A, B, C of Haiku

Hope you’ll enjoy this ride through a fairly random haiku alphabet – there are a myriad of alternative choices for each letter. If you feel inspired to make your own alphabet, please share the link in the Comments section.

A

deep autumn
the arsenic
at the apple’s core

Melissa Allen, A New Resonance 8 (Red Moon Press, 2013)

apple

 

home of my ancestors
I download an app
that speaks their language    

Ann Magyar, IRIS Magazine Little Haiku Contest winner, 2017

 

B

so suddenly winter
baby teeth at the bottom 
of the jar

Carolyn Hall, The Heron’s Nest 7.1, 2005

 

Baskin-Robbins
we sample new
baby names

Susan Burch, Betty Drevniok Haiku Award, 2018

 

C

crematorium
today my son weighs the same
as when he was born

David J Kelly, Modern Haiku 48.3, 2017

 

gatecrashing
into the church hymn
wall gecko

Anthony Itopa Obaro, Yamadera Basho Memorial Haiku Contest, 2017

Friday haiku, autumn

A couple of weeks ago I went to a low-key poetry reading in a local bar – one eminent national poet and a local poet reading a few pieces each. Part-way through I realised how long the poems were, which made me smile and think, I love haiku.

Why?

  • It’s not a book but it’s a story worth hearing
  • There’s room for imagination
  • It knows when to be quiet
  • It understands the power of a single word
  • It doesn’t outstay its welcome.

There are more ideas that can be added to this list, but you get my drift.

Over on Haiku NewZ there is an occasional feature called My Favourite Haiku where various poets and editors choose (some of) their favourites and write a little about them. The following haiku was in the selection of Beverley George, an Australian writer and editor.

sowing seeds
I open my hand
to the autumn wind 

– Maria Steyn

If I was to make a selection today this would surely be in it

reminding me I am dust this shaft of sunlight

– Andre Surridge, Fear of Dancing (Red Moon anthology, 2014)

Good news! Melissa Allen is again blogging her haiku and haibun at Red Dragonfly. Melissa is one heck of a writer and I suggest you check her work out. Here’s her selection of favourites on Haiku NewZ.

the sound of geese through the crosshairs

– Melissa Allen, Fear of Dancing

I’ve been loaned the Japanese Haiku 2001 anthology, edited by the Modern Haiku Association. It’s hard to know how true these English haiku are to their originals but reading any contemporary haiku from Japan is a gift.

eating a persimmon
darkness builds inside me

– Rinka Ono (1904-1982)

In a brief bio note, Mr Ono is credited with mentoring many haiku poets who became major figures in Japan.

someone’s silhouette
on the bathroom door –
a cyclamen

– Hakko Yokoyama (1899-1983)

Mr Yokoyama was director of a hospital, owned a private clinic and was an elected city councillor, as well as being president of the Modern Haiku Association.

And, finally, an autumn haiga by Ron Moss of Tasmania. View it here. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a haiga is a combination of haiku (or tanka) with art – these days that can be anything from a traditional brush and ink painting to a computer-generated digital image. Ron also makes art to go with selected haiku in each edition of A Hundred Gourds.