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    Nftg 3.4 Nftg 3.4 Document Transcript

    • Welcome to Notes from the Gean the journal of haiku, tanka, haiga, haibun, linked forms & more. Brought to you by Gean Tree Press. Mission Statement: We seek to encourage excellence, experimentation and education within haiku and its related genres. We believe this is best accomplished by example and not imitation. Our aim is for authenticity above all else. We therefore solicit your finest examples of haiku, tanka, haiga, haibun and renga/renku so that we may "hear" your voices speak. The Editors For details on how to submit to Notes from the Gean please check our SUBMISSIONS page. cover artwork Colin Stewart Jones Overall content copyright © 2012 Gean Tree Press. All Rights Reserved.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 2
    • contentslinked formsTsunami p.4, Patent Leather Shoe p.10-12, Man Standing in Rain p.21, Sepia Blues p.29, Fairground Animals p.38,Moonlight Settles p.60, Stars that know no sadness p.67, The power of light p.68, "rain on the tracks" p.88,In The Rain p.96-98, “the short goodbye” p.106-108, Tea at the Tate & Around the Gherkin p.116-117,A maggot & Scattered moon p.122haikuhaiku 1 p.5 haiku2 p.6, haiku 3 p.13, haiku 4 p.24, haiku 5 p.25, haiku 6 p.36, haiku 7 p.37, haiku 8 p.42,haiku 9 p.43, haiku 10 p.58, haiku 11 p.59, haiku 12 p.70, haiku 13 p.71, haiku 14 p.86, haiku 15 p.87,haiku 16 p.99, haiku 17 p.109, haiku 18 p.115, haiku 19 p.126, haiku 20 p.127, haiku 21 p.128tankatanka 1 p.7, tanka 2 p.19, tanka 3 p.27 tanka 4 p.40, tanka 5 p.41, tanka 6 p.57, tanka 7 p.72, tanka 8 p.73,tanka 9 p.90, tanka 10 p.91, tanka 11 p.95, tanka 12 p.112, tanka 13 p.113, tanka 14 p.119, tanka 15 p.124,tanka 16 p.125haibunIn Another Town p.8, How an acceptance happens – Into the Sky p.14-18, a trace of warmth p.26,Searching the Size p.39, House and Bird p.56, Guilty Pleasures p.65, After Arrival p.66, ‘The Point p.76,“The midnight” p.77, A little from the tip p.89, shadows p.93, THE SEASIDE p.103, Return p.104,The Narrow Gate p.105, Mountain in Late Afternoon p.114, One Nation Under Jazz p. 120-121,The Summing Ups and Downs p.123haigacoming home p.9, log fire p.20, day by day p.28 river weir p.35, time p.55, early spring p.64, a break p.69,Sunday drizzle p.74, falling leaves p.75, barnacles p.85 wild geese p.92, knotholes p.94 chilly autumn breeze p.110,rose cuttings p.111, woodpile p.118, waiting p.129The Dreaming Roomheatwave p.22, wildflowers p.23, on a bare branch p.61-62, snow melting p.63, smell of bile and winter hive p.100-101,two months gone p.102essays/haiku mattersHumour in Haiku p.30-34special featureNaWriHaiMo p.44-53, Old Pond Comics p.54.interviewsJack Galmitz p. 78-84.reviewssmall hours p.130-132, Leptir nad pučinom p.133back pagedog days p.134Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 3
    • Tsunami seized from the mud one lottery ticket a shaking of heads as the earth shakes one mother cradling a piece of rock someone else’s mother finding a missing shoe a minute’s silence just the rumbling of sea children’s voices the old man shrugs remembering Hiroshima out of the rubble a new road bending into sunlight Peter Butler U.K.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 4
    • Wires run through the sky. All platforms flooded by march. Volker Friebel - Germany Land of snow— the crows wings shimmer when turning. Volker Friebel - Germany Waning March light. Sheep on the river, their mouths washed by water. Volker Friebel - Germany swan wrapped in sleep— drifting moon John McDonald - Scotland full moon— winter’s stillness in a soap bubble Ramesh Anand - MalaysiaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 5
    • nearing dusk a girl dumps bait worms back into the earth Ferris Gilli - USA the mimosa tree has closed its leaves . . . vesper bell Ferris Gilli - USA morning star the glimmer of gilt from the spire Köy Deli - Turkey pulling up an oak seedling— the clinging acorn Ruth Holzer - USA this blue and white world— even if the plane falls at home in it Ruth Holzer - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 6
    • the abbess prays to the icon of her groom: "my womb is a chasm deep as the morning star" Köy Deli - USA dusk takes its time to linger on the soft blues of March snow Christina Nguyen - USA the establishing shot of an old film set in New York . . . there they both stand with the world yet to change Jon Baldwin - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 7
    • In Another Town As you dream in another town, I stroll to the lake at dawn for a swim. At a curve in the path, a lily has bloomed as blue as the sky at dusk. I kneel. I want to bring it to you. Instead, I can only let you know it was there. endless sky – sun shines on the spires of pines Hortensia Anderson – USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 8
    • Cherie Hunter Day - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 9
    • Patent Leather Shoe A Kasen Renku more light to ponder what might grow Michele from here turning the earth with garden tools John sticky silk threads of a chrysalis Michele soon to shed its skin knitted doilies in the linen closet John the moon has drawn us Michele to a distant shore his confidence about edible mushrooms John - alone like a ghost Michele on a windy corner diligent rehearsal of the kissing scene John I undress after dark Michele before a flame the rent is being raised again John observance of a day no one wants Michele to rememberNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 10
    • patent leather shoe in the refrigerator John return to the store for more cold beer Michele led by the summer moon dusk deepened by swarming bats John chemical injections leave her with Michele a childlike look “Little deuce coupe You don’t know what I’ve got” John the daffodils would be pretty in a color Michele other than yellow soft edges of a cross made of ashes John - roof leaks in the same places John as last year inaccurate translations are causing lots of problems Michele the spell check feature questions names John like Auschwitz not too old to pull an all-nighter Michele the doorman at the end of John a Christmas list my neighbor throws crumbs on snow for hungry birds MicheleNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 11
    • they say a cactus can have all the water John you need to survive when we’re together nothing else matters Michele contractions coming quickly John in the car annoyed by an empty wallet Michele moonlight silvers the last window pane John left unbroken collapsing onto a new pile of leaves Michele - I close the door and padlock John the boathouse passing time in a smoker’s cafe Michele freshly shaved showered John and shampooed a horseback ride along mountain trails Michele this very cool spring in which the blossoms John are snowy white our upturned hands tap into the pulse of a spring shower Michele John Stevenson - USA Michele Harvey - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 12
    • warm front the romance novel opens itself John Hawk - USA something more in the air tonight golden moon John Hawk - USA lost summer the berries the birds left behind John Hawk - USA thriller my cat shreds the last page Pris Campbell - USA grey morning dream painted on the lake is the sun. Tatjana Debeljacki - SerbiaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 13
    • How an acceptance happens – Richard KrawiecI thought it might be interesting for some to read the process Penny Harter and I wentthrough that led to minor changes in her poem which is published in this issue. This is anexample of my process as an editor, her process as a writer, and the process we bothengaged in together. I have cut some of the familiar chit-chat out of these exchanges andleft in the focus on the poem.1. Submission by Penny Harter Into the Sea A night light? I dont blow out my candles before sleep. What dreams? A gray ghost whispered, "Mirrors always lie." Not that kind of lie. Where do you sleep? In an abandoned steeple. Do you get it now? Sure, like a kid wading into the sea. stone Buddha— in his lap, the glint of mica2. First response by Richard KrawiecPenny,Do you see the italicized parts as another voice, or in her mind? Love the haiku.I do think "Sure, like a kid wading into the sea." lacks the poetry of the rest of your haibun. Are yousure you even need that line and its question?Do you ever play around with your line order? Visually if you began with Where do you sleep"then followed with A night light? and What dreams? youd have a nice lengthening flow thatcould represent both stairs and the sea. And I think the progression of questions makes narrativesense that way too.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 14
    • 3. Penny’s responseHi Richard,Ive run the line order by a few folks, and when I suggested changing it, one well-respected haikupoet said it was better, more natural, the way it was. That it worked better being that random—more mysterious. Id wanted to change it the way you suggested, for the narrative progression.I understand your saying "like a child wading into the sea" lacks the same level of poetry (prosepoetry) as the rest. But the haiku is, in a way, an answer to wading into the sea—in that we never"get it" all—and are just treading water. Of course the Buddha would say that there is nothing toget. Perhaps I can rephrase that question and answer more elegantly.The questions could come from anywhere. I think its best to leave them vague—could be fromanother speaker, or in the speakers head. Or from the void :). They are both random andnarrative, but strange questions, thoughts, not unlike those one has sometimes in that statebetween sleeping and waking. They just came to me that way.Lets see:If I were to get rid of the "Do you get it now? " question and answer line, Id want the "abandonedsteeple" line to stay where it is—leading to the Buddha. . . the steeple representing the use oforganized religion. . . Of course I wasnt consciously thinking about much, if any, of this whilewriting it.Let me think on this a while and get back to you. I welcome any responses you have to mythoughts above.4. Richard’s replyPenny,I dont think Id want you to identify where the questions are coming from, I was just curious whatyou thought.I am trying to look at haibun more from a broader poetry perspective not just a haiku poetsperspective.But as Jane Hirshfield says, I can give you my honest advice but you need to retain the right toreject it all because its your poem, and you need to do what you want with it.I am not always right, and people who I have published in gean can tell you that I listen as well assuggest. But I am a good editor and I think I’m right about the line order.Again, that does not mean Im right. But I believe I am in this case. continued overleafNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 15
    • 5. Penny repliesHi Richard,You are convincing me to go with my first impulse---and your suggestion---move that line about"where do you sleep" to the first line.Let me think a little more about the "into the sea" line—to keep or change or omit—and Ill get backto you soon.6. Penny againHi Richard,I want to change that last line totally. The question completes the circle that begins with "Where doyou sleep?" I pared the answer down to just "The sky", though I was thinking things like "I raise myface into the sky," or "I give myself to the sky." It works for me because sea and sky are mirrorimages of each other.And as I decided on "The sky" for my answer, I was remembering a haiku I wrote in the lateeighties when Bill and I were staying in a pilgrims dormitory on Mount Haguro, Japan. Here is anexcerpt from my essay "Seeing and Connecting" from The Unswept Path (White Pine Press,2005) about that experience and the haiku:_______________________________________________During the summer of 1987 my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend the night in apilgrims dormitory on Mount Haguro in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. When I entered the room, itsentire far end open to the sky, I quickly crossed the space to the edge of the tatami-matted floorand opened my arms:fingertip to fingertipand still more sky---Mount Haguro."__________________________________________________So, how about the following---and Im wondering whether the spaces should be maintainedbetween questions/answer lines, or not. I think I like the spaces. And maybe "whispered" shouldbe in present tense: "whispers". What do you think?Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 16
    • Into the Sea Where do you sleep? In an abandoned steeple. A night light? I dont blow out my candles before sleep. What dreams? A gray ghost whispered, "Mirrors always lie." Not that kind of lie. And when you wake? The sky. stone Buddha— in his lap, the glint of mica7. Richard repliesI love this. The sky is perfect. Youre right, we should keep the spaces between questions andanswers. And I would change whispered to whispers.8. Penny respondsSo well go with the corrected version, below. Only thing, is maybe we ought to change the title,since the "sea" no longer is in the poem. If so, it could be "Into the Sky." OR, we could call it "NightThoughts". What do you think?9. Richard respondsI like Into the Sky because the glint of mica pierces the sky, too.I have really enjoyed working with you. I think editors and writers should work together. I dont seemy job as trying to tell you how to write - but to recognize what it is youre aiming for. I learn a lotfrom hearing what you have to say, and that helps me be a better editor on other pieces.So this is the final. Please turn the page for the final pieceNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 17
    • Into the Sky Where do you sleep? In an abandoned steeple. A night light? I dont blow out my candles before sleep. What dreams? A gray ghost whispers, "Mirrors always lie." Not that kind of lie. And when you wake? The sky. stone Buddha— in his lap, the glint of mica Penny Harter – USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 18
    • how did it begin neither of us made the first move— you empty your mind I empty the bins Jon Baldwin - USA when our eyes first touched my heart beat like church bells on Sunday Jon Baldwin - USA the kettle begins its cool moodswings . . . I blame my father and he blames his Jon Baldwin - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 19
    • Maire Morrissey-Cummins - IrelandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 20
    • Man Standing in the Rain willow leaves turn away— first drops of rain rain coat one size too big— river down my back walking in the rain— missing one puddle but not the next listening to rain under my umbrella— thousands of haiku after the rain playing a game of pick-up sticks horizontal rain— what wind looks like Jerry Dreesen - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 21
    • The Dreaming Room heatwave by Carole MacRury: a commentary by Michael Dylan WelchA Favourite Haiku heat wave— the horse blinks away a gnat’s life —Carole MacRuryOne supposed rule of haiku is to use concrete objective imagery, yet here is a poem that successfullyemploys abstraction—referring to the concept of the gnat’s “life.” Yet it works because everything elsein the poem is concrete. We can accept the fact that there’s a heat wave, and enter into what thatmeans—lethargy, sweat, and a longing for cool shadows. We can easily see a horse blinking, too, andcan marvel in the poet’s close observation in seeing a gnat at a horse’s eye. But imagine if the poem’s lastline were just “a gnat.” That could work, too, and perhaps we could leap to the same realization of thecontrast in size between these large and small animals. Yet saying simply “a gnat” would lack not justthe realization that the gnat’s short life has ended, but the larger interplay between the objects of thepoem and the subjective realization of the poet. This is best done as lightly as possible, however, for toomuch subjectivity or abstraction drowns a haiku. By inserting just this touch of abstraction, the poetreveals her engagement with the objects described, and we as readers see that as well as seeing theobjectively described images. Whether this was achieved consciously or accidentally is of littleconsequence. What matters is that haiku can be larger than a purely objective description, if carefullyhandled. The key detail is to find the necessary balance, as this poem does, between the primarilyobjective depictions and that touch of subjectivity or abstraction.Carole MacRury’s “heat wave” is from Haiku Friends Vol. 2.,Masaharu Hirata, ed., Osaka, Japan: Umeda Printing Factory, 2007, page 68. Michael Dylan Welch -USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 22
    • wildflowers by George Swede: a commentary by Lynne Rees wildflowers I cannot name most of me George SwedeThe opening line, composed of a single word, slows me down with its first two long syllables. And thatpace is perfect for the contemplation woven through this economical haiku.The pivot line is structurally satisfying – it rocks me in (wildflowers/I cannot name) and out (I cannotname/most of me) of the haiku – as is the balance of 3/4/3 syllables. But these formal characteristic servethe ideas behind the haiku too.The first two lines, taken as a couplet, describe a concrete experience that’s probably common to all ofus: a lack of knowledge or names forgotten as we walk through the countryside. The haiku instantlyinvolves me, invites me to share the moment.The 2nd and 3rd lines present a different kind of couplet: a personal reflection that is both concrete andabstract. How many of us could recite the litany of parts that make up our own complex organism? Andhow many of us are convinced that we truly know and understand ourselves: the different identities weadopt, the strange imagery that comes to us in dreams, or spontaneous and surprising emotion inresponse to unexpected events?Yet all of those things are offered to us in this haiku of seven words.Haiku are such light expressions it is easy to overload them with philosophy. The movement from thenatural world in line 1 to the economy of expression in lines 2 and 3 avoids that throughunderstatement and simple declarative phrase. It manages to be both witty and thoughtful.It is perhaps no accident that this haiku is the final one in George Swede’s collection. Rather than closedown the book, it opens it up for me, encourages me to reflect on what I cannot name, what I do notknow, about myself and the wider world. It sets me on a road of discovery, should I choose to take it.George Swede, Joy in Me Still, inkling press, Edmonton, AB T6G 2T5, Canada, p.79Eat, Live, Write with Lynne Rees at the hungry writerAuthor of Real Port Talbot due from Seren Books in 2013 Lynne Rees – UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 23
