows
    heads downtown

     

    ghost city
    the pace of my stride
    at rush hour

     

    Easter Day
    the family time spent
    via touchscreen

     

    spring cleaning
    a worldwide shutdown
    for the earth to heal

  • Francis Masat

    mountain pass —
    the icy sound of wind
    against itself

     

    crunching to a halt  
    under this cobalt blue sky 
    I can only stare

     

    cirrus clouds —
    an icy gust lifts a note  
    from my hand

     

    cemetery —
    the slow halting descent  
    of a snowflake

     

    standing on thin ice
    bubbles tumble and pause
    below my feet

     

    Francis Masat is Prof. Emeritus, Rowan Univ., NJ. Over a 1000 of his poems appear in over 100 journals and anthologies. His haiku related books are Awakening in Prairie Light, Kindle/Nook, Lilacs after Winter, MET Press, Threshing, March Street Press, and (co-editor) Among the Lilies, Shadow Poetry.  His poetry books are A Taste of Key West, Pudding House, and Prairie Labyrinth, Nook.

  • Friedenberg, Jay

    after the fight
    a deepening black
    between stars


    Riverside Park
    the constant stream
    of small dogs

     

    morning hangover
    crumpled party hats
    fill the gutter

     

    96th Street subway platform –
    someone has stolen
    my spot

     

    rainy afternoon
    my son plays
    with his imaginary friend

  • Gail Brooks


    the wooden puppet
    stares at me each night
    remembering
    the pain of the whittling knife
    while recalling the joy of his creation