Saturday, September 01, 2018

Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest 2018

10th Contest Selected Haiku Collection

dandelion seeds
I smooth mother's hair
across the pillow

hospice visit
a baby bird opens
its mouth

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Women's Haiku - Issue 3, August 2018

stillborn . . .
I long to grow flowers
instead of stones


Scryptic - Magazine of Alternative Art, Issue 2.2, August 2018

Wales Haiku Journal, Summer 2018

a broken sphere
of allium

The Heron's Nest, Vol. 20, Number 3, September 2018

the pink noise
of candy floss

The Haiku Foundation, A Sense of Place: Mountain - Sight, August 2018

Prompt and selections by Kathy Munro - August 15, 2018

mountain peaks the black holes between constellations

The Cherita, Volume 2, Number 13, June 2018

Issue: "shadow dancer"

feather moss

the earth forgives
my feet

I, in turn,
can only offer
my allegiance

inner sanctum

finding myself lost
in thought

within this cathedral
of giant redwood trees,
I am but a mote of dust

Sonic Boom, Issue 12, August 2018

NeverEnding Story, August 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

fog deepens
the sound of rabbits
nibbling night

Grand Prize, 2016 World Haiku Competition

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

The opening line sets the scene while the unexpected yet visually and auditorily evocative and fresh last line makes the haiku emotionally effective, lifting it up a notch.

KYSO Flash, Issue 10, Fall 2018

Featured Artist:

Artist's Commentary

These images are from my series, The Other Side of Light, which juxtaposes the real with the surreal by exploring the light that is found in the shadows of photographic negatives, encouraging the viewer to find the extraordinary behind the ordinary.

Sea Anemone


Teasel Seed Heads



Parellel Universe


The following works were selected from this blog by the Editor, Clare MacQueen:

Excerpted from the tanka prose "The Detritus of Dust," which was published previously in Bright Stars Tanka Anthology (Keibooks; Volume 1, January 2014)

Published previously in Prune Juice (Issue 23, November 2017)

Published previously in Blithe Spirit (Volume 25, Number 4, November 2015)

Published previously in Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine (2013) as an Honorable Mention in their 2013 World Tanka Contest

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 42, September 2018

ancient stones
the orange moons
of lichen

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 3, Issue 33, September 2018

Akitsu Quarterly, Fall 2018

crowberries absorb
the night

arrows of light
pierce the moss

Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Haiku Foundation, The Shore - Taste, August 2018

Prompt and selections by Kathy Munro - August 1, 2018

a loon and I taste
the evening

The Cherita, Volume 1, Number 12, May 2018

Issue: "not a memory, exactly"


prairie grasses
entice me to dance

with open arms,
I twirl until the earth
and sky are one

this bizen cup

stained with ash
and memory

my sister
speaks to me
from somewhere beyond


by ribbons
of aurora borealis

we watch
as our world spins
into morning

Note: the journal's name has been shortened to "The Cherita"

Stardust Haiku, Issue 19, July 2018

wild swans
the time has come
for me to go

Ribbons, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2018

The Calligraphy of Clouds

father reads
the horizon like Braille
each cloud
another augury
of his reckoning

the thunder
of round-bellied clouds
giving birth
too little, too late
for rattleboned fields

blue sky
and the calligraphy
of clouds
my sister waves a wand
of unripened barley

Red Lights, Vol. 14, Number 2, June 2018

falling snow
douses autumn's fire
we lie down
among the ruins,
rekindling this flame

what we make of it

we maunder
down memory lane
in our shared story
so different, yet the same

I offer
a lacework of clear ice
to the sun
winter trickles between
my fingers into spring

small suns
of wild chamomile
our patchwork fields
with the scent of light

a necklace
of sea foam traces
the bay's curve
I pine for this amity
between earth and water

even scars
from avalanches heal
how then
to mend these ragged
edges of my past

Friday, August 03, 2018

Prune Juice, Issue 25, July 2018

Short-Listed for the 2018 H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest:

just far enough away
to move me

Folded Word, August 2018

the sunset
unravels its cloak
across sky . . .
I wait for deepest night
to drink my fill of stars

Prairie Fire - A Canadian Magazine of New Writing, Vol. 39, No. 2, Summer 2018

Celebrating 40 Years

Taking the Pulse of Winter

(solo rengay)

a large day . . .
the prairie fills
with sky

          curled in the toe of my boot
          a barn kitten

hoar frost . . .
a barbed wire fence
snags the sun

snowdrifts . . .
the cattle flank-deep
in stars

          the silver flash of our blades
          frozen slough

northern lights . . .
an old windmill stirs
up the night

NeverEnding Story, July 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

morning star
water droplets glint
on crane feathers

141st World Haiku Association Haiga Contest, April 2016

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

The contrast of lights (star light vs. reflected light from the sun) between the two parts of this imagistic haiku is visually and emotionally effective.