    • the longest night . . . every mistake I ever made Bill Kenney - USA hunters moon the old dog sighs into sleep Bill Kenney - USA traveller my sister returns with two heartbeats isadora vibes - UK picking my way among the broken lives low tide Jo McInerney - Australia café lights through the slanting rain a slow love song Jo McInerney - AustraliaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 24
    • an old argument untangling the christmas lights Ben Moeller-Gaa - USA late afternoon sun walking through the shadows of strangers Ben Moeller-Gaa - USA sunrise a champagne cork bubbles down the river Tiggy Johnson - Australia late December rains — the water dragons first wingflash Beverly Acuff Momoi - USA waning moon a lizards tail dangling from the cats mouth Beverly Acuff Momoi - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 25
    • a trace of warmthinsomnia all the shadows of thingswhen the day opens awkwardly I leave the house and walk through the orchard to the row ofleylandii and look at the depressions in the dusty ground where Im sure the wild pheasants nestleduring the day, even though I only know them from claw marks left in the earth; my hand neverfinds a trace of warmth in the shallow bowls, not even a feathersome days I catch a glimpse of them – the males barred bright gold and brown, their red wattles,the mottled females – skittering between the rows of apple trees, always keeping a distancehow can they trust us after all this time?I startled them once, in the farmyard when I opened the back door, a dozen or more of them takingflight at the sound then sight of me: the whirr of wings loud enough to make me step backsuddenly, alarm mixed with delight, flashes of green and purple returning to me at moments for therest of that day, like a charge to the heartLynne Rees - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 26
    • a crystal dewdrop rests on an oak leaf . . . immersed in the breeze I want to see my future Marion Clarke - USA my father sinking behind a cloud . . . I draw him gently with a pencil Ken Slaughter - USA one more sip of my Starbucks latte... through the window Chairman Maos stern face above the Tiananmen Gate Chen-ou Liu – CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 27
    • Irene Szewczyk -PolandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 28
    • Sepia Blues a "renray" abandoned row houses— behind them in the field a scarecrow grins dust on his toes mud on his heels opened bindle— a hobo puffs his corncob pipe lucky stars a possum for the burgoo first snowfall crowns the highest peaks migrations— she hums while sorting seed from pod a waft of pumpkin spice in the cold crisp air quilt to my neck father reads of Ichabod Crane Penny Harter, Susan Myers Nelson, Curtis Dunlap and Terri L. French – USA (verses in that order)Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 29
    • haiku matters Humour in Haiku: Colin Stewart JonesWhat may be funny to one person may not be funny to the next. It would be foolish to try to narrowlydefine such a broad subject area with one simple definition, but here goes anyway: it’s funny if it makesyou laugh! The masthead of Haijinx boldly declares that it is ‘putting the hai back in haiku’—hai,meaning humorous or joke—but what is humour in haiku, and has it ever been there?The pun is perhaps the simplest form of wordplay and yet also the most disdained. Generally speaking,people seem to fall into two categories when it comes to wordplay and either totally embrace it or rejectit in all of its forms because of the negativity that has come to be associated with punning. Yet, as wewill see wordplay is a device that has often been adopted in haiku. For an example of brilliant use ofwordplay let us firstly look at Bashō’s most famous poem:At the ancient ponda frog plunges intothe sound of water 1Bashō turns everything we think we know on its head with this poem. We know it is the action of thefrog that disperses the water to make the sound and that an object cannot enter into a sound; yetsomething immediately registers with the reader and they instinctively understand the poem, eventhough Bashō is saying the opposite of what is true. Basho’s quirky take on the natural order has madethe situation surreal and, therefore, funny. There is a deeper philosophical significance here alsowhereby Bashō cleverly makes the laws of cause and effect, seem absurd.Basho’s use of humour is equally effective in the following haiku:Summer grasses:all that remains of great soldiers’imperial dreams 2On first reading one feels the poet’s sadness and there is no denying the pathos. The poem is a ratherdamning indictment on the futility of war. On second reading, one is struck by the inclusion of theword ‘great’. Surely, not all soldiers are great in stature or deed. One may ask; how would Bashō know ifthey were ‘great’ now that the grass is covering them? He didn’t. By showing us that something assimple as the grass has covered the mighty, Bashō is mocking them and, by extension, their noble ideals.Bashō was, of course, not always so subtle and he resorted to plain sarcasm when he described hisimitators as melons.Buson uses similar language to Bashō’s ‘summer grasses’ in the following haiku: 1 Trans; Sam Hamill,The Sound of Water: Haiku by Bashō, Buson, Issa and Other Poets, (Shambala, Boston 2000) p.6 One may argue over the precision of some translations but I have chosen the versions that I believe best highlight humour of haiku...and I don’t have many books. 2 ibid, p.34Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 30
    • Nobly, the great priestdeposits his daily stoolin bleak winter fields. 3While Bashō seems to be use a mocking tone, Buson is so deadpan in his rendering of the scene thateven the translator, Sam Hamill, notes that Buson is ‘reminding his audience that nobility has nothingwhatever to do with palaces and embroidered robes, but true nobility is obtainable in every humanendeavour.’ 4 This may perhaps seem the case to Hamill. The word nobly, however, in conjunction withhuman toilet actions should immediately alert the reader that there is more going on here than simpledescription of a scene. Nobly, sets this poem up so perfectly and allows one to instantly see the ironyand impossibility of the situation: try as he might, the great priest cannot be noble while being observeddoing something as common as his toilet. One can almost hear Buson’s irreverent laughter. The fact thatit is a bleak winter day just makes the priest’s attempts at being noble all the more ridiculous, butcompletes the poem. No amount of pomp can disguise the fact that even the high and mighty are justthe same as common people because they must also move their bowels each day.Plum blossoms in bloom,in a Kitano teahouse,the master of sumo 5In this poem by Buson we see the delicateness of plum blossoms in bloom, symbolising the freshness ofyouth, juxtaposed with the strength of the old wrestler. The master of a sumo wrestling stable was aretired wrestler who would have been a good wrestler in his prime. The image of a presumably largeman sipping his tea in a teahouse, which was usually very small, is a funny one. The job of the master is,of course, to bring blossoming talent into fruition. Though the fruit is never mentioned, the reader’smind is also projected ahead of time to envisage the plum fruit, and by extension the full, purple face ofthe master wrestler.If there is one word that best describes Issa, it is probably whimsical.my noontime napdisrupted by voices singingrice-planting songs 6The humour in Issa’s haiku is more obvious than either Bashō or Buson. Issa is seemingly moreconcerned with his rest and how dare they, who sing through the necessity of planting, wake him.However, one also sees a tongue firmly planted in Issa’s cheek. Part of Issa’s charm is that he seems notto care what other people think of him as he wanders along observing or talking to creatures:Under the evening moonThe snailIs stripped to the waist. 7 3 ibid, p.55 4 ibid, translators introduction, p.xii 5 ibid, p.66 6 ibid p.91 7 Peter Washington, ed, Haiku, (Everyman, New York, 2003) p.69Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 31
    • In this haiku, Issa cleverly shows us juxtaposition without ever directly mentioning it. We still see theshell juxtaposed with the moon as the snail extends outwards. The image of someone stripped to thewaist usually implies work or action...maybe love. The humour of this haiku is contained in the absurdidea of a snail being stripped to the waist and ready for action...but the ‘action’ is at a snail’s pace.The poem below by Kerouac is an excellent example of how several layers of humour can be employedin the one haiku:In my medicine cabinet,The winter flyHas died of old age. 8Due to an accidental incarceration in Kerouac’s medicine cabinet, a fly has managed to survive into theWinter. Flies do not normally survive into the Winter and even though surrounded by medicine the flydoes eventually die we realise that Kerouac has been in good health because he did not need to visit hismedicine cabinet through the Winter. Kerouac’s health also ensures a lengthy extension to the fly’s lifeand yet paradoxically also simultaneously causing its death. In the final irony, the dead fly is onlydiscovered when Kerouac needs to take some medicine; if only he had been unwell sooner the fly mayhave survived.The following haiku, by Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney, breaks what may some consider to be “rules”:firstly it has a title; and secondly it follows a 575 metre. It is worth mentioning here that there are manywho still advocate a strict metre; the Scottish poet, Norman McCaig, used to say of poems that did notfollow the syllabic count “they are not haiku—they’re just wee poems”.1.1.87Dangerous pavements.But I face the ice this yearWith my father’s stick. 9To many readers this haiku may not seem funny at all but, in fact, quite the opposite. On first readingwe notice Heaney now has to face his old age with his father’s stick. One presumes his father has diedand the stick has been passed on to him. There is a wonderfully slow sense of progression in the poem aswe go from generation to generation linked through the continuity of the stick being handed down.One must be very careful with 575 haiku to avoid padding: notice the “but” at the beginning of line two,some may perhaps ask if it is really needed to convey the message of the poem. Forget about the metrefor a moment and consider the haiku without the “but”:Dangerous pavements.I face the ice this yearWith my father’s stick. 8 ibid p.237 9 Seamus Heaney, Seeing Things, (Faber and Faber London, 1991) p.20Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 32
    • Is it not just simply a haiku about cycles of death and ageing now, as I have outlined above—with thepathos being clearly evident. Heaney, however, is cleverly playing with the casual reader and while heis happy if you think this he certainly wants people to look further. Look again at the complete poemand ask why then did Heaney include the “but”? Do you hear the unvoiced laugh and the devil-may-care tone of Heaney before he has even ventured outside?Ha-ha!Dangerous pavements.But I face the ice this yearWith my Father’s stick.We could add more lines:He got through itAnd so will I.Though modern writers of haiku seem to mainly look for juxtaposition of concrete images, it could beargued that, they should also be trying to be more creative with their word choice and usage tohighlight any humour in a scene. Whether one likes the idea or not the basis of all poetry is wordplay;and a joke also depends on wordplay to deliver its message. Of those who write humorous haiku todaymany seem to take Issa’s questions to creatures as their reference point. I have done this myself:empty bottle—was it youyou little worm? 10What else can one do when drunk and confronted with the dreaded empty bottle but blame someoneelse. The Mescal worm was promptly eaten and, therefore, lost the argument; but did add much neededprotein to my diet.In the following example Alan D. Taylor also uses the questioning technique to humorous effect:wasp in a jar—is there a pointto your anger? 11While this is essentially a pun, it is a very good one, and seems like a valid question to ask.Likewise Jeff Winke points out the pointless and has keen sense for the absurd with his haiku:her training brawith nothing to train:bra in training 12 10 Colin Stewart Jones, A Seal Snorts out the Moon, (Cauliay, Aberdeen, 2007) p. 56 subsequently published in: New Resonance 7, Red Moon Press, (Winchester, USA, 2011) 11 Alan D Taylor, first published in: Clouds Peak #1, July 2006, online (now defunct)Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 33
    • Is it the bra that is in training for when it will be needed to be a training bra? By using clever wordplayand repetition of the same imagery, Winke, poses this unstated question which also ultimately asks;“what’s the point?”Sometimes the joke is much funnier if it takes a while for you to understand its subtleties.outside the pubthe sailorfaces the wind 13There is the obvious and mildly amusing allusion to being drunk and “three sheets to the wind” inChuck Brickley’s haiku. However, the poem also hints at other funny possibilities. Sailors seldom facethe wind because it is difficult to make headway. One assumes he is listing badly. There is also a veryreal possibility his bladder is full and he needs to pee; any sober sailor would know of the danger offacing the wind in that situation.An objective writer would never disregard any device at his disposal which is capable of rendering ascene with the most precision to achieve the desired effect. Poets are not meant to be reporters whosimply ‘tell it like it is’ but, rather by careful observation and inventiveness with words, poets should becapable of spotting life’s ironies and elevating the seemingly ordinary into something special. It takesgreat wit to play with words, and laughter is also a special gift which should be cultivated. From thesublime to the ridiculous, humour in its many forms has always been, and still is, present in haiku. If themoment requires humour, then as writers, should we not keep on putting the hai with the ku.BibliographyBooks:A Seal Snorts out the Moon, Colin Stewart Jones (Cauliay, Aberdeen, 2007)Haiku, Peter Washington, ed., (Everyman, New York, 2003)Seeing Things, Seamus Heaney, (Faber and Faber London, 1991)The Haiku Anthology, 3rd Edition, Cor Van Den Heuval Ed(WW Norton & Co, London, 1999)The Sound of Water: Haiku by Bashō, Buson, Issa and Other Poets,Trans; Sam Hamill (Shambala, Boston 2000)Journals:clouds peak #1, online journal 2006 (now defunct)Frogpond, XXII:i, HSA Publications (USA, 1999) 12 Jeff Winke, Frogpond 1999, XXII:i, HSA publications, p.47 13 Chuck Brickley, The Haiku Anthology, 3rd Edition, Cor Van Den Heuval Ed (WW Norton & Co, London, 1999)Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 34
    • John Byrne - EireNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 35
    • a tiny snail on the long march across the pavement; overnight rain Timothy Collinson - UK paper kites above the malls flat roof, strengthening wind Timothy Collinson - UK low winter sun warming up a row of chimney pots Marion Clarke - Ireland morning mirror caught staring into my own eyes Scott Owens - USA lost in a blaze of maples the yellow fire hydrant Angela Terry - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 36
    • not long enough the bed the night Graham Nunn - Australia redwood forest a blue jay disappears into sky Graham Nunn - Australia gathering storm crows squabble over the wheat field Liz Rule - Australia weeping willow it’s not the wind it’s the leaving Lucas Stensland - USA choosing at random birds, wherever they land Lucas Stensland - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 37
    • Fairground Animals - Jūnichō in a dark corner the glow of an apple system failure the quant grits his teeth under an orange sun young protesters put up tents an armed crew storms the farm gates unaware of their fate nearby cows moo loudly baby’s burp the smell of curdled milk flowing concrete a big footprint takes shape yeti sightings up again this year new planet the soothsayer predicts disaster white cloud puffs blur the spring moon hanging curtains a blue-headed moth drops from the folds fairground animals spin into each turn Participating poets and verse allocation: Annie Bachini - England, 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 Steve Mason – England, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 38
    • Searching the SizeIt is the evening hour of cloudy summer in Doon Valley, Dehradun. The children are busycollecting pebbles from the river bank. The rock pebbles record the long journey to reach themoon-like shape. Out of joy, I also start picking a few and return home. My tiny daughter, Rupa,posts an eager look and smiles.cut out of moonthe child reconfirmslooking upP K Padhy - IndiaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 39
    • thick, congealed blood on the moonlit floor… ten years later slowly a face takes shape in my mind Chen-ou Liu - Canada meerkats in the zoo, tapping bewildered at glass walls, sniffing a blue-painted ceiling Amelia Fielden - Australia I walk alone beside Lake Ontario -- an eagle circles above me on this windless day Chen-ou Liu - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 40
    • Lake Ontario cupped in my hands a Taiwan moon . . . her words linger in my heart theres no there there Chen-ou Liu- Canada the white heron lifts up, flies away from the lake with its reflection and my melancholy Amelia Fielden - Australia clear water cascading down my spine I shake myself out of the blue of a kingfisher Claire Everett - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 41
    • old friend— embracing him our bones collide John McDonald - Scotland lobster fishermen arguing— a bag of claws John McDonald - Scotland sleepless— his pillow full of voices John McDonald - Scotland —a carcass sibling crows gather to pick the bones Anne Curran - New Zealand old gate curlicues of iron and creeper Nick Sherwood - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 42
