Monday, April 16, 2018

ukiaHaiku Festival - The Sixteenth Annual, 2018

cormorants . . .
we open our arms
to the sun

Third Place
Jane Reichhold International Prize

Judge's Comments:

Cormorants are known to spread their wings, and I understand that the reason they do this is to dry them. Because they are water birds, they need to dry their wings often. Although this poem does not say the birds are spreading their wings, surely they are, and that is what prompts the people in this poem to spread their arms, perhaps to feel the warmth of the sun, if not to dry their arms. I enjoy the celebratory tone of this poem, of being open to the possibilities of life. We should all spread our wings like the cormorant.

—Michael Dylan Welch

(Note: there were over 1,400 entries to the contest)

Cattails, April 2018

dust plumes . . .
wild mustangs spar
with the moon

broken mirror . . .
still not as pretty
as my sister

rusty hinge
her first greeting
after surgery

it was
as if she were
a butterfly
the way words flew
from her open hands

the cyclical
nature of our lives
this year
we are rabbits
next year, lynx

The Zen Space, Spring Showcase 2018

The Heron's Nest, Volume 19, 2017

window fog
I write your name
on the moon

moonless . . .
a dark lake lit
with swans

rain squall
this rigmarole
of umbrellas

The Bamboo Hut, Spring/Summer 2018


sidewalk cafes
bloom on city corners
we plant
our winter bones
in any patch of sun

jazz concerts
in the sculpture garden
smooth strains
of tenor saxophone
waft across the river

the tangy scents
of propane and bug spray
these summer evenings
faint drifts of laughter

salsa dancing
under the canopy
bodies bend
to Latin rhythms
on this sultry night

we celebrate
our cultural diversity
all summer
street vendors tempt us
to eat and drink the world

Presence, Number 60, March 2018

city lights swallow the stars I long for

folds of prairie . . .
darkness rests upon
a doe's back

snow shadows
the conversations
of rabbits

this morning
the garden shimmers
with frost stars
I, for one, do not
mourn summer's passing

Kokako, Number 28, April 2018

thunderheads above the prairie red-tailed hawks

polar night
a snowy owl fades
to black

how tender
the kiss of snowflakes
upon my lips
these fragile wishes
that you were still mine

he bows
his cello like a prayer
for lost souls
music calls to us
across the abyss

Note: This issue also includes a lovely review of A Year Unfolding by Patricia Prime which may be accessed on the "Books and Reviews" page of this blog.

Gusts, Number 27, Spring/Summer 2018

fallen petals
spill from my basket
each one
a bruised and scented
poem for your pillow

sea spray
scattering the light . . .
you taught me
not to waste today's joy
on tomorrow's grief

Chrysanthemum, Number 23, April 2018

Translated into German

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The British Haiku Society Awards 2017

rimed fence
the cattle and wind
change direction

Honourable Mention

Judge's comments:

The Canadian poet Debbie Strange has lived with cattle, or spent just enough time watching them to intuit this simplest of poems. She observes a simple reflex of nature—on a cold day, cattle face away from the wind. Anyone who has spent time with them knows this. When the wind changes, they move. It only takes 11 syllables for the poet to teach us a lesson—move, don't agonize.

—Robert Moyer

Note: The contest received 549 entries.

Romanian Haiku Group, Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest

Translated into Romanian by Dan DOMAN

frozen trough
I cup the warm breath
of my horse

First Prize
The Seventh Haiku Contest
Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2018

Comments by Cezar Florin CIOBICA (translation by Ana DROBOT):

The winning poem drew me towards it due to the delicacy of the picture presented, through the close connection between man and animal. The horse and its master have set together on the road, and they stop for a moment to rest and drink water, but, because of the low temperatures the trough is frozen, so the animal cannot drink. The master, however, probably numb with cold, gets warmed somehow by catching the breath of the faithful animal in the palm of his hands.

The two parts of the poem harmoniously weave around the complementarity death-life (standing still versus animation) in a wintery landscape whose glacial stiffness the reader can feel through his skin, due, partly, to the alliteration of the consonant "r" which appears five times in the poem. It can be speculated that the man, being too old and tired, or even ill, is reanimated, and, why not, put back on his feet by the warm, miraculous breath of his horse.

And, what is even more beautiful, is the fact that this poem, through his props, has taken me back in time, making me see no one else but Basho himself nearby the trough, sliding down his narrow path towards the far north.

