Saturday, June 03, 2017

ukiaHaiku Festival - The Fifteenth Annual, 2017

atlas moth
the places we thought
we'd go

Honourable Mention
Jane Reichhold International Prize

Judge's Comments:

"...The fourth poem brings to mind Dr. Seuss's inspirational book Oh, the Places You'll Go, an overtone that heightens the melancholy regret of not being able to visit hoped-for destinations, perhaps due to old age or sickness—and it's the atlas moth, of all things, that suggests this loss..."

—Michael Dylan Welch, 14 April 2017, Sammamish, Washington

(Note: there were 1,840 entries to the contest)

World Haiku Association, May 2017

153rd Monthly Haiga Contest

The Heron's Nest, Vol. 19, Number 2, June 2017

moonless . . .
a dark lake lit
with swans

The Heron's Nest, Volume 18, 2016

perched on thistle heads
the rain-streaked sky

cloudless sky
a pelican's pouch
full of light

Editors' Choices

The Bamboo Hut, Spring 2017

arts and crafts
glitter sparkles throughout
the galaxies

the songs
of an eldritch choir
lure me
to the precipice
but I do not look down

Night Terrors

we don't go
downtown anymore
it's not safe
for women and girls
of any age, every colour

shots fired
another child dies
for a debt
her chalk outline
macabre street art

Stardust Haiku, Issue 5, May 2017

wet spring . . .
dark furrows seeded
with stars

Hedgerow Poems, Number 113, May 2017

Resident Artist:  Arctic Series

Gnarled Oak, Issue 12, May 2017

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 2, Issue 18, June 2017

Eucalypt E-news, May 2017

Wild Ones Challenge

*Note: the tanka and photo were published individually

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 37, June 2017

in the veggie patch
no hint of green

city traffic
the raucous calls
of wood frogs

Brass Bell, June 2017

weather vane
a horse leads us
toward home

Friday, May 12, 2017

Skylark, Vol. 5, Number 1, Summer 2017

Vestiges of Here and There

thistles among
weather-beaten bones
of the past
across this stolen land
so many spirits roam

an empty space
where the croft once stood
my toes curl
into that same soil
rooting me to home

stones emerge from tundra
we rest here
among the ancients
on the edge of extinction

Tallahassee Writers Association, Seven Hills Review, Volume 22, 2017

Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Competition

broken eggs
in the chicken coop
I read your note

Second Place

we must not speak
of this

Third Place

Romanian Haiku Group, Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest

Translated into Romanian by Cezar Florin CIOBICA

missing the sound
of your voice

The Fifth Haiku Contest
Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2016

Translated into Romanian by Cristina OPREA YOUNG

barn owl
the last time I saw
your face

The Sixth Haiku Contest
Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2017

NHK World TV, Japan, May 2017

Haiku Masters Online Gallery

Mariposa, Number 36, Spring/Summer 2017

dried curls
of gray reindeer moss
crunch softly
underneath our boots . . .
no other sound, but breath

1st Place (tie)
2016 San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu and Tanka

Hedgerow Poems, Number 110, Spring 2017

Print Edition

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

World Haiku Association, Number 13, 2017

Translated into Japanese

a curl of eyelash
on your pillow
crescent moon

moonlit lake
I brush the silver
from your hair

first chemo
a yellow leaf caught
in her hair

Wildflower Poetry Press: Wild Voices - An Anthology of Short Poetry & Art by Women, April 2017

Wilderness Woman

The Haiku Foundation, EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration, April 2017

Theme:  Reconciliation

echolocation . . .
the loves we have lost
and found

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit, Vanguard
World Haiku Review, January 2017

mending fences
the scent of sagebrush
on your fingers

Honourable Mention, Shintai
World Haiku Review, June 2016

Stardust Haiku, Issue 4, April 2017

cedar shingles . . .
the russet feathers
of wild turkeys

One Man's Maple Moon: 66 Selected English-Chinese Bilingual Tanka, Volume 3, 2017

