Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 5, Issue 49, January 2020

Eucalypt, Issue 27, December 2019

fingers of barley
strum the prairie skies
in this heat
our bones become liquid
our minds become still

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 29, Number 4, November 2019

journey's end
the red eyes
of a loon

sunflower fields
I never knew yellow
until now

the slough
behind our farmhouse
with mallard drakes
in praise of morning

the vibrant trills
of prairie meadowlarks
rising up
from every fence post,
these old familiar songs

Root, British Haiku Society Members' Anthology, 2019

beachcombing . . .
a fossil emerges
out of extinction

Hedgerow Poems, Number 129, Autumn 2019

Note: haiku first published in Modern Haiku 50.3, Autumn 2019

Naviar Records - Haiku Music Challenge 312, 2019

Featured Haiku December 25, 2019

Please enjoy the music created in response to my haiku:

frozen trough
I cup the warm breath
of my horse

1st Place
2018 Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 19, December 2019

Guest Editor: Elizabeth Alford

snow shadows we find a deeper meaning


freezing rain . . .
every worry doubles
in size

The Bowerbird Tanka Group - 21st Bowerbird Tanka Workshop, November 30, 2019

I extend my deep gratitude to Julie Thorndyke for the following generous and sensitive commentary:

Appraisal by Julie Thorndyke

stubble fires
scarred fields under siege
we surrender
to the acrid breath
of smoking dragons

Cattails, January 2014

"When I read this poem for the first time, it gave me shivers up my spine. No doubt it is because in Australia we are in the grip of early bushfires: a spring in which even rainforests are burning, and koalas are dropping from heat in a scarred landscape which no longer resembles the lush seaside towns of our childhood summer holidays.

stubble fires
scarred fields under siege

Debbie Strange is writing about specific agricultural fields but for me they are the country landscapes of memory, brought to mind through the poet's use of sibilance and the hard, consonant sounds of 'f's and 'b' and 'd' and 'c/k'. The metaphor of the dragon representing fire is traditional, but the specific mention of "acrid breath" makes the image very real and reinforces for me the allusion to lost childhood places. The terrible smell after the bushfire. The desolation brought by a monster more real than Smaug himself. The word 'siege' represents the battle between nature and man, as in Tolkien's mythical war. How I wish that our native trees were able to mobilize, like Ents, and carry our wildlife to safety.

But no: the third line, the classic tanka pivot, is chilling: "we surrender". Hope is gone. We accept the dragons' power. It is a death scene.

I have never met Debbie Strange, except on the pages of tanka journals. I have learned that her words are elegant and piercing, and often they provide that little emotional jolt that make tanka such a powerful form of poetry. Here she uses a clasic tanka shape; fewer than 31 syllables; there is a rhythm in the lines and a build-up to line 5 and the drama of the dragon image.

There is plenty of room for wondering in this poem. Smoke can be used as a tool, and perhaps that is another message that readers could glean from these words. The mark of an effective tanka is that there is space for readers to bring to it their own interpretations.

This poem

stubble fires
scarred fields under siege
we surrender
to the acrid breath
of smoking dragons

is for me, a call to arms—we must react against these words and not surrender to the dragon but work to change the seemingly inevitable descent into smoke-filled disaster on this planet. Thank you, Debbie."

San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu and Tanka, 2019

the coiled tips
of fiddlehead ferns
remind me
that every forest knows
how to make music

2nd Honourable Mention Tanka

Judge's comments:

These coiled fern tips remind me of what's called the "scroll" at the top end of a violin, which is surely why these ferns are named for fiddles. These tips will uncoil, as if to release their music. All aspects of the forest—the high canopies of swaying trees, the forest duff below, and everything in between—all contribute to the music of the forest. The poet notices and is filled with appreciation for the harmony of nature.

