Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Cherita, October 2020

Issue: "an old sadness"

a cloak of clouds

draped across
my shoulders

I wander
these ancient hills
that loved you

my father's shape

a small snowdrift
in this hospital bed

he opens his eyes
and calls me
by my childhood name

sea nymphs

I listen
to soft whisperings

the pink nautilus
of your ear

Monday, December 28, 2020

Australian Haiku Society, 2020

Summer Solstice 2020 AHS Haiga Kukai: Non-Seasonal Entry

voyages . . .
the light we find inside

Highly Commended

Judge's Commentary:

Ah yes, a fine reflection on the voyages through life and the light we find in ourselves is indeed what sustains and nurtures our very existence. All the great traditions speak of going within to truly know our source and what we truly are. Debbie has given us a great teaching beside the humble lighthouse - a beacon of hope and a saving grace for us all.

—Ron Moss

Summer Solstice 2020 AHS Haiga Kukai - Seasonal Entry

halcyon days
we are made of sand
and water

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

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2020

My thanks to the judge, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, for selecting the following haiku:

storm hour
the cliff's face carved
a little deeper

3rd Prize
IHS, International Haiku Competition 2020

Triveni Haikai Calendar Competition, 2020

My thanks to Kala Ramesh, Shloka Shankar, and Shobhana Kumar! The following haiku was chosen for the month of March, 2021:

balcony garden
the birds have finally
found me

Honourable Mention
Triveni Haikai Calendar Competition, 2020

Polish International Haiku Competition, 2020

My thanks to the judge, Marta Chocilowska, for the commendation!

forgotten grave
only the small bones
of leaves remain

Commended Haiku
Polish International Haiku Competition 2020


Akita International Haiku Network, 9th Akita International Haiku Contest, 2020

My thanks to judges, Ben Grafström, Hidenoru Hiruta, and David McMurray for awarding the following haiku on the theme of "Time/Temporality":

blue nemophila
I still miss the little things
about my sister

Winning Haiku
9th Akita International Haiku Contest (English Section-Open) 

(there were 241 contest entries)


The Japanese hillsides near the sea are carpeted with little blue nemophila in the spring. I have also grown the white and purple varieties, but in this case, I wanted to convey the colour of my late sister's eyes. To write in the 5/7/5 format (contest requirements) without using excess words, is a challenge I enjoy. I'm also happy if I'm able to incorporate a pivot line, offering a bit of ambiguity for the reader to ponder and interpret in their own way. When read with line one, "I still miss the little things", might mean that the writer regrets not noticing small, everyday joys. When read with line two, the meaning might be taken more literally. 

Our Best Haiga: Black & White Haiga/Haisha, December 2020

 Curated by Lavana Kray

December 7, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in Blithe Spriit 30.2, May 2020)

December 12, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in Moonbathing 18, 2018)

December 14, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in GUSTS 32, 2020)

December 26, 2020

(Note: this senryu originally appeared in Cattails, April 2020)

The Bloo Outlier Journal, Issue 1, Winter 2020

rose petals i slip deeper into reverie

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Jalmurra, December 2020

Featured Artist: December 21, 2020

Note: this haiku originally appeared in The Cicada's Cry, Winter 2019

Featured Artist: December 24, 2020

Note: this haiku originally appeared in the Australian Haiku Society, 2019


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, Haiga Holiday Celebration, December 2020

Though I was unable to attend the virtual YTHS Haiga Holiday Celebration, I was happy to share this haiga:

The Poetry Pea Journal of Haiku and Senryu, Autumn 2020

Editor: Patricia McGuire


the undulation of dunes
becoming water


wild angelica
the candied scent
of your name

sun trap
the cat's tail tickles
my toes


winter jasmine
we inhale the scent
of dying stars

Poetry Pea, December 2020

 The Haiku Pea Podcast

Series 3, Episode 24 - "No Verbs", December 21, 2020

sixteen hands full
of stars

New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, 2018

dry fountain
the blue tongue
of a gargoyle

Haiku in Canada: History, Poetry, Memoir - Ekstasis Editions - by Terry Ann Carter, 2020

Honoured to have three haiku chosen by Terry Ann Carter for inclusion in this amazing book:

the melted taste
of you

The Bamboo Hut Press, 2014
Erotic Haiku: Of Skin On Skin, Black Moss Press, 2017

the whistle
of a wood duck . . .
her last breath

Honourable Mention
2015 Drevniok Award

weathered barn
the silence of cobwebs
in moonlight

Honourable Mention
2016 European Haiku Prize

"...Winnipeg poet, Debbie Strange, contributes her poetry online, and has been internationally recognized for her haiku. She is a maker of poems, music, photographs, and art. Her poetry often reflects her deep reverence for nature. From an interview (Ribbons, 15(2), 2019) reprinted on her website, she mentions: "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."