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

f i s s u r e s
and (whose) fault lines
cracking open
we try to mend the damage
of our quaking lives

Undertow Tanka Review 1, August 2014

migrating geese
writing cursive letters
across the sky
I finally read between
the white of your lies

Runner-up, British Haiku Society Tanka Awards, 2014-2015

Haigaonline, Vol. 18, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Native and Imported/Invasive Species Challenge

Zebra mussels are not native to Manitoba, but they have been invading Lake Winnipeg for the last few years, washing up on its shore in massive numbers. This aggressive species not only poses a risk to the environment, but to beachgoers as well.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society reported in December, 2016, that Canada's boreal woodland caribou are at continued risk. The small Manitoba herd nearby in Nopoming Provincial Park is being closely monitored.

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 2, Issue 17, May 2017

Earth: Our Common Ground - A Song of Short Songs, April 2017

Canticles for the Cosmos

we find
galaxies of sea stars
at low tide
sister constellations
if the sky should fall

night unties
the Belt of Venus
we bind
our hands together
with trailing ribbons

the graffiti
of firefly stars at dusk
we follow
until our eyes adjust
to the narrative of night

deep twilight
and noctilucent clouds
could there be
anything more magical
than sharing these with you


the old trees
under which we played
as children
still breathe us into being
our every root entwined

through forest canopy
recalling when
I was a sparrowhawk
and you were my prey

the elm trees
are slowly dying
this city
at times, too much
even for them

in the biome
of boreal forest
boots tread
heavily through habitat
we were not meant to own

clear-cut logging
scars visible from space
there must be
other ways for humans
to leave their footprint


an acqueduct
built on land belonging
to First Nations
now, they must boil water
while the city drinks its fill

thin and weak
a polar bear searches
for pack ice
if we lost our own cubs
would climate change be real

prairie lakes
bloom with toxic algae
remember when
we swam in pristine waters
untroubled by such things

fracturing the fabric
of our lives
into hydrocarbons
we stand upon the brink

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, April 2017

split chrysalis
all the ways we learn
to become small

Museum of Haiku Literature Award
Blithe Spirit, Volume 26, Number 1, February 2016

the whistle
of a wood duck . . .
her last breath

Honourable Mention
Haiku Canada Betty Drevniok Award, 2015

Brass Bell, May 2017

balanced on the elephant's trunk a tangerine moon

lazy morning . . .
a ginger cat curls
into a sunbeam

sepia postcards
from around the world
autumn leaves

Atlas Poetica, Number 27, April 2017

Cherita Sequence:

her name was cherita

the street awakens

another tribe of wanderers
home, a word long since forgotten

in a shabby black coat
she claims to be descended
from a long line of crows

her hands flutter

two migratory birds
that have gone astray

the world, too harsh
to be a safe haven
for accidentals

paper-thin body

this pale skeleton
of the bird I once knew

those pinioned feathers
never had a chance to carry her
too close to the sun

broken-backed prairie

where the wild things are blown
when their roots are severed

uncaged at last,
she joins the waiting flock
that always knew her name

Single Cherita:

lightning storm

a shadow
runs for shelter

I still see you,
sparks flying
from your fingertips

scimitar moon

never enough light
to capture your curves

photographs of you,
the negative spaces
between us

I am not who I was

with each season
comes a deeper sorrow

the stones I carry
so round and blue
might have been your eyes

Acorn, Number 38, Spring 2017

witches' butter
along a rotten log
speckled light

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Haiku Foundation, HaikuLife Film Festival 2017

The Poetry of Birds

This four and one-half minute video is comprised of previously published bird-themed haiku with accompanying artwork and recitation of the poems. The video is my contribution to the 2017 National Poetry Month celebrations. Enjoy!

