Sunday, November 03, 2019

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Haiku Invitational, 2019

sakura petals
floating in the bath
we make amends

Honourable Mention
Sakura Award, Canada

Wales Haiku Journal, Autumn 2019

mom's last smile hangs
in the air

Cattails, October 2019

family photos . . .
Mom sweeps back
my mop of hair

crown shyness
the space we make
for each other

I measure
my horse at his withers . . .
these hands
know how to gentle
everything but you

a charm
of rufous hummingbirds
sipping nectar
wings blur the edges
between darkness and light

Tanka Editor's Choice

What stands out again is this poet's unusual use of language in her tanka. Instead of writing 'a flock' of rufous hummingbirds, Debbie penned 'a charm'. And charming they are, for who has not been spellbound by these birds suspended mid-air, wings a-blur as they sink their beaks into the center of blooms, their reddish-brown countenance glowing. While the simplest of language works best in tanka and affords more dreaming room, so too creative use of words that affords multiple understanding, a poetice device Debbie has mastered in many a tanka.

This tanka is a 'charm' in itself.

—Kathy Kituai

The Cherita, August 2019

Issue: "coming home late"

fog settles

nothing looks
the same

without you,
I do not recognize

how we loved

in the snow

my footprints
seem lonely now


an exhalation
of blackbirds

rising and falling,
your voice comes
back to me

I pull

my memories
behind me

this train
hurtling through a life
that was never mine

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

we are tethered

to this earth
and to each other

our veins,
blue rhizomes searching
for light in the dark

A Cherita Lighthouse Award


in this blanket
of stars

the Milky Way
swirls above us
like a song

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

Stardust Haiku, Issue 34, October 2019

morning prayers . . .
autumn leaves stitched
with dew

Poetry Northern Ireland - Panning for Poems, Issue 12, Autumn 2019

a blackened
volcanic tusk pokes
between clouds . . .
we unlace our tired boots,
and cool our feet in snow

Otata, Issue 47, November 2019

interrupted by snowy owls this winter darkness

frozen puddle the open eye at its centre

the barn that used to be red dust devil

NeverEnding Story, October 2019

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

grazing on sagebrush
at first light
the horizon stitched
to an infinitude of sky

A Hundred Gourds, 5:1, September 2015

Modern Haiku, Vol. 50.3, Autumn 2019

owling . . .
we wait for the other side
of silence

Human/Kind Journal, Issue 1.9, October 2019

Honoured to have my artwork, "Sinuosity", chosen for the cover of this month's fine issue!

Hedgerow Poems, Number 128, Summer 2019

Note: haiku first published in Chuffed Buff Books, Kigo: Seasonal Words, Issue 2, Summer 2014. The photograph originally appeared in my solo abstract exhibition, The Poetry of Light, in 2011.

A Moment's Longing, Haiku Society of America Members' Anthology 2019

first braces . . .
a puffin's beak fringed
with silver

Mariposa, Number 41, Autumn/Winter 2019

sea fog
white sails split open
the morning

whiffling geese
sift snowflakes between
their wings . . .
I've never felt your loss
more keenly than today

GUSTS, Number 30, Fall/Winter 2019

skim the hayfields . . .
father never
expected to hear
their songs again

twisted limbs
of driftwood define
the tides . . .
I look more like you
with each passing year

you carry me
across drifts of stars,
our breath
into northern lights

Frogpond, Vol. 42, Number 3, Fall 2019

meteor showers . . .
the time it takes to lose
a memory

#FemKuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 17, October 2019

Erotic Issue


you rise over
these rolling hills
like the ecstasy
of morning, flushed pink
and wet with dew

you enter me . . .
a falling star
p l u n g e s
into the silence
of this dark river

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, October 2019

fallow fields a light dusting of snow geese

Shortlisted for the Touchstone Award, 2018

prize pumpkins
our hayrack buckles
with light

Honourable Mention
The International Contest on the Theme of the Gourds, 2019

Daily Haiga: An Edited Journal of Traditional and Contemporary Haiga, October 2019

Featured Artist: October 5, 2019

Note: haiku first published by The Bamboo Hut, Spring 2019

Chrysanthemum, Number 26, October 2019

Translated into German

Incense Dreams, Issue 3.1 - Nature and Humanity in Little Poems, October 2019

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

Translated into Italian by Lucia Fontana

a black filly
with one blue eye . . .

star trails . . .
we follow them
into morning

falling star . . .
the silver bracts
of protea

cloud fragments . . .
the slow blossoming
of stars

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Snapshot Press, The eChapbook Awards, 2019

I'm thrilled and honoured to announce that my haiku manuscript, Prairie Interludes, is a winner in the 2019 Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards!