Scryptic - Magazine of Alternative Art: Best of 2017-2018 Anthology, 2018

The Cherita: Your Storybook Journal, Volume 1, Number 8, January 2018

Issue: "Winter, no fixed abode"

even when

words might seem
d i s c o n n e c t e d

you will find
a pattern to the way
of everything

beside a rubbing tree

where bears
leave their scent

I plant my feet
firmly in their prints,
and walk into the wild


galaxies drip
from your sleek pelt

I have always known
that you were made
of light

I talk to trees

this language
is not new to me

in every turning season,
another adjective
for love

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

World Haiku Review, March 2018

spindrift . . .
grief finally lets go
of me

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
Vanguard Haiku Category

solstice . . .
gopher holes fill
with snow

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
Neo-Classical Haiku Category

I've waited
long enough for you . . .
first snow

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
Neo-Classical Haiku Category

World Haiku Association, Number 14, 2018

Translated into Japanese

on yellowed recipes
she is here, still

ginko walk
how extraordinary
this ordinary life

the hum of bees
I know every word
by heart

Wildflower Poetry Press: Wild Voices, Vol. 2 - An Anthology of Short Poetry & Art by Women

Sonic Boom, Issue 11, April 2018

Wales Haiku Journal, Spring 2018

hard frost
a pumpkin melts
into itself

winter light
a scrawl of skaters
on the river

Stardust Haiku, Issue 15, March 2018

daffodils . . .
we always lean
on each other

Snapshot Press, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2018

Award Runner-up - The Haiku Calendar Competition 2018 (for the month of October)

Publication - The Haiku Calendar 2019 (Snapshot Press 2018)

fading dreams . . .
the golden smoke
of tamaracks

Scryptic - Magazine of Alternative Art, Issue 1.4, March 2018

Please see my featured artist interview in this issue on the "Articles/About" page of this blog.

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 28, Number 1, February 2018

she wears
a circlet of moon
on her finger . . .
the sheen of their love
now softened with age

a large raft
of resting sea otters
holding hands . . .
I never imagined you
drifting so far away

my hands
falter upon the keys
until a bird
reminds me of songs
I have yet to sing

Ribbons, Volume 14, Number 1, Winter 2018

I await
the rain's clemency . . .
there is a time
for all withered things
to bloom again

light spills
through a fallstreak hole
onto water . . .
if nothing else,
this will be enough

Honourable Mention
2017 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

NeverEnding Story, March 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

frazil ice
on a mountain lake
at breakup
the tinkling chimes
signal your departure

A Hundred Gourds, 4:2, March 2015

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

The juxtaposition of these two concrete and evocative visual and auditory images is emotionally resonant, and on second reading, the upper verse works well on two levels, literal and symbolic.

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 3, Issue 28, April 2018

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, March 2018

light the woodland . . .
we find our way

Winner (Month of May)
Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Competition, 2017

the graffiti
of cherry blossoms . . .
night winds

Judges' Favorites
Golden Triangle Haiku Contest, 2018

Incense Dreams, Issue 2.1 - Silence, March 2018

Cha No Keburi - Italian Blog of Haiku, Senryu and Short Poetry

Translated by Lucia Fontana

whale watching . . .
our breath the length
of a rainbow

a drift
of blue poppies . . .
the fallen sky

shadowland . . .
constellations of moss
lead us into light

Featured Artistic Contributor:

Akitsu Quarterly, Spring 2018

the pause between folding
and unfolding

Honoured to be featured on the back cover of this issue:

The Mamba, Issue 5 - African Haiku Network, March 2018

blended family . . .
snow in the Sahara
this year

fickle winds
the migration of dunes
and humans

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Cha No Keburi - Italian Blog of Haiku, Senryu and Short Poetry, February 2018

Translated into Italian by Lucia Fontana

a galaxy
on the fawn's back . . .
solstice eve

Modern Haiku, Vol. 49.1, Winter-Spring 2018

summer's end
we fold maple seeds
into dragonflies

Golden Triangle Haiku Contest 2018

Judges' Favourites:

"Spring in the City" Theme

the graffiti
of cherry blossoms . . .
night winds

rapid transit
the coming and going
of magnolias


This year we received a record-breaking 1,675 entries from 45 countries and 34 states, and the District of Columbia...