The British Haiku Society Awards 2016

Tanka Section

tracks of birds
meander through snow . . .
the surgeon
marks her left breast
with a cross

1st Place

Judge's comments:

The winning entry stood out to me immediately. The use of strong, fresh images successfully creates both contrast and impact, while leaving enough space for the reader to fill in. I have read this tanka over and over again, and still, it has not lost its appeal. The strength lies in the juxtaposition between different types of marks...I felt myself drawn in, wishing to further explore the man-made nature of the cross left by the surgeon, in relation to the 'tracks of birds' in snow. The effect is striking, dramatic even. The reader is further invited to explore the silences between the five lines, and to follow the meandering not just of bird tracks, but also of thoughts. Skilfully, the poet provides a window for the reader to look through, placing us right there, as humans, at our most vulnerable. Written in the third person, the tanka ingeniously builds on the idea of looking in from the outside. It could be that the writer is someone close to the person about to undergo surgery, or perhaps, a way to detach oneself from a difficult event. Either way, the effect is powerful, as we are welcomed to both observe and fill in the blanks with our own experiences, recollecting those crosses and events that have marked and shaped us. Executed with precision this tanka is succinct and cutting, yet at the same time elegant, lyrical and evocative.
—Caroline Skanne

to hold the light
of mercury . . .
your memory
slips away


Judge's comments:

The runner-up tanka by Debbie Strange (Canada) was a strong contender for many similar reasons. It employed solid construction, rhythmical language, original metaphor, and vast amounts of dreaming room...Again, we have a tanka that says much in just 19 syllables held inside 11 words. How adept the lines:

to hold the light
of mercury

Anyone who has broken a thermometer containing quicksilver will know it is slippery and virtually impossible to corral and clean up. And the mirrored surface of liquid mercury means that, as it travels around, the light moves with it. But is the poet only referring to chemical mercury? Or is there a planetary or classical god reference here as well? Mercury, the planet, is the closest to our sun, and is the fastest moving of all the planets. The Roman god Mercury also travelled quickly from place to place.

And despite humans being creatures of habit, and wanting to hold on to what is good and pleasing to us, sometimes things slip through our fingers too quickly like, well, mercury. And one of those things that often slip away from us before we are ready is memory:

your memory
slips away

There is also a dual interpretation of these last two lines. Is this the tanka subject's memory failing? Or is it perhaps the narrator's memory of someone fading over time? It is this dreaming room that makes quality tanka such as this so very engaging to the reader.

This again is an original take on memory and memory loss by teaming it with a fast-moving object, such as mercury. The opposition employed is also ingenious. Memory is starting to fade and tarnish next to the gleaming silver and light of mercury. The poet is showing us, with an insightful metaphor, that memory and mercury can both be elusive, and sometimes our hold on either of them is beyond our control. Could it also be that this person losing their memory also once had a brilliant 'quicksilver mind'?

We again enjoy the subtle poetic device of alliteration with the pleasing 'm' and 'p' sounds contained in the chosen language of this tanka. I feel this tanka poet also understands the importance of tanka being pleasing to the ear when read aloud.
—David Terelinck

Haiku Section

harsh winter
squirrels gnaw the tines
of shed antlers

Special Mention

—David Jacobs, Judge

Snapshot Press, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2017

Award Winner - The Haiku Calendar Competition 2017 (for the month of May)

Publication - The Haiku Calendar 2018 (Snapshot Press 2017)

light the woodland . . .
we find our way

Presence, Number 57, March 2017

the fattened shadows
of sanderlings

winter wind
our laughter swallowed

from the old country . . .
tattered roses

Kokako, Number 26, April 2017

robin eggs
the edges of her scar
begin to heal

paper lanterns
the transparency
of first love

a tamarack
unfastens the moon . . .
we rise up,
pressing our backbones
against night