The following link will take you directly to Snapshot Press, and I will post the link to my free ebook when it becomes available:

From Snapshot Press...

Snapshot Press is an independent publisher specializing in English-language haiku, tanka and other short poetry by authors from around the world.

Founded in 1997, our publications include anthologies, single-author collections, and annual editions of The Haiku Calendar. Our books have been honoured by the Haiku Society of America, The Poetry Society of America, and The Haiku Foundation.

'Snapshot Press sets the platinum standard for design and production values among haiku and tanka books. Their quality is unsurpassed. Indeed, books from Snapshot Press are always a tactile and poetic delight.'

—Michael Dylan Welch in Modern Haiku

Colorado Boulevard Poets Salon, September 2019

I was honoured to be the featured photographer in the Colorado Boulevard Poets Salon on September 4, 2019, hosted and curated by Kathabela Wilson. Grateful thanks to everyone who wrote poems in response to my photos!


(the flower will produce new blooms)

(the seed will find a new home)

(the tree will grow new leaves)

(the spider will craft a new web)

(the bird will build a new nest)

The Zen Space, Autumn Showcase 2019

Note: this haiku received an Honourable Mention in the 2019 Iris Little Haiku Contest.

#FemKuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 16, September 2019

thunderstones the pointed words he hurled at me


thrift shop . . .
the ins and outs
of fashion

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Heron's Nest, Vol. 21, Number 3, September 2019

summer solstice the length of a beaver's incisors

deserted farm
the random acts
of hollyhocks

The Cicada's Cry: A Micro-Zine of Haiku Poetry, 2019

Special Edition: Ocean

tide pools
the here and there
of fallen stars

The Bamboo Hut, Autumn 2019

forest bathing
I immerse myself
in your light

dew point
fountain grass bends
to the earth

calm lake
otters slip between

the cup of valley
fills with fog

a grebe's nest
the rise and fall
of our paddles

Stardust Haiku, Issue 33, September 2019

marsh dawn
our voices scatter flocks
of light

Stardust Haiku, Issue 32, August 2019

windblown silt
the frog digs in
a little deeper

Shamrock, Number 42, September 2019

ghost apple
this emptiness

city sirens
the wolves that used to
sing us home

Kokako, Number 31, September 2019

ranunculus the delicate unfurling of dawn

slot canyon
the sunbeam only
a lizard sees

my basket
full of clothes pegs
I smile
at your jeans dancing
with my calico dress

taking shelter
in a graffitied doorway
the stray and I
decide to become
more than strangers

Human/Kind Journal, Issue 1.8, September 2019

Haigaonline, Vol. 20, Issue 2, Autumn 2019

The Life Cycle Challenge - Walking Stick Issue

#FemKuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 15, August 2019

the many hats they wear working mothers


phantom pain . . .
the hauntings of invisible

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 4, Issue 46, October 2019

My gratitude to Guest Editor, Bryan Rickert, for choosing this haiga for the cover of the October issue of Failed Haiku!

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 4, Issue 45, September 2019

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, September 2019

fading dreams . . .
the golden smoke
of tamaracks

The Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Competition, 2018

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 46, September 2019

evening shadows
the ground squirrel's
thirteen stripes

dappled light
the invisibility
of fawns

Colorado Boulevard Poets Salon, August 2019

I was delighted to be featured in the Colorado Boulevard Poets Salon (note name change from "Poetry Corner") on August 21, 2019, hosted and curated by Kathabela Wilson.

Finding Our Way Home

Broken things in nature often renew themselves with a change in seasons, much in the same way that human interactions can be mended by spending time in nature, and in deeper communication with each other, with the world, and with ourselves.

nightly news . . .
a beaver changes
our world view

cross the border
in search
of better lives . . .
we open our arms

Though we may long for home, sometimes there are physical or emotional barriers to overcome before we take that first step...

