The prompt for NaHaiWriMo today is dragonfly. The first haiku is new, the others are recent haiku I’ve also written about dragonflies.

this moment

low clouds
dragonflies hover
above the pond
(Sketchbook thread, Mar/Apr 2012)

dragonfly wings
hovering my cursor
over the Like button
(Prune Juice #7, Winter 2012)

first impressions
a dragonfly hovers
before landing
(Dragonfly Dreams, August 2011)

Frost Flowers

The haiku thread for the January/February 2012 Sketchbook journal was “precious gems”. At first I was totally stumped. Everything I wrote seemed too flowery. And then I got the idea to stick with diamonds, and write a sequence of haiku that chronicled my history with that gem. This seemed to be particulary fitting, as my husband and I approach our 30th anniversary later this month. I submitted these as individual haiku in the Sketchbook thread, but present them here as a sequence, which is how I wrote them.

Frost Flowers

frost flowers
the sparkling allure
of diamonds

only one question
only one answer
diamond ring

picking out
a diamond solitaire…

first anniversary
the glint of her diamond

princess party
her diamond tiara
and jewel-encrusted scepter

thirtieth anniversary
he gives her books
instead of pearls

morning dew
the foreverness
of diamonds

Old Calendar

The kigo for the Sketchbook November/ December 2011 kukai was “old calendar”. I don’t know if other people also save their old calendars like I do, but I love having a record of the past, for what it’s worth. Those little minutiae of life are all duly recorded for posterity,  in the little white squares.

winter deepens –
old calendar pages
completely filled

taking down
my old calendar…
reflected moonlight

fallen blossoms
of the Christmas cactus
old calendar

More December Journal Releases

December seems to be the month for new journal releases! First there was A Hundred Gourds, then The Heron’s Nest, Sketchbook, and now Notes from the Gean. The latter has been completely overhauled, and is full of essays and interviews, as well as haiku, tanka, haiga, and haibun. I know what I will be doing this weekend (and probably next weekend, and the weekend after that too!)

Two of my haiku appear (on page 33) in this issue:

winter garden
my father’s books
mixed in with mine

snowshoe hare
his footsteps
too big to fill

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.

Haiku Registry Listing

The Haiku Foundation says that to request a listing in their Haiku Registry, you only need to be a poet who has “”published English-language haiku in an edited journal, either in print or online.” My first haiku publication (if you don’t count my early 5-7-5 attempts, and I don’t!) was in 2010, when a sequence of three Mother’s Day haiku I wrote appeared in a special section of the March/ April Sketchbook, followed later that year by my first non-kukai contest placement in World Haiku Review (August 2010), and publication in my first print journal in Riverwind 30 (October 2010).

But that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to feel like I “earned” my listing, and consequently set a personal goal for myself. To make sure it wasn’t just beginner’s luck, I decided that I would wait to apply to be listed until I was published twice in each of  three of my favorite journals: Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, and Notes from the Gean, and also placed well in at least two international contests.

“starting over” appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of Frogpond, and two haibun will appear in the Fall 2011 Frogpond; “muted sunlight” appeared in the June 2011 issue of The Heron’s Nest and “fine mist” in their September 2011 issue; “daydreaming” and “flickering stars”  both appeared in the June issue of Notes from the Gean; I received a Sakura award in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational in September of this year for “honor guard”, and in the same month, took third place in the International “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition for “morning mist”. My quest completed, and with twelve haiku contest or journal submissions currently pending, I finally felt ready to apply for my listing.

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!