farmer’s market

The Sketchbook thread topic for July/ August 2012 was vegetable(s). I’m thinking that we had the same topic last summer– if so, it should be interesting to go back and look up what I wrote last time. Some prompts are very difficult to respond to, and some are much easier. Perhaps because I enjoy summer so much, and was busy shopping at our local Farmer’s Market when I was writing these haiku, this prompt was easy AND fun to write to.

zucchini the size
of baseball bats
summer’s end

farmer’s market
a ladybug crawls
out of the lettuce
(Editor’s Choice- John Daleiden)

(Guest Editor’s Choice- Bernard Gieske)

the color
of the twilit sky
aubergine

getting acquainted
the tender heart
of an artichoke

Here’s what Guest Editor Bernard Gieske had to say about my “farmer’s market” haiku:

For me Cara Holman’s haiku evokes the sense of a temporary community of like-minded people who value the same things. This is a friendly gathering of those who cherish the earth and its gifts. The ladybug is no stranger to those who farm organically.  They are the protectors of what the farmer has planted and is growing to sell; consequently, this ladybug is no intruder and should be welcomed, a  sight giving evidence that this lettuce has been grown organically. Ladybugs are also a favorite insect of children. If a child happened to spot this ladybug, I can imagine it crying out with  delight.”

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sapphire sky

(The May/ June haiku thread topic for Sketchbook was “bride / wedding”. I submitted three haiku:

sapphire sky
something borrowed
something blue

aisle walk
the trailing scent
of freesia

(Guest Editor’s Choice- Bernard Gieske)

golden rings
I try on
my new name

(Editor’s Choice- John Daleiden)

(Guest Editor’s Choice- Bernard Gieske)

Editor John Daleiden’s comments can be read here.

Guest Editor Bernard Gieske’s comments can be read here.

November/ December 2011 Sketchbook

It’s always a treat when the new issue of Sketchbook comes out. And of course before perusing the issue in its entirety, I have to sneak a peek to see how I did in the kukai and the haiku thread. I was very happy to see that I took 1st place in the kukai this month. “Autumn leaves” is a topic I can expound upon at length. We have a seemingly endless supply of them around these parts. A second haiku took 4th place.

The haiku thread topic was “cemetery”, and although not my favorite thing to think about, it is (sadly) another topic I can go on about at length. As a child, I remember thinking cemeteries were kind of creepy places, but now I find them peaceful, if a bit melancholy. I hope to pay my respects to my parents next week when I am in California. Three of my haiku were selected “Editor’s Choice” by John Daleiden, or “Guest Editor’s Choice” by Bernard Gieske. I found Bernard’s essay on haiku techniques (using the thread haiku as illustrations of various techniques) especially helpful, as I am still getting the hang of how to write an effective jux into my haiku. And consciously thinking about technique from time to time never hurt anyone’s haiku writing!

The kigo topic for January/ February 2012 is “old calendar”, and the thread topic is “candle(s)”. Anticipating how busy this month will be, I already sent in my entries. The new thread can be read here.

creepy crawlers

When I saw “insects / bugs” for the  July/ Aug Sketchbook haiku thread kigo, I was temporarily stumped. What was there to say about these critters that hasn’t already been said, by Issa in particular. But then,  I picked up my pen and wrote the following:

Tai Chi morning
a spider climbs slowly
up the wall

shortest night
on the breeze, one thousand
cricket voices


is it love?
moths circle
before a flame

sultry afternoon
the iridescent sheen
of dragonfly wings

cricket song –
sleeping at night
with an open window

The entire thread can be read here.

Four of these haiku made John Daleiden’s Editor’s Choice list, and rather than just list the haiku randomly, John chose to arrange them into haiku sequences. My haiku appear in “Cricket Songs: A Haiku Sequence”, “Hometown Memories: A Haiku Sequence”, and “Shadow Darners: A Haiku Sequence”. All the haiku sequences can be read here.

first day of autumn

first day of autumn
a maple leaf
falls soundlessly

(Sketchbook, Vol.5, No. 5, September/October 2010)

crimson maples
chinook salmon
find their way home

(Sketchbook, Vol.5, No. 5, September/October 2010)

Both of these haiku appeared in the Sketchbook haiku thread, and also in the “Dusk at my Feet” haiku sequence that editor John Daleiden put together with some of the haiku from the thread.

“Dusk at my Feet”: A Haiku Sequence No. 1 Arranged from the “fall trees” Haiku Thread

Ralf Bröker, DE; Bouwe Brouwer, NL; Claire Everett, UK; Aju Mukhopadhyay, IN; Bernard Gieske, US; Cara Holman, US; Alegria Imperial, CA; Ramona Linke, DE; Chen-ou Liu, CA; Vasile Moldovan, RO ; Aju Mukhopadhyay, IN; Karen O’Leary, US; Keith A. Simmonds, TT; Janice Thomson, CA

What’s really fun for me is to go back and read the old haiku threads, and see how many haiku poets I am familiar with now from reading their works in other journals, or “meeting” them on NaHaiWriMo!