Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ribbons, Volume 11, Number 3, Fall 2015

Going Back

big sky morning
ancestral homesteads
felled by wind
hollow bones whistling
songs 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

NeverEnding Story, November 2015

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu

night drive . . .
a deer leaps over
the moon

Gems, July 2014

Chen-ou's comments:

A moment is keenly captured in Debbie's poem, whose thematic concern is counter to that of the "roadkill" haiku we often read in the journals.

World Haiku Competition, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-zine, 2015

the humming of wind
in barbed wire

Honourable Mention
2015 World Haiku Competition

blue sea glass
a man of war decays
in the sun

Honourable Mention
2015 World Haiku Competition

Comments from Judge Alan Summers:

Five brilliant haiku receiving honourable mentions, from an imaginative use of parentheses during a time of heavy snow; to storm clouds that may be inside a tulip; an antelope that is the hum of the wind in barbed wire; to the blue filtered light as a man of war decays; to the iconic tumbleweed where perhaps it wishes to ride the now defunct railway line possibly by a long gone ghost town.

These are astonishing honourable mentions all worthy of winning competitions in their own right.

Frogpond, Vol. 38:3, Autumn 2015

stone cairns
a faded cap drifts

1st Place
2015 Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest

Comments from Judges George Dorsty and Tom Painting:

Take our first-place winner "stone cairns" for example: In ancient times piled rocks were called "stone men." So cairns can also be seen as human effigies. In our time, cairns are mostly used to mark trails for hikers. But what of the faded cap drifting down the river? On a symbolic level, the hat is to the cairn's permanence what the river is to transience. As the philosopher Heraclitus said, "You can't step in the same river twice." So the human-made trail markers are contrasted to the meanderings of the river, which is part of the natural world.

The success of the haiku "stone cairns" lies in the contrast between the permanent and the transient. The hat reminds us that human beings, while we may appear permanent, like the "stone men," are really transient and always changing like the river. This comes close to interpretation of the poem, but we must remember that for the poet the connection was "felt" rather than reasoned. Her/his task was to place the three—cairns, river, and faded cap—in juxtaposition so that we as readers might be able to make the same felt connection. And, maybe that's enough. The rest, as Shakespeare said in another context, is "dross."

Note: 657 poems were submitted to the contest

Brass Bell, November 2015

sunrise sunflower heads dangling a charm of finches

Bangor Haiku Group - Autumn Moon Haiku Contest 2015

in cupped hands
the harvest moon rests
for a moment

1st Place
2015 Autumn Moon Contest

Atlas Poetica, Number 23, October 2015

Nearly There

I told them I was dead, but not a single person there believed me . . .

the sign said
turn back, road ends here
I waken
from a brief sojourn
in another realm


Somehow, it seems that I am always the last to know . . .

a crow scrawls
asemic messages
between clouds
I could never read
the writing on your walls

Weapons of Mass Destruction

I was incredibly naive to think that you would be my only enemy . . .

how deadly
these red lily beetles
in my garden
after a swift attack
only fallen soldiers

Asahi Haikuist Network, November 2015

merlot moon
fires burn somewhere
close tonight