Chrysanthemum, Number 21, April 2017

Translated into German

Australian Haiku Society, 2017

Autumn 2017 AHS Haiga Kukai: Non-Seasonal Entry

still life . . .
sometimes we forget
to breathe

Autumn 2017 AHS Haiga Kukai: Seasonal Entry

vignettes . . .
the many shades
of autumn

Sunday, April 09, 2017

World Haiku Association, March 2017

151st Monthly Haiga Contest

The Mamba, Issue 3 - Africa Haiku Network, March 2017

old baobab
sky-roots tangled
with bird nests

a thousand suns
dot the hill

The Heron's Nest, Vol. 19, Number 1, March 2017

window fog
I write your name
on the moon

Stardust Haiku, Issue 3, March 2017

deep breathing
the scent of lilacs
after rain

Sonic Boom, Issue 8, April 2017

Ribbons, Volume 13, Number 1, Winter 2017

a wake of fog
rolls over canyon walls
silence empties
into our noisy minds
until we become quiet

NeverEnding Story, March 2017

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

with my sisters
washing moondust
from our hair
then braiding it with stars

Atlas Poetica 18, July 2014

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

These great visuals (especially the concluding one) in Debbie's sensually intimate tanka resonate well with one another.

KYSO Flash 2016, State of the Art Annual Anthology Number 3

Coming Undone

She always wore the same sweater. I've kept it all these years, and I wear it whenever my memories of her start to fade. Today, the last button came off, and I put it in the sweater's frayed pocket for safekeeping. When it slipped through a hole, and dropped between the floorboards, I finally realized that she was never coming home.

heirloom quilt
sparrow prints embossed
on new snow

Haibun: Second Publisher's Choice Award, HTP Writing Challenge 2016

Commentary by KF Editors:

This little button of a haibun reminds us of the set-up in "The Last Leaf" by O. Henry, in which the consumptive young woman thinks that she'll die when the last leaf falls outside her window. "Coming Undone" avoids any clever plot twists and aims directly at the heart in a spare and effective way.

Inner Voices - International Women's Haiku Festival, March 2017

cirrus clouds . . .
she donates hair
before chemo

Editor's Comments:

Debbie Strange turns those wispy clouds that look like pony tails into locks of hair on the stylist's floor. The woman in this haiku is a picture of proactivity, strength, and generosity in the face of possible death, embracing her diagnosis with eyes and heart wide open.

—Jennifer Hambrick

laundry day . . .
my skinny jeans
fat with wind

Editor's Comments:

It's not enough that the thought of wearing skinny jeans strikes fear and dread in the hearts of some; the wind has to rub it in. The image of the puffed-up skinny jeans pokes fun at our warped obsession with weight and body image, leaving us to laugh at how quickly we abandon more noble constructs of authentic beauty, and thus the paths to true contentment, in the pursuit of pretty packaging.

—Jennifer Hambrick

GUSTS, Number 25, Spring/Summer 2017

evergreens bending
but unbroken
we survive even when
our roots are washed away

the peace
that accompanies
after this long drought
an ecstasy of rain

every hill
buttered with celandines
her memories
return with the swallows
but fade at season's end

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 2, Issue 16, April 2017

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 36, March 2017

on the empty beach
I write his name

silver wings
etched against clouds
our last goodbye

ice castle
my neighbour's house
after the fire

Cattails, April 2017

river stones
polished to a soft sheen . . .
in sharing
the weight of our worries
we each become light

my dreams
wander in and out
of yours . . .
rabbit warrens
in the bluebell woods

origami class
the beautiful folds
of our elders

old documents
the things we forgot
we knew

the curve
of an avocet's bill . . .
sickle moon

Editor's Choice

Editor's Comments:

Avocets are from the genus Recurvirostra, meaning 'bill curved backwards'. These striking waders can be distinguished easily by their bills. The poet juxtaposes the beautiful image of the upward curve of an avocet's bill with the sickle moon. A skilful use of two concrete images to create an unusual association in the mind of the reader.