(Bridges to Cross)

(Doors to Open)

(Roads to Travel)

(Fences to Tear Down)

"And where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. The chain may lengthen, but it never parts." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Bleached Butterfly Magazine, Volume 1:2, September 2019

Australian Haiku Society, 2019

Spring Equinox Haiku String - September 23, 2019

we come to terms
with our past

for a moment
at the ocean's edge
plover prints

lark song
i finally believe
in something

Atlas Poetica, Number 38, 2019

tanka sequence:


taking lunch
to father in the field
we wend
our way through grain
and grasshopper song

w a i t i n g
for the hail to pass
hunkered down
between bales of hay
sisters holding hands

ricochet across
the prairie
our singing lost
to wind and rain

a rainbow
arcs above our barn
scudding clouds
chase us toward the lilt
of grandmother's voice

The Mamba, Issue 8 - Africa Haiku Network, September 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest 2019

I decided to enter two 5/7/5 haiku this year, and was delighted to have them selected for the contest!

11th Contest Selected Haiku Collection

rising winter moon . . .
we drive across the prairie
alone with our thoughts

the departing spring . . .
he replaces online games
with a baseball glove

Morioka 1st International Haiku Contest, 2019

the wild crocuses
you loved

Second Prize (shared) - selected by Michael Dylan Welch
1st Morioka International Haiku Contest

The Haiku Foundation, July 2019

Haiku Music Challenge Number 28 - July 27, 2019

The Haiku Foundation chose three of their favourite compositions from the Naviar Records Haiku Music Challenge for the following poem:

I skip a pebble across
the universe

1st Place
2019 OtherWordly Intergalactic Haiku Competition

The Cherita, June 2019

Issue: "you bring me"


I empty myself
of this world

by wind on wave,
water on stone

Tanka Origins, Issue 1, August 2019

Honoured to have two tanka chosen for this inaugural issue. My thanks to the editor, an'ya, for her lovely commentaries!

bloom inside my lungs,
every sense
alive with the fragrance
of this exquisite world

"How great is it to be able to actually breathe in this tanka by Debbie, and let those wildflowers also bloom in our lungs! Debbie makes good use of multiple "l" sounds throughout. This is a tanka that truly takes us on a journey out of the material world and into a realm where everything is exquisite, and our senses come alive with the fragrance of wildflowers."

peace lilies
sprout in my garden
nurtured with the love
you couldn't give me

"A beautiful tanka shared with us by Debbie who has such a classic way with words! She accomplishes this in the first three lines by talking of "peace lilies" and "heirlooms". However, she surprises her readers in lines four and five when the direction of this tanka takes a melancholy turn. Debbie is very much adept at creating a whole story in just five lines, as you can see in this tanka."

Mayfly, Issue 67, Summer 2019

bivouacking . . .
mountains unfold
into lullabies

#FemKuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 14, July 2019

hot (fl)ashes the combustibility of womxn's rights

Honourable Mention
Marlene Mountain Memorial Haiku Contest 2019

(thrilled to note that the magazine has now changed its name to reflect "womxn")

Other work included in this issue:

magpie the white streaks at my temples

surface tension
we hold it together


This issue also features the following triptych from my book, Three-Part Harmony: Tanka Verses (Keibooks 2018):


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

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

on this day
of my atonement,
your face
a fragile watermark
at the edge of sky

1st verse: First Place, UHTS Fleeting Words Tanka Contest 2016
2nd verse: GUSTS, Number 25, Spring/Summer 2017
3rd verse: Moonbathing, Issue 16, Spring/Summer 2017

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 4, Issue 44, August 2019

Bottle Rockets, Vol. 21, Number 1 (or #41), August 2019

barbed wire
the spring tidings
of magpies

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 29, Number 3, August 2019

fallen wasp nest
a ladybird brightens
each chamber

rickety fence
a row of bluebirds
holds up the sky

lakeside camp . . .
an otter's soft splash
as it slips
under the edge
of my dreams

across heathland,
our boots
wet with the dew
of starlight

Atlas Poetica Special Feature, August 2019

Death Poems

bind my body
with spanworm silk
lay me down
in a shaded garden
until I turn to earth

Akitsu Quarterly, Fall 2019

marsh reeds
we learn the secret
language of wind

intensive care
the last cuneiform
of snow geese

Mom's recipe . . .
my hollow pumpkin
a soup tureen

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Red Lights, Vol. 15, Number 2, June 2019

BOOK APPRECIATION: Three-Part Harmony: Tanka Verses

I was honoured to be chosen for this feature by the editor, Marilyn Hazelton. 