    • he asks if it’s the end of the line winter moon Cara Holman - USA plum blossom rain— matching my step to his Cara Holman - USA frost footprints my memory of her fading Cara Holman - USA end of a love . . . honey hardens in the jar Polona Oblak - Slovenia autumn berry the tell-tale sign of her lipstick Tracy Davidson - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 43
    • Special Feature NaHaiWriMoNaWriHaiMo (National Haiku Writing Month) is an initiative that provides daily prompts on a Facebookcommunity page to stimulate its members to compose a haiku. It has just completed its second year and goesfrom strength to strength.http://www.facebook.com/pages/NaHaiWriMo/108107262587697?sk=wallhttps://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/homeTo celebrate its success, Michael Dylan Welch, the organiser of this February event which actually continuesthroughout the year on Facebook, has announced that a book will be published featuring selected haiku fromNaWriHaiMo 2012.Notes from the Gean believes that Michael’s initiative is an important one which fully lines up with our mission topromote education, excellence and experimentation within haiku and are, therefore, pleased to run a specialfeature on NaHaiWriMo.Notes from the Gean surveyed members of the group with five brief questions and is pleased publish selectanswers to each question: a kind of community interview if you will. No 5-7-5 logo and Simpsons graphic by Michael Dylan welchNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 44
    • Q1.Colin Stewart Jones How did you first get to hear of NaHaiWriMo and would you actively promote the group to other writers of haiku?Tawnya Smith I heard about it last year from someone in my writing group. Several of them were participating in NaNoWriMo. I told them novels were beyond me at the moment, and one suggested NaHaiWriMo. Id also seen it mentioned on a few blogs I read.Anna Yin I found it through Google and thought it very interesting and wanted to challenge myself since I seldom wrote with prompts...and it would last a whole month! I kept write one or three every day and had so much fun to read others and my own. It just kept popping...with inspiration and joy...(even sometimes we wrote haiku implying sad mood) when the last day, the prompt was leap year… see, time flies so I wrote: leap year, your rare birthday, the painter add dragon’s eye…. in Chinese legend, as soon as the dragon was added eyes, it would fly away…But gladly, we still stay here and keep writing.Cameron Mount I recently joined a group of haijin in south Jersey, a new charter of the HSA which had its first meeting in early February. In the email list that went around, one of the other poets (Penny Harter, actually) mentioned the Facebook group. I jumped right on it. For the last few National Poetry Months Ive written a haiku a day anyway, and Ive been a fan of Basho and Issa for quite a while, but never really had a community to share my own with.Jayashree Maniyil Answer to Q1 - I learnt about NaHaiWriMo through the poetry blog dVerse Poets Pub. There was a post about haiku and its form (from memory) and everybody was encouraged to write one and link it to the post. I think, as part of the discussion through the comments section, one of the comments to the post had a link to NaHaiWriMo blog. That is how I landed here. Normally I dont trust my memory that much but I am most certain that this is how I came to know of NaHaiWriMo. I would certainly recommend this site to anybody who is keen on learning haiku. Lot of fantastic writers sharing the same page with beginners like me, encouraging and providing constructive feedback, having fun together and learning from each other. And of course we have useful tips shared by members and most importantly Michael - lots of reading material on Graceguts. Every post that I make is one tiny step closer to understanding it....and of course with every step forward, I slip back a few steps again!!! :-). Its all fun and good. I enjoy being here.Hannah Gosselin I noticed a writing friend of mine doing a haiku a day challenge on a facebook page (I missed half the month looking for it, as I didnt have the right name), but Ive really been enjoying it now that Im here and Ive posted a link to a friend to help her get back into the poetry practice, too…Cara Holman I heard about NaHaiWriMo last year when I noticed several Facebook friends of mine clicking "Like" on the page. I am always open to new poem-a-day challenges, so I decided to give it a try. Over a year later, I am still writing (though not always posting) haiku daily. I would definitely recommend NaHaiWriMo to anyone who wants to improve their haiku, develop a daily writing habit, or just connect with the online haiku community.Tore Sverredal I found it when I made a Facebook search for haiku groups and sites last autumn. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in haiku!Terry OConnor First heard about it when I eavesdropped a whispered conversation at a Haiku Anonymous meeting last year...tried everything to quit, but when I noticed that even cold turkey was a season word, I resigned myself to my fate, and Ive been here ever since. I dont tell people...dont have to, its an epidemicCarlos Colón Susan Delphine Delaney gave be the scoop. I have spread the word to the NW La. Haiku Society, buthave not seen any of the members posting yet.Alee Imperial Albano A Wikipedia entry! Thats very likely and soon from you, Michael! And in answer to yourquestion, Colin: I learned about it vaguely at first from Vicki McCullough during one of our meetings, the VancouverHaiku Group. But it was Jessica Tremblay, then a new member, who explained to us what NaHaiWriMo is. I believe Ialso read it on Red Dragonfly, Melissa Allens blog…Pris Campbell I heard about it in one of the FB groups on haiku back before the 2011 Feb challenge and was hooked right away. I always recommend it to anyone writing haiku or interested in learning more about it. Writing to the same prompt is fun and the links are educational.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 45
    • Jann Wirtz I gave up at Laundry.. after Jam and Kitchen the domesticity got to me!Michele Harvey Im not sure if I first saw NaHaiWriMo on Facebook,The Haiku Foundation News or one of the many blogs I subscribe to, but all at once it was everywhere! I jumped in late last February, found it addicting and decided to stay for the ride. Haiku (as many have said) is a way of life, a way of experiencing the world. NaHaiWriMo has been like catching a bullet train instead of a donkey cart. The interesting aspect of Kukai, is that the smaller the focus, (as if 17 syllables isnt small enough) the more creativity is called upon. My only quibble is that more of the larger haiku community doesnt join in. There are many admired poets Id love to see tackle some of these kukai. That would be quite a thrill. Yes. Id definitely recommend this to any haijin, beginner or otherwise. Its great to get the juices flowing and limber up ones skillsOtsenre Ogaitnas I first heard of NaHaiWriMo last year while having lunch with some haiku poets @ Haiku Society of America National Quarterly Meeting/Bend Haiku Weekend 3-5 June, 2011 in Bend, Oregon where I was a haiku presenter and an invited guest by award winning Oregon poet anya and PeterB. And @ the meet, one day, if I remember well I think I saw MDW wearing his signature t-shirt with a no 575 logo. But only last month I committed myself to NaHaiWriMo for its February event to support my fellow HSA friends / haiku writers, and of course to challenge myself if I can haiku for a whole month. Oh, do I still need to recommend it? NaHaiWriMo is a recommendable thing, and I can recommend it anytime, but honestly I don’t have to because haiku writers and haiku enthusiasts as well will come to...Barb Westerman McGrory I first heard about this group when I was using a page I had under another persona (a writer page I kept separate from my family page). I networked with a lot of other writing enthusiasts and it was through some friends participating in NaNoWriMo (oddly enough) in 2010 that I found this page and briefly participated last year. This year I decided to really work on the craft and now I seem to be obsessed. I think this exercise is helping me a lot with my creative non-fiction writing, though where I used to write long, complicated, word-happy poetry, since January Ive been able to write nothing but haiku & Im starting to think I have a more compulsive personality than Id already suspected. lol... I appreciate it when I get feedback, I enjoy reading the compositions of others, and I appreciate the challenge of trying to fit the incessant dialogue running through my head into as few words as possible.I lean toward offbeat, but I like coming here in an attempt to broaden my scope. Thanks! :)Susan Shand I first heard about NaHaiWriMo in a message from MDW prior to the launch. Yes I would and do promote it to new haiku writers. It is an excellent site and a very welcoming place for people who are learning where they can post their early haiku. It is also very interesting to see what other people do with the daily prompts, so it is stimulating for seasoned writers too.Kathabela Wilson I first heard about NaHaiWrimo by someone mumbling weird sounds under their breath. When I asked them to speak up they said the same thing again whatever it was... I asked... what does this mean? Their eyes lit up and then they explained it... alright I said so I went and looked and liked the Facebook page. I knew MDW had started it, so I thought. Okay... it has to be good. This was about a year ago when I was young and innocent. Then it happened. It took over my life... well for a while then I thought... no no I cant let it happen. Its a trap, thats what it is, with magic incantations too. "Nahaiwrimo..." say it over and over and see what happens to you. Well I dipped in over the last year and tasted it again a little thinking I was a free person. But then it happened again... I no longer had any control. You notice they say "Nahaiwrimo" mean National Haiku Writing Month" (I still tell people who hear ME mumble it and they look at me sideways...!) Well the month never ends... its an endless feast. You have to think before you recommend it... but I do... your life will be full of poems, your head will be full of haiku night and day, you will dream of haiku, wake up with haiku in your mind, your husband will be afraid to get out of bed because you will read him fifteen new haiku before coffee. You will suddenly know the deep thoughts of hundreds of new friends... and one of them may even decide to turn into a nine headed earthworm (really this happened in his haiku) and you after thinking about that for 3 days will decide you love it) so... be careful. its too much fun, and how will you get anything else done??? Well the good energy and humor gives a great dynamic to your day... and um... you may lose weight -- I havent even made breakfast yet.Annette Makino I learned of NaHaiWriMo via Twitter on the 4th day of last month. Starting then I posted every day thru February and also posted my haiku, with links back to the NaHaiWriMo page, on Twitter…Jenny Angyal I first learned about NaHaiWriMo from a post on Troutswirl, the Haiku foundations blog. I would recommend it to anyone interested in haiku. Writing to the prompts is very stimulating and results in haiku I never would have written otherwise…Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 46
    • Q2.Colin Stewart Jones Does the sense of community work better than a closed forum which can sometimes intimidate?Hansha Teki It has quite a different dynamic, Col. Sometimes the sense of community challenges one to hone ones skills more but just as easily the cosiness can make one lazy and settle for lukewarm poems knowing that they will be appreciated anyway.Violette Rose-Jones I think its much better here and we dont seem to b attracting the troll element which can b disheartening.James Rodriguez the way it works here is nice, everyone who participates is here to learn and share and there isnt the, crusty few i guess, ones with their own personal agendas or axes to grind that are so common elsewhere. mdw does a great job keeping things running smooth and providing links to help all of us grow and expand in the craft.Rosemary Nissen-Wade I have not been in any closed haiku forums. I like the friendliness and supportiveness ofpeople here, and feel the beginnings of that warm sense of community which I have experienced so abundantly inother open haiku groups on fb and elsewhere. I think the standard here is in general quite high and that my ownhaiku have improved due to my participation this year.Jayashree Maniyil Q2: I have not been in any closed forums either. This is my first time in something of this kindand that too on facebook. I was quiet first but soon realised that everybody here is serioius and keen to learn. Seriousmeaning not that we dont have fun. We do. But all in good spirit.Annie Juhl It was with a pounding heart I wrote my first haiku here a year ago. I was an absolute novice, (still am)and my English was very limited. I soon found out that this community was a “safe” place. It’s friendly, including,supportive, instructive and fun.Susan Shand …They are different. There tends to be much less of the personality challenging stuff in NHWM whichmakes it more relaxed and less confrontational than some other groups. There isnt much critique either, which makesfor a fairly non-judgemental comfort zone. Everyone needs a comfort zone :).Mark E. Brager I think NaHaiWriMo provides a great sense of community but different from other fora which I haveexperienced which are more for workshopping. I would actually appreciate more feedback on my poems onNaiHaiWriMo.Rosemary Nissen-Wade As a reader, I like the Like option. It saves me from having to try and find intelligentcriticisms every time, when all I might really want to say is, I like this one.NaHaiWriMo Im hearing several people say theyd like more commentary on their haiku, such as ways to improveit, and hopefully explanations of what makes a poem work. If anyone prefers just to click Like, thats always fine, butsomething to consider is that if think through the reasons why you like a poem, and try to articulate them in a shortnote, that act itself can help you improve your own haiku.Kathy Bowman I appreciate the questions but find this one to be leading - future questions might be better phrasedmore neutrally - who doesnt want community? who wouldnt prefer not being intimidated? But it could equally bephrased - does a closed forum provide a sense of safety compared to an open one where anyone can makeintimidating comments? This doesnt mean Im right but it seems like the questions are set up to lead the answers.Hey, that may be what is wanted. It may partly be a function of the yes/no question format, which is certainly easierto tabulate than a more open ended question such as - "what kind of forum builds community and safety?" Open?Private? Closed? Other - and if so, what?Has I beated it to death yet? Asking is always good.Colin Stewart Jones just a simple Q from experience kathy. closed forums with lots of experienced writers canseem intimidating and i just wondered if folks prefer the open community group to such forums.Patsy Turner …love the anonimity and internationality of this medium...have done lots of writing with people i knowso has been great to give and receive feedback unconditionally ,,Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 47
    • Angie Werren yes :) I actually left one closed community because I felt the moderater imposed his own viewpointmuch too much. this page is much more welcoming, to poets of all experience levelsSheila Windsor great question: from me a resounding: YESSandi Pray Absolutely love the diversity and openness! Yes :))Michele Harvey Col & Michael, ie: a closed forum VS. an open (FB) community; both offer very different benefits. Ihave been on both and have been intimidated on some closed forums. But with that intimidation one is also forced tosubmit to elders who have practiced the form longer and have a greater understanding. With this acquiescence, onelearns at top speed. The key to any successful forum is focus on the art (of haiku) not on the individual. I owe a greatdebt to some of those that bashed me the most.I think the choice depends on what your goal is. To learn how to write haiku, a closed forum will offer focus andcritique. A Facebook forum is a gentler entry which offers overall encouragement, but wont offer the focusedteaching a good closed forum can.Both can create a real feeling of community.Terri Hale French I think it depends where you are at in your "haiku voyage." I also belong to a closed forum andwe do a lot more critiquing, but we have all been published for awhile and have plenty of rejections under our beltsso I skin is pretty thick! I think NaHaiWriMo is more about sharing with just little nudges of critique. Many things Ishare here I then take to my closed forum for critique, so both places serve a purpose. I liken it to exercise, here Iwarm up and there I get down to muscle defining. One of the nice things about NaHaiWriMo is someone is alwayshere; my closed forum is much smaller and sometimes when I visit nobody is home. : )Terri Hale French our skin I meant!Andrew McBride I like this open community forum and have found it validating to have fellow Haikuists "Like" mypoems and make comments and suggestions. Its very supportive and enjoyable. I also belong to a closed forum withvery little participation and an in-person critiquing group with lots of participation.Alee Imperial Albano I plunged into NaHaiWriMo last year not really knowing what to expect. I guess I was morecurious than serious. But I knew Michael from the fluke of a haiku, which won for me my one and only award in haikuwriting so far where he was a judge. I’ve read a lot about him and his essays on haiku and had met him. And Iwanted to belong to one more of his brainchild. I had also thought it would be great to tug along Melissa Allen,Margaret Dornaus (both of whom I’ve befriended through our blogs) and Jessica Tremblay I’d later meet. And so Iapproached NaHaiWriMo with the spunk of a newbie, which I think worked for me because it felt informal. Of course,I later realized it was more than a community, in some aka group site, one to which I once belonged, where oneinertly displays one’s daily ware like say I do in my blog and hope some flies would catch a waft of my offering. It wassoon turning into a dynamic site where one’s haiku (ware) gets a current of eyes that either pass it on or assess andeven buy it, ‘like it’ to be more precise and even confirm this with a prized comment.At first, sheepishly doing, imitating perhaps, what apparently should be done to others’ haiku, I found myselfbecoming more confident with my own appraisals, even enhancing these with comments. I soon realized that when Idid this, I was really doing it to my own work. Gradually, our daily haiku started to have definite voices, personalitieseven and NaHai is turning out into an actual community shaped by the varied elements of a world we constructeddaily with our posts. It isn’t at all surprising that the ‘wall’ we completed everyday is a mosaic of differing skills—ofcourse, this showed. But there was no stopping us because as in a community, relationships began with some evengetting firmed up, even established. Along the way too, the more skilled among us started taking the hand of thosewho were limping, fragile. I was one of them; and so, some of us were turning out better ‘details’ for the wall. Theholding of hands, the fun and the sharing of cross-cultural universes, as well as the baring of one’s self with inevitabletrue-to-life snatches straying into our haiku, the spontaneous caring that we expressed for someone’s pain and blissturned us NWHMo-ers into a real community.In a closed forum, one of which I’ve also ‘dared’ to sign up, this spirit of being together, working on the same wallclosely with each other can’t be possible because a lapse of time often happens where response is delayed. Butdpending o the members, it can also be a caring community. Yet because the exchange isn’t daily, the energy is notsustained. Intimidating? It could be if a participant is self conscious of the players’ degree of craft (multi-awarded,multi-published, editor, reviewer, competition judge, etc.) versus a virtual newbie, or a learner who strayed into ararefied field. Critiquing can also be intimidating because serious even scholarly critiques is the ken of the reallyaccomplished, and learning through them can be truly helpful, though a simple, sincere and honest expression of whya haiku works for a novice could be taken as refreshing but then, it could also be ignored. Yes, I’d prefer a communitythough now that I have as choice, I’d like to stay with the closed forum as well, echoing Terri’s voice on both.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 48