—Geethanjali Rajan

Butterfly Dream: 66 Selected English-Chinese Bilingual Haiku, Vol. 3, 2017

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

stone cairns
a faded cap drifts

1st Place
2015 HSA Harold G. Henderson Awards

Brass Bell, April 2017

waxwings again not enough berries for jam

squash blossom . . .
creases form between
her brows

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 27, Number 1, February 2017

the scent of hay
whickers of horses
in my dreams

sodden roses
line the graveyard path
bowed down
how do we survive
this broken-heartedness

this struggle
to hold back the tide
every breath
might be my last
but I refuse to drown

Asahi Haikuist Network, March 2017

alpine lakes
begin to thaw . . .
robin eggs

Akitsu Quarterly, Spring 2017

soft rain
bitterns camouflaged
as rushes

a tuft of sky
snagged in the fir
blue jay

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Living Senryu Anthology, 2017

A portfolio of 25 senryu published between 2014 and 2016 may be viewed at:,-debbie.html

World Haiku Association, February 2017

150th Monthly Haiga Contest

Wild Plum, Issue 3:1, Spring & Summer 2017

hard rain
a stranger opens
my mind's door

Stardust Haiku, Issue 2, February 2017

wild oats
the first ripening
of love

Red Lights, Vol. 13, Number 1, January 2017

a tempest
deconstructs the night
we find ourselves
when everything is lost

to let go
or to hold fast
if only
we could choose
as easily as trees

summer solstice
and a strawberry moon
we will not see
another in our lifetime
but we are here, now

Modern Haiku, Vol. 48.1, Winter-Spring 2017

quaking aspens . . .
we have inherited
mother's hands

Matrix - Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, Poetry Contest 2017


The winning haiku and finalists were produced in a video-haiga format on YouTube:

Eucalypt, Issue 20, May 2016

the hoarse calls
of migrating geese
going home
is not as easy
as it might appear

there must be
more than three perfections
the arpeggios of rain,
the choreography of wind

Mayfly, Issue 62, Winter 2017

frost flowers
bloom on the lake . . .
no word from you

Hedgerow Poems, Number 106, February 2017

Resident Artist

These haiga were created to showcase the haiku that were published in my chapbook, A Year Unfolding (Folded Word 2017) and in cattails between 2013 and 2016:

Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 11, Number 1, February 2017

seventeen coming out of her shell cicada

a butterfly wing beneath my boot autumn

in the church
of Leonard Cohen
we softened
into a state of grace
when he knelt to sing

Comment by Claudia Radmore (Haiku Canada Division Co-ordinator) in Feb. 16, 2017 blog post:

a butterfly wing beneath my boot autumn

tugs at me. A boot is crushing the most delicate of creatures, those brilliant dusty wings, or perhaps just a torn off wing. It calls into question why a butterfly is on the ground, the heavy boot that possibly means a hike, a good thing in autumn air, but oh, doesn't it bring to mind innocents in all parts of the world that are under the 'boot'. This poem comes very close these days as our neighbours to the south are losing healthcare, and the right to live their own lifestyle, when everything good is endangered, even our earth. It is the refugees who are walking to Canada through the snow. Enough said, the poem says it all, and much more if you let it seep into your self.

Thank you, Claudia!

Gnarled Oak, Issue 11, February 2017

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 2, Issue 15, March 2017

A Temple Bell Sounds: 108 Tanka from the First Twenty-one Issues of Eucalypt, 2017

the bickering
of jays in evergreens
this morning
a new blue feather
in my father's cap

Eucalypt, Issue 19, December 2015

Dust Devils: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2016

lilac buds
no one notices
the bruises

Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 10, Number 1, February 2016

Brass Bell, March 2017

planting a Three Sisters garden every year we remember you

the hum of bees . . .
I know every word
by heart

Sunday, February 05, 2017

World Haiku Review, January 2017

echolocation . . .
the loves we have lost
and found

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
Vanguard Category

World Haiku Association, January 2017

149th Monthly Haiga Contest

Shamrock, Number 36, February 2017

webs of rain connect
the thistles

NeverEnding Story, February 2017

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

of this blue life
by the hour glass
my furrows deepen

Poetry Nook 5, April 2014

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

Debbie's tanka is rich in imagery and emotionally resonant figurative language tinged with existential angst.

