Honey harvest

The beekeeper arrived, unannounced on December 19, and harvested honey for us, leaving it in a big bucket for us to dispense into jars which Haiku Son and I duly did, Haiku Husband being away for a couple of days (he’d done it by himself last year).

As a two-person operation it all went quite smoothly – he operated the dispensing nozzle while I held the jars underneath and called ‘stop’. We finished with a couple of empty jars to spare, whew, and not too much sticky mess to clean up.

sunlit jar
the beekeeper’s gift
on the doorstep

– Carmen Sterba
The Heron’s Nest 3:6 (2001)

Photo: Sandra Simpson

on the honey
a slight scent of the forest — 
lengthening daylight

– Tsugawa Eriko, tr Kato Koko
A Vast Sky: An anthology of contemporary world haiku (Tancho Press, 2015)

I spent a couple of days tasting the honey, trying to work out what it tasted of, if anything in particular, but no such luck. A bit of a fizz on the tongue, though, that’s about the best specific I can do.

Oh, yes, 10kg, same as last year!

honey bee –
at last the budding weeds
have meaning

– Ben Moeller-Gaa
Mystic Illuminations 3 (2016)

The bees are smoked to keep them quiet. Photo: Sandra Simpson

on hold with the help desk a sound of bees swarming 

– Sandra Simpson
Presence 51 (2014)

end of a love
honey hardens
in the jar

– Polona Oblak
Notes from the Gean 3:4 (2012)

Botan shibe fukaku wakeizuru hachi no nagori kana

A bee
staggers out
of the peony.

– Matsuo Basho, tr Robert Hass
Basho’s haiku originally from Skeleton in the Fields (Nozarashi kiko)
a travel journal of 1684-5

Another translation is:

from deep within 
the peony pistils — withdrawing
regretfully the bee

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Postcard from Seattle

Clockwise from left front: Carmen Sterba, Sandra Simpson, Tanya McDonald, Angela Terry and Michael Dylan Welch. Photo: Keith Frentz

Had dinner with some fellow haiku-ists in Seattle last night, great fun – an exchange of news and views; some gossip; a brilliant idea was suggested, mulled and thought to be do-able; and there was plenty of laughter. I have met Michael and Angie before, both at Haiku North America in 2013, had met Carmen only by email and made a new friend in Tanya. Considering it was a week night in summer (school is just finishing in the US), I was thrilled that anyone was able to come and especially pleased that Carmen had come so far (90 minutes – and leaving her new husband alone for the evening!). I can’t tell you how special it is to make contact with other haiku enthusiasts when so far away from home so a big thanks to Michael for his organisational skills.

Michael had kindly bought me a copy of the new HNA 25th anniversary anthology (thus saving me quite a bit of postage), Fire in the Treetops, which he edited. Michael is also on the organising board of HNA.

Haiku in the Pacific Northwest of the US seems to be alive and well – Angie is president of Haiku Northwest which has a mailing list of more than 200, although numbers attending meetings vary wildly she says, anything from 5 to 40.

rain on the skylight
I carve off a petal
of lavender ice cream

– Tanya McDonald

the ferry shakes
into my spine – 
the whale’s wake

– Michael Dylan Welch

first snowman –
a toddler’s breath
on the windowpane

– Carmen Sterba

dry lightning
sizzling in twilight
the baby kicks

– Angela Terry