Friday, June 12, 2020

The Poetry Pea Journal of Haiku and Senryu, Spring 2020

Editor: Patricia McGuire


prairie hill
a mule deer walks
over the sun


Valentine's Day
our Dalmatian pup's
new red leash

the way you expand
my universe


cold stretch
I mix a suet cake
for the birds

grandma's bread . . .
the love she forgot
to add

Judge's Choice

I love haiku that grapple with the layers of our near universal experiences. Haiku invite the reader into the poem which in this case meant into our kitchens. These submissions sent me googling recipes and ingredients from across the globe. Many referenced mom or mom's cooking, or alluded to other family members in the kitchen. It isn't surprising that numerous entries called on that moment when a taste or aroma, or even the process of cooking inspired warm memories of food and family. It also didn't surprise me that many poems were of a more senryu flavor (sorry, couldn't resist...) using humor to highlight cooking mistakes or human behavior.

Ultimately however, I was stopped cold by a more poignant memory in Debbie's senryu.

The Oxford English dictionary defines poignant as 'evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret' but earlier it was used to connote 'sharp or pungent in taste or smell.' How perfect to describe this poem. Fond, doting grandparents are a common stereotype. Not knowing one's grandparents or knowing them as cold or removed might leave a lasting impression on anyone. Bread is the very symbol of hospitality and is one of the first things we partake when we sit together. Debbie sets us up for all the warmth and love a fresh loaf evokes and then sadly cuts in a completely different direction. For my part I hope this is fictional, and that she has much warmer memories. Regardless, it is an excellent poem.

—Community Judge: m shane pruett

Poetry Pea, May 2020

The Haiku Pea Podcast:

Series 3, Episode 10 - "Monoku", May 18, 2020

wild berries in the colander slow-dripping rain

labyrinth i walk into and out of myself

3rd Place, 2018 San Francisco Int'l Competition for Haiku, Senryu and Tanka

The Cherita, Lockdown Cherita Special Feature, April 2020

April 16, 2020

let it rain

yes, I know
you have been waiting

but here we are
inside this night,
alive with coming storms

A Cherita Lighthouse Award
"let it rain" issue, November 2017

April 21, 2020

from open hands

the petals and leaves
on which I wrote your name

fall, one by one
behind me . . .
this is the way home

A Cherita Lighthouse Award
"autumn deepens" issue, February 2018

The Haiku Foundation, Haiku Dialogue, June 2020

"Haiku Prism" prompts by Tia Haynes: orange

orangery . . .
we unwrap the scent
of childhood

The Haiku Foundation, Haiku Dialogue, May 2020

"Haiku Prism" prompts by Tia Haynes: brown

we learn to shelter
in place

The Signature Haiku Anthology Including Senryu and Tanka, 2020

Editor: Robert Epstein

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

Honourable Mention
2018 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

My Commentary:

This is a sketch-of-life tanka illustrating one of the most magical moments my husband and I have ever experienced while camping at our favourite lake. The aurora borealis began to shimmer in an arc above the silhouette of an island, creating a perfect reflection. For a few moments, the island appeared to be suspended in a circle of light. We were transfixed!

The Heron's Nest, Vol. 22, Number 2, June 2020

the sister
I didn't know I had . . .

Tinywords, Issue 20.1, May 2020

Note: this haiku first appeared in Frogpond 42.2, 2019

Stardust Haiku, Issue 41, May 2020

murmuration . . .
the stories you tell
with your hands

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

Curated by Lavana Kray

May 2, 2020

Note: this tanka previously appeared in Presence 62, November 2018

May 25, 2020

Note: this haiga previously appeared in Incense Dreams 2.1, March 2018

NeverEnding Story, May 2020

Special Feature: Mother's Day Haiga

Note: this haiku was selected for the 2018 Yamadera Basho Contest

Note: this haiku originally appeared in Modern Haiku 48:1, 2017

Note: this tanka received 3rd Place in the 2018 San Francisco Int'l Haiku, Senryu and Tanka Competition

Note: this tanka originally appeared in GUSTS 23, 2016

World Haiku Competition, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-zine, 2020

Save Our World Haiku Contest judged by Lenard D. Moore

earth day
the shimmering wave
of a bee colony

2nd Place
2020 World Haiku Competition

rainless days
I make another cloud
in a bottle

Honourable Mention
2020 World Haiku Competition

Lyrical Passion Poetry E-zine, June 2020

A Selection of Tanka Art

Note: this tanka originally appeared in Blithe Spirit 28.2, 2018

Note: this tanka originally appeared in Presence 64, July 2019

Note: this tanka originally appeared in GUSTS 25, Spring/Summer 2017

Note: this tanka originally appeared in Mariposa 41, Autumn/Winter 2019

Kokako, Number 32, April 2020

nesting swan
a crack of light seeps
under our door

icicles grow
from the ground up . . .
rusted gutter

our fingers
scented with tobacco,
we hand-roll
mom's smokes and sing
long into the night

three sisters
wrapped in a quilt
of belonging
on the porch swing
we leave space for her . . .