—Michael Dylan Welch

World Haiku Review, December 2019

father waxes
his handlebar moustache . . .
crescent moon

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
Shintai Haiku Category

Stardust Haiku, Issue 36, December 2019

solstice moon
our skis cross-stitch
the snow to earth

Atlas Poetica, Number 39, 2019


when death
calls me home
let it be
while I lie with you
in the wilderlands

I surrender
myself to mystery
that something immutable
waits beyond my ken

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2019

soft rime
a chickadee's song
becomes visible

Honourable Mention
12th IHS, International Haiku Competition 2019


over 320 entries judged blindly by Anatoly Kudryavitsky

The Haiku Foundation, Per Diem, November 2019

Selected by Pravat Kumar Padhy for the monoku theme of "Celestial Bodies": November, 2019

a curl of eyelash on your pillow crescent moon

Brass Bell, April 2016

The Haiku Foundation, Haiku Dialogue, November 2019

"Social Issues" prompts by Lori Minor: poverty and hunger

how hard it is
to ask

Purple Cotton Candy Arts, Will You Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story, December 2019

Will You Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story: written by Christine L. Villa, illustrated by Jiliane Vilches, and published by Purple Cotton Candy Arts.

I'm honoured to have the following haiku included:

ice cream truck . . .
our Dalmatian appears
out of nowhere

Australian Haiku Society, December 2019

Summer Solstice 2019 AHS Haiga Kukai: Seasonal Entry

firestorm a dusting of red on the glacier

Summer Solstice 2019 AHS Haiga Kukai: Non-Seasonal Entry

patchwork quilt . . .
a happy cow produces
more milk

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

Seashores - An International Journal to Share the Spirit of Haiku, Vol. 3, November 2019

prognosis . . .
in the cranberry bog
cinders of light

fern spores
the ellipsis after
your goodbye

Moonbathing, Issue 21, Fall/Winter 2019

laden boughs
tremble in ambient light
I catch
a fleeting memory
of you holding my hand

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

Featured Artist: December 20, 2019

Note: this haiku was first published in Presence 62, November 2018

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

the wild crocuses
you loved

2nd Place
1st Morioka International Haiku Contest, 2019

Tanka Origins, Issue 2, December 2019

My thanks to the editor, an'ya, for her lovely commentary!

painted ladies
hitch rides on the wind
my journey
was without direction
before you came along

"The tanka by Debbie, on a favorite subject of mine, painted lady (butterflies). This assumption is created by lines one and two. However, line three twists this into something more. Depending on how you read this tanka, the reference in lines four and five could mean ladies-of-the-night, one of them given direction by whomever came calling. A tanka that allows readers more than one option."

Monday, December 16, 2019

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

Featured Artist: December 6, 2019

Note: haiku first published in the Peonies Haiku Anthology, 2019

Under the Basho, 2019

Personal Best

I skip a pebble across
the universe

1st Place, 2019 OtherWordly Intergalactic Haiku Competition
(first publication in Seashores, Volume 2, April 2019)


maple leaves ignite
the dusk

fields thronged
with sandhill cranes . . .
corn moon

bugling elk
fog softens the shape
of morning

the curve
of a dune's shadow . . .
day moon

Modern Haiku

rivulets of rain . . .
I trace the shape
of loneliness

veils of dust . . .
at least we have
this sunset

Tinywords, Issue 19.2, November 2019

(Note: haiku without art first appeared in The Haiku Foundation's blog in 2019)

The Cherita, September 2019

Issue: "wondering where"

sea maidens

out of mist

hover, then rise
into dawn's
golden embrace

recurring dream . . .

I am falling
like slow-motion rain

you reach for me
but I slip away,
eyes wet with wonder

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

we have journeyed

so far away
from our intentions

let us ship oars
for a moment
and simply, drift

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

summer's end

we dangle memories
over the dock's edge

this weathered wood
etched with secrets
and lies

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

Stardust Haiku, Issue 35, November 2019

homeless vet
a red leaf flutters
above the grate

Ribbons, Volume 15, Number 3, Fall 2019


we are witness
to the birth of dawn
our paddles
silent for a moment
dripping with light

dolphins stitch
the blue edge of sky
to ocean
I imagine our bodies
unwrinkled and nimble

fishing boats
appear to hover
in mid-air
as heaven becomes
one with the water

night falls
upon this island
we open
our mouths and swallow
an elixir of stars

Prune Juice, Issue 29, November 2019

Presence, Number 65, November 2019

the rain that never

snow day
we make crow footprints
into peace signs

king tide
an orca's breath snuffs
out the sun

every night
this river lulls me
to sleep
with the same story
it told my ancestors

Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 13, Number 2, October 2019

blackout poetry all my little strokes

looking away
from our campfire
for a moment
we see that the stars
have been here all along