In response to her question regarding my musical background as it informs Three-Part Harmony:

I have been playing guitar, singing, and writing songs since the age of 12. My eldest sister was the main musical mentor in my life. I received my first guitar from her as a Christmas gift, and we often played music and sang together. She taught my sisters and me to sing harmony, hence the title and dedication of this book. Though she passed away when she was 28, every time I play my guitar, I think of her.

In response to her question regarding how I compiled the book:

It took about a year to finalize the manuscript. I began my eliminating poems that had appeared in my first book, Warp and Weft: Tanka Threads. I sorted the remaining published work into themed groups, and whittled the field down to approximately 300 tanka. This is like working on a huge jigsaw puzzle. I inserted each tanka into a set until they resonated with each other, thereby breathing new life into old poems.

In response to her question regarding my reflections on three tanka sets she chose at random:


curls of clouds
become passerines
each autumn
the low-angled light
invites me to follow

snow geese
scribe an ancient mystery
across the moon
their soft murmurs
catching winter's breath

a starling
m u m u r a t i o n
sifting the sky
she recalls the moment
her life changed shape

I have been an avid birder for 40 years. Birds inspire me on a daily basis, and they feature in many of my tanka. In murmuration, I tried to encompass the way birds make me feel, how they capture my imagination, and stir my emotion. Here, we have clouds shape-shifting into passerines, snow geese becoming scribes, and starlings changing the very shape of sky.

bread and tempers

that phone call
all those years ago
I still see
a serpent writhing
between her fingers

the argument
escalates all night
inside me
these paper-thin walls
only meant for wasps

we lived
above a bake shop
that summer
of bread and tempers
rising through the night

I find it cathartic and healing to share my joys and sorrows via the written word. I do not shy away from writing about the dark times in my life, because these experiences have helped to mould me into the writer I am, and the writer that I will become.

gunmetal nights

mule deer
resting in a thicket
by the slough
all over this world
the sound of guns

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

bullets of crows
on gunmetal nights
a deeper shade
of anguish echoes
in her bones

This set is especially meaningful to me, as I have a complicated relationship with guns. When I was a child, my father hunted to provide food for our family, so they seemed like a necessary evil, if you will. Over the years, two of my cousins have been murdered by these weapons, and with escalating gun violence throughout the world, I find myself becoming increasingly fearful for our global community.

Other work included in this issue:

webs billow
across the pathway . . .
we blunder
into magic, ensnared
by everyday miracles

hares boxing
in the flush of dawn . . .
it seems
impossible to defeat
an opponent I can't see

note: During spring mating season, hares can be seen striking other hares, giving rise to the phrase, "Mad as a March hare."

we step
into the warm barn
by a horse playing
piano with his nose

note: This is a true story! Percherons at a nearby barn are kept stimulated by various artistic diversions, such as painting and playing piano, during bitter winter weather when they are confined to their stalls.

Turtle Light Press, Haiku Chapbook Contest 2019

Thrilled to receive Third Honorable Mention for my haiku chapbook, Songs Where We Least Expect Them!

I'm grateful to the judge, Susan Antolin, for her lovely comments:

"Rich with specific and evocative nature images, this collection showcases the varied landscape and wildlife of a northern region in a vibrant and engaging series of haiku.

mallard flock the iridescent sound of morning

These haiku engage all of the senses and incorporate a wide range of seasonal references. The individual haiku are well crafted and often suggestive of a greater emotional back story.

weathered oars
we fold our worries
into the river

Occasionally, the haiku in this collection also cause us to contemplate our place in the cosmos.

solar flares
a spill of buttercups
in the meadow

In all of these haiku humans are, if not actually present, never far away.

in cupped hands
the harvest moon rests
for a moment

On the whole, an appealing and beautifully crafted collection."