Fresh Out: An Arts and Poetry Collective, December 2020

Featured Artist: December 20, 2020

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, December 2020

Grateful to Charlotte for posting two tanka and one haiku on December 20th, 2020!

blue nemophila
I still miss the little things
about my sister

Winning Haiku
9th Akita International Haiku Contest, 2020

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

2nd Place
Fleeting Words Tanka Contest, 2018

watching you
prepare a star fruit
just so
the small galaxies
of grace in your hands

The British Haiku Society Tanka Awards, 2019

Akitsu Quarterly, Winter 2020

blowing snow
sarsen stones lean
into it

the red candles
of staghorn sumac . . .
winter solstice

wood stove
our dented kettle
sings all day

Elated to have the following two haiga chosen for back cover of the journal!

Ink Sweat and Tears - The Poetry and Prose Webzine - December 2020

The Twelve Days of Christmas Feature

First Day, December 21, 2020

(note: this haiga first appeared in Under the Basho, 2020)


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Kindred Spirits, A Linked Tanka Sequence Video, November 2020

It was my honour to be invited to write a tanka sequence with the esteemed poet, an'ya. She has created a video of our sequence, with accompanying music by Richard St. Clair, at:


My work appears in italics below...

of kindred spirits

far apart
but soulful singing
keeps us close
sisters of the salt
on pendulum tides

I dreamt
the oracle of oceans
left your voice
inside an empty shell
for me to find at dawn

a sailor's sky
making the briny blue
palette purple
you are my second self
an ama freediver

kindred spirits
we take flight below
the waterline
bodies like quicksilver
among shoals of herring

november gale
mother mary's petrels
seeking shelter
we travel side by side
reflections in the surf

by pelagic winds
our bones
come to rest at day's end
upon each other's shores

Atlas Poetica, Number 37, 2019

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 51, December 2020

candy cane snail
it takes time to earn
your stripes

unkempt graves
the poppies that once
stood at attention

the portal
of a wren's nest

Under the Basho, 2020

Personal Best

frozen trough
I cup the warm breath
of my horse

1st Place, 2018 Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest


cloud shadows . . .
a drove of jackrabbits
in mid-flight

Modern Haiku

tear gas
the missing eyespot
on a moth's wing

we learn to thrive
in your shadow

fourteen eyes
on the possum's back . . .
night train

false apology
the stiff tail feathers
of a ruddy duck

the spine
I used to have . . .
sea urchin

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 4:1, Autumn-Winter 2020-2021

the emptiness
of a mermaid's purse . . .
rusted hull

the missing river
of heaven

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Weird Laburnum, December 2020


The Cherita, September 2020

Issue: "leave me here"

they fashioned

beaks for their masks,
nostrils stuffed

with lavender
to thwart the stench
of plague

no matter

how often I mend
the fabric of my life

loose threads
of regret still dangle
here and there

my senses

more alive
than they were

a butterfly's wing
holds all the colours
I cannot name

The Heron's Nest, Vol. 22, Number 4, December 2020

acorns surf the roof
of our tent

stepping stones
a damselfly invites us
to change course

International Picture Postcard Project, 2020

I'm honoured to be included in this project with the following haiku:

transience . . .
petal by petal
we let go

Winning Haiku, 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Haiku Connects Us

About the project "Haiku Connects Us":

The idea of a project of sending postcards from your local place with a word haiku - handwritten on the reverse side - has been on my mind for some time. However, I did not have the courage to make it real. When I finally made a decision, I was only thinking about my close friends I was in touch with.

Yet, fate was different. Human kindness and the pandemic overlapped with one another.

My friends popularized the project worldwide without my knowledge. The first postcard came on February the 1st, later on came many more. Since March there has been a breakdown due to the pandemic. I get postcards that were on their way for 100 days, they are tattered and worn out but victorious.

I wonder how many of them are there left in post bags?

Sending a postcard seems to be a simple act but in fact it isn't. Apart from financial aspect there is also time devoted to it and finally finding a postbox. Sometimes buying a postcard may be a challenge! For me the most interesting was a human factor. Who would be eager to give a little heart, thought or empathy? I wasn't let down. The postcards I received speak to me with their image and handwritten haiku. Handwriting, stamp, postmark, sometimes earmarks are all precious to me. They make me become mentally closer to their sender. I can tell a lot about each and every postcard and I am very moved. Man is victorious, haiku is victorious, in the end we are all victorious and for that I thank you cordially.