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 2, Issue 14, February 2017

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, January 2017

weathered barn
the silence of cobwebs
in moonlight

Honourable Mention
European Haiku Prize 2016

Brass bell, February 2017

CT scan
will i emerge
a butterfly

Asahi Haikuist Network, February 2017

pink garnets
crabapple jelly jars
in the window

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Haiku Poets of Northern California, 2016 San Francisco International Competition

The 2016 San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu and Tanka

dried curls
of gray reindeer moss
crunch softly
underneath our boots . . .
no other sound, but breath

First Place (tie)

Comments by Marilyn Shoemaker Hazelton, Tanka Judge:

...Next, we stand at the delicate edge of winter where air is crisper, and "reindeer moss" whispers beneath our feet. The color of this tundra is muted. Perhaps the light is also. In response to small, mysterious sounds framed by quiet, the breaths of those within the poem startle and deepen. And we have an opportunity to appreciate what we usually take for granted...

Eucalypt, 2016

Short-Listed for the Eucalypt Distinctive Scribblings Awards (from Issue 21, December 2016):

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

Appraised by Janet Lynn Davis:

I'd like to recognize a few other poets for their tanka that worked their way onto my list of favorites:
...Debbie Strange for her unique, thought-provoking fallen leaves...

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, 2016

Nomination for the Haiku Foundation Touchstone Individual Award 2016:

fly fishing
a rainbow arcs across

Creatrix Number 33, June 2016

Australian Haiku Society, 2016

Summer Solstice Haiku String, December 21, 2016

a broken shell
her words return
in waves

Cattails, September 2016
Jane Reichhold tribute (1937-2016)

World Haiku Association, December 2016

148th Monthly Haiga Contest

The Falling Star - Haiku Anthology, Wild Plum 2016

skipping stones
the expanding ripples
of our universe

first appeared in Wild Plum, Issue 2:1, Spring & Summer 2016

NeverEnding Story, January 2017

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

blue sea glass
a man of war decays
in the sun

Honourable Mention
2015 World Haiku Contest

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

The juxtaposition of blue sea glass ("physically and chemically weathered" glass found on beaches along bodies of salt water) and a man of war "decay[ing]" makes the contrasts visually and emotionally poignant, sparking the reader's reflection on the meaning of (human) life (in a time of turmoil or chaos).

Moonbathing, Issue 15, Fall/Winter 2016

all night long
the wind's elegy
for autumn . . .
in a musty trunk,
unworn baby clothes

Ink Sweat and Tears - The Poetry and Prose Webzine - December 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas Feature

Eighth Day (December 29, 2016):

Living Above Ground

not allowed
to have bird feeders
or flowers
on the balcony
I am withering

cars racing
down the main drag
on humid nights
squealing tires anathema
to my wintering heart

a skyscraper cages
the harvest moon
freedom comes sooner
for some than for others

my third floor window
six deer
with snow on their backs
the warm blood of stones

Hedgerow Poems, Number 102, January 2017

Resident Artist

These images were featured in my abstract exhibition, "The Poetry of Light". They explore the subtle and flamboyant nuances of light, reflection and refraction. Though the subjects of these photographs are ordinary objects, such as fabric, jewellery and glass, they are transformed into extraordinary dreamscapes by employing the techniques of illusion and diffusion. None of the work has been digitally manipulated in any way.

Note: to view more of the exhibition, please visit

astral waterfall

evanescent gloaming


lambent heavens


veil of grace