Poetic Musings

glassy lake
flocks of snow geese
pull up the moon

First Place
2017 Autumn Moon Haiku Contest

Commentary by the judge, Bruce Ross:

Many haiku have been written about the effect of moonlight and the moon's reflection. This haiku is unique and highly poetic in its expression.

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

And the later-added photo successfully turns the haiku into an effective haiga not only heightening the visual focus of the haiku but also lacing itself into the reader's imagination.

Mayfly, Issue 65, Summer 2018

waterfall . . .
we walk through the ghost
of a rainbow

Frameless Sky, Issue 8, June 2018

sea spray
a jagged rock cleaves
this moment

the bits of ourselves
we leave behind

Mad About Cherita Contest

come quickly

the dandelion clocks
are running out of time

if we can make
a few more wishes,
father might come home

Honourable Mention

Judge's Comments:

Loss is very much a part of our lives whether it is by separation or with death. How we choose to deal with the void can help us mend our fractured world and make it right even if it is only for a few hours or a day. Debbie's cherita does just that. It instils us with hope and a belief that anything is possible when one comes from a place of love and remembrance.

—ai li

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Women's Haiku - Issue 2, July 2018

forget-me-nots some days I don't know who I am


Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 3, Issue 32, August 2018

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 3, Issue 31, July 2018

Haiga Issue:  curated by Lori Minor and Chase Gagnon

Short-Listed for the 2018 H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest:

just far enough away
to move me

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

last campout . . .
sandhill cranes call down
the northern lights

Honourable Mention
Robert Spiess Haiku Award, 2017

homecoming . . .
a bouquet of sky
in an old jar

First Place
Australian Haiku Society Haiga Kukai, 2017

sand dollars
the currency of tides
in my pocket

Cattails, May 2014
also published in the haiku collection, A Year Unfolding, (Folded Word 2017)

Colorado Boulevard Poetry Corner, July 2018

Theme: Oceans of Our Lives

Listen to the ocean's roar in our Poetry Corner today. Now in Europe, we come to the Atlantic, the ocean of my childhood, from the Pacific, where home is in California. In traveling, our view is expanded. In the small shells of each of our lives, all the oceans are contained; the past and future of all living things in concert with these waves. On July 6, 2018 I was able to present to an appreciative musical audience at our beachside Atlantic Sunset poetry program in Portugal (at the ANIMUSIC conference), the first place tanka in the Sanford Goldstein International Contest of the Tanka Society of America:

the ocean
was in a rage last night
but today,
these peace offerings
of blue mussels and kelp

Debbie Strange, Canada

We are alone and together with our gifts. Poets receiving and giving the gifts of nature, their muse.

—Kathabela Wilson

Incense Dreams, Issue 2.2 - Birth, Rebirth, Awakening, June 2018

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

Translated by Lucia Fontana

candle ice . . .
we learn to let go
of the past

new year's dawn
the calligraphy of frost
on our windows

awakening . . .
buds on a rose I thought
was dead

our silver anniversary . . .
night-blooming cacti
light the desert

Bottle Rockets, Vol. 20, Number 1 (or #39), August 2018

no worries
blackbirds undulate
at dusk

Atlas Poetica, Number 33, July 2018

our canoe
noses through mist . . .
a new day
opens before us
into possibility

an old dory
grounded on a sandbar,
its faded flag
the listless reminder
of my pirate dreams

a yellow leaf
lets go of the tree . . .
she held on
long past the time
for surrender

ancient graves
sink into marshland . . .
the long bones
of our ancestors
wandering, still

Friday, June 29, 2018

Tanka Society of America - 19th Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest, 2018

the ocean
was in a rage last night
but today,
these peace offerings
of blue mussels and kelp

1st Place

Judges' Comments:

The word, rage, has a long, storied history in literature ... it is a universal emotion and, for sure, people have long experienced the rage of the ocean. How excellent we thought was its use in line 2, rather than using a word such as storm. We admired the use of a simple comma at the end of line 3 to give the reader a short pause to allow a moment to ponder, "What's next?" Ah, there is a resolution to the last night. Today? A peace offering to which we felt an "aah" moment. How welcome is the bounty. There is an infinity of treasures found in the ocean. We found the blue mussels and kelp a delightful choice made by this poet. In our judges' report, we touched upon reciting tanka to take in its sound. You might not choose to read out loud all nine of the awarded tanka, but this one, in particular, lends itself to deeper appreciation with its pivot at the end of line 3. You might experience tranquility with lines 4 and 5. We did.

