Four seasons in one day

Changeable spring weather has been to the fore this year – just today I have personally experienced bright sunshine, strong winds, lashing rain, hail, heat and cold. Ah, we think, as the sun breaks through, that’s the rain gone then …

I was standing outside a garden centre café, fortunately under a verandah roof, chatting to a friend I’d bumped into at lunchtime when it started to hail! To the end of August we’d already had more rain than the yearly average (1344mm) so it’s on track to be one of the wettest years since records began in 1898.

Instead of moaning, thought I’d seek out and share some themed haiku from my bookshelf.

the sound of raindrops
changing size

– Susan Constable
(Naad Anunaad, an anthology of contemporary world haiku, 2017)

holding a knife
I feast my eyes
on a rain shower

– Momoko Tsuji (b 1945)
(Far Beyond the Field, haiku by Japanese women, 2003)

left out
in the hailstorm
a pogo stick

– Alan Pizzarelli
(Fire in the Treetops, celebrating 25 years of Haiku North America, 2015)

uncertain sky
the dark centre
of the ram’s eye

– Pamela Brown
(another country, haiku poetry from Wales, 2011)

cold blue sky
coughing up
a couple of clouds

– John Stevenson
(quiet enough, 2004)

the packet of seeds
asking, are you still alive?

Kiyoko Tokutomi (1928-2003)
(Haiku Mind, 108 poems to cultivate awareness & open your heart, 2008)

spring rain –
speaking of the dead
in a softer voice

– Chad Lee Robinson
(The Deep End of the Sky, 2015)


Presence award

A friend said the other day that she had enjoyed reading my successes on this blog, but I wondered if there was a hidden message there, like stop skiting! (It does no good to worry away at words in email, they actually tell you very little.) It may be tedious for you to read only my good news, but it’s hardly thrilling for me to post about my failures …

So here’s a little bit of both.

I have submitted this haiku to a couple of my favourite journals and it was turned down each time. However, I believed in it and knew it would be loved one day. That day has arrived, dear readers.

the moon’s apostrophe –
everything I know
learned from books

has been placed Second in the Haiku Presence Award (UK) and co-judge Matthew Paul has written a thoughtful and detailed commentary for it. I am using my winnings – 25 squid – to renew my subscription to Presence, which is itself a thoughtful journal. I also received a Commended.

Pamela Brown’s winning haiku is a beauty (and one I won’t reveal here as the winning poems will be published shortly in Presence #49). One of the joys of Presence is reading Pamela’s work, which is always rewarding – closely observed and genuine.

upland pasture …
sometimes a harebell
sometimes a hare

– Pamela Brown, Presence #47, chosen as one of the best three haiku in that edition by popular vote.

Born in England, she moved to Wales in 1980 to work as a shepherd, ending up with her own breeding flock. Pamela is retired now and doesn’t have email! (Some of this detail is from the bio notes in Another Country, haiku poetry from Wales, published by Gomer Press in 2011.)

at the tip
of the slateworker’s chisel
an equal world

– Pamela Brown, Presence #46

crescent moon:
the clink of the bull’s ring
along the gate

– Pamela Brown, from Another Country