the elusive scent

I don’t write as many tanka as I’d like to, or to be more accurate, I don’t often try to publish the ones I do write, since I feel less at home writing in this genre than in writing haiku. But the added incentive of submitting to Moonbathing, a print journal edited by Pamela Babusci, keeps me writing and submitting at least twice a year, for the honor of having my tanka appear alongside those of many of my favorite tanka poets.

the elusive scent
of wild sage and eucalyptus
in the footsteps
of my younger self

December Haiku Share- Day 31

— December Haiku Share

snow flurries
a fresh batch
of resolutions
— Cara Holman

Shiki Kukai, January 2012


clapping together
another snowstorm
— Jenny Ward Angyal

Magnapoets 7, Jan. 2011


winter darkness
we run out
of subjects to change
Seánan Forbes

Modern Haiku 43:3


New Year’s Day
the dragon tattoo
red and puffy
— Peter Newton

The Language of Dragons, ed. by Aubrie Cox


my mother
did she realize the power
of her words?
beneath snowy pines
forgiveness begins
Pamela A. Babusci
Multiverses Issue 1 2012


first snow –
that moment just before
Eating Honey
— angie werren

*NaHaiWriMo (December, 2011)


icy breaths –
half my life spent
reliving the past
— S.M. Abeles

World Haiku Review (December 2012),
2nd place, Neo-Classical category


large flakes of snow the silence of pines
— Lauren Mayhew


a white mare’s whinny
lifts a cloud
— Polona Oblak


second chances
bare branches
— Sandi Pray

see haiga here


a gift bag of needles
under the tree
Margaret Dornaus

Acorn, no. 27, Fall 2011


crumbling brickwork
echoes across the canal . . .
with every bridge
I renew my faith
in a boundless sky
— Kirsten Cliff

‘Forever Home’ (with Margaret Dornaus)
LYNX 27:3, October 2012


with time served
only a couple of days –
prison yard snow
— Johnny Baranski

(from my tri-fold “First Snow” a Teahouse Pamphlet 2003)


another new year
I take with me the scent
of Christmas memories
— Christine L. Villa

see haiga here

creekside departure . . .
wet stardust falling
from a swan’s wings
— Kathy Uyen Nguyen

My origami haiga here


snow flurries
her last
wheezy breath
— Jone MacCulloch


first snow
still we find
the gaps
— Alegria Imperial

from a haiga published at NTFG 3:3 December 2011
see haiga here 



*this is a “pooh-ku” — based on this A.A. Milne quote:

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” ~angie werren


December Haiku Share- Day 30

— December Haiku Share

open mic
what is there
left to say?
— Cara Holman

“Things with Wings”, edited by Aubrie Cox, June 2012



a scribbled note-pad …
deciphering a haiku written
in the fold of dreams
— Gillena Cox


holly berries . .
dreaming of snow
with a redbird
— Sandi Pray

see haiga here


wind gusts
the curve of her hips
beneath the burka
Lauren Mayhew

bottle rockets #28, 2012


dusty road –
where handsome parted
from this stranger
— S.M. Abeles

Notes From The Gean No. 14


he thinks again of turning leaves her hands
— angie werren

tinywords (Issue 11.3) 

Issa’s Untidy Hut (Sunday Service #127)



a few words
with a stranger passing
on this road
everyday precious things
are scattered in the wind
— Alison Williams

Blithe Spirit Vol.10 No.4 Dec 2000


the way your voice rises
when you lie
Seánan Forbes

Modern Haiku 43:3


words in a dream:
things beautiful,
and without fear—
tomorrow I’ll make a list
— Jenny Ward Angyal

GUSTS 15, spring/summer 2012


why couldn’t I
have let myself love her?
the sun’s warmth
as I sit in the graveyard
alone this spring morning
— Kirsten Cliff

Simply Haiku, January 2012


winter’s fog
atop the forest
red amaryllis blossoms unfold

 — Judy Cole


Marina beach–
waves go back
without touching your name

—kash poet (kashinath karmakar)


sealing the letter
with a lipstick print
i await his response…
how slowly winter into spring
summer into autumn
 Pamela A. Babusci

Kokako 2003 (NZ)


surrendering to
a choir of birds
— Christine L. Villa

Things With Wings, edited by Aubrie Cox, June 2012
See her doodle here


winter sunset
again we fail to speak
about the future
— Margaret Dornaus

Notes from the Gean 3:3, December 2011



the neighbour’s
unkempt lawn. . .
all these butterflies
— Polona Oblak

1st place July 2010 Shiki Kukai
2nd place 8th Annual Poet’s Choice Kukai


western wind —
a go master waits
for a stone’s move
— Lech Szeglowski

Honorable Mention, 15th Mainichi Haiku Contest 2011


starfish . . .
to feel so much
of what we touch
— Peter Newton

Acorn #27, Fall 2011
What We Find, Imaginary Press, 2011


rain all night
the scent of eucalyptus
in my dreams
Stevie Strang

3rd place, Shiki Kukai – November 2011


serving hot chai
in earthen pots-
the curve of her hips

Wednesday haiku at Issa’s Untidy Hut, July 2011



Tatted Stories

infectious laughter
a lap for curling up in
nimble fingers push shuttle
stories told through tatting
Jone MacCulloch

Four and Twenty, September 2009


was it you
who laid this feather
on my feet
seeking my forgiveness
in the rain?*
Alegria Imperial

GUSTS 15, Spring 2012

*Picked by four-year old Miriya Nguyen to ‘carry in her pocket’
for ‘A Poem in Your Pocket a Day’



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!)




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.


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
of my mother’s death

     Pamela A. Babusci, The Temple Bell Stops , 2012

haiga by Cara Holman & Kirsten Cliff


View original post 417 more words

Mariposa #26

I’m pleased to have three haiku included in the new issue of Mariposa #26, the membership journal of Haiku Poets of Northern California (HPNC). This will be the last issue edited by Ebba Story and Susan Antolin. Cherie Hunter Day will be taking over the editorship of this fine journal.

pathology report
I write my name
in permanent pen

waning moon
nibbling an apple
down to its core

streetlights reflected
in wet pavement
winter dawn

In addition, my 2nd place tanka from the 2011 San Francisco International Competition for Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Rengay was reprinted in this issue:

our favorite walk
by the river–
deep in conversation
we cover
the same old ground

rose petals

I’m delighted to learn that my haiku/tanka pair was named runner-up in Kathy Uyen Nguyen’s NaPoWriMo Free Book Giveaway Contest #1. Thank you to Kathy and co-judge Peter Newton.

rose petals
the warmth of your hand
in mine


her face
bathed in moonlight
every day
she slips away from me
a little more

Read the co-judges’ thoughtful commentaries here.