Festive greetings & publication round-up

Only a few days short of a six-month time lag since I posted my last news of publication – how did that happen? Some people choose not to submit their haiku for publication, though I can never understand why. How does one’s work improve if one isn’t attempting publication in journals one admires? An editor’s acceptance is a form of validation and the day a poem is accepted is not only a red letter day but also encouragement to keep going, that you’re on the right track.

So my best wishes and festive greetings to all the editors and back-roomers who keep our haiku journals going, keep the standards up and do it all for nowt; and to all the contest organisers and judges, who are also in it for love. I hope your year ends well and begins even better!

The following haiku was Commended in the 2021 NZPS Contest and published in the Kissing a Ghost anthology, one of two of my haiku featured in the book (the other poem was Highly Commended).

offering wintersweet
for my journey …
cemetery gardener

The wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) came courtesy of Susan, a volunteer at Te Henui Cemetery in New Plymouth, New Zealand, as we set out on our journey home. I wrote about the cemetery gardens on my other blog. Read it here. As you might guess from the shrub’s name, it is a sweetly-scented flower that blooms in winter, the sort of plant that’s a blessing.

Four of my haiku were published in the print journal Kokako 35, New Zealand’s only dedicated haiku and related forms journal. Submissions to the next issue close on February 1 with overseas submissions welcome. See the details here.

winter solstice –
my raffle winnings
baked in a pie

I don’t usually win raffle prizes so this was a night to remember as I took home a bag of fresh tamarillos (Solanum betaceum) and another of fresh walnuts. A day or two later some kitchen alchemy turned them into a delicious crumble. (I couldn’t resist ‘baked in a pie’ for the haiku, though.)

Two haiku were selected for the English print journal, Presence 71. The submission window for the next issue closes on January 31. Full details here.

a box of white cheese
at the end of the picnic
nursery-rhyme moon

NOON is an online journal ‘of the short poem’ and I’m always pleased to be included, particularly as my more traditional haiku don’t necessarily sit easily with the stated intention of putting “some of the most interesting English-language haiku in conversation with other innovative short poetry”. Three of my haiku appeared in the most recent issue. The next submission window will be announced next year.

stationary clouds … the librarian checks us in

Yes, it’s another pandemic haiku!

Very pleased to be among the Honourable Mentions in the Autumn Moon haiku contest. Go here to read all the winning poems.

flint corn –
i’ll learn to live
with the diagnosis

Flint corn is also known as Indian corn and is one of the types of maize cultivated by Native Americans. Wikipedia informs me that because each kernel has a hard outer layer to protect the soft endosperm, it is likened to being hard as flint; hence the name.

Many years ago I was enchanted by the coloured cobs arranged on verandahs at the time of Thanksgiving in Ontario, Canada (second Monday in October), stacked in baskets or worked into decorative wreaths and all looking gorgeous in the rich autumn light.

Thanks for reading this far. I hope your haiku journey continues well in 2022.

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