    • Kathabela Wilson This community is nourishing and inspiring and we touch new hearts in approach to the heart ofhaiku! I tend to prefer openness. But the quiet dynamic of concentrated dialogue in a smaller (not necessarily closed)group can be good too. I would not choose one over the other, I would choose both. Plus add one more, personalfocused conversation and one on one collaboration with those we connect with through this open community, Thishappens, expands and adds more richness and meaning to our open group!Q3.Colin Stewart Jones Is it possible to write authentically when writing in response to prompt?Alison Williams Yes, just as its possible to write inauthentically without prompts.Freddy Ben-Arroyo The prompt is just a triger. The answer is YES! I always write authentically. And it comes to meeasy. After all, we all have some assosiations with a given word, and we have the present as well! Its simple - justlook around and VOILA!Aubrie Cox I think, like Freddy said, the prompt is/can be a trigger. Something about it resonates within us from theprompt (sometimes)... however, I do think its more difficult to be auhentic if one sticks strictly to the prompt.Judith Gorgone A prompt, is just another source of ideas. Why does it matter where the inspiration comes from?Its what you do with it.Bret Mars Define "authentic." If the prompt is of a nature you have no connection with, an item you are unfamiliarwith, you have to research it. Read about it, look at it, then construct a response based wholly on your new foundknowledge. You have no choiceEric Fischman It is not possible to write inauthentically. Just because the language you use doesnt resonate withme, doesnt mean that it didnt resonate with you. Just because my ear has been trained and boot-camped, doesntmean the active expression of an untrained mind is somehow false! What could be more honest, more actual, moreauthentic, than being a beginner? What does the amateur have to teach the expert? It is still your mind, your mindyour mind your mind, and whatever comes out of you is true true true.Marty Smith ...........yes,is "authentic." in the moment or in memory...how ever often i just make up a scene for the prompt, also i am inspired by other poets post and i write myresponse.Hi-Young Kim Heart will strip naked. The language is a prompt to the real prompt. Not a question aboutauthenticity, just about being trigger-happy. Go ahead. Make My Day.Christopher Provost Yes, but sometimes I think prompts make my writing forced. Ive written some good haiku inresponse to prompts, but Ive also written some crap.Edgar W. Hopper Yes, of course. For those of us urban dwellers who dont always have a nature or otherwisenatural experience that acts as a trigger the prompt can serve as a stimulus that allows for authenticity. I dontpretend to know what is meant by authenticity in haiku, I just feel that, for me, crafting an acceptable haiku isdifficult no matter the source of inspiration.Sheila Windsor i agree with hi-young: a prompt to the real prompt.B Fay Wiese Something always "prompts" ones writing, whether it is a word that we go to a site to retrieve, or awalk outside, or a rainstorm we watch, or a friend or loved one dying, or a massive disaster, or any other experience.The quality of our thought determines the authenticity of our writing, not where the idea for the writing came from.Cameron Mount I find a way to make the prompts dredge up an organic thought or observation. The authenticity ofthe moment may be in question (as in, did I really see that sunset?) but the image itself can be authentic. As in mostpoetic forms (or indeed in literature in general) fictional details do not necessarily negate authenticity, nor does beingfaithful to life observation make an event ring of truth.It is less about authentic being real and more about authentic driving a reaction in the audience.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 49
    • Angie Werren yes. I try to let the unfamiliar prompt take me to a new way of interpreting what I see/observe. if Icant bring my own experience to it somehow, I usually skip it.Terry OConnor Q:Is it possible to write authentically when writing in response to prompts?Answer + 2 cents:Of course, with varying degrees of success, absolutely.In much the same way as I can feel a completely real/authentic emotion in response to an actors portrayal of acharacter or a singers song of joy/pain etc. I dont require Adele to be dumped by her boyfriend before everyconcert, nor does Disney have to really shoot Bambis mom ;) for me to "really" feel that emotion of loss.I think some (left-brained haiku supremacists who only watch documentaries, hate popular culture and anyone bornafter the Edo period !?!) have a hard time with subjectivity, while others have a better ability, and are more willing, toput themselves into the moment and see/believe(suspend disbelief) what(ever) they are shown, told...A balance between the two would be ideal, but you cant, and surely shouldnt please all the people all thetime...hence sub-genres and all the wonderful diversity.Otsenre Ogaitnas Basically, yes, it is possible to write authentically when writing in response to prompts, becausethey (the prompts) would, to my understanding, represent authentic writing only when you yourself as a writer wouldlike to see your masterpiece written or done, and in it there’s an authentic feeling, felt by the reader, whether it iswith reference to a personal life experience or not. Sometimes for me the only way to get my aging brain to workproductively is through the given prompts, just like here @ NaHaiWriMo, but of course I never forced myself, nor letmy fingers bleed writing to prompts, because I already know the outcome- poor quality and often formulaic.Prompted or non-prompted, I think, to get a quality result depends on ones writing approach. Well, hope you enjoymy haiku below, wink!my haikunot spectacular —just this red sunsetPat Geyer yup...the same way you respond to the prompts life scripts for you each day...ya do what ya gotta do...Terri Hale French Sure, one can be authentic or inauthentic with or without a prompt.Alessandra Gallo Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is allYe know on earth, and all ye need to know.NaHaiWriMo Something Ill say about "authenticity" is that its a matter of process and product. Good process canhelp make good product, so writing out of genuine personal experience rather than pure imagination is often reliable,although that doesnt mean that imagination cant also come across to the reader authentically. As novelists will tellyou, fiction is often truer than fact. Also, the point that something "really happened" does not mean the poem isauthentic -- one can still write inauthetically about authentic experience. What really matters, ultimately, is theproduct -- does the *poem* itself come across to the reader as being believable, regardless of how it came to beinspired? If you write about a new moon rising in the sky, thats simply not possible, so such a poem would beinauthentic (in this case, factually false). But if youve never seen or experienced the rock formation known as talus(one of our prompts last month), it is entirely possible to research and project yourself empathetically into such anexperience and write a poem that could indeed come across as authentic to readers. Remember that Busons wifewas *alive* when he wrote about stepping on his dead wifes comb.Tawnya Smith There are many yet connected ideas of authentic arising here. There is authentic viewed from thepoint of inspiration, from the process of creation, from the judgement of quality, and from approval by a reader. Idont see them as the same, but I do see them as connected. Rather like the poem itself is parts gathered and woveninto a whole. I suppose each of these could be measured for authenticity. There is also a factor of time. Given someamount of time, there will be a reader, experienced or not, who will appreciate a piece of writing, authentic or not.Quite the hornets nest, this question. ;)Rosemary Nissen-Wade Yes. The subconscious is infinitely obliging, and throws up just the right memories, ordirects the consciousness to the perfect item in the present environmentNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 50
    • Violette Rose-Jones Yes. Good haiku are not always about having a haiku moment but are always about nailing atruth or a true moment. Our memory contains a wealth of such moments, we just have to make connections.Paul David Mena The best haiku are authentic responses to external stimuli. That the prompts are not of the poetschoosing is - in my opinion, anyway - irrelevant.Q4.Colin Stewart Jones How do you feel that by participating in NaHaiWriMo your writing skills have improved?Mark E. Brager oh yes...the daily practice plus the exposure to such a group of talented haiku writers has sharpenedmy meager skills immeasurably. Seeing how others interpret a prompt and react to others poems is a rich source offeedback...Susan Murata I KNOW I would not write without the prompts, one. Two, you MUST write in order for there to be aninteraction with community members re: (your own) haiku content. Three, the interaction with other haijin on this fbsite sooooooo encourages your very best output. You quickly see whose haiku hit the mark - whose haiku reverberate- and the impetus is there to try harder. It works!!Cara Holman Participating in NaHaiWriMo has really made a difference in my comfort level with writing and sharinghaiku. It made it okay to just write, without worrying about what an editor would think. And the almost instantaneousfeedback, in the form of comments or "Likes", helps me refine my haiku. Not to mention the benefits of readingothers takes on the same prompts.Terri Hale French you cant improve if you are not writing, so the discipline of writing every day has helped mywriting. Plus reading other peoples work always greases my wheels!Susan Shand I enjoy the challenge of writing every day, even days when Im busy, or not in the mood for writing. Itis good practice. Because it is a non-judgmental space to post, I have felt able to experiment with my haiku. I haveused different forms, or pushed at the edges of haikuness. I have sometimes been surprised when people haveliked a haiku that I didnt think was very good. So it has broadened my writing and given me confidence to showwork which otherwise I might not have done.Raul Sanchez May 1st will one year since I joined the page and have learned a lot from everyone else on the page.What I like is the early morning challenge of the prompt. Sometimes it hits me right away, other times not. But lettingthe prompt "incubate" in my head, the haiku or senryu comes out like a spring chicken making a lot of noise. I alsoenjoy all the cyberfriends out there. Good work yall!Lorin Krogh I stay much more in my present moment and Im more aware of surroundings... besides being a betterand more joyful writer/ observerBret Mars The random freshness of unexpected subjects moved me beyond my typical bag of tricks. Seeing how others approached a subject was instructive too.Hannah Gosselin I feel that my haiku writing skill has improved in that Ive taken time to read the links provided specifically on how to write haiku and that by reading the offerings here Ive learned what works and doesnt work for people and for myself also. :)Cameron Mount I think the participation has increased my ability, as noted by others, because it forces "butt-in- chair" kind of devotion. I dont know why I respond better to deadlines than internal motivation. I suspect Im not alone in that. But I do know that I do respond better to external stimuli, so just having a dedicated goal that isnt self-determined makes it more likely that I will put my butt in the chair and start working on my poetry.Jayashree Maniyil The more I write, the better it gets.....this is exactly what I am holding on to dearly and trying to build slowly. I think my haiku has changed from the time I began even in a short duration. Has it improved? I certainly hope so. At the moment all that I am doing is responding to a prompt as best as I can. It is good to have something to work towards. And this daily practise sessions helps in building a routine - dedicating some time just to do one thing. I love going through the variety of interpretations from everybody. The constant encouragement from everyone only pushes me to strive a bit more harder the next time.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 51
    • Lisa Hills I think it probably does. But it depends on many elements. If my brain is thinking of poignant words and thoughts. or is still half asleep.Belinda Broughton daily writing always helps me. it has improved my haiga especially and increased output. my reading has improved too!Kat Creighton As others have stated the daily prompts, the likes or lack of likes and comments on my haiku have all helped me to write better. On many occasion those with much more experience than I have given me in- depth critiques that have helped me dig a little deeper. On the NaHaiWriMo page I read haiku that I love and some that I dont love so much...reading may be the best teacher.Hansha Teki NaHaiWriMo has been a great motivator in writing haiku as a matter of discipline. Every new haiku is a new beginning; whether that necessarily indicates an improvement in haiku writing skills is not something that I am objectively able to judge in regard to my own pieces. The warm and supportive atmosphere of NaHaiWriMo is clearly a great encouragement to each of us to write haiku but more than this is necessary if we wish to write poems that may be remembered weeks, months, years, decades or even centuries from now.Johnny Baranski To me its simply a matter of practice makes perfect.Ida Freilinger Writing under pressure was good for me. Reading haiku I liked was also fun. I think I understand haiku better. By gauging likes I found ways to write haiku others liked better. When I heard the word Kukai, I groaned inwardly and tried to escape. It took too long to write one or two. Now, I think Ill enjoy Kukai more and have better results.Alee Imperial Albano Definitely improved as has been noted by friends who I consider masters of the genre. My other gauge would be increased acceptance in my submissions. I find it easier to nail a haiku for here since, as well. Ive mentioned what in NaHaiWriMo has helped in my long response to Q1 like the discipline of writing daily, the interaction with other members, the likes and no likes, comments that uplift or suggest, but especially reading what Daphne says tons and tons of haiku and also Michaels random reference notes, definitely pulled me up. Still, theres still so much to learn.Annie Juhl Being a part of nahaiwrimo, has improved my haiku skils in so many ways. I would probably not have experimented with one line haiku, haiga, haiku primer, and all the other challenges we were given here, on my own. Wading out on deep water with very skilled people by my side, is a very good way for me to learn. And first of all, I feel free here, to experiment, play, be vulnerable, have fun, ask questions and learn. I’m only at the very beginning of my haiku path, and I’m very grateful for all the encouragement and help I was given here, both on haiku and language.Paul David Mena Daily prompts fight complacency by providing a gentle nudge to write - with or without the poets perception of "inspiration."Anna Yin Not sure. I hope to have more serious discussion with experienced haijin. Most of my haiku I save somewhere and I plan to come back to revise. Meantime, I read some discussions here and some good essays as well which help me understand better. So in this sense, Id like to say I have improved.Kathabela Wilson Absolutely. NaHaiWriMo has given me a deeper appreciation, and a deeper penetration into the possibilities of haiku. In asking myself for this continuous flow of concentrated expression it has caused me to examine the elements and powers of the form and thus... improved my writing, I am sure of it.Michele Harvey NaHaWriMo has forced me to give a keener look at subjects that may otherwise go unexplored. Nachos for instance...who would consciously set about writing a haiku about nachos? LOLElissa Malcohn Writing a daily haiku has given me a deeper experience of the form, both through practice and through reading other posts. Its not unusual for me to think I have something ready to post and then discover ways to improve on it.Sanjuktaa Asopa Oh yes,the exposure is more, the output is more,without the prompts id not have been writing at all; improved? i thought so, till 10 mnts ago when i was informed that ive been rejected by Acorn :=( That broke my heart, really it did!Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 52