The Cherita: Your Storybook Journal, Volume 1, Number 7, December 2017

Issue: "a visit across decades"

frost-laced leaves

in the morning light
we are all transparent

you cup your hand
around my heart,
pulling me inside

this urgency

between sharp-edged winds
you warn me of snow

but I have longed
for winter's wizardry . . .
come, let us light the fire

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

Stardust Haiku, Issue 14, February 2018

night picnic . . .
the magnolia tree
our candelabra

Old Song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017

winter wind
our laughter swallowed

Presence 57, March 2017

Red Lights, Vol. 14, Number 1, January 2018

from alabaster . . .
these faces
with empty eyes,
so beautifully sad

soft thuds
of falling acorns
our contented silence . . .
a new story unfolds

peeled and hanging
out to dry . . .
autumn's harvest
shines brighter this year

Honoured to have my thoughts appear on the back cover:

Tanka poets complete the statement: When I read or write tanka . . .

. . . I am mindful that these small gifts have immeasurable value both to the giver and the recipient. Such wordsongs, whether received or bestowed, reflect the harmonic call and answer between reader and writer that is nothing short of magical.

Otata, Issue 27, March 2018

damp underpass only the dark timpani of trains

stardrifts we slip into the depths of winter

setting sun blood red epaulettes on a blackbird's wings

sulphur springs we conjure the scent of petrichor

NeverEnding Story, March 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

fog weaving
between fence posts
a coyote's song

Honorable Mention
2016 Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

Emotionally evocative and good use of the senses in this imagistic haiku.

Inner Voices - International Women's Haiku Festival, March 2018

sisterless . . .
another star falls
into the lake

African violets
the fuzzy details
of my past

Editor's Comments:

Taken together, these two poems convey volumes about women's experience. In "sisterless . . ." the special relationship that only sisters can share is viewed from the vantage point of its utter lack, and illustrated with the heartrending image of a star falling into permanent darkness in a lake.

"African violets" is a compassionate take on the parts of our lives that we may prefer to leave in the relative safety and comfort of the vagueness of the past. Likening the "fuzzy details" of the past to bold and beautiful (and, yes, fuzzy) African violets acknowledges that even the shadows of one's past are still, in their own unique ways, beautiful and brilliant.

—Jennifer Hambrick

Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 12, Number 1, February 2018

deadwood the end-stopped lines of sapsuckers

anvil clouds there was something I wanted to say

silence until . . .
the winter carols
of chickadees

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, March 2018

snowy field
the owls we thought
were stones

Honorable Mention
9th Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition, 2017

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 40, March 2018

campfire songs
darkness settles
on our shoulders

woodland trail
we inhale the breath
of old trees

heavy traffic
a queue of ladybugs
on a twig

Atlas Poetica, Number 31, January 2018

dancing solo

a birds's nest
bound with spidersilk . . .
to hold us together
after the young had flown

blacker than our last
conversation . . .
the skeletal remains
of ancient forests

the stings
of a thousand wasps . . .
some betrayals
grow more venomous
with passing years

unsettled . . .
old arguments
in the cloudbursts
of my mind

leaves spin
against autumn skies . . .
I reflect
on all the times
you refused to dance

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Incense Dreams, Issue 1.3 - Shadow and Light, December 2017

Cha No Keburi - Italian Blog of Haiku, Senryu and Short Poetry

Translated by Lucia Fontana

bird shadows
the play of light
on water

outside my window
a flurry of finches

our names
escape her

moon rays
between conifers
sifting snow

mixed clouds
the light and dark
of mood swings

a rainbow shows
its dark side

Featured Photographer

This series, "The Other Side of Light", explores the light that is found in the shadows of photographic negatives. These dreamlike images embody the idea that "there is more to life than meets the eye"!

Shadow and Light Video Anthology
(cover photo)

United Haiku and Tanka Society, Fleeting Words Tanka Competition, 2017

Seedpods - December 2017 (e-newsletter of the UHTS)

Message from Alan Summers - UHTS President

I am delighted and honoured to announce the results for the UHTS 'Fleeting Words' Tanka Competition.

