Publications

Spring has brought a number of publications to my letterbox and inbox …

A Hundred Gourds features a loving tribute to Martin Lucas by Matthew Paul, and two of my haiku.

summer solstice –
the flock passes into darkness
one by one

– Sandra Simpson, A Hundred Gourds 3:4

The Heron’s Nest also features two of my haiku, which means I’m in reasonably select company as few have been accorded that honour this time. I’m humbled, as always, to have anything accepted anywhere so to get two each into these fine journals is exciting.

pioneer cemetery –
here and there a name
faces heavenward

– Sandra Simpson, The Heron’s Nest XVI.3

Two of my haiku are to appear in the New Zealand Poetry Society anthology (editor Nola Borrell, launched in November), and Kokako 21 includes four of my haiku.

another lotto loss –
the sparkle of my mother’s
costume jewellery

– Sandra Simpson, Kokako 21

The latest paper wasp arrived by post from Australia today, the penultimate issue of the 20th anniversary series, this one dedicated to senryu and edited by Jacqui Murray, Vuong Pham and Katherine Samuelowicz. Individual issues are $A6 each. (I would link to the website but it appears out of date.)

The editors have shoe-horned the senryu into the 20 pages, no doubt about that. To be fair I should point out that production values are one of my (many) hobby-horses. I’m not sure how successful all the senryu are or why one by Vuong Pham is in twice (not the only proof-reading error). The journal is published four times a year … but is only 16 or 20 pages so I find the proof-reading and layout issues surprising.

I have on my shelf a copy of paper wasp from spring 1996, edited by Janice Bostok and Jacqui Murray which is 16 pages with, generally, five or six poems per page, compared to, generally, 13 or 15 per page for spring 2014.

Okay, that all sounds a bit negative and I’m sorry for that. Every person who edits a haiku journal should receive an award – Knight Companion of the Order of Basho, or somesuch. But, on the other hand, readers of haiku, tanka and haibun journals should be able to expect a minimum standard, evidence of some care.

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Time for a cuppa

I don’t know who researches these things but apparently enough tea is drunk annually to reach to the Moon and back 12 times!

For a few years my preferred hot drink was hot water but, unless I’m at work out of the house, I’ve gone back to tea and when I’m at home can have several mugs a day in cold weather. As an aside, I’ve never drunk coffee except once, by accident, when I was too young and polite to say anything, yeuch (love the smell of it brewing though).

      friend’s funeral
      a stranger uses
      her teapot

– Nola Borrell, 2nd place, Katikati Haiku Contest, 2006

Nola prefers herbal teas (more properly tisanes) generally, a lemon and ginger being her favourite, but also drinks the well-known Earl Grey.

teapot

my teacup cooling
on the windowsill,
dark leaves of the magnolia

– Richard von Sturmer, Suchness: Zen poetry and prose (HeadworX, Wellington 2005)

 

steeping tea
the time it takes to lose a street
to snow

– Ben Moeller-Gaa, an editor’s choice in The Heron’s Nest, XV:2 (2013)

Ben is an American writer of haiku who prefers “an Irish Breakfast with just enough milk to turn the dark mug gold”. My favourite tipple is Lady Grey, weak and black, thanks. According to the link, I must have some Scandinavian blood because I too find Earl Grey bitter.

And, of course, we couldn’t have a posting about tea without something from “little cup of tea” himself, Issa.

.なの花に四ッのなる迄朝茶かな
na no hana ni yotsu no naru made asa cha kanaamid

rape flowers
till the ten o’clock bell …
morning tea

– translated by David Lanoue and from his Haiku of Kobayashi Issa website

Read more about tea in Japan here.

New book

I’ve been labouring over two a book reviews for Haiku NewZ and am pleased to say that I got them both it posted yesterday.

The book are is waking echoes by Nola Borrell (NZ) and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku edited by Allan Burns (the editor is American, the publisher in the UK). The former is a first collection of haiku and haibun. the latter a collection of more than 900 haiku published between 1963 and 2012.

You can find the reviews here – waking echoes.

twilight whistling down the lake black swans

– Nola Borrell