Ribbons, Volume 15, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2019

Honoured to be the featured poet in this issue. My thanks to David Rice!


Sharing My Light

As a child, I used to curl up on the couch in our farmhouse while listening to my father recite poetry. This was my introduction to the power of words, and I remain under their spell to this day.

snow whirls
outside the henhouse . . .
father cups
my hands around
a warm brown egg

3rd Place, 2018 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

I wrote my first poem at nine, and began writing songs at twelve. My older sister was my mentor and singing partner, always encouraging me to "share my light." When she passed away at 28, I was lost.

a smudge
of blackbirds swirling
into evening . . .
how fluid the shape
of this sorrow

2nd Place, 2018 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Years later, I took my sister's advice and submitted work to an'ya at kernelsonline (Cattails). My haiku chapbook, A Year Unfolding (Folded Word 2017) is a direct result of that first acceptance. I am grateful to an'ya for helping me take a leap of faith into short-form poetry. It changed my life!

each moment
here on earth is numbered . . .
so why not
fly too close to the moon,
and hang our hats on stars?

1st Place, 2016 Mandy's Pages Annual Tanka Contest

Shortly afterward, I discovered tanka on Twitter via M. Kei. I am indebted to him for publishing my first book, Warp and Weft: Tanka Threads in 2015, and its sequel, Three-Part Harmony: Tanka Verses in 2018. Both books are comprised of tanka that appeared individually in a variety of publications over the years. I selected tanka that resonated with each other, combining them into triptychs in an effort to expand their scope. This technique allowed me to breathe new life into old poems. I do not think of these "verses or threads" as sequences, because they were not written as such. The titles are drawn from the last tanka in each set and serve to bring the poems full circle.

this fleeting moment

how still
this numinous dawn
we kneel,
watching a muskrat's breath
bubbling under thin ice

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

wishing seeds
cartwheel through warm air
how quiet
this fleeting moment
this belief in miracles

1st verse: The Bamboo Hut, Spring 2015
2nd verse: HM, 2017 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest
3rd verse: 2nd HM, 2015 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Musicality in tanka is vital to me, as I often sing the poems while strumming my guitar. Vocabulary also plays an integral role in my work.

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

2nd Place, 2017 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Composing tanka is my primary writing focus. This daily meditation quiets my mind and helps to distract me from chronic pain.

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

HM, 2017 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

I have made my home beside the ocean, on the prairies, and at the feet of mountains. Poetry of place features in much of my tanka.

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

1st Place, 2018 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

Many of my tanka and photographs depict flora, fauna, and phenomena encountered while camping, birding, and hiking in the wilds.

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

1st Place (tie), 2016 San Francisco International Competition

Human experience is also a frequent subject in my tanka.

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

1st Place, 2016 British Haiku Society Tanka Awards

The short-form community inspires me. Reading the work of others and heeding editorial advice pushes me to hone my skills. I offer my thanks to the following gifted tanka poets who provided blurbs for my books:

without . . .
each evening seems even
than it takes the river
to smooth a thousand stones

an'ya: Winner, 2018 British Haiku Society Tanka Awards

when no one is around,
my heart changes
into a heron
and flies

M. Kei: HM, 2007 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

it's not so much
the 'big one' when it comes
but aftershocks . . .
our favorite song,
letters addressed to you

David Terelinck: Winner, 2018 British Haiku Society Tanka Awards

through rain
through a year
of threadbare melodies
the early dark
of stolen mulberries

ai li: The Tanka Anthology, 2003 (editor Michael McClintock et al)

if you were reborn
a fly and I, a spider
with skeins of rainbow
I would weave
a web for our dreams

Sonam Chhoki: Fire Pearls, Volume 2, 2013 (editor M. Kei)

a tree trunk
lost in the shadow
of its branches . . .
another yes
when I meant to say no

Ken Slaughter: 1st Place, 2015 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

in an old picture
my mother's hand so firm
on my shoulder
as if gravity alone
could not hold me down

Angela Leuck: Take Five, Volume 4, 2011 (editor-in-chief M. Kei)

Holding a letter
with words no longer true;
day-lilies open
and wither
in the same vase.