The competition received 227 entries by poets from across the globe which was judged by David Terelinck. Everything was superbly coordinated by Marianna Monaco (USA) with unstinted dedication and patience. Note: Marianna made entries anonymous to send to the judge but the winners' names are given in this report. Please enjoy the winning entries and commentaries by the judge, David Terelinck (Australia).

the growth rings
of otoliths and trees . . .
when did she
become smaller
than her daughters

2nd Place

This tanka also has an effective metaphor for conveying change in just 20 syllables. Again, it is a tanka of satisfying construction that builds line by line to a solid conclusion. There are many ways to interpret this poem. We usually associate growth rings with maturity and coming of age; but there are several ways to grow older, yet become smaller in life and outlook. We do not know if the poet is implying smallness in physical stature, social situation, or spirituality and compassion.

The social context and times in which we read poetry will often influence our appreciation of the poem, and its impact upon us. This judge is no exception. At the moment Australia is going through a debate on changing the legislation to allow for same-sex couples to marry. This has seen, in some quarters, a schism of conflicting views between parent and child in terms of marriage equality. New generations can often have a larger world view of compassion and equality, and overtake their parents in challenging outdated notions. In this way, their views can grow to be "bigger" than the parent who raised them.

the pair bonds
of prairie voles . . .
she asks
if he used to be
her husband

3rd Place

A beautiful and fresh look at the anguish and pain associated with Alzheimer's disease. Just 15 words and 17 syllables to convey such depth of meaning.

Prairie voles monogamously mate for life. Even when one dies, the remaining vole is unlikely to take a new mate. This is a touching metaphor for the fading memory between this woman and her husband. We do not know if the woman is in an aged care facility or still living at home. What we do sense is the commitment to the relationship; he is either visiting, or still with her. Despite what memory and disease has taken away, the pair bonds for this couple remain strong. And a glimmer of this shines through in her faint recognition of him and her question.

the architecture
of impending storms . . .
every cloud
that hangs over me
has a given name

Honourable Mention

The Cherita: Your Storybook Journal, Volume 1, Number 5, October 2017

Issue: "let it rain" (honoured to have the title taken from my poem)

let it rain

yes, I know
you have been waiting

but here we are
inside this night,
alive with coming storms

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

World Haiku Association, December 2017

159th Monthly Haiga Contest

VerseWrights, 2017

Haiku Sequence (individual poems previously appeared in Brass Bell)


we step in puddles
of confetti

the hum of bees
I know every word
by heart

the bleached husk
of a small crayfish
summer wanes

ice skating
on a bluebird day
our winged feet

Stardust Haiku, Issue 13, January 2018

on the rise
a wapiti's antlers
cradle the sun

Stardust Haiku, Issue 12, December 2017

night harvest
the chaff of stars
in Dad's hair

Scryptic - Magazine of Alternative Art, Issue 1.3, December 2017

Otata, Issue 25, January 2018

brambles morph into resting stags morph into brambles

after the wildfires invisible sunspots visible

strung between a whale's bleached bones aurora

blue sky etched with gulls suspended animation

watersongs the differing frequencies of stones

NHK World TV, Japan, January 2018

Haiku Masters Online Gallery

(note: NHK holds copyright)

NeverEnding Story, January 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

cloudless sky
a pelican's pouch
full of light

Editors' Choices
The Heron's Nest, 18:2, June 2016

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

A moment is keenly captured in Debbie's pelican haiku through the cinematic aerial shot technique, and Ls 2 and 3 leave enough room for reader's engagement.

NeverEnding Story, January 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

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

Certificate of Merit
8th International Tanka Festival Competition

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

A glimpse of village life is keenly captured in this deceptively simple, imagistic tanka.

Moonbathing, Issue 17, Fall/Winter 2017

seed pearls
dangle from the bodice
of her gown,
yellowed now with age
and broken promises

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

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

Featured Poet:

The daily practice of crafting tanka is akin to writing lyrics. It connects me more closely to the natural world, and to myself.

Best Tanka:

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

British Haiku Society Tanka Awards, 2014

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

Tanka of my choice:

the growth rings
of otoliths and trees . . .
when did she
become smaller
than her daughters

2nd Place
United Haiku and Tanka Society Fleeting Words Tanka Competition 2017

the pair bonds
of prairie voles . . .
she asks
if he used to be
her husband

3rd Place
United Haiku and Tanka Society Fleeting Words Tanka Competition 2017

the architecture
of impending storms . . .
every cloud
that hangs over me
has a given name

Honourable Mention
United Haiku and Tanka Society Fleeting Words Tanka Competition 2017

Irish Haiku Society, International Haiku Competition 2017

snowy field
the owls we thought
were stones

Honourable Mention
Ninth IHS, International Haiku Competition 2017

Notes from the Administrator:

The Irish Haiku Society is proud to announce the results of the ninth IHS International Haiku Competition. Over 300 haiku by poets from fifteen countries/territories were submitted to this year's competition. It was adjudicated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, and judged blindly.