—Krzysztof Kokot

Ribbons, Volume 16, Number 3, Fall 2020

in the curling spiral
of this apple
for a few moments,
I am wholly present

Our Best Haiga: Black & White Haiga/Haisha, November 2020

 Curated by Lavana Kray

November 4, 2020

(Note: this haiku originally appeared in The Heron's Nest 19.1, March 2017)

November 13, 2020

(Note: this senryu originally appeared in Failed Haiku 3:28, April 2018)

November 23, 2020

(Note: this haiku originally appeared in Creatrix 39, November 2017)

November 29, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in Moonbathing 16, Spring/Summer 2017)

Horror Senryu Journal, December 2020

pond dipping
the face I see
at the bottom

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Presence, Number 68, November 2020

these recurring dreams
of war

hawk strike
I let go
of my breath

the apostrophe
on a quail's head . . .
uncut hay

an elegancy
of avocets reflected
in the pond
we drop our troubles
into the stillness

(note: in the first haiku, "frostquakes" was published as two words)

Stardust Haiku, Issue 47, November 2020

bullied child
a painted lady's
broken wings

New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition 2020

Haumi ē! Hui ē! Tāiki ē! Stay Well Here - NZPS Poetry Anthology 2020

rolled-up jeans
the sudden fountains
of bivalves

winter camping
we make a bonfire
of the aurora

Hedgerow Poems, Number 132, Summer 2020

a torn flip-flop
sanderlings tease
the surf

heaped in rotting mats
on the beach
I find a seagull's wing,
and weep for this world

Human/Kind Journal, November 2020

Humanities Category

(note: This haiga was created in memory of my cousin, whose murder has never been solved. A ghost gun has had its identifying markings removed.)


Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 5, Issue 60, December 2020

 Selected by Co-Editor, Bryan Rickert

(note: this senryu first appeared in Creatrix 39, November 2017)

(note: this senryu first appeared in #FemkuMag 9, February 2019)

(note: this senryu first appeared in The Heron's Nest 20.3, September 2018)

(note: this senryu first appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network, January 2019)

Contemporary Haibun Online, Issue 16.3, December 2020

Haiga Gallery: selected by Ron Moss


City, British Haiku Society 30th Anniversary Members' Haiku Anthology, 1990-2020

empty diner
petals of light beneath
the streetlamp

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 30, Number 4, November 2020

skipperlings here and there a dog's tail

blue elf cup
one droplet of light
at the centre

dad tells us
that everything is fine
and dandy . . .
this year, we notice
the weeds in his garden

I breathe
a sigh of relief . . .
the pulse
of bread dough rises
under my hands

Monday, November 23, 2020

Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 2020

crickets in the field . . .
we still hear grandma calling
us home for dinner

Honourable Mention
Tokutomi Haiku Contest 2020

The Helping Hand Haiku Anthology (Including Senryu, Tanka, and Haiga), 2020

Editor: Robert Epstein

summer fair
our dog retrieves
a lost boy

Mariposa #40, 2019

I bandage
my sister's wounds
with rose petals,
crooning our mantra . . .
all will soon be well

Red Lights, 15.1, 2019

(note: this haiku originally appeared in The Poetry Pea Journal of Haiku and Senryu, Spring 2020)

(note: this haiku was selected for the 2019 Yamadera Basho Haiku Contest)

(note: this tanka originally appeared in Presence #61, 2018)


Seashores - An International Journal to Share the Spirit of Haiku, Vol. 5, November 2020

My thanks to Gilles Fabre for his congratulatory message in this issue. The following haiku was short-listed for the 2019 Touchstone Award for Individual Haiku (first published in Seashores, Issue 2, April 2019):

I skip a pebble across
the universe


not yet
the white of snow . . .
tundra hare

ditch flowers
this year I will learn
their names

woodcock moon
the first snow will fall


Horror Senryu Journal, November 2020

the bruises behind
your mask

Bundled Wildflowers, Haiku Society of America Members' Anthology 2020

canyon fog
this invisible rift
between us

Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 14, Number 2, October 2020

(w)age equity

minnows dart
between our fingers . . .
summer fling

I stand
beneath a canopy
of white,
the span of my hands
against an aspen's heart

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, November 2020

My thanks to Charlotte for featuring three sets from The Language of Loss: Haiku & Tanka Conversations (Sable Books 2020), winner of the 2019 International Women's Haiku Book Contest:

spin from the crest
of a wave . . .
I wish we'd had more
time to say goodbye

    on the empty beach
    I write his name


a star tortoise
carries the universe
on its back . . .
are we slowly moving
away from each other

    dark matter
    we never plan
    to be alone


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

    our parents grow smaller
    every year

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Our Best Haiga: Black & White Haiga/Haisha, October 2020

