lingering awhile

December Haiku Share

And yet another haiku I wrote as part of a rengay, this one with Kirsten Cliff. As I currently live in “the City of Roses”, I would be totally remiss if I didn’t include at least one haiku that mentions roses, even though blooming roses right now are but a distant memory. Share a haiku/tanka/haiga about roses, any kind of flower, or  a pleasant scent.

lingering awhile
under the awning
the scent of roses

From “Between the Birdsong” (with Kirsten Cliff)
LYNX 27:3, October 2012

If you missed the initial post, click here to read about the month long haiku challenge I am holding right here on my blog this December.

hushed dawn

December Haiku Share

Thanks to Kirsten Cliff for giving me the idea to pull haiku from some of our collaborative rengay. I never thought of them as stand-alone haiku before, until I re-read them all again yesterday and realized that each haiku really did have a life of its own, outside of the rengay. The starter haiku below is from “The Scent of Pine” , the first (of thirteen!) rengay that Kirsten and I wrote together this year:

hushed dawn
bird tracks
in the snow

From “The Scent of Pine” rengay with Kirsten Cliff; A Hundred Gourds 1:3, June 2012

 

Suggested themes: dawn, birds, snow, winter, or animal tracks. Or pull a haiku from a rengay you have written. If you missed the initial post, click here to read about the month long haiku challenge I am holding right here on my blog this December.

Margaret Dornaus has put together another wonderfully moving tribute to those loved ones we have lost, on her Haiku-doodle blog, to commemorate Day of the Dead. Click on the link above to read her full post, including a haiku and tanka of mine, and three collaborative haiga I did with Kirsten Cliff (our very first!)

Haiku-doodle

 

 

her altar set
for family and friends . . .
each calavera
flickering light that sparks
all of our memories

               –Margaret Dornaus

Once again, I’m privileged to share several images and small poems or calaveras (“skulls”) contributed by my friends and fellow poets for my annual Día de los Muertos posting.  Thank you all for the generosity of your contributions.  I hope you enjoy these offerings as much as I do.

Maggie

cemetery pines
whispering among the needles
the gentlest of songs

this way and that
the oil lamp flickers–
unmarked grave

the last cigarette
before the aneurysm bursts–
pale moon

–Stella Pierides

this is no
ordinary prayer
that moves me to tears
anniversary
of my mother’s death

     Pamela A. Babusci, The Temple Bell Stops , 2012

haiga by Cara Holman & Kirsten Cliff

 –

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Upcoming Publications

It’s been silent on my blog ever since the 31 prompters, 31 days challenge on NaHaiWriMo ended on August 31. That’s jointly due to the back-to-school busyness, and also to all the journals and contests that have their deadlines between August 15 and September 15. I can’t even think how many haiku, senryu, and rengay I must have submitted. But it all pays off in the end: I have works that will appear in the following publications this fall:

  • 2 haiku, plus a rengay with Kirsten Cliff, to appear in Aubrie Cox’s Every Road Takes Me to the Sea post
  • 1 haiku, to appear in Modern Haiku
  • 2 haiku, plus a rengay with Angela Terry and Julie Warther, to appear in Frogpond
  • 1 haiku, to appear in Acorn
  • 3 haiku, plus 3 rengay with Angela Terry and Julie Warther, to appear in A Hundred Gourds
  • an interview with Ina Roy and Andrea Heiberg, to appear on in our books
  • 2 haiku, to appear in tinywords
  • 1 haiku, to appear in Mariposa

Recent publications include:

Fresh Puddles

In honor of summer, I’ve decided to organize my blog, my writings, and my life  in general, in that order. I started with the publications pages of my blog. If someone had asked me how many rengay I’ve written, I probably would have guessed 8-10. On listing them, I discovered that I have written an astounding 20 rengay, all since last August, and of these, 13 are published, and another 4 are in the queue to be published. Writing rengay with others often nudges my haiku and couplets in different directions than if I had just set out to write solo. I love that aspect of it! And it’s fun to get to know other haiku poets better, as we collaborate.

I have been writing with Angela Terry and Julie Warther since the three of us met last fall at Haiku North America.We’ve just had our first set of (seven!) rengay published in Notes from the Gean 4:1, June 2012 (pp 119-123): “Fresh Puddles”, “Opening the Locks”, “The Chrome Lure”, “Pink Punch”, “The Steady Drip”, “Sudden Silence”, and “Rolled Up Pants”. The most fun part of writing these rengay, was that they were all written simultaneously, and a report about how that came to be is included as well in the current issue of NFTG. We also have a rengay scheduled to appear in the summer issue of Frogpond.

Kirsten Cliff and I began writing rengay together in February of this year, and have since gone on to publish “The Scent of Pine” and “Turning a Corner” in A Hundred Gourds 1:3, June 2012; “Dream Catcher” in fox dreams, April, 2012; and “Into the Night” in Winged Moon, June 2012. Additionally, our most ambitious project to date, “All the Words that Mean Cancer”, a sequence of four rengay, will be published this October in LYNX. It was the toughest rengay to write, dealing with our experiences with leukemia (Kirsten) and breast cancer (me), but also definitely the most heartfelt, and hopefully inspirational to others as well.

Summer Solstice

Just in time for the solstice, Aubrie Cox released a new collection entitled “Winged Moon”, on her Yay Words blog, featuring faeries, trolls, elves, mermaids, and lanterns. I’m pleased to have a rengay included that I wrote with Kirsten Cliff, as well as a haiku.