    • Q5.Colin Stewart Jones Is there anything else that you wish to say about NaHaiWriMo?Lorin Krogh I appreciate the daily prompts as they have shown me the joy of disciplineAnnie Juhl I think I’ve said it all. But I can add, that I really enjoy the "rule" of one post per day.Freddy Ben-Arroyo You must be doing something right! Keep going! Thank you so much!Sheila Windsor thank youSanjuktaa Asopa Everything is perfect; great site to be in and thanks much for everything. But since i am among friends here, i wish if my poem is rubbish, somebody would tell me so frankly. i promise id try to take it in my stride :-)Daphne Purpus May it continue forever! It is wonderful!Alee Imperial AlbanoI wonder if Michael expected what NaHaiWriMo has turned into. Perhaps like its precursor, NaNoWriMo, he thought itwould end in a month or be a one-month event only, as its name says so. I think its a stroke of genius to use thetools of a networking site and make them work to create a learning laboratory. Not sure if Im using the right termshere but I hope Im giving a sense of what I mean more or less. The synergy among the participants that followedafter February 2011 has been amazing--it held us up. That most seem to have been committed to keep on adds tothe wonder because its so free in every sense; in regular workshops one stays because of a fee and in some, acertificate awaits in the end. (Well, there never was a promise of the book!) I stayed because I felt I was gainingmuch more than I was putting in. But beyond my personal gains, I think a better understanding of haiku as well as adebunking of a lot misconceptions about it has been achieved in a way by NaHaiWriMo. It should continue to converta lot more because for me, haiku is such a sublime art.Cara Holman What I like best about NaHaiWriMo is that it is inclusive-- anyone is welcome to write and post, regardless of their experience level. As such, it is a great way to dip ones toes into the practice of writing haiku. I feel like Ive written a "good" haiku, when it becomes the catalyst for an lively discussion.Kathabela WilsonI just realized there IS one more thing I have not said about NaHaiWriMo! Every day I learn more about things Imight not know or think about! Even when a prompt is something familiar, I look carefully at what allusions,references, unexpected meanings a word or idea has. Online dictionaries and googling make this easy. I realizemultiple meanings, add layers to my understanding about things, including words, origins, phrases, history,mythology, astronomy... no end to this! I like the unexpected provocation to experience and learn and apply. Evenwhen writing about a very familiar event, word, natural object, I am amazed at the richness and beauty of languageand associations. I love that I have learned so much as a result of NaHaiWriMo, and not just about haiku!Alee Imperial AlbanoId like to add to Kathabelas thoughts on how much learning seemed to happen everyday from the prompts. For me,more than what google had to say, its the personal notes some of us wrote which added deeper layers to bookknowledge. This filter of memory or more precisely, of the heart has given some haiku a kind of diamond facet hardto find anywhere. I feel so privileged traveling to places without a ticket, having a glimpse of wondrous places I maynever get to. Or reading a historical angle that google may never wind of. Its been awesome. Thanks to you all!Colin Stewart Jones hi guys thanks for all of your inputI am busy putting the feature togetherItll take a couple of days but will be worth itthanks againcolMy thanks to Michael Dylan Welch and all of the NaWriHaiMo group who gave generously of their time toanswer my questions. The group is an excellent place to learn and develop as a haiku poet. If you are onFacebook and want to learn more about haiku I’d thoroughly recommend joining NaWriHaiMo.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 53
    • Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 54
    • Alegria Imperial – Canada & Eleanor Angeles - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 55
    • House and Bird As the Earth turns - and Im told it does - a feeble light crawls over the roof of the inn. Still haventslept a wink and its getting tiresome, I hope. I notice a magpie on the inns roof and decide that itsfrom there the building came. Why not? Like some sort of egg thatll hatch Christmas and Bingoparties, lame C&W parties with pale quaint Danes doing line dance. Not quite satisfied with theorder of things ”in the World” (said in grimacing way with that expression 54-year-old adolescentspresent when they forget theyre … 54), I decide that the bird came before the house. November mist the chair is as solid as usualJohannes S. Bjerg - DenmarkNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 56
    • sand-flats splashed with china blue turning over the spoils of the tide this curlew mind Claire Everett - UK if I were to give up my dreams— a halo of debris around earth Luminita Suse - USA crowded café my iced tea inches away from your hot dark coffee Luminita Suse – USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 57
    • the leaves that never fell deep winter Ann Schwader - USA thin snow drifts into afternoon tea steam Ann Schwader - USA the curve of my hand windfall peaches Ann Schwader - USA to lie or not to lie? snow on snow Chen-ou Liu - Canada Christmas gift— smile of first snowman Gennady Nov - RussiaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 58
    • a dead gull on a bed of kelp sea fragrant Neal Whitman - USA a single lamp ample for story telling winter night Neal Whitman - USA hospital room two lives separated by a curtain Alan Bridges - USA misty light of a waning moon . . . water dragon Hansha Teki - New Zealand an old dress grows musty mothers perfume Todd Grant - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 59
    • Moonlight Settles - Jūnichō table for five flags billow under the changing sky starlings come to roost on an avenue of lime trees jazz night at the pub dancers spilling out feral gangs clash blades at the ready out of the shadows unseen at first a fox’s tail baring teeth caught in headlights front page picture refugees leave the town the river trail winds to a latticed bridge a dropped coin ripples tranquil waters clickety clack doors flung open cranes hang starkly over the city - moonlight settles the nightshift sweeping leaves Participating UK poets and verse allocation: joint composition, 1; Steve Mason, 2, 7, 12: Annie Bachini, 3, 8: Mary Dawon, 4, 9: Deborah Anderson, 5, 10: Lorna Liffen, 6, 11Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 60
    • The Dreaming Room on a bare branch by Bashō: a commentary by Alegria ImperialTransformation by haikuon a bare brancha crow settled downautumn eveningBasho(trans. by Jane Reichhold)“How true!” was all I could say of these lines, the first of Basho’s that I have read—my introduction tohaiku. The spare lines also stunned me yet they opened up spaces akin to meditation. Perhaps, I hadthought, I should read it slowly as in praying and I did. The passing scenes I’ve seen in drives hadsuddenly turned into an immediate moment and I, in it. I recognized the feeling; it also happens when apainting or performance draws me in. Of course, I was reading a poem and I understood it or so I hadthought.I can’t recall from what collection I read ‘on a bare branch’ among the few books I found at the EnochPratt Library eight years ago in Baltimore, where I was then staying. I had just stumbled on haiku,surfing the web for poetry and clicking on the page of Baltimore haiku poet Denis Garrison. Browsingthrough the posted works, I thought how easy to do it and so, with the spunk of an ignoramus, I wroteone, responding to his submission call. He sent it back with kind words. It had possibilities, he said, andhe even rewrote a line. How encouraging!I had just ended a long career in media and journalism and on the daring of a friend, had taken upfiction writing in New York and later, poetry—dreams that long hovered in my hard working years. Ithought haiku would come as easily as both, which I tackled the way I had wielded words in thick grayslabs. I had studied American, English and continental literature in the Philippines, a country closer toJapan, but had not been aware of haiku until then. And so, I wrote a few more of what I thought washaiku, imitating how Dennis demonstrated it and sent these again; I received an outright rejection thatmiffed me. Yet his advice (or was it a command?) for me to read up on haiku goaded me up the marblesteps of the Baltimore library.The haiku shelf nestled in an alcove of special collections on a mezzanine. The small table felt almostintimate. The few haiku small books felt ancient in my hands, the pages fragile. I could not take themhome. I had to take scrap paper from the librarian’s desk to write on. Only Basho’s ‘bare branch’remains among bales of my notes and haiku drafts. I’ve read more of Basho and volumes of other haikupoets since. I’ve learned that the simplicity and immediacy of the ‘bare branch’ that entranced me hadalso deceived me. Haiku, after all, is a centuries-old art. I realized I might never get to an iota of whatmakes it what it is. But haiku has transformed me since.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 61
    • Nature and I have turned into lovers, for one, as if I’m seeing clouds, the sun and the moon for the firsttime, or flowers and birds. Yet, as a child, I prowled bamboo groves and shaded streams to catchdragonflies and wait for the kingfisher’s shadow. As an adult, I walked on streams of blossoms shreddedby the wind, relishing fragrances and dreams. I used to throw open our windows for the full moon forme to bathe in. I thought I had shed them off when I left home for North America where I finally livethe four seasons with blossoms like daffodils and cherry blossoms or trees that inflame in the fall likethe maple that I used to know only as words in poems and songs in a borrowed language from animplanted culture I memorized as a child. But haiku has lent me ways to see things simultaneouslythrough the past into the present, as well as from a pinhole as in a bee wading in pollen to the vastnessof a punctured moonless summer sky. I leap from image to thought and feeling simply and exactlylosing myself in what a moment presents like how I felt reading ‘bare branch’ the first time.Some writings on Basho especially in his later haiku identify such a moment as Zen. As a SoutheastAsian, I know Zen. It’s part of my heritage. But how come I’m ignorant of haiku? It must have been ourdestined Western colonization that encrusted our Eastern beginnings with layers of European andAmerican culture, hence, blocking it. In an unfortunate historical accident when Japan occupied thePhilippines during World War II, my parents could have learned haiku and passed it on to me. Instead,those years inflicted so much pain that I grew up with my mother’s family trying to survive a pall ofsorrow from my grandfather’s execution by the Japanese Imperial Army. Japan, for me, represented thehorror of cruelty. Then came haiku. I hadn’t thought of that sadness I inherited when I first startedreading on it, delighting even at Basho’s Oku-no-hosomichi (Back Roads to Far Towns) leading me byinroads to Japan. When the Fukushima tragedy struck last year, I plunged into it, writing a haibunabout families being rescued and some haiku, finding myself in tears. I realized a healing has crept deepin me, of which my grandfather must have had a hand.From my first imitations of Basho, I kept writing haiku that I later found out from rejections were butfragments. Yet two flukes won for me awards in 2007, one from a growing volume of fragments that Ikept tweaking as a single entry to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, the other, another failedhaiku I expanded as free verse for the Passager Annual Poetry Award (Baltimore, MD). These fired meto keep on. I haunted more sites on the web, picking beds for my haiku. Peggy Willis Lyles, my firsteditor, sent back my submission to The Heron’s Nest, the first journal I dared to submit with kind sweetcomments yet I pushed more; until she died none of my haiku made it (one later did with Fay Aoyagiwho took over Peggy’s contributor’s list). Werner Reichhold of LYNX, on the other hand, loved my firstsubmission. Still, more rejections from other journals pounded on me to give up.But my prose and free verse had started to crackle with a ‘textured richness’ as one editor described it—obviously influenced by my practice of writing haiku—and made it to literary journals. I’m writing lessof both these days, finding in haiku the closer bridge to pure image and thought—more of my haiku, afew tanka, haibun and haiga have been published in other journals since. I’m also reading less ofdescriptive texts, dropping the first sentence if lacking the synthesis in a line like haiku. I can’t hope tofully know all I must or even write a perfect haiku but I step into its waters every day and steep myselfin its calmness, its virtue that first drew me in.Alegria Imperial - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 62
    • snow melting by Issa: a commentary by Michael Dylan WelchIssa’s Joy 雪とけて村一ぱいの子ども哉 yuki tokete mura ippai no kodomo kana snow melting the village floods . . . with children! —IssaIf I had to pick just one Japanese haiku as my favourite above all others, it would have to be this one.After a long winter, all the snow finally melts in spring. The poem starts with a simple image to indicatean optimistic moment of seasonal change, but then adds tension—water from melting snow isthreatening a flood. But then we have a twist—the village is not flooding with water, but with children.All is right with the world after all. And more than being right, it is joyous—it is ecstatic!I do not know to what extent the poem’s wordplay exists in the Japanese, but in English it works verywell, giving this haiku a surprise ending. With this surprise, Issa emphasizes the joy of childhood. Nowit is warm enough to play outside, and what fun to splash in the puddles—when the world, asCummings said, is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. And it’s not just one or two children, but all thechildren of the village, thus celebrating a communal joy.Issa shares this joy, too, but what makes the poem even more remarkable is its context, amid all hishardships. His mother died when he was three, his stepmother despised him and made him work in thefields instead of going to school, and he was forced to leave home at fourteen. That sounds like a recipefor an unhappy childhood, yet Issa recalls a happy childhood moment. His glass was always half full,and you can see this buoyant spirit in most of Issa’s haiku. He lived a life of much poverty, and thoughhe later married and found some literary success as a haiku poet, his children died very young, as didone of his wives. And that was not all of his troubles. Yet still he was able to find joy in his life.For me, this haiku captures not only the joy of childhood, but also the joy of haiku, because haiku poetsdelight in such moments just as much as children who take delight in spring puddles after a long winter.Here’s to Issa’s joy!Michael Dylan Welch - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 63
    • Kat Creighton - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 64
    • Guilty PleasuresI.Never one for affection. A woman of few words. And yet there was something in the way she rolledup her sleeves to knead the dough, or how a wisp of silver hair would slip loose from the severebun to catch on the damp blush of her cheek. Now and then, we’d watch her through a gap in thescullery door as she stood, elbow-deep in hot soap suds, humming along to some old-fashionedmelody. When she sensed our presence, she’d wipe her rough, red hands on her apron and barkat us to, “mind the floor”. Like her Battenburg cake, she would partake of life’s pleasures, inslivers.creaking pond ice…Grandmother’s bestpoker faceII.We all knew where she kept The Box. Right at the back of the sideboard in the musty front roomthat was only aired on special occasions, like wakes, or baptisms. Through the cellophane, thefaint, bittersweet smell of rumour and speculation. A gift from whom? How long ago? Would eachmouthful be unblemished, or would it bear the bloom of age? We’d turn the questions over in ourminds, give The Box a little shake and, in turn, hold it to our ears, as if the contents would this timeoffer up their secrets. Would they go with her, to the grave? We imagined her in her own dark box,with this one cradled in her lap, embalmed in eternal silence. And the worms would turn, unable topenetrate the film.Sometimes I wonder what happened to The Box, but there’s no one left to ask.chocolate violets…Grandma’s forbidden lovestill under wrapsClaire Everett - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 65
    • After Arrival travelers opening doors to rooms not their own You do not know the names of the people who have slept in this bed, or much about them, except that they too must have woken to the traffic and voices in the street below, made the trek from the cramped bathroom to the bed, hung their clothes on these hangers, opened the door with the same knob, noted the small economies: dim light bulbs, plastic glasses, small bars of soap, shampoo sachets, an old television that gets few channels, thin towels. A shadow reaches from your backpack to the still open door Maura High - Wales/United StatesNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 66
    • Stars that know no sadness - A winter shisan winter night - the stars that know no sadness are everywhere gentle crackling with every step on the way home a cockroach in the hardware store how about that? all the Kings men are in disarray at dawn they fall they fall in silence cherry petals over the mountain range the shining wind hes from the North shes from the South two Korean lovers black fishnet stockings wrapped around the towel rail after the shower waters of the brook are clear again dead or alive? uprooted tree across the street p.s. and apples in this foreign land are priced like gold missing moon-viewing he makes his first step on the Moon Vladislav Vassiliev - UK and Valeria Simonova-Cecon - ItalyNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 67