New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition 2019

The Perfect Weight of Blankets at Night - NZPS Poetry Anthology 2019

Contest judged by Gregory Piko

prairie thunder
I braid my sister's hair
with corn silk

Highly Commended

rosy dawn
our paddles stippled
with petals

Highly Commended

(note: there were 5320 entries to the contest)

NeverEnding Story, November 2019

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

frozen trough
I cup the warm breath
of my horse

First Place, 2018 Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest

Chen-ou Liu's Comments:

excerpted from comments by the contest judge, Cezar Florin CIOBICA, accessed at:


Frameless Sky, Issue 11, December 2019

Honoured to be the featured poet for the "Take the Challenge" contest for this issue. I chose Gregory Piko's lovely photograph to accompany this haiku:

redwoods . . .
a squirrel interrupts
our communion

I was also thrilled to be have my haiga video, "Watercoloured Words" included in this issue. It first appeared as part of the Haiku Foundation HaikuLife Film Festival in 2018.

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 18, November 2019

Haibun issue edited by Tia Haynes

not my fairytale

We used to make angels in the sand until our hair and skin sparked like fire on water. Now, I sit with my back against a chunk of driftwood, as hoary as this life without you.

castle ruins
a whale swims
up the moat

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 4, Issue 48, December 2019

Haibun issue edited by Sonam Chhoki

I was thrilled to learn that the following haibunga had been chosen for this month's cover:

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 4, Issue 47, November 2019

Rock and Roll Issue edited by Michael Lester

This kyoka is inspired by Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I was pretty much a "folkie" until David Bowie expanded my musical horizons in the early 1970s.

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

Featured Artist: November 14, 2019

Note: this haiku was first published in Akitsu Quarterly, Fall 2018

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

northern lights
the blur of scarves
as skaters pass

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
The R.H. Blyth Award, 2019
World Haiku Review, March 2019

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 47, December 2019

country school
dust devils spin from
our bicycles

beach stones
I relax the muscles
in my forehead

Bleached Butterfly Magazine, Volume 1:3, December 2019

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 3:1, Autumn-Winter 2019-2020

autumn leaves
the missing colours
of my life

A Thousand Voices, Tanka Society of America Members' Anthology 2019

Edited by Alexis Rotella:

a mirage
shimmers above
golden grain . . .
I reach out to touch
my sister's halo

Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 Days of Haiku for Children Young and Old, 2019

Editor: Jessica Malone Latham

February 2

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

Akitsu Quarterly, Winter 2017

March 17

fog deepens
the sound of rabbits
nibbling night

Grand Prize, 2016 World Haiku Competition

May - honoured to have the following poem chosen as the featured haiku:

heirloom hollyhocks
I still see father kneeling
in a patch of light

The Heron's Nest 21.1, March 2019

May 21

the curled ears
of newborns

Brass Bell, October 2017

September 4

bone density . . .
the broken stems
of sunflowers

Creatrix 39, November 2017

September 8

harvesting night
an arc of moondust
from the auger

Creatrix 43, December 2018

September 22

in cupped hands
the harvest moon rests
for a moment

1st Place, 2015 Autumn Moon Haiku Contest

October 9

aspen grove
he fills his pockets
with pirate gold

Ephemerae 1C, November 2018

October 31

witches' butter
along a rotten log
speckled light

Acorn 38, Spring 2017

November 17

stark branches
the first flowering
of snowflakes

Award of Excellence, 2015 World Haiku Association Haiga Contest

December 20

sleigh bells
the hayloft rustles
with deer mice

Haiku Canada Review 9.1, February 2015

December 22

sugar cookies
we swallow each phase
of the moon

Frogpond 39.3, Spring/Summer 2016

All the Way Home: Aging in Haiku, 2019

Editor: Robert Epstein

golden years . . .
no one tells you about
the tarnish

Prune Juice 26, 2018

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

2nd Place, 2017 Fleeting Words Tanka Competition

Note: the haiga above originally appeared in Failed Haiku 36, 2018

Note: the tanka above originally appeared in Blithe Spirit 28.2, 2018

Note: the senryu above originally appeared in Cattails, 2017

Akitsu Quarterly, Winter 2019

skating pond
the unopened lotus
beneath us

toboggan slide
children fill their pockets
with stars

I was honoured to have the following haiga appear on the inner cover of this issue: