Poetry Month #18: In Season

Always enjoy a trip to Silver City and a stroll and a bit of shopping in its funky downtown. In the used bookstore I immediately came upon a copy of HAIKU WORLD: An International Poetry Almanac by William J.Higginson. I’m in it, but had never seen a copy! It collects a thousand contemporary haiku that use season words (saijiki) –a concept that has had to expand as haiku has become an international form. Of course I purchased the volume!

One of my haiku:
Evening calm…
I echo the train whistle
For the baby’s smile

Bill Higginson identifies it as yunagi–evening calm. It’s summer, and suggests the sea.

I can remember exactly how I wrote it in my house on Kathryn Street. You could always hear the train whistle from there, even before the Rail Runner. For me, that evening calm obviously refers to the baby–and the relief that this is not a fussy colicky end of the day. We’re inland, but the desert also stills after late afternoon.

Well, that baby is grown woman and we’re going to Japan next year for an artists’ residency. She is practicing her Japanese. I’m practicing admitting the passage of time.

Haiku North America Conference!

March 30, 2017

Greetings for spring 2017!

With the coming of spring, if you’re like me, you’re starting to dream about which haiku or poetry meetings in 2017 you will take in.

May I humbly suggest that Haiku North America 2017 in Santa Fe, September 13–17, 2017, should be the top of your list?! HNA is an international gathering of poets and specialists. It has been taking place every other year since 1991, but his is the first time HNA has come to the Southwest. We’re are keen to make this the biggest and best conference yet and want to make sure poets from New Mexico and neighboring states show up in force.

HNA planning proceeds apace. For our gathering we have booked a whole venue, the Santa Fe Hotel, Hacienda & Spa, in downtown Santa Fe, just a few blocks from the historic Plaza, galleries, museums, and world-class shopping. This is a first-rate hotel featuring Southwest architecture and décor and is owned by Picurís Pueblo. You can take a virtual tour online by clicking here and find out details of the hotel’s amenities, special conference rates, etc., at the link on the HNA 2017 website here.

A full four-day program of formal presentations, panel discussions, workshops, demonstrations, readings, and performances is being assembled. There will be plenty of activities targeted for beginners and much to engage seasoned haijin. Themes for HNA 2017 have a New Mexican tilt: “earthtones,” intended to reflect the sounds and colors of the great Southwest; and the haiku traditions of diverse North American cultures: Native American, Mexican, French Canadian, and African American. The program is filling up fast (see the presentations lined up so far on the HNA website here), but there’s still a few open slots, so let us know if you have a presentation idea for us to consider.

Lots more information about other conference activities, post-conference tours, and Tanka Sunday, as well as conference and hotel registration forms, is accessible on the HNA 2017 website.

So, isn’t it time to engage in some winter dreaming and start making your plans to join us in Santa Fe in September! Let us know if you have any questions. And spread the word!

Sondra J. Byrnes, Cynthia Henderson, Miriam Sagan,
Charles Trumbull, & Scott Wiggerman —
the HNA 2017 Organizing Committee

Poetry Posts First International Contributor–Angelee Deodhar

There are ten poetry posts on Santa Fe Community College’s campus. I’m still curating them, if retired. Yesterday I walked the posts and put up 10 haibun from Angelee Deodhar in India. They speak of her many journeys, inner and outer.


The Courtyard in Campus Center has two posts.


Courtyard C may have an uninspired name–but it’s a lovely serene spot to the east.

The post closest to the Fitness Center has a gray water faucet on it. And a neighboring post for birds:


Here is one haibun. But to see the rest you’ll have to take a walk!


Pilgrims, old people, lovers, mendicants, families, childless couples hoping to be blessed with offspring, all promising offerings in gold, silver, coins or paper money, all seeking something . . . blessings from a swayambhu stone phallic symbol . . . they flock to this mountain shrine every summer crossing treacherous terrain, rocky streams . . . making the keepers of the faith rich, those who could have helped but did not warn the thousands of the impending disaster, that they should move to higher ground . . . and then came the rain . . .

The shrine is surrounded by precarious shanties clinging to the mountainside, by hotels, houses, shops selling everything for worship . . . whatever one needs to appease the gods . . . flowers, coconuts, tinsel, veils, saffron, incense, betel nuts and empty plastic bottles to take the sacred waters home . . .

Sudden flash floods following slashing rain brings down the dwellings hanging by a prayer . . . the deluge furious washes it all away except the black stone shrine housing god . . . the brass Nandi remains upright facing the lingam . . . after the raging torrent subsides the debris of rocks and boulders are interspersed with dead bodies plundered by those left alive . . . sadhus steal from the dead . . . those with a few rations left steal from the living . . . the river accepts the human sacrifice and rushes on . . . and then the rain . . .

touching wood
on her wall and desk
the primeval forest

Swayambhu means “self–manifested” or “that which is created by its own accord”.

The lingam, meaning “mark”, “sign”, “inference,” is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples. Sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa (liberation), the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation. Sādhus often wear saffron–colored clothing, symbolizing their sanyāsa (renunciation).

Nandi is now universally supposed to be the name for the bull which serves as the mount (Sanskrit: Vahana) of the god Shiva and as the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati.

In June 2013, the North Indian states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, some regions of Western Nepal and their adjoining areas experienced heavy rainfall that triggered devastating floods and landslides. Damage to bridges and roads left over 70,000 pilgrims and tourists trapped in various places many of whom were rescued but more than 1,000 people have died with many more are still missing.

A Visit to the NM Museum of Fine Art

the collagist’s
silver gelatin self-portrait—
a pair of scissors


(I first saw Rodchenko, the Russian constructivist mentioned above, on a pale winter day in Iceland. The image is from his archive.)

a few notes between
sleep and waking, memory
of my father


Agnes Pelton, Awakening (Memory of Father), 1943, oil on canvas.

eggs, toast
how many cafes and
cups of coffee

the plaza
has changed so much, so little
over the years
crossing it under snow, I
feel the same about myself

Beam Walking By Bill Waters

When I was little, I asked my brother what was in the attic. “Nothing,” he said, and added that you had to keep your feet on the beams or you’d fall through the ceiling.
The only beams I knew of were sunbeams, which filtered through the air vents on each side of the house. I wondered how they enabled you to walk without falling through, and I worried about what would happen if the sun went behind a cloud while you were standing on them.
don’t look down!
this high-wire act
called life

Haibun by Angelee Deodhar–Posted in honor of the Hindu New Year

Click to enlarge

Haibun :Dharavi

An Om symbol painted on one adobe shanty with a corrugated tin roof stands close to an identical green painted one. An old man smokes his hubble- bubble pipe while reading the local paper in Urdu. Bollywoood music blares from somewhere far away, drowning out the Christmas carols in the hut opposite. Urchins run to catch the wind with their kites. The smaller children play with spinning tops or make things out of mud, gods and goddesses and houses for them.

The girls help their mothers cook the sweet jiggery rice pudding for the New Year’s feast and also in painting a rice paste kolam just outside the entrance to their humble home. Today they don’t have to go to their sewing classes or take tourists around to see how and where slumdogs live .

soft clay on the wheel
the potter’s hands
shape mine

railway mosque –
a flash of blue
a kingfisher takes off

Notes from the author:
Haiku previously published Frogpond, Vol. 37:2, 2014 and in http://creatrix.wapoets.net.au/Feb 2014

Dharavi is a locality in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.[1] Its slum is one of the largest in the world;[1][2][3][4]  Dharavi is currently the second-largest slum in the continent of Asia Dharavi is also one of the most densely populated areas on Earth.
The Dharavi slum was founded in 1882 during the British colonial era, and grew in part because of an expulsion of factories and residents from the peninsular city centre by the colonial government, and from the migration of poor rural Indians into urban Mumbai (then called Bombay).[  For this reason, Dharavi is currently a highly multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and diverse settlement
Kolam (Tamil-) Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots. In South India that is drawn by using rice flour/chalk/chalk powder/white rock powder often using naturally/synthetically colored powders .It is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their house

image by Leonara Enking 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi#/mediaa href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi#/media”>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi#/media</a>/File:Shanty_dwellings,_Railway_tracks_and_Mosque_in_Dharavi_Slum_Mumbai_India_February_2010.jpg