Alexis Rotella: The Tanka Anthology, 2003 (editor Michael McClintock et al)

The cuckoo clock strikes
I smile at the soft dawn light
Until my eyes rest
On your bare dressing table,
On all the empty hangers

Denis Garrison: Fire Pearls, 2006 (editor M. Kei)

This tanka journey has been an amazing adventure, and it has brought me closer to awareness of the universe and myself.

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

HM, 2018 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

Wales Haiku Journal, Summer 2019

alpine hut
our lantern sparkles
with moth dust

trail ride
my bootlaces bristle
with burrs

The Cherita, May 2019

Issue: "morning light"

my cheek

rests against
your heart

I listen
to the warm blood
of you

you are

as inscrutable
as snow

I have
never known
how to love you


your saltwater voice
anchors me

when I founder
on the rocks
of this sorrow

the birds

have not returned
and yet . . .

these white
unfurling wings
of snowdrops

cornflower sky

I let go
of the birds

my ribcage
and sing

Stardust Haiku, Issue 31, July 2019

inner music . . .
I take my cue
from the wind

Naviar Records - Haiku Music Challenge 289, 2019

Featured Haiku July 17, 2019:

Please enjoy the music created in response to my haiku:

I skip a pebble across
the universe

1st Place
2019 OtherWordly Intergalactic Haiku Competition

Presence, Number 64, July 2019

heat mirage
the balked landing
of a waterhen

souvenirs . . .
the memories I thought
she'd forgotten

scented drifts
of cottonwood fluff
line every street . . .
he might not make it
through the winter

I was delighted to discover that the following haiku was shortlisted for the Best-of Issue Award in Presence 63:

star-nosed mole
we search for light
in dark places

NeverEnding Story, July 2019

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

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

1st Place
2017 Australian Haiku Society Spring Haiga Kukai

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

L1 sets the theme while visually evocative Ls 2&3 enhance the tone and mood of the haiku. And the fresh phrasing and perspective employed in L2 make this homecoming haiku emotionally effective.

Monday, July 22, 2019

World Tanka Competition, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-zine, 2019

contest theme: "love"

crafted with love,
this table you made
from ash trees
planted for the children
we never had

Honourable Mention
2019 World Tanka Competition

Iris - The International Haiku Contest on the Theme of the Gourds, 2019

Translated into Croatian

prize pumpkins
our hayrack buckles
with light

Honourable Mention

Note: There were 262 entries to the contest, and the results will be published in IRIS International Haiku Magazine, No. 13, 2019.

Skylark, Vol. 7, Number 1, Summer 2019

a century ago,
the Iolaire foundered . . .
my cousin's paintings
bring those who were lost
home to their families

Note: My cousin, Margaret Ferguson, an artist and doctor living on the Isle of Lewis, painted over 100 commemorative portraits of the men who perished in the Iolaire tragedy on New Year's Day, 1919.

here, and yet, not quite

a ghost train
of fog skims across
the lake . . .
at our next visit,
I hope you will know me

for a moment,
two waterspouts dance
across the lake . . .
I still feel your hand
on the small of my back

Note: In a review of Stacking Stones: An Anthology of Short Tanka Sequences (editor M. Kei), Jenny Ward Angyal makes mention of the following tanka from my sequence 'lightfall':

black swans
softening the edges
of my darkness
I gather threads of light
unspooling in their wake

Jenny goes on to say:

'Threads of light' run throughout the wonderful variety of voices and styles, content and form to be found in this volume, as poets explore the labyrinth of human life, erecting as they go small monuments of words to mark the way.

The Haiku Foundation, re: Virals, June 2019

re: Virals 198 - June 21, 2019

The Haiku Foundation's weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written English. This week's poem was chosen by Dave Read (thank you, Dave):

stone cairns
a faded cap drifts

1st Place
2015 Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest

The Cherita, April 2019

Issue: "a warm night"

a soundscape

of migrating geese
and falling acorns

you still reside
here in the autumn
of my heart

walking arm in arm

our hems drenched
in morning dew

we are silent
in our appreciation
of this shimmering world

Stardust Haiku, Issue 30, June 2019

the sun and I
stand still

Human/Kind Journal, Issue 1.7, July 2019

Special issue dedicated to found poetry from the works of Mary Oliver

Note: this cherita was culled from Mary Oliver's "Death at a Great Distance"