Curated by Lavana Kray

October 3, 2020

(Note: this haiku originally appeared in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal 1:2, 2018)

October 7, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in Haiku Canada Review 14.1, 2020)

October 11, 2020

(Note: this haiga originally appeared in the 157th Monthly Haiga Contest of the World Haiku Association, October 2017)

October 21, 2020

(Note: this tanka art originally appeared in Ribbons 15.2, Spring/Summer 2019


NeverEnding Story, October 2020

Cool Announcement: A Freebie, Prairie Interludes by Debbie Strange

My Dear Friends:

The award-winning e-book of haiku, Prairie Interludes, written by NeverEnding Story contributor, Debbie Strange, is now available to read free online

Selected Haiku:

a wet spring
dark furrows seeded
with stars

boundary lines
every fence post topped
with a baseball cap

rusted rails
a meadowlark with the sun
in its throat

cloudless sky
a pelican's pouch
full of light

harvesting night
an arc of moondust
from the auger

prize pumpkins
our hayrack buckles
with light

fog weaving
between fence posts
a coyote's song

the humming of wind
in barbed wire

NeverEnding Story, October 2020

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

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

Chen-ou Liu's Comments: (excerpted from commentary by judges Jessica Malone Latham and Neal Whitman)

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 two, rather than using a word such as "storm." We admired the use of a simple comma at the end of line three 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. The ocean offers an infinity of treasures. We found the blue mussels and kelp to be a delightful choice made by this poet. We have already mentioned reciting tanka aloud to take in their 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 three. You might experience tranquility with lines four and five. We did...

Friday, November 06, 2020

Cattails, October 2020

Thrilled to provide the cover and interior butterfly photos for this issue! My thanks to Mike Montreuil for the invitation.


Tanka Section

paint the canyon walls . . .
my chanting
reverberates until
I am one with sound

by and by
I promise to tell you
but for now, let us listen . . .
nature is speaking

Editor's Choice

It's strictly coincidence that two of my Editor's Choice selections are written by Canadians. This one, by Debbie Strange, drew me in with its musical 'by and by' followed by a hint that she might be ready to share a secret. Who can resist reading further?

Each line is a coherent thought or phrase and slips easily into the following line without confusion. The form is fairly traditional, with its s/l/s/l/l/ sound and appearance on the page ... and that works well for me. I also like the human element combined with nature.

The change of direction when we arrive at the mid-line comma works well. We discover we're not going to hear 'everything'; instead, we have to listen. I doubt that readers will expect what's to come in line 5, but what a delightful surprise with which to conclude this engaging tanka.

I suspect some people would say punctuation is not needed. Technically, maybe it isn't. However, I find the comma and ellipsis slow me down, give me time to be still, become calm, and to open my ears and really listen.
—Susan Constable

Haiku Section

freezing fog
the intermittent embers
of rose hips
Senryu Section

global warming
the extinction event
of snowmen

Haibun Section

Youth Section

The following haiga was also included in this issue:


The Wanderer Brush by Ion Codrescu, Red Moon Press, 2020

Honoured to have work chosen for The Wanderer Brush - The Art of Haiga:

Haiku from 79 International Poets
Selected, Edited and Illustrated by Ion Codrescu

This lovely book contains the biographies of included poets, as well as a favourite haiku chosen by each poet, and corresponding commentary.

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

1st Place, 2017 Australian Haiku Society Spring Haiga Kukai

transience . . .
petal by petal
we let go

Winning Haiku, 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational

fog deepens
the sound of rabbits
nibbling night

Grand Prize
2016 World Haiku Competition

A thousand thanks to Ion for this evocative haiga!

I was surprised and grateful to have fellow Canadian poet, Michael Dudley, choose the following haiku as a favourite, and I thank him for his generous and sensitive reading of my work:

atlas moth
the places I thought
we'd go

Honourable Mention
2017 Jane Reichhold International Prize

"In the particular is contained the universal." James Joyce

Within this precise, concise, deftly expressed haiku by Debbie Strange, a quiet voice of recognition and resignation conveys a gracious though bewildered acceptance of time passed and opportunities lost. The exact possible life destinations/discoveries/experiences that the persona and another/others have not shared; judiciously, the poem does not explain the reason/s for such unfulfillment. Thus, each reader may enter the details of the poem personally, inspired by the words to revisit and contemplate similar circumstances from his/her own life. The particulars included within the poem and the details left out seamlessly evoke a universal theme.
—Michael Dudley

I chose the following haiku by an'ya as a favourite:

birth death
this stretch of beach

Daily Haiga, December 2009

I'm a lifelong beach rambler, so this melancholic haiku resonates with me on many levels, and can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically. I've always been intrigued by what the tides leave behind (birth), and what they take away (death). The physical space between the words "birth" and "death" reminds me of the dash often etched between dates on a tombstone. The word "beach" is a perfect metaphor for "life", and with only seven words, this gifted poet invites me to take a reflective walk through my past into my future.