Hedgerow Poems, Number 130, Winter 2020

hard freeze
the stashed berries
of whiskey jacks

bellowing cows
a blizzard wallops
the prairie

Mariposa, Number 42, Spring/Summer 2020

the chaos
of children's snow boots
on the porch
we find life's pattern
in this jumble of days

This issue includes the results of the 2019 San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka:

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

2nd Honourable Mention Tanka

The judge's commentary may be accessed under the San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka tag.

Smoke From My Candle, Haiku Canada Members' Anthology 2020

the wild crocuses
you loved

2nd Place
1st Morioka International Haiku Contest, 2019

Frogpond, Vol. 43, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2020

blistered paint
the boat we named
for you

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 24, May 2020

Guest Editor for Mother's Day theme: Julie Boss Kelsey

white chrysanthemum oh how we miss you

wan, for lack
of sunlight on her face . . .
who will
teach us how to shine
when she fades away

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 23, April 2020

Guest Editors: Kelly Sauvage Angel and Tanya McDonald

safari dreams
father carves a spiral
into his cane

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 5, Issue 54, June 2020

Honoured to have the following haiga chosen by guest editor, Praniti Gulyani, as the cover for this month!

Note: this senryu received 3rd Place in the 2018 San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu and Tanka

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 5, Issue 53, May 2020

Honoured to have the "hummingbirds" haiga chosen as this month's cover, with thanks to the editor, Mike Rehling!

Eucalypt, Issue 28, May 2020

the muzzle
of my horse, softer
than a sigh . . .
we tell each other
every little thing

Drifting-Sands-Haibun: A Journal of 21st Century English-language Haibun and Tanka Prose, Issue 1, April 2020

Coming Undone

She always wore the same sweater. I've kept it all these years, and I wear it whenever my memories of her start to fade. Today, the last button came off, and I put it in the sweater's frayed pocket for safekeeping. When it slipped through a hole, and dropped between the floorboards, I finally realized that she was never coming home.

heirloom quilt
sparrow prints embossed
on new snow

2nd Publisher's Choice Award
KYSO Flash Haibun and Tanka Prose Contest, 2016

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

Free Verse Feature - May 17, 2020:

for calum

they straggle out of their black-houses
silently greeting the peaty air
as they untether their hopeful boats
leading them like dogs to the end of the grizzled pier

the sleep-fuddled sea rolls over and grumbles
into the thickened waist of morning
and the blue-breasted hills
breathe in the slanting sighs of heathered moors

hand-hewn oars slice through buttery water
drawing and quartering the awakening sea
with its insatiable craving for the rarefied taste
of smoked and salty Lewis men

with a careless wave and shrug of swollen shoulders
winter's teasing tongue of storm lashes out
licking heaving decks
flicking crumbs of frozen fishermen into the greedy bay

wind-whipped dogs limp home and nudge the lamenting shore
with torn sails between their legs
without their singing masters and silver creels
they bring no solace to the widowed croft

note: Black-houses were traditional thatched huts on the Isle of Lewis. Fires were built in the centre of the living area and there was no chimney. The smoke escaped through the roof, blackening the interior of the dwelling.

1st Place for Poetry
The Writers' Collective/Winnipeg Free Press Poetry Contest, 2011

The Stanza Poetry Map of Scotland (poem no. 112: Port Voller), 2014

Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Journal, Number 49, June 2020

a black bear's head
now and then

sea grass
my resolve begins
to waver

derelict tractor
tumbleweeds still
roll along

we nod at each other
in passing

frozen cow pies
the dog races away
with our puck

laundry day
how this world spins
on without you

the words we can't
take back

Akitsu Quarterly, Summer 2020

even our shadows
turn blue

melted crayons . . .
a double rainbow after
the heat wave

Ribbons, Volume 16, Number 1, Winter 2020


how soft,
my grandfather's cheek
he shows me
the little swans inside
every columbine

I sift seeds
between my fingers
scattering them
like prayers offered
to the sun and rain

set the dark alight
I leave a trail
of petals for you
to spend come morning

to my garden oasis
every blossom
was once a sorrow buried
deep inside the earth