    • The power of light : Jûnichô-Winter winter moon deep in dream the storm calms down /HS at the french willows the brook breathes frost /RL eastern steppe training an eagle for hawking /HS - forced marriage: Escaping under a fake name /HS the hall porters gaze sweaty the hands /RL soft May rain ... The song of a distant flute* /HS - cattle drive - the old farmer courting again /RL the radiant power of light Segantinis last works /HS “Cardinal de Richelieu” infested by the moss gall /RL - she thumbs through her dossier /RL wandering fogs close to the sky cripples the wood /HS between Castor and Pollux floating the koans solution /RL *The song of a distant flute: Li-Tai-P, The Mysterious Flute Helga Stania & Ramona Linke - GermanyNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 68
    • Alegria Imperial - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 69
    • rainstorm gone the dripping stillness of green air Jan Dobb - Australia there on the tree a flawless spider-web Christmas morning Jan Dobb - Australia burnt-out house inside the safety fence a blaze of marigolds Jan Dobb - Australia poem removed due to previous publication in another journal a foretaste of whats to come— the weight of a quince Beth McFarland - GermanyNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 70
    • bedside vigil . . . her firm grip softens Al Fogel - USA alluring web: the fly and me hovering Al Fogel - USA After the wedding: red ants carrying rice. H Edgar Hix - USA shorter days the pastors sermon longer Deborah P Kolodji - USA smoke bush even my dreams muted mauve Deborah P Kolodji - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 71
    • the snowman at my front door asks when will he get an umbrella for rainy days Luminita Suse - USA the moonlight across my sick-bed reminds me how much of my life I live in shadow hortensia anderson - USA this solitude is all that I have ever wished for— a full moon silvering the dew on the roses hortensia anderson - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 72
    • her brush sweeps across the white canvas with black ink... a rustle of breeze blowing through bamboo hortensia anderson - USA the small of her back again in my dreams the world rotated since I slid away Lucas Stensland - USA kneeling drunk women posed as owls the texted photo arrives with the morning that finds me ragged and ruffled Lucas Stensland - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 73
    • Lavana Kray, Christine-Monica Moldoveanu RomaniaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 74
    • Kat Creighton - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 75
    • The PointIm trying to make (I shout to my old friend over the hubbub in the bar) is that I admired him foralways being determined to get up and get himself to work, which he did (had to do) until the end.We both check our watches.In the morning mirror, I think of him again...quelling the shakesin his straight razor hand...splash of whiskeyGarry Eaton - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 76
    • "The midnight"End of December was looming. A few matters needed to be sorted out, so they wouldnt bar thepassage into the new year. So many useless emotions had accumulated during those twelvemonth. Tonight was especially long and frosty.say no morelisten:snow is fallingDorota Pyra - PolandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 77
    • The Coincidence of Stars, Jack Galmitz A Review/Interview by Alan Summers Inside Rear Cover photo by Alan SummersOn their home page ant ant ant ant ant state they have been a publisher of contemporary haiku since1994. Beginning with issue 9 ant ant ant ant ant has featured haiku by one individual poet. ant ant antant ant is a limited-edition hand-made journal with an emphasis on design that strives to present thefinest in traditional and experimental haiku. This is a part review, and part Q&A regarding TheCoincidence of Stars. Before I ask Jack Galmitz a few questions, here is a brief take on his collection.Galmitz has his unique style, as it should be, from the perceived mainstream formulæ. He isn’tconstrained by what is a perceived ‘form’ within the genre of haiku writing.Walking down the stairsher bodies stir the sunTo be awareThis middle verse, one of three that opens the collection, appears to be a normal stanza at first, when weread into the first line. Stairs are a normal almost daily occurrence, and process, in our lives: Be it ourdomestic set of stairs; or simply using stairs at metro stations, or in malls. The middle line appears to be amistake: Should it be her body or her bodie’s? Surely no one has more than one body? This got methinking. As many of us have different personas on display, though only one, presumably at any onetime, at home; work; and leisure/entertainment activities, where we wear our different faces, alternativehats, then surely it carries through to our physical body, beyond the bounds of our mere outwardappearance. I know from the different jobs I’ve held through my life we all hold different bodypositions depending on what we do, or are about to do. At one time I covered a varying number oftypes of security, from covert to overt situations i.e. surveillance; VIP protection; backstage (rear andfront) to emergency situations, that we emanate and we transform. But stir the sun?We do interact with the sun, both this planet and everyone on it. This may have spiritual aspects too,but we also live on a knife edge of a symbiotic relationship with the sun. And this leads me to someone Ifeel has his own knife edge symbiotic relationship with haiku, where the reader benefits.So without any further to do I would now like to hand us over to Galmitz, via a few questions I posed tohim over a period of several weeks.Alan: What do you see as haiku, and what or where do you see haiku doing or going, at least outsideJapan? A big question, but a useful setting up question for all the others.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 78
    • Jack: Alan, that is a very difficult question to answer given the multiplicity of directions the haiku formhas taken in the last decade. Many poets still write shasei, which though acceptable and sometimesquite successful, is really remote from modern language philosophies (and by modern, I mean for nearlya hundred years).Shasei is based on a belief in the transparency of language, that is to say, that language refers "naturally"to the world, whereas modern theories of language suggest that language is self-contained, eachword/sign referring to yet another word/sign in infinite play.Saying this, let me give you a definition I wrote of haiku some time ago that, admittedly, is still limitedto the idea of representation: Modern English language haiku, whose antecedents can be traced to theJapanese verse forms of hokku and its late 19th century revisionist form of haiku, is a brief verse,generally written in one, two, or three lines, that presents the earth - the sensuous reality of the non-human - and sets it into the world-the historical human context. In its function of naming, it allows thenon-human, with its quality of strangeness, to be perceived in a way it cannot do of its own accord; thehaiku process of naming brings beings to words and thereby to openness, to appearance and thus intothe human world.In this dual purpose of haiku, seasonal references (the original Japanese "kigo") are sometimes retained,as is juxtaposition of two phrases comprising the form (a facsimile of the original Japanese "kireji), ameans of opening or knowing the unknown and imposing an order on and meaning to it. In modernEnglish-language haiku, bringing beings to words and appearance makes them shine with resplendenceand sometimes this process may be likened to "epiphany," although an epiphany of the mind, and not ofa deity.I would think, now, that the work of post-modernist haiku poets will become more prominent in thefuture of the form. I think that the hard-won gains of these poets to have innovative muki-haikuaccepted marks a watershed in the movement of the form and there will be no turning back. I believemodern haiku will continue to test the limits of language itself, expression itself, meaning itself.If I were writing a definition now of haiku, it would encompass more than the earth, at least the earthas the inarticulate, and it would de-emphasize kigo and replace it with something more akin to BanyaNatsuishis idea of keywords (although I think the future haiku will not permit strictures on what is orisnt a "keyword."). I think the future haiku will resemble post-modernist verse in general, retainingbrevity as its defining characteristic.Alan: In fact, opening the book up right now Im caught by this:Those cloudsWar horsesat their hourIve always had a fascination with war horses through the ages right up to WWI, including the last evercavalry charges. Obviously you are talking about clouds that look like horses, and on a horizontal axis ofmeaning, its a straightforward reading. What Id like to know more about is the (vertical axis)meanings, other than just gazing up at the sky. Words like "those" and "at their hour" are not assimplistic as they appear, and I wonder what the nature of your reverie was, if it was, indeed, reverie?Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 79
    • Jack: The poem you mentionThose cloudswar horsesat their houris a death poem or as close to one as I have ever written or even entertained writing.Yes, there is sometimes something about gathering clouds about to meet that is as dramatic as a greatbattle, a great charge of opposing forces about to occur; that is in the poem the first visual clue; there is aterm "war clouds" that signify signs of impending war, but the terms also suggest, at least to me, stormclouds, huge perhaps, cumulonimbus about to meet and break each other apart.I relate these to the seething but static alignment of "war horses," cavalry held in check but bristlingwith that moment when the order "CHARGE" is given and all hell breaks loose.So, "at their hour," is the moment of truth, when that entire assemblage of two great armies face to faceacross a distance, just prior to joining- which will entail massive loss and destruction- move into eachother, distinctions blurred, death certainly for some.That is the moment of my death as imagined, not beautiful, yet beautiful in its own way, poised yet withthe purpose of power and destruction. Ominous! Yet, entrancing, too.Alan: I found the following verse unutterably beautiful and very moving:At the zooI describe to the monkeysthe skys many bluesThis is perhaps one of the more recognisable verses as a haiku to the general public, though in fact its a3/5/5 syllable construct. Im being direct here, and apologies for that, but is this fictive, or faction? I doseem to have an unusual amount of empathy with animals, so I wouldnt be at all surprised if you do as apoet. But of course there is more to this than just the surface meaning, and perhaps more than justtalking about freedoms? Could you expand on this verse?Jack: It was written at the beginning of my experiments with content particularly in my haiku: as youcan readily see, it lacks kigo and its pause/kire is subtle.Of course, it could be taken as remembrance, but it was in fact fictive, or, perhaps to put it moreprecisely it uses the fictive to portray truth more truly than any factual report/poem can ever do.We are closely related to monkeys and they have shown remarkable talents in intelligence, in theability to communicate. as weve learned over the years through scientific research.So, here we have these living descendants locked up in cages, or in environments that are simulacrumsof their natural habitat, inhibiting their exposures to what is natural to them: their relationship to treesNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 80
    • and the sky. I wanted to reach out imaginatively to express that we and monkeys could compare notes,that I could share with them what they were badly missing, their full-range of freedom.I recall my Japanese friend, Keiji Minato, writing to me about the poem, saying it reminded him of ablues song.You know, Ive seen experiments that revealed that monkeys had a sense of justice, fairness, that was aninherent part of their makeup. There was so much pathos in this that I felt it an imperative to givethem what they were missing out on, pent up as they were: the range of "blues," the range of things.To add to what I was saying, I think whats central to this poem is the pathos, hence Keijis comment tome.The fact that a man, ordinarily considered less in tune with nature than other animals, has to be asurrogate, to expand the horizons of nature to animals that ordinarily would be more keenly aware ofnature than man would be; this is the stunning fact of zoos; their misfortune.Alan:Along the shorea row of girlsall in white clothesAlthough almost in a sketching from nature shasei style, this poem strongly feels like an allegory or ametaphor. It has a mystical feel to it, almost a reverie. Could you expand?Jack: Well, yes, there is a "strangeness" about the poem isnt there?It is a reverie, the girls being adorned like the froth of the incoming sea, the girls themselves being thefreshness of each newly formed wave.I think the mystical feelings that the poem releases comes from the fact that while it is seeminglyrealistic, a sketch from life, it has no attributes that contribute to that association; in other words, thestasis, the line of girls greeting, at the edge between sand and sea, the waves, their presumed lookingoutwards towards something unnamed, the fact that parentage and purpose are missing, gives an almostritualistic quality to the entire poem.The poem is like a dream of life. Originally, I had the row of girls running along the shore, but forpurposes of sound altered it to the way it "stands" now.Further, Alan, there is nothing distinguishing one girl from another and this, I believe, is what gives thepoem a spiritual or even eerie feeling to it.It has some reference to the work of Rene Girards book Violence and the Sacred, in which the positionis taken that societies are based on distinction, hierarchy of some sort, and when there is a "doubling,"that is to say a breakdown of distance and difference, we are faced with terror, the monstrous double,because there is the threat of the break-down of society.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 81
    • Alan: With the one line verse Male parts and female parts am I a flower Ive learnt from transgenderfriends, and British documentaries, that we are indeed similar in the sexes to a certain extent. Wouldyou expand on what you particularly mean in your poem?Jack: Well, Alan, I believe that we are, like flowers (with their male and female parts) compound in oursexuality. Sexual identity is less a matter of opposition than degrees on a plane or on a continuum. Thiswas the understanding of Freud and Jung. Indeed, Jung made assimilation of a mans feminine side-whathe called the "anima"-the sine qua non of individuation, the making of a whole person. I dont think itis necessary to "name" what may or may not be considered "female" or "male" characteristics, as thiswould only complicate the matter, given that each person has their own interpretation of thesequalities.I will say this: in America you can see the one-sided version of manhood in the movies, in all themovies, in general in the action hero of pop culture. It is in my opinion a fatal flaw of my society tohave such a narrow view of human beings. If I dont go too far, I think American Empire andmilitarism is the result of such portrayals or rather such portrayals signify the essential lop-sidedness ofthought in America.Although it is only partially related, one could say that the entire scandal of the Church regarding abuseof children, particularly homosexual abuse, is caused by what in psychoanalysis is called "the return ofthe repressed." In other words, if man denies his own feminine elements, desires, the rules guidingrepression will call them forth in some form or other.Alan: What would you say are the overall themes for your collection? The title of the book is TheCoincidence of Stars taken from this one line verse: We live in the dark the coincidence of starsWhat do you personally mean by stating we live in the dark? I really liked the concluding part of thisverse: the coincidence of stars, its magical and mystical to me, and for others over thousands ofyears. What do you take from this part of the poem, what do you mean?Jack: Let me put off answering the first question for a moment, Alan, because Im not sure the book hadan intention of an overall theme.Certainly, the poem from which the book takes its title, deserves some special attention.Let me say that the poem works because of its openness, its refusal to submit to a single interpretation.However a reader finds the pauses or breaks in the poem will be decisive: if you pause after "we live,"then you have something of a materialist view of the universe, right? That is to say, "in the dark" thereis "the coincidence of stars." There is no plan, no creator, except the poet him/her self.If the reader finds the pause more strongly at the mid-point, that is, "we live in the dark," the secondhalf of the poem becomes something of a mirroring or "explanation" of what it means to live in the dark.Again, this could be the coincidence of being and the magnificent and meaningless universe.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 82