—Debbie Strange

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Our Best Haiga: Black & White Haiga/Haisha, September 2020

 Curated by Lavana Kray

September 5, 2020

(Note: this haiku originally appeared in Shamrock 42, September 2019)

September 6, 2020

(Note: this haiku originally appeared in Frameless Sky 10, June 2019)

September 9, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in Blithe Spirit 29.2, May 2019)

September 12, 2020

(Note: this tanka originally appeared in Cattails, April 2020)

September 18, 2020

(Note: this haiku originally appeared in Modern Haiku 48.2, Summer 2017)

September 30, 2020

(Note: this haiga originally appeared in Haigaonline 18.2, Autumn 2017)

Wales Haiku Journal, Autumn 2020

farm road
a tiger lily fills
with dust

Creatrix Anthology, Number 3, 2020

Issues 36 - 47, 2017 - 2019


every bee flecked
with light


bone density—
the broken stems
of sunflowers

charred trees
the horizon wider


woodland trail
we inhale the breath
of old trees

heavy traffic
a queue of ladybugs
on a twig


ancient stones
the orange moons
of lichen


harvesting night
an arc of moondust
from the auger


windblown seeds
refugees try to cross
the border

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Poetry Pea, October 2020

The Haiku Pea Podcast

Series 3, Episode 20 - "Found Poetry", October 19, 2020

I spread out my joy
on the grass

culled from: "New Rain", The One & the Many by Rabindranath Tagore

Poetry Pea, September 2020

The Haiku Pea Podcast

Series 3, Episode 18 - "Loss", September 21, 2020

circles of lichen
I thought we would have
more time

3rd Place
2018 Kaji Aso Studio Haiku Contest

winter jasmine
we inhale the scent
of dying stars

The Cherita, August 2020

Issue: "i heard it first"

the aurora

pulses overhead
like a heartbeat

in these dark times
light knows how
to lift me up

Prune Juice, Issue 32, November 2020


Daily Haiga: An Edited Journal of Traditional and Contemporary Haiga, October 2020

Featured Artist: October 31, 2020

Note: this tanka was first published in GUSTS 31, Spring/Summer 2020


World Haiku Review, Autumn 2020

we buy a bird feeder
that isn't

Zatsuei Haiku of Merit
Shintai Haiku Category

I cultivate the seeds
of loneliness

Editor's Choice Haiku
Hon. Mention, Vanguard Haiku Category


This is an interesting way of handling loneliness caused by the pandemic. All the secrets are contained in line 2. The interpretation of the words 'cultivate' and 'seeds' decides the author's response. She is not yet suffering from the fully-blown loneliness but clearly expecting it is coming. In that case, it would certainly be better to 'grow' it in the way she likes or tolerates, rather than leaving it to grow by itself out of her control, making her life an utter misery. There is 'good' loneliness and 'bad' loneliness. The word 'cultivate' seems to me to be giving such implications.

—Susumu Takiguchi  

The Haiku Foundation, Per Diem, September 2020

Selected by Susan Burch for the theme of "Mental Health/Illness": September 9, 2020

split chrysalis
all the ways we learn
to become small

Museum of Haiku Literature Award
Selected from Blithe Spirit 25.4, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Cicada's Cry: A Micro-Zine of Haiku Poetry, Autumn 2020

a pinch
of sun in our soup . . .

The Bamboo Hut, Number 4, 2020

The Birds Inside My Ribcage

railway spur the to and fro of meadowlarks

blown cattails
moorhen prints emboss
the mud

circles of sun
in the peregrine's eyes . . .
windy bluff

smoky moon
a sandhill crane's
rusty crown

the snowy sky freckled
with crows

Under the Basho, 2020

we amble
along an esker's spine
gravel shifting
into small symphonies
underneath our boots

ghost moths . . .
mother's pale hands
f l u t t e r
around the light
of her memories

sacred waters . . .
we sleep among pods
of sperm whales
suspended upright
in the ocean's belly