My haiku:

pixie dust
hovering on the edge
of sleep

And our rengay:

Into the Night

by Cara Holman & Kirsten Cliff

garden party
moths flitter
around the lantern

fairy dust
in her hair

pixie ring
dancing long
into the night

koi pond
the children hunt
for mermaids

tinkling laughter
clusters of coral bells

dark lantern
still the heady scent
of wild jasmine

A Hundred Gourds- June 2012

I am just starting to get used to the time lag between writing a haiku, submitting it, acceptance, and ultimate publication. Sometimes the entire process takes a year. More often, it’s quite a bit quicker. A number of my writings will appear in online and print journals during  the month of June– it’s all very exciting!

I’m pleased to have three haiku and two rengay (written in collaboration with Kirsten Cliff) included in the newly released A Hundred Gourds. Here are the direct links to my work:

cat’s cradle (haiku)

I wave (haiku)

listening to silence (haiku)

“The Scent of Pine” and “Turning a Corner” (rengay, with Kirsten Cliff)

fox dreams

What better way to start my Sunday morning, than by reading Aubrie Cox‘s latest collection fox dreams.This collection is chockfull of wonderful haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, tanka prose, and rengay on the subject of… what else but foxes and dreams. Who knew there was so much to say?

I am delighted to have two haiku (one previously published), a tanka, tanka prose (my first ever), and a rengay included. The rengay was co-written with Kirsten Cliff. Altogether a delightful read, from cover to cover.

Poet Showcase: Kirsten Cliff

Name: Kirsten Cliff
Location: “Hobbiton” Matamata, New Zealand

Blog: Swimming in Lines of Haiku

How do you know Cara? I asked to be part of Cara’s network on Facebook after reading on a writing site that she was interested in haiku. Since then we have encouraged each other in all areas of our writing and still get a buzz out of appearing in publications together. We recently wrote two rengay via email and were excited to hear that they’d both been accepted for publication in A Hundred Gourds.

How long have you been writing poetry? I played with poetry as a child, then again as a teen, and came back to it as an adult in about 2005. I discovered and began writing haiku in 2007 after a January 1st stroll down the Katikati Haiku Pathway. It’s a form that I quickly became passionate about after feeling it clicked with me and how I wanted to express myself. I haven’t looked back since.

What kind of poetry do you write? I mostly write haiku, with tanka now being a close second, and I’m always experimenting with combining these two forms with art (photo or collage) to create haiga, with prose to create haibun, and with others to create rengay and renku (linked verse).

Please share a poem:

Blackbird’s pick ‘n’ mix

My insomnia has me awake early, and I’m exhausted. The low rumble of traffic has already begun, and as my feet hit the carpet I feel the vibrations through the floor. I head out to the lounge, and open the curtains on the dawn of another spring day.

bowing to the gods
the curve
of a lavender stalk

That scruffy blackbird is back. I watch him pluck worms from the wet grass, his jaunty pecks disturbing the disarray of dead leaves. With ruffed-up tail feathers, he finds one worm, then another, and hops to the concrete path in front of the dog-pawed ranch slider. He drops both worms in favour of the cockroach my fiancé stomped on and tossed out last night at my haughty insistence. The worms wriggle apart, and scoot in opposite directions. Which route is safer – heading back to the grass, or towards the house?

The blackbird turns away from me to crunch on the roach – dropping it, prodding it, clasping it once again in his beak. Does he sense my disgust? Or maybe he is too shy to receive my gratitude at having the signs of death cleared away.

all the street lights
flicker off
the sound of wind-chimes

He turns back to pick up the worms, then flies off with his breakfast bounty into the morning sky. I turn and walk to the kitchen to see what the fridge has to offer.

Notes: This haibun first appeared in Kokako 12 (April 2010). A different version of the first haiku appeared in Valley Micropress (Vol.12, Is.08, Oct 2009).

A Haiku Evolution

When I first began writing haiku, in 2010, I discovered kukai contests, a wonderful no-fail way for a beginner to get their feet wet, and did a blog post on Kirsten Cliff’s Swimming in Lines of Haiku about them. Kukai are still one of my favorite ways to immerse myself in haiku.

For a long time though, that was my only connection to the greater haiku community. While I found an outlet for some of my haiku, I still didn’t know very many people in the haiku community. I  submitted to a handful of journals and contests, that first year, and had my first contest Honorable Mention, in World Haiku Review, and my first journal publication, in Riverwind 30, but I still felt like I was on the outside looking in. I wasn’t sure what journals and contests were looking for, and it didn’t feel very satisfying to get far more rejections than acceptances. And then I began participating in NaHaiWriMo, on Facebook.

Writing haiku daily since February 1st of last year, and receiving positive feedback, encouragement, and support, from like-minded others, has not only been rewarding and helped me improve my craft, but has really built a sense of community. Attending two haiku conferences and a haiku retreat this year enabled me to meet many of my Facebook friends “in real life”, an added treat. And all this gave me the confidence to once again try my hand at getting my haiku published, and entering contests. It’s been a good year!

Starting in January, I’ve had two 2nd place finishes in the Shiki Kukai, and two 1st place finishes in the Sketchbook Kukai. I’ve had haiku published in Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Notes from the Gean, and A Hundred Gourds. And I placed well in a number of contests: an Honorable Mention in the Haiku North America 2011 Conference Kukai contest, a Sakura Award in the Vancouver’s Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2011 , Third Prize in the International “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition, First Prize in the 2011 Porad Award, October 2011, an Honorable Mention in the 13th HIA Haiku Contest, 1st place in Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge: Haiku, 3rd Place, 2011 Thom Williams Memorial contest: The 7s, and 2nd place in the 2011 San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu, Tanka and Rengay, for my first tanka.

Yesterday I learned that I also received an Honorable Mention in the 15th Mainichi Haiku Contest: International Section for one of my haiku. All this has only whet my appetite, and I’m looking forward to lots more haiku, haibun, tanka, and rengay writing in 2012.