Friday, December 23, 2016

Cattails, September 2016

1st Place
2016 Fleeting Words Tanka Competition

mute swans
under a moon bridge
the things
I should have confessed
make no difference now

Comments from the Judge:

Selected for the first place in this competition, is this tanka by a well known author from Canada, Debbie Strange. Smoothly composed, the words "mute swans" in line 1 and "under a moon bridge" in line 2 starts it off beautifully. Debbie creates a distinct pause before she goes into lines 2 and 3 which juxtapose with a human relationship. This tanka then finally spills over to line 5, in a flowing crescendo and the moment of closure. Simple images, and straightforward words make this tanka work for anyone and everyone who reads it.

—UHTS Contest Judge: an'ya cattails principal editor

Jane Reichhold Memorial Tribute (1937-2016)

a broken shell
her words return
in waves


failing light
my life lines cradle
her laugh lines

one-eyed crow
a glimpse of starshine
between clouds

wind gusts
a rotten burl full
of wild plums

these stones
skim across water
letting go
of every burden,
I float into light

in my garden
a gatekeeper butterfly
basks in the sun
I cover my pale body
only coming out at night

the songs
my father sang to me
in a tongue
I could not understand
still, they carry me home

VerseWrights, 2016

Undertow Tanka Review, Issue 9, December 2016

they dragged me
to view the body
my sister
no longer larger
than her shortened life

that dream
I long to have again
the one
where I grew lamina
and my breath was fire

I find
white begonias
at my door
in pogonip fog
the vague shape of you

Tinywords, Issue 16.2, December 2016

liquid sun our glasses filled with dandelion wine

Hedgerow Poems, Number 100, December 2016

Print Edition

purple streaks in the busker's hair wild violets

night blindness moonbeams tangled in your lashes

I inhale
and my lungs fill up
with bees
though all hope is lost
there is still this hum

we slept
beneath a star blanket
that summer
and washed our faces
with morning dew

Full of Moonlight, Haiku Society of America, Members' Anthology 2016

ice fog
everything familiar

3rd Place, Shintai Haiku
World Haiku Review
January 2016

Frameless Sky, Issue 5, December 2016

sugar snow
the taste of nothing
on my tongue

steamy windows
the kettle whistles
our favourite tune

Eucalypt, Issue 21, December 2016

fallen leaves
in uncured cement . . .
we imprint
our own mythology
upon each other's lives

soft silt
at the delta's mouth . . .
our breathing
within this moment
flocks of birds, rising

Beginning, British Haiku Society Members' Anthology 2016

spawning coral
once a year, the snow
falls upward

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 26, Number 4, November 2016

a broken circle
in the zen garden
sparrow prints

soft snow
the imprint of wings
a memory

I hear
your voice in silences
and birdsong . . .
the wind-strummed trees
still sing to me of you

the spaces
in which our hearts dwell
are sacred
palimpsests of those
we have loved before

within us
the light of stars . . .
why is it
we so often
choose not to shine?

Akitsu Quarterly, Winter 2016

Inside back cover:

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Under the Basho, November 2016

Personal Best 2016

fog deepens
the sound of rabbits
nibbling night

Grand Prize
2016 World Haiku Contest

World Haiku Association, November 2016

147th Monthly Haiga Contest

Ripples in the Sand, Tanka Society of America Members' Anthology 2016

jars of dew
on the veranda
i will consecrate
my baby's body

the brevity
of your sweet nothings
at times
i long for blossoms
rather than a bud

the meadow
astir with blue skimmers
their wings
darning these placid days
into our histories

Ribbons, Volume 12, Number 3, Fall 2016

these nightmares
of black widow spiders
spinning webs
into oncoming storms
that I can never name

two deep valleys
in a mountain's shadow
village children
pleading at day's end
for one more shaft of light

Certificate of Merit
Japan Poets' Society
The 8th International Tanka Festival Competition, 2016

NeverEnding Story, November 2016

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

rehearsing in the park
i never knew
there were so many
graceful ways to die

A Hundred Gourds, 3:3, June 2014

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

Strategically speaking, through a pivot on the unexpected (L3) to uncover the existential/inevitable aspect of the human condition, Debbie's tanka effectively builds, poetic phrase (ku)/line by poetic phrase (ku)/line, to a thematically significant and emotionally powerful ending that has the most weight and reveals the theme of death (or more precisely, of the relationship between art and death).

By the way, I think the ballet referred to in the upper verse might be "Swan Lake."

*note from me: this tanka does indeed refer to "Swan Lake"

Neon Graffiti: Tanka Poetry of Urban Life, November 2016

the brilliance
of New Year's fireworks
at forty below
the colder it gets
the warmer we are

waiting for the bus
in morning's half light
not knowing
it would be the last time
she would hear her name

f i n a l l y
the river trail freezes
our ski tracks
the only graffiti
in this whitewashed city

at the corner
of poverty and despair
an Indigenous girl
is found in the river
I weep, I weep

on the midway
corn dogs and candy floss
a year older
but still not tall enough
to ride the roller coaster

are nesting again
four chicks
on a hotel roof
peer into the lens

still waiting
year after year after year
for the news
how could no one have seen
or heard anything that night

city lights
in the frozen distance
spires reaching
toward the heavens
searching for a god

the neighbours
hibernate all winter
e m e r g i n g
into their backyards
like white-throated sparrows

Haigaonline, Vol. 17, Issue 2, Autumn 2016

Comfort Food Challenge

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Issue 12, December 2016

The first haiga is in memory of Carlos Colon, aka Haiku Elvis

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 35, December 2016

catch and release
the fat moon wriggles
off my line

Brass Bell, December 2016

saskatchewan . . .
we photograph antelope
in the gloaming

Asahi Haikuist Network, November 2016

sparkling wine our sailboat leans into the sunset