Harvest

Michael Dylan Welch, editor. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1991, 20 pages, 52 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-05-7.

 

This book was the first book published in conjunction with the Haiku North America conference, which I cofounded in 1991. Since then, every two years, I’ve edited or coedited all of the conference anthologies. The 1991 conference took place at Las Positas College in Livermore, California (near San Francisco). “The haiku community on this continent is vibrant and growing, yet we are still small enough to be on a first-name basis. For this reason, the poems in this historic collection are arranged by each writer’s first name.” With these words from the introduction, the HNA conference anthologies began a tradition of arranging the poems by each person’s first name. The following poems are a baker’s dozen by some of the participants in this historic event.

 

 

summer afternoon—

the coolness of the newspaper

from the grocery bag

 

                Cor van den Heuvel

                New York, New York

 

 

Crow-shriek of surprise

his withered branch falling

in an old graveyard.

 

                Dave Wright

                Pleasanton, California

 

 

bus stop in the fog . . .

     warming my knees

          with the travel section

 

                Ebba Story

                San Francisco, California

 

 

Poison oak

along the unmarked trail . . .

lost again

 

                Garry Gay

                Windsor, California

 

 

children in bed—

    the silent blinking

                of fireflies

 

                Helen J. Sherry

                San Diego, California

 

 

lottery tickets

on the parking lot pavement

in the blazing sun

 

                Jerry Ball

                Livermore, California

 

 

through open windows

of my parents’ empty house,

the auctioneer’s song

 

                Jerry Kilbride

                San Francisco, California

 

 

dawn—

slowly in my room

the white chrysanthemum

 

                Kristen Deming

                Tokyo, Japan

 

 

old folks’ home—

     the square of light

          crosses the room

 

                Michael Dylan Welch

                Foster City, California

 

 

Alone tonight—

a cricket

in the fold of my nightgown.

 

                Patricia Donegan

                San Francisco, California

 

 

bullfrogs

answer each other

and my stomach

 

                Paul O. Williams

                Belmont, California

 

 

Ordering

a pretzel plain

—salt on the change.

 

                Vincent Tripi

                San Francisco, California

 

 

the city boy

is the only one listening—

the song of the frogs

 

                William J. Higginson

                Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

“Sponsored by several of the most vital haiku organizations from the United States and Canada, Haiku North America is probably the most ambitious haiku event ever attempted outside of Japan. Everyone taking part in this coming-of-age celebration for English-language haiku will be helping make literary history.” —Cor van den Heuvel, 1991 (on the back cover of the HNA conference anthology, Harvest)