on this night
of our awareness,
the aurora
brushes an ensō
across lake and sky

Honourable Mention

Judges' Comments:

This tanka offered a wonderful visual image of sky artistry in the shape of the Zen form of the brush-stroked circle known as ensō. The circle, of course, has been a time-immemorial symbol of Life with no beginning and no end. Reading this tanka did, in fact, provide both judges a moment of awareness. The poet asks us to imagine a transition from night to the first light of dawn when anything is possible. There is magic in the transcendence gifted by this tanka.

wheat fields
tousled by fingers
of wind
I tuck a strand of hair
behind your ear

Honourable Mention

Judges' Comments:

This tanka brought out the romance of life expressed in gentle moments, and oh how gently we are brought into this scene. In this poem, love is in wind and wheat, love is expressed by tucking hair with hands. While we sat in the presence of this poem, it allowed each of us to feel this sacred moment of love, and to reflect on our symbols of affection and tenderness. For us, we ultimately fell into a moment of appreciation and quietude.

Note: There were 476 entries to the contest. I am grateful to Jessica Malone Latham and Neal Whitman for their generous commentaries.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Skylark, Vol. 6, Number 1, Summer 2018

Honoured to have my photograph chosen for Skylark's inaugural cover contest:

Individual kyoka and tanka:

I see
more clearly now
than ever before

a mirage
of mountains beckons
me homeward
we don't know their names,
but they know ours

they have
scarcely enough
to survive
and yet, this music
under the bridge

Selected Tanka Sequence for Another Chance to See Feature

Going Back

big sky morning
ancestral homesteads
felled by wind
hollow bones whistling
a song I used to know

down washboard roads
between fields
plumes of the past lingering
on all I left behind

at day's end
light beams splintering
across shorn fields
on this moonless night
I, too, am camouflaged

Note: Going Back was first published in Ribbons, Volume 11, Number 3, Fall 2015

The Cherita: Your Storybook Journal, Volume 1, Number 11, April 2018

Issue: "on a quiet street"

the Witch of November

unbuttons autumn's cloak
with icy fingers

a tapestry of leaves
becoming sparrows,
becoming snow

Stardust Haiku, Issue 18, June 2018

a pelican spirals

Tinywords, Issue 18.1, June 2018


Haiku received First Place in the 2017 Autumn Moon Haiku Contest

Scryptic - Magazine of Alternative Art, Issue 2.1, June 2018

Moonbathing, Issue 18, Spring/Summer 2018

wind murmurs
through prairie grasses
the bones
of my ears listen
to what is unspoken

Folded Word, June 2018

Solstice Series Selection

in the meadery,
this offering of wine
and honey . . .
all that remains after
angels receive their share

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Women's Haiku - Issue 1, June 2018

pay equity
she swims against
the current


Blithe Spirit, Vol. 28, Number 2, May 2018

moon dogs
the unexpectedness
of this moment

at dawn,
a mustang stallion
leads his mares
through the badlands . . .
I, too, am unbroken

life flows by
in a murmuration
of days . . .
my shape has changed,
but I still know who I am

Note: This issue contains the results of the 2017 British Haiku Society Awards (please see April 1, 2018 blog post for commentary).

rimed fence
the cattle and wind
change direction

Honourable Mention

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 1:2, Spring-Summer 2018

summer snow . . .
mayflies swarm above
the river

Australian Haiku Society, 2018

Winter Solstice Haiku String, June 21, 2018

snow angels
we compare the length
of our wings

frozen bird bath
my niece teaches her doll
how to skate

chimney smoke
Dad lets the genie out
of its bottle

Asahi Haikuist Network, June 2018

a green sky
the metallic scent
of oncoming hail

Akitsu Quarterly, Summer 2018

traffic jam
a different song
in each lane

onion shoots
we inhale the scent
of our labour

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Kaji Aso Studio, 30th Annual Haiku Contest 2018

circles of lichen
I thought we would have
more time

Third Place

Note:  Results of the contest were published in The Fenway News (Boston area newspaper), Volume 44, Number 6, June 2018.

Daily Haiga: An Edited Journal of Traditional and Contemporary Haiga, May 2018

Featured Artist: May 1 - 17, 2018

I often use my photographs as the inspiration for writing short form poetry, and for making art in a variety of media (watercolour, ink, digital). During the creative process, I strive to produce images that enhance and expand the scope of my small poems, either implicitly or explicitly. After the hard work of writing haiku and tanka is done, I reward myself with the joy and freedom of making haiga, my favourite form of artistic expression!

Note: poem publication credits appear in the Daily Haiga archives.