It seems I’ve got a bit of catching up to do …
hot night –
the time it takes the rat
to stop screaming
Sandra Simpson, Fourth, NZPS International Haiku Contest 2019
Judge Greg Piko had this to say about the haiku …‘hot night’ asked: What is happening to this rat in the heat of the night? Perhaps this is a rat we wanted dead. Perhaps we feel sorrow for the rat. Either way, this is a strong haiku that highlights the impermanence of life and makes us think about how lives end. Indeed, it can make us think about how our own life might end.
Two other haiku were also selected for publication in the contest anthology, The Perfect Weight of Blankets at Night, edited by Raewyn Alexander.
Five haiku were selected for New Zealand’s haiku journal Kokako 31, which came out last September. Issue 32 has been delayed by Covid-19 restrictions.
on her tummy –
the moon’s curve
Sandra Simpson, Kokako 31
gap in the fence
I poke my head into
a world of sheep
Sandra Simpson, NOON 16 (2020)
Two haiku were selected for March issue of The Heron’s Nest …
spring winds –
the falcon’s eye
black to the core
Sandra Simpson, The Heron’s Nest 22.1
The following haiku was selected by the Golden Triangle Haiku Contest for a signboard that is being displayed in this business district of Washington DC. The theme was nature in the city.
road works –
the billow and sag
of a cobweb in the wind
Martin Lucas Haiku Award judge Matthew Paul selected this haiku for a Highly Commended:
harvest moon –
the kitchen table laid
with pieces of gun
The prizewinners, plus another two of my poems, will appear in Presence 66 which was posted from the UK in mid-March.
The final haiku appears in the online exhibition at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Masters of Japanese Prints: Haiku (it’s about two-thirds of the way through):
summer heat –
his shaved head glistens
in the lamplight
The UK museum put up a selection of its Japanese woodblock prints and asked for haiku written as a response to the art. This one is matched with Lantern Seller by Utagawa Kunisada I (1786-1864). Kudos to Alan Summers and Karen Hoy of Call of the Page for arranging this interesting project.
Putting together these posts, which someone has described as skiting, does let me see that I am achieving something with my chosen art form. It’s all too easy to not write, not publish and not enter contests. I’d rather keep trying even if it does seem like a bit of an effort sometimes!
And to end, a ripple from the past … an email arrived on December 12 from Richard Oswin, a teacher and composer in Christchurch. Richard was asking permission to use The Gift, one of my longer poems, from Poetry Pudding (Raupo, 2007), a collection of poems for children. I had to find my copy of the book to even recall what the poem was – it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything longer than a haiku!
Richard used the poem as lyrics for a piece of music he’d been commissioned to write as a test piece for the Auckland leg of the national festival The Kids Sing and duly sent me an mp3 file of his composition which features two vocal parts. Although I haven’t heard voices with the music, it seems quite lovely. And the whole thing is quite extraordinary!