Into Our Words

Michael Dylan Welch and Grant D. Savage, editors. Peter Vernon Quinter, artwork. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2009, 40 pages, 90 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-30-5.


The 2009 Haiku North America conference took place at the National Library of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario (equivalent to the Library of Congress in the United States). This was the second time that the conference had been in Canada, and was also the tenth conference in the biennial series (started in 1991). Some words from the introduction: “No one was ever more in his element at Haiku North America conferences than William J. Higginson. Always the quintessential haiku poet, scholar, enthusiast, advocate, translator, and critic, Bill found such a stimulating and inspiring outlet for his passions and talents at this conference that he surely wished Haiku North America happened multiple times every year instead of just once every two years. He was, too, the only person who had been to all nine conferences since it began in 1991. When he passed away in October of 2008, Bill left a gaping void not just in Haiku North America, but in the entire haiku community worldwide. It is therefore fitting that we dedicate this tenth HNA anthology, Into Our Words, to William J. Higginson.” You can also read the entire introduction. Here are thirty-four sample poems from the anthology, including one translation and several bilingual versions.



        mise en abîme

mes seuls cheveux blancs

   dans tous les miroirs


     my hair white

 reflected infinitely

between the mirrors


                André Duhaime

                Gatineau, Québec



first snowman—

a toddler’s breath

on the windowpane


                Carmen Sterba

                University Place, Washington



Milky Way

his reluctance

to hold my hand


                Carolyn Hall

                San Francisco, California



sunflower field

all the windmills

face the same way


                Charles Trumbull

                Santa Fe, New Mexico



in this gentle rain


pinking the garden


                Claudia Coutu Radmore

                Carleton Place, Ontario



words unspoken—

smoke hovers round the mouth

of the volcano


                David Burleigh

                Tokyo, Japan



matilija poppies

the appliance repairman

comes the wrong day


                Deborah P Kolodji

                Temple City, California




mihotoke no mihana no saki e tsurara kana




Buddha on the moor,

At the tip of his nose

Hangs an icicle.


                Dennis Maloney, translation

                Lake View, New York



heat wave—

the cow’s udder

hangs in the pond


                DeVar Dahl

                Magrath, Alberta



mid-meeting the pressure released from a soda can


                Eve Luckring

                Los Angeles, California



hillside peas

did I ever wish

to be a man?


                Fay Aoyagi

                San