Ink Sweat and Tears - The Poetry and Prose Webzine - December 2017

The Twelve Days of Christmas Feature

Twelfth Day, January 2, 2018

This haiga received the Award of Excellence for the 2015 World Haiku Association Commemorative Haiga Contest.

Hedgerow Poems, Number 122, Winter 2017

Print Edition

A Selection from Warp and Weft: Tanka Threads:

folding into me

riding pillion
my heart against
your back
we unzip the highway
at the velocity of night

to your opening door
in mason jars
of wild plums and fireflies
you hold me in your hands

crossing over
the bridge of sighs
I felt you
folding into me
folding into prayer

The following haiga incorporates my 3rd place winning poem in the 2014 Hortensia Anderson Awards administered by the United Haiku and Tanka society:

The following poem is my contribution to the collaborative sequence of haiku, a stairway to the stars, written with Steve Hodge, Simon Hanson, Ron C. Moss, and Caroline Skanne:

a spider's web
unravels me

Haigaonline, January 2018

First Light: New Year's Exhibition


The beauty of winter inspires me, and the long, cold nights are perfect for introspection and creativity. There is a quiet magic to this season of sundogs, hoarfrost and northern lights. Shadows inked upon snow are nothing less than poems.

Gnarled Oak, Issue 14, December 2017

Frameless Sky, Issue 7, December 2017

dense fog
the softened beacon
of an ambulance

howling wind
the clothesline billows
with ghosts

goblins . . .
leaves skitter down
the alley

vampire moon . . .
the blood orange
you gave me
grows sweeter
with every bite

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu,Vol. 3, Issue 25, January 2018

Retrospective Issue
 (with comments by the Editor, Mike Rehling)

wind quintet
the circular breathing
of our lives

"The wonderful symphony of our lives. The music of our breaths is in the tight sounds of a quintet for this poem. You don't need a hundred people to make a life, the few that we have and hold dear can make the most dramatic sounds that carry our heart. I love the thought behind this, and it makes a wonderful subject for a 'short poem'."

"The movement of light, in any occurrence, is always a miracle of change. That is even more powerfully on display at sunset. If I would correct the poet I would only say that light has no 'lines', but then the poem says just that more eloquently. No correction required. The image demonstrates the openness of light in all its wavelengths. This haiga is a lesson in art and astrophysics. Reminding us of the beauty of change and the variety in nature in the image drives home multiple layers of the poem."

Eucalypt, Issue 23, December 2017

secrets rise
from murky depths
into light . . .
this is the way
of water lilies

the fragility
of glass sponge reefs . . .
after all this time,
we learn something new
about each other

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

glassy lake
flocks of snow geese
pull up the moon

1st Place
Autumn Moon Haiku Contest, 2017

Ekphrasis, British Haiku Society Members' Anthology 2017

pinto horses
among the birch trees . . .
we look deeper

Bottle Rockets, Vol. 19, number 2 (or #38), February 2018

one petal remains
on the cosmos

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 27, Number 4, November 2017

negative spaces the migrating silhouettes of geese

the patina
of age on her hands . . .
she brushes
thinning memories
until they shine

in an owl's pellet
what remains
of the smallest lives
that get left behind

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 1:1, Fall-Winter 2017-2018

last embers . . .
bats flit between

Australian Haiku Society, 2017

Summer Solstice Haiku String, December 22, 2017

a wolf pack crosses
the frozen lake

northern lights dance
with the dark

the blue curve
of earth

Atlas Poetica Special Feature, January 2018

25 Tanka about Arthropods

a hammock
of tent caterpillars
sags with dew . . .
our differing opinions
on the nature of beauty

Asahi Haikuist Network, December 2017

New Year's Eve
frosty windows blossom
with candlelight

Akitsu Quarterly, Winter 2017

winter walk . . .
feathers of frost
in your beard

room with a view . . .
snowy elms peppered
with crows

candlemas . . .
a doe's eyelashes fringed
with light