    • Or, it could be read to suggest that we live and see "through a glass darkly," not understanding our placein the universe, not really understanding even what "we," the pronoun, means or how each is a "we" insome way and the privileged "I" is a delusion, really built on a consensus. We do not know all themultiplicity of ideas, forces, inclinations, constructs, purposes that we contain: we think we know, butthat is a dangerous illusion.We may just be the accident of an accident; the "coincidence" of stars (the sun in particular), or, if youwill, if we favor our existence and sense of being as special, then the universe itself may just becoincidental, haphazard, random and not related to us at all, even though we exist in "space," at least asa category of the mind.When I write, I am usually not certain of the impulse or image or whatever is driving the poem. This isone of the general themes of the poems in the book. On the other hand, and this is also an unconsciousimpulse, since words are not "positive," in the sense of having their own identity, but rely on"difference," each of the poems has its own origins (which I do not suppose to know) and its owntrajectory, so the overall theme in that sense is that there is no overall theme at all.If I had to give a more definitive answer to what the overall theme of the book was I would say it is acall to experiment with writing, to be against closure of any kind, to not imagine that once the "key" toany given poem was found the words would fall off and there would stand TRUTH in its glory. No, thatis not what I believe. The truth is in the thinking process, in the words as a working of thought, on thepage.Alan, to add to what Ive said about the overall theme of my book, I would say the word "coincidence" ismost controlling, most important.Coincidence occurs when something happens under certain conditions, but without apparentrelationship between this occurrence and other things existing simultaneously.A coincidence does not prove a causal or any other modal relationship nor require any such.So, contrary to the conventional form of haiku, where the author draws a relationship or hopes toachieve a likeness or oneness between apparently inapposite elements, I "intend" to reveal the disparityor more the accidental, without necessarily tethering things together.Alan: Thanks Jack, I think that just about wraps things up.Jack: Ive thoroughly enjoyed this process.Alan: Thank you Jack!_____________________________The Coincidence of StarsEditor: Chris Gordonant ant ant ant ant, Autumn 2011http://antantantantant.wordpress.com/editors-note/Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 83
    • Jack Galmitz is a poet and short-story writer.In 2006, he was awarded the Ginyu Prize (chosen as the most accomplished books of haiku by theWorld Haiku Association) for his first two collections, A New Hand and Driftwood.He has written four collections of haiku, the first two of which won the Ginyu Prize for 2006. He editshaiku of poets from around the world for the World Haiku Association’s annual collection and finds hisgreatest delight in occasionally coming upon a haiku that revises his world.In 2010, he was awarded the Kusamakura Grand Prize in the foreign language category. Galmitzreceived a Runner-up award in the newly-inaugurated Vladimir Devidé Haiku Awards (2011). Two ofhis haiku received a Zatuei (Haiku of Merit) Award in the Vanguard category (World Haiku Review,December 2011). Galmitz has also recently been named “contributing editor” at Roadrunner HaikuJournal.Books Published:A New Hand (Wasteland Press, 2006);Driftwood (Wasteland Press, 2007);For a Sparrow: Haiku [Translations into Macedonian by Igor Isakovski] (Skopje, Macedonia: Blesok,2007, in Macedonian and English];Balanced is the Rose (Wasteland Press, 2008);The Effects of Light (AHA Online Books, 2002);Of All the Things (Ascent Aspirations Publishing);Sky Theatre (Ink: Literary E-Zine);A Simple Circle & Rockdove (Traveling Forms: Japanese/English Haiku);yards & lots (Middle Island Press, 2012).Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 84
    • Cynthia Rowe - AustraliaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 85
    • In the yard an oil pool has a rainbow Jack Galmitz - USA The salvage yard: between crushed chrome and smashed glass slivers of sun Jack Galmitz - USA Through the door pass a hundred clowns or more each with a dagger Jack Galmitz - USA copper sky the odor of gasoline pervades the car Virginie Colline - France last train home —I just missed the mountain and the sea Ernesto P. Santiago - PhilippinesNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 86
    • kindling— she feels the brittle truth in her bones Margaret Dornaus - USA heartbreak— an ice moon illuminates the pock-marked fields Margaret Dornaus - USA rain-soaked newspaper no mention of our neighbor lost to the war Elliot Nicely - USA eye exam . . . morning mist envelopes the skyline Nu Quang - USA a shadow follows me around . . . our old cat Nu Quang - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 87
    • "rain on the tracks" leaving the house together raincoat differing views seesaw salsa dancing people twirl from people names in sand under an orange sky the wind takes shape rain on the tracks we slip away itching his tattoo ex-wife — Lucas Stensland - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 88
    • A little from the tipWrapped within the barbers cape my eyes fall heavy beneath the soothing stroke of brush andfingers. I am immersed in the vibrations of the buzzing clippers, the swift snip and snap of scissorstapping against the teeth of comb. The puppetry of hand and head shapes me for the scrape ofthe razor, the intimate trimming of eyebrows, ears and nose. A flick of flame at my ear and smell ofburning hair rouse me from my stupor. "Tamam?" he asks. "Çok iyi" I reply, "çok iyi". Im fine.clipped peeksat the barbers bumin the mirror"How do you say just a trim in Turkish?" I ask my friend when I join him for a drink at a local bar."Ucundan azıcık.""Ucundan azıcık?""Thats right, you pronounce it perfectly. It means a little from the tip."There are stifled giggles from the table next to us and I suspect my friend is having me on. I aminterrupted from questioning him by a commotion of car horns, drums and flutes. An open-backtruck with a young boy in a fancy costume and musicians leads a caravan of cars. "Whats that allabout?" I ask. My friend makes a snipping gesture with his fingers."Ah," I say, with a sudden understanding of the giggles, "ucundan azıcık?""Thats right," my friend laughs, "A little from the tip."Köy Deli - TurkeyNotes:Ucundan azıcık - At the barbers "just a trim. lit. a little from the tip.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 89
    • riding backwards on a well-lit train through a dark tunnel only my window reflection and the hum of the rails Cara Holman - USA mothers blind mother strokes my face, her aged fingers sight-reading the lines of shaped notes I might someday see myself Margaret Dornaus USA Venus and the moon . . . suspended in this long night side by side we walk without touching either star or crescent Margaret Dornaus - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 90
    • as the moon rises I see clearly at last . . . in his absence I pack my bags Tracy Davidson - USA a street woman counts a handful of coins at dusk fingers of wind stealing the corners of her smile Susan Constable - Canada the first day in the year of the dragon dawns cool and gray . . . no wind to fan the flames or rain to extinguish them Susan Constable - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 91
    • Kat Creighton - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 92
    • shadowshow much longerAs a child, I searched for shadows. Under trees at high noon when the crown of an acacia treefrom across our balcony covered its root space like a clipped parasol, I’d creep to it and hug theancient roots, basking in its shadow. By the stream where my grandmother scoured the soot offthe iron rice pot and skillet, I’d haunt the silken strips of shadows under bamboo grooves. I waitedon the engorged shadow of a kingfisher that never failed to fly by.My grandmother had learned from snoops that I sauntered alone at high noon by the stream–eventook dips. Upbraided, I stopped creeping under the shadowed stream for a while. Instead, I beganhaunting shadows in the wooded orchard of a grandaunt. One afternoon, a buzzing shadowchased me. Like a swarming cloud, the bees I had disturbed raced me to the chicken coop. Isuffered a few stings, which my grandaunt soothed with dabs of burnt molasses syrup.These days, I’m hunting for them under ruins and buildings that block the sun off. Why this disdainfor the sun, a friend once asked. What answer could I give?half
of who we areshadowsAlegria Imperial - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 93
    • Cynthia Rowe - AustraliaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 94
    • a dream so real I stand at the window scanning the ocean for a carousel of sailboats . . . white horses in the wind Susan Constable - Canada i recall the place you promised to take me a circus i believe it left town many years ago and i still wait to hear from you Steve Wilkinson - USA send me a poem a personal one for me to keep on scented paper the type that lets me know that you are never coming back Steve Wilkinson - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 95
    • In The Rain In the rain: grey gray permeates the lights that can not penetrate it. My feet are wet. My black umbrellas beginning to leak. A pretty girl runs by, her hair clinging to her like a lusty lad. This is how Autumn should be: a soft rain, softer lady. A Peterbilt! And suddenly shes standing there, a ruined woman. Once her dress was crisp cotton: pristine white, freshly starched. Once. . . "Look at what Ive learned to bake," she bubbles to her Mama. "Fresh mud pies!" Mom wipes a tear from her eye and remembers other rains. The daughters out there, somewhere, on this rainy night. Then, a lightning bolt. "Remember our first date?" Dad asks. "Youre worried, too," Mom says. The rain on the roof is little girl feet running away in the night. She opens her eyes and tries to believe its possible.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 96
    • The house is a grey castle guarded by roaring, silver car dragons. In her dream her Galahad rides through the rain with dry hair. Harvey shows up at the door like a drenched field mouse with a wet corsage. The rains coarse on her satin dress. Her hairs become a mop. Shell cry all night, fists clenched, ignoring the soft rain taps on her window. This is how nightmare must be: a gentle rain and hard hands. Once, she believed in love. Rain hurts her bruises. She has no umbrella. In her dream her Galahad rode through the rain with dry hair. Through the mist: no steel shod hoof beat. No mails clank. Just the odd drop of rain. Mist needs no more than this: to be, and therefore to be all. The weathermans maps too large. I understand the view from my window. A blackbird darts into the mist, quicker than a question. Kanaka looks out the library window, thinking of a black-haired girl.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 97
    • Out of the mist: a black bird, species unknown. A phoenix? "Its nasty out," he tells her. "Maybe we should just stay in, where its warm." She makes them hot chocolate with whipped cream in handmade clay cups. The kids play Old Maid and dominoes while freezing rain glazes the streets. In Central Oklahoma, winter rarely learns to snow. Raining on Christmas! She shakes her red umbrella away from the gifts. Even these black clouds cant dim the lights, bright as childrens eyes. H. Edgar Hix - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 98
    • a crow’s own color and, with less ink, the sketch of a pine Jeffrey Woodward - USA in my hands until the tide takes it back Jeffrey Woodward - USA an empty box returns a blank stare— spring cleaning Jeffrey Woodward - USA white bird in a leafy tree my mind wanders Dan Brook - USA winter night— a petal of chrysanthemum brightens the well Janak Sapkota - NepalNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 99
    • The Dreaming Room smell of bile by William J. Higginson and winter hive by Penny Harter commentaries by Susan ShandI have chosen two related haiku which were published in the Sept 2011 edition of NFTG from theInterview with Penny Harter. Both were closing verses to haibun. I have extracted them in order toexpose a little about revealing emotion in haiku.The first is from William J Higginson.Haibun - "Well-bucket Nightfall, or New Day?"NFTG Sept 2011smell of bile . . .I waken to Octoberafter glowThe smell of bile always indicates illness, the word "bile" is a metaphor for bitterness. Bill hits us withthat acrid smell and illness. True to his own teaching he doesnt tell us how he feels but that word "bile"carries with it a wealth of meaning. All the associations of the word emerge to highlight the emotions ofanger, regret, resentment, even revulsion. In line 2 we learn that it is the first thing he smells onawakening; however, "I awaken" is also loaded with meanings of change and new awareness. Octobersets the season of late Autumn, a time in Japanese haiku characterized by sadness and the closing-downof the seasons and the year. Yet it is the "after glow" to which he awakens, the light as it passes andfades. Not the sudden darkness of the clichéd extinguished candle or the raging against the dying of thelight. Not the pity or self-pity which pulls overtly and unsubtly at our hearts. Rather this is the after-glow of great lovemaking. That satisfied, fulfilled peace where there is nothing more important than tolie still and bask in its glow and its memory. So the bitterness of bile and the sadness of October resolveinto the awakening to a peaceful acceptance and the joy of a life well lived and well loved. We too areleft with that after glow, feeling the joyous lift and the settling into acceptance.Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 100
    • The second is from Penny Harter,Haibun - "One Bowl"NFTG Sept 2011winter hive—the cluster of beesvibratingOn the surface this is an observational haiku. We look, in order to share alongside the poet her observedexperience of how bees vibrate inside a closed winter hive. Without the accompanying haibun we maynot look any deeper for meaning. However even when taken alone, out of the detail of known context,this is a remarkable haiku.We are in the cold bleakness of winter with the enclosed hive containing its darkness. Within it "thecluster of bees" hum and churn ... can you hear that low hum and feel the pitch of the vibration as thewings beat, the restless churning of the bees constant movement? Within, there is a sensation ofcontained vibration which sets every nerve alive. The low hum resonates with a grumble of emotionalcomplaint; which threatens to emerge in its rising, then falling into futility. By allowing the sound andsensation in this haiku to touch us, by living the experience rather than merely looking at it, we canstand alongside how she feels. The pitch of that vibration is harmonically and viscerally attuned to thepoets own contained emotions in the cold of her world. We can experience with her the empathicresonance of the physical sensation of her emotion.Susan Shand - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 101
    • two months gone by Roberta Beary: a commentary by Michael Dylan welchMisreading Haiku two months gone her replacement’s shade the same ash blond —Roberta BearyOn first reading this poem I confess I was a little puzzled, thinking it might be about a tree. Shade tree?Ash tree? Two months since a tree was cut down? That’s where I first went with this poem. And yetthat interpretation didn’t make sense to me because it didn’t resolve with “her replacement.” Impatiencewould then have had me skip past the poem, feeling simply puzzled. However, patience with the poemgave me a different meaning, revealing a human topic: Two months after a spouse or girlfriend has diedor left, a new relationship has bloomed, yet perhaps it is not new, since the new person’s shade ofmakeup or hair colour is the same ash blond as the previous person’s. Perhaps the new person istherefore a surrogate for the departed person, or demonstrates that similar tastes prevail. We cannothelp but feel skepticism regarding the depth of this new relationship, or the skepticism of the observer(the poet) in noticing this unchanged similarity. In this case, the name of the poet, which I believe can act as a “fourth line” to many haiku, gave mepause to reread the poem. I know Roberta frequently writes about family relationships, so thatknowledge prompted me to read the poem again more carefully, especially when my initial “tree”interpretation very quickly didn’t work. Even if one does not know the gender, biography, orgeographical location of the poet, it is always worthwhile to read with careful attention. That this poem is about people rather than trees might have been obvious to you on first reading,but perhaps we all have blind spots—topics or perspectives or interpretations that we might miss onreading haiku too quickly. Or that we might apply incorrectly by jumping to pet conclusions. So readingpatiently is always a useful step when encountering haiku. It certainly helped me in this case. And ofcourse, another reason to read a haiku patiently is to find extra layers of meaning. What additionallayers of meaning can you find in this poem?Roberta Beary’s poem is from A Few Stars Away: Towpath Anthology 2010 (Winchester, Virginia: RedMoon Press, 2011, p. 22).Michael Dylan Welch - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 102
    • THE SEASIDEOn the foreshore, sheltered by a breakwater from the cold east wind, a man sits huddled in thesun. He reads a book. Around him, the cries of gulls, surge of waves. Grand Pier in her wheelchairs fastness a woman is writing.Nick Sherwood - UKNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 103
    • ReturnThis road I walk between stone walls has no markings just a grass track running through themiddle, I am back on my Island where I was born it’s fifty three years since I walked down to thewee jetty and hired the ferry man to row across almost four miles to the mainland where I caughtthe train to London and my new life.Visiting the ruin of my island home of two rooms one of which is now only a pile of stone, thememories all flood back of the good but hard times we had here on our island, this small speck ofland off the coast of Galway which is now a home for gannets and puffins, I’m reminded of thethree families now scattered to the wind that made a living here rearing their children on thepotatoes and fish. Leaving from that same wee jetty I make a vow to return soon just as I did allthose years ago.above the island meadowthe skylarks warninghigh summerjohn byrne - IrelandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 104
    • The Narrow GateThe Lonely Planet Guide to Israel rubs spines with the plain red coat of the Bible. In one, a skinnyblonde girl with her dreadlocks recently shorn to the scalp fends off men simultaneously amorousand hostile. In the other, Jesus draws a map in the sand: Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is thegate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.The territory is narrow in itself: bounded on one side by a river, on the other by the sea. The spaceit occupies, however, expands like a mushroom cloud, altering the atmosphere for leagues andeons in every direction. Even the name of water cannot be agreed upon. In the hills, a spring hasbeen commandeered: the farmers who march to it repulsed by tear gas. Along a crooked street,the seller of sandals tries to entice the girl into the back room of his shop, grasping the pale stemof her wrist. She knocks over the display blundering out, the strings of sandals banging her in thehead, shouts and curses wreath her like a tangled veil.dripping waterfibers twine with smokeJeannette Cabanis-brewin - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 105
    • “the short goodbye” waking up at night – just a silhouette someone I wish I didn’t owe or know street of no return 24-hour diner nameless alleycat the blackness of the hole – placing a bet with rumor has it certain payoff knocked unconscious a big enough sleep the boxer’s bloody gloves broken deal at dawn anxiety sweeping the streets ...I can’t pay the vig bookie’s squinting eyes other options he explains approaching her backstage – diamond-like sequinsNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 106
    • she smiles and says “forever and ever” I promise to fix it making trouble the forever kind the lamppost casts its own shadow hope I remember to forget hiding the piece riverbed getting pulled in – bitter cop coffee the d.a. overstates my importance his cigar not lit by match thinking of our future – I play Buster Keaton to the chief’s Edward G. Robinson club act never changes – my motives do cutting a deal beggars don’t choose right from wrong the mirror can go to the red house pigeon on a stoolNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 107
    • explaining how we can soon buy that little house – she straightens my straight tie sheets of rain pound a thin fedora betrayal her promises don’t match her actions the remains of a world of mystery money for information “a girl just getting by” steam through the grating I hear a voice and see no one new suit punctured by gunshots clutching my gut and fading to black Lucas Stensland - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 108
    • fog silhouettes . . . the transparency of late leaves Helga Stania - Switzerland snow fields far beyond the sky blue stars Helga Stania - Switzerland Way of St. James . . . the play of mist and light Helga Stania - Switzerland a quiet stream— my shadow floats with the fallen leaves P K Padhy - India hand in hand walking toward the moon a long shadow Anna Yin - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 109
    • Heike Gewi - GermanyNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 110
    • Maire Morrissey-Cummins - IrelandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 111
    • every third child asthmatic and autistic a trail of pills as we run through the woods with Hansel and Gretel Christina Nguyen - USA walking across the Washington Avenue bridge after the last class we throw our old shoes into the wish tree Christina Nguyen - USA A haiku at the end of the world is folded in my pocket Bruce England – USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 112
    • Checklist: -just enough gear -plenty of maps -a small pickup -a good road dog Bruce England - USA I am beyond the middle of my game and though the numbers have diminished as I played still—the possibilities! Bruce England - USA casting away first emotion then unclarity leaving the lean, muscular being of no waste Leslie Ihde - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 113
    • Mountain in Late AfternoonFrom the porch of the mountain house, I cannot see anyone though I hear laughter and the faintvibration of music, snatches of song. But here the smooth flagstones are silent, the only soundbee drone above wind fallen fruit.Smoke-blue fog snags in the branches of the oak. Moving and palpable, soft. Air I can see.fireflies spark the fieldignite the drummingof pony hoovesJill Gerard - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 114
    • rose garden the homeless womans red hair Patricia Reid - Australia canna lillies the red smell of bush fires Patricia Reid - Australia changing names the A road joins the motorway Rachel Sutcliffe - UK hard rain I try to soften my words Ernest Wit - Poland cemetery dustbin the smell of rotten flowers Ernest Wit - PolandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 115
    • Two Shisan “Tea at the Tate” tea at the Tate we watch the river flow far below our tea tower topped with strawberry tart endless wonders of Poetry&Py forever hold their peace — Passepartout gestures on an outdoor stage a medieval moon comes out shining over Chaucers pilgrims a yellow plane tree leaf between the cobblestones — the utter loneliness of a lost little coot in the yacht basin a young couple in black wave their Union Jacks frost fairs: "there you may print your name tho cannot write" — scent of old London still in its wood--the Dickens Inn I remember so well the sturdy wisteria that stood just there beachcombing on the foreshore as the tide begins to turnNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 116
    • “Around the Gherkin” late summer rain a squall of pigeons around the Gherkin could it really be turds in the turbine room? everyone claps as the elephant puppet sings — warship, war talks, weary weary of war sheer lunacy my cell phone blinking here to there its not always easy to turn leaves — church bells and the Ghost of Christmas Past in every peal side by side, lost in an abstract painting young lovers ask us to take their picture in front of the Bridge — all those shared hours lulled by the ebbing tide Oh, to be in Bloomsbury again at blossom time as many blue plaques as forget-me-nots Sprite (Claire Chatelet), UK and Linda Papanicolaou, USA begun in parallel walk in Southwark, London, August 2011, completed onlineNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 117
    • John Byrne - EireNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 118
    • she turns away as the veterinarian extinguishes a kitten clawing for life —an inconvenient miracle Leslie Ihde - USA unable to work again with abandoned animals she studies ancient paintings on the walls of caves —wild moving beasts Leslie Ihde - USA sky the same color as runway why dont I ever dream about flying Melissa Allen - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 119
    • One Nation Under JazzFour clear amber frogs dipped in ego dripped in black where the boysenberry pond wateredCherry blossom cluster bombs falling through the candy apple dead vibrance of Basho andBasho and Basho all over again triplicating in two a sextet of white orange yellow black blueAnd green polyester dentists with run a muck drills from the old enchanted land of candyCorn square dancing at The Healing Waters And Gobbledygook Baptist Church beforeSwimming in the cool blue persona of an authentic celluloid kewpie dolphin from what’sRight of left wing Virginia smoked hams hanging out in a meditation hall every monk isExactly nothing in disguise including the firebrick red D cup beach boundBleachedBlondeCaribbeanTreasureChestEveryone hopes to find juggling nine obedient clowns on the back porch drowning in aTorrential drizzle of nine words and eight syllables circled by a buzzing halo of grey mothsSnapped and crackling in the ten – thousand degree heat of her promiscuous king janglingInto view clanging and chained to the four muses of gossip disgust dishonesty and deceitThe Han Blue Nun from none of the above Maryland has practiced quacking her way pastCompassion Forgiveness Mercy Love Honor Question Mark And The Mysterians two cheeseBurgers with a supersized side of heavy petting and Chiyo – Ni’s languageBarkingThroughTheFrontDoorWhere two pedigreed house flies from Conundrum Connecticut touched down on a blueToadstool melting inside the last Jazz Berry Bee Jack The Whack from Lowell dropped inDiamonds behind his missing Issa kissed before he introduced himself as the world’s onlyMime with lemon meringue spangles dotting his cat eyes savoring the magic mint hooker’sFalsetto face posed proudly in front of a White Spot Diner In Denver on the contentiousCorner of Syllable Street and Subject Matter Boulevard two blocks south of Definition DriveWith a HI! My Name Is Sue Candy Dee – Dee Jasmine Cookie Carol Carla Jan Molly TaffyBeth Sally and Angel Food Layer Cake depending on the time ofDayWeatherMoodNightFillingThe bottle crisp the hose kinked the throat dry and the overall ambience of the alley filled withA dead city that runs behind his eyes mumbling lies in the mouth of a toxic poet drowning inNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 120
    • His mind behind a mask that’s cooler than any day in the month of Cucumber refrigerated orNot the nuts might be in the pantry hanging on to blind clarity he shed his skin slashing throughThe walls of two drooling billionaire hoodlums and their I Me Mine reflections of silverBlades and turquoise noise on an Amish farm churning butter in the fog churning fogInto glass churning our reflections into the blind salvation of them dog jammed MarxistGods stoned stumbling and shouting to a wilted bouquet of hammers and sickles pinnedTo an abusive cop selling white black yellow red and white street corner roses who seduceService and sanctifySuburbanSugarDaddysFatRaptInEgyptian Cotton we’ll sweep clean and keep it under the shag vanity rug covering his mindRejoicing in the miracle of finding Annie Clinton in Hillary Oakley Cher Nixon in PatBono Aretha Kennedy in Jackie Franklin Lady Roosevelt in Eleanor Ga – Ga Miss MahaliaTruman in Bess Jackson Billie Bush in Barbara Holliday Britney Bush in Laura Spears JanisObama in Michelle Joplin Grace Johnson in Lady Bird Slick Wyatt Truman in Harry EarpJesus Holliday in Doc Christ Kareem Abdul Clinton in William Jefferson Jabbar Dwight AaronIn Hank Eisenhower Pee Wee Kennedy in John Fitzgerald Herman Bob Nixon in Richard DylanSponge Bob Bush Junior in George Square Pants Junior Rodney Obama in Barack DangerfieldBonzo Reagan in Ronald The Chimp Charles Milles Johnson in Lyndon Baines Manson andCourtney Reagan in Nancy Love eating breakfast together in Winner, South Dakota two moonsAfterHisBuffaloWalkedOffBoth sides of a tarnished nickel they nailed on the midnight sky spilling light on the barren praireBehind every eye in Wounded Knee where the dead and the living dead are the lessons we mustLearn beneath this indivisible ceiling of stars.DivorcedWe Shatter a Mirror To Rescue Our ReflectionsEd Markowski - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 121
    • A maggot bamboo grove shades veiled in allegories seven sages /hg glass noodles and a maggot ... /wm the seeds shoot slowly this spring /hg thunder rolls near in the baby stroller lots of fennel tea /wm ----------*------------ Scattered moon at midnight grandmas kiln cracks ... the beams / wm sniffing out the scattered moon / hg shadows in deep snow a wolf / wm calm ... counting shards and saved quarters / hg Renhai by wm Walter Mathois –Austria and hg Heike Gewi -GermanyNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 122
    • The Summing Ups and DownsI open the review of a haibun anthology and see that my work is summarized as “amusingpersonal stories and confessions.”Hmmmm. Shouldn’t I feel good about having my work included in the anthology and being one ofthe few mentioned in a positive tone. But, is that all my writing, this conceit that I might havesomething serious to offer, adds up to – amusing confessions?birthday party –my childs balloond e f l a t e dI want to write at least one haibun that the reviewer would describe – as he did with others – as“wild and woolly servings of word-soup;” as using “lyrical narrative language;” and although I don’tunderstand these terms, even as containing “paradoxical associations” and “surreal disjunctions.”bobbingamongst the flotsama rusty beer canscurryingin the jetsam –a tiny crab, claws raisedRay Rasmussen - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 123
    • so I start thinking about the next thing Ill be . . . all day the scent of pine sap I cant scrub from my fingers Melissa Allen - USA underneath the ice of the poem an imaginary frog slows its heartbeat Melissa Allen - USA living with a never-departing shadow thoughts of the last few years darken my day Kala Ramesh - IndiaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 124
    • closely behind an ox, I was once the wheel . . . now a bird with wings to fly Kala Ramesh - India she buys red roses that wither and die just look at the moons never-ending journey Kala Ramesh - IndiaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 125
    • the nuthatch shows its belly . . . winter dawn Claire Everett - UK razor shell . . . again, the raw edge of grief Claire Everett - UK the outline of a sunken tiller mussels Bill Cooper - USA 2.5 lead pencils - this new box may last the rest of my life Bruce England - USA On the beach I return along footprints I created Bruce England - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 126
    • his old cane in the umbrella stand autumn rain Mark E. Brager - USA waning day the slow work of each breath Mark E. Brager - USA line by line the room drawn by winter light Mark E. Brager - USA a week of vertigo: one crooked nap slides into another Julie Bloss Kelsey - USA morning walk that pebble in my shoe finds just the right spot Andy Burkhart - USANotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 127
    • long drought . . . the slow precipitation of a tailpipe Don Baird - USA grandmas quilt— the maples last few leaves Don Baird – USA New Year’s Eve gracefully joining our ping pong match a tiny black moth Ryan Jessup - USA through the paving crack forget-me-nots back again Peter Butler - UK bay mouth the strangeness of first meetings Alegria Imperial - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 128
    • Alegria Imperial - CanadaNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 129
    • small hours by Yu Yan Chen A personal report by Alan SummersAs the author of this collection is a friend, as well as colleague, and someone I spent twelve months withon a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, this cannot be a review.Yu Yan Chen is above all, an extraordinary human being, and one I hope you get to know a little if youdecide to purchase her collection.The New York Quarterly, where she worked as an Editorial Assistant says this:Yu Yan Chen was born in a fishing village in China but grew up in New York City. Enchanted by thetravelers tales her grandfather told, she set sail to seek her own adventures. She is an interpreter andliterary translator.Her poems have been published in the US, UK and China. She lives in Brooklyn.Yu Yan Chen is also an honorary citizen of the City of Bath (and Bristol), where she has lived for anumber of years before going back to Brooklyn. She still visits us.If you have never experienced being an immigrant this is a book for you.Award-winning poet, and a leading critic, Tim Liardet covers a few facets about this intriguing human,and poet:Among the four-hundred-and-fifty thousand Chinese New Yorkers Yu Yan Chens is undeniably aunique and memorable voice. The voice is as profoundly American as it is Chinese. It has wit and charmand, above all else, subversion.—Tim LiardetNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 130
    • I believe Yu Yan first became interested in haiku once I mentioned this genre post-Masters, and perhapsa little influence has crept in regards to two places in her collection: Tofu Zodiac; and The Hour Glassrespectively2. 75% liquid you wade mountains, valleys plains, volcanoes12. the way to Li Po of Dynasty Tang rice wine circles moonlight as it isI turned a deaf earto Van Gogh’s moaning flowersthe song of bullfightred-winged blackbirdsipping moat beer Iowa Riverto the point of tearsOn the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the cicada is asleep…Because I turned my head five hundred times before this life sees you…Carry my heart and the bullet-proof window down Marcus Garvey Blvd…And the story of her friend who lost his life saving others during 911 inspired me to write this haiku iscalled Elegy [see below]:ground zeroa new friends storyabout her friendAlan Summers(Due to come out in a haiku anthology on war and human rights later this year.)Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 131
    • Elegy for Zheng ZheAll elevators suspended. Racing downflights of stairs you never looked back,headed south to the Twin Towerswith the first aid kit you learned to useas a volunteer medic, into the smoke, debrisand the howls of the emergency vehicles.The last images of you were capturedon Fox 5 News, tending to an injured womanon a stretcher, in a white shirt and rubber gloves.Walking in Chinatown five years later, I stoodin the street named after you, wondered whetheryou would still be strolling among the lunch crowdhad you stayed in bed a little longer that morning.In Columbus Park the old men gatheredto play chess, while the fortune tellers sat on the stoolsoutside its rim, ogling the passers-by._____________________________small hoursYu Yan ChenNYQ Books (2011)(Publishing quality books of poetry by poets who have appeared in The New York Quarterly Magazine.)www.nyqbooks.org/title/smallhoursNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 132
    • Leptir nad pučinom (Butterfly over the Open Sea) Tomislav Maretić Reviewed by Alan SummersTomislav Maretić works in Zagreb as a physician at the Mihaljevic University Hospital for InfectiousDiseases. He has been writing haiku for 30 years and in 1988, together with Vladimir Devidé andZvonko Petrovic, he wrote the first renga in Croatian language and in 1995 the book Renge (Sipar,Zagreb) was published. This is his first solo haiku collection: It contains over 500 haiku and one nijuinrenga. The book is divided into eight groups of haiku ranging from haiku as sublime as:melting snow,the first blackbird’s songis still briefmountain path-a wood grouse in lovewon’t let us passfrogs at twilight-biking with my daughterto hear themhow many waysto become a butterfly-a mime on the stagevillage catentering a barley fieldby secret pathsThis book has many secret paths revealed by its author, and I can highly recommend it for those wholike to travel these same paths._____________________________Leptir nad pučinom (Butterfly over the Open Sea) – Tomislav MaretićPublished by the Croatian Catholic Medical Society (2011)Notes from the Gean 3:4 Page 133
    • Colin Stewart Jones - ScotlandNotes from the Gean 3:4 Page 134