Prune Juice, Issue 28, July 2019

Poetry Pea, 2019

The Haiku Pea Podcast:

Season 2, Episode 14 - "Talking Trees", July 15, 2019

a squabble of crows
in the larch

A Hundred Gourds, Issue 5.1, December 2015

the last drop
of father's cologne . . .
evergreen rain

Frogpond, Vol. 42, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2019

mossy log
a ruffed grouse drums
up the dawn

Note: In his essay, "Owls", Charles Trumbull makes mention of the following haiku which was published in Kokako 27, September 2017:

fog hangs in the hollow a nest of owlets

Fresh Out: An Arts and Poetry Collective, July 2019

Frameless Sky, Issue 10, June 2019

passing train how quickly we forget our promises

demolition . . .
sunlight where shade
used to be

rose hip tea . . .
the dawn steeped
in birdsong

Honoured to be the "Take the Challenge" winner with the following artwork chosen by David Terelinck to accompany his featured haiku:

#FemKuMag: An E-zine of Women's Haiku - Issue 13, June 2019

"This issue is dedicated to every woman who's suffered, whether it be emotionally, mentally, physically, or sexually, to the women who supported us during our trauma and healing process, and to every woman fighting for her right to be human. May we stand tall for those who can't always get up."

we must not speak
of this

3rd Place, 2017 Penumbra Haiku Competition

lilac buds
no one notices
the bruises

Haiku Canada Review 10.1, 2016

her first boyfriend's
hard slap
some of our memories
are burning brands

Bright Stars Tanka Anthology 5, 2014

he gasps
at the ragged scars
upon my back
remnants of that night
they tore off my broken wings

The Bamboo Hut 1.3, 2014

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

Neon Graffiti: Tanka Poetry of Urban Life, 2016

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 4, Issue 43, July 2019

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, July 2019

labyrinth i walk into and out of myself

3rd Place Senryu
San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu and Tanka 2018

I skip a pebble across
the universe

1st Place
OtherWordly Intergalactic Haiku Competition 2019

a pika gathers stems
of light

Commended Haiku
Iris - A Little Haiku Contest 2019

Australian Haiku Society, 2019

Winter Solstice 2019 AHS Haiga Kukai: Seasonal Entry

snow on snow
the widening circles
of enlightenment

Winter Solstice 2019 AHS Haiga Kukai: Non-Seasonal Entry

the time we meant
to make

(Note: these haiku were written in response to artwork by Ron Moss)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

NeverEnding Story, June 2019

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

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

1st Place
2016 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Chen-ou Liu's comments: (excerpted from the judge, an'ya's commentary)

"...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 3 and 4 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..."

The Haiku Foundation, Haiku Dialogue Week 21, June 2019

"What's at Hand" prompts by Craig Kittner: a broken shell

beach drift . . .
we mend the cracked wings
of angels

The Haiku Foundation, Haiku Dialogue Week 19, June 2019

"What's at Hand" prompts by Craig Kittner: a fallen leaf

unmarked grave . . .
a thousand red maples
offer their leaves

Modern Haiku, Vol. 50.2, Summer 2019

golden hour
wood ducks whistle
us to the edge

Moonbathing, Issue 20, Spring/Summer 2019

seeps through the fog . . .
we can't find
our footing on this bridge
already crossed

Hedgerow Poems, Number 127, Spring 2019

Le Prix Jocelyne-Villeneuve, Haiku Canada 2019

Honoured to have the following watercolour featured on Le Prix Jocelyne-Villeneuve Haiku Canada trifold announcing the winners of the contest!

At the Water's Edge, Haiku Canada Members' Anthology 2019

circles of lichen
I thought we would have
more time

Haigaonline, June 2019

Summer Gallery:

Monostich Imaginings

As an avid practitioner of the haikai arts, I am always striving to find new ways of expressing myself concisely and creatively. The brevity of the monostich/monoku form challenges me to distill my imaginings down to their essence. Working in this minimalistic genre fosters a sense of fluidity in my writing, which in turn, inspires me to be open to experimentation. The fanciful illustrations accompanying these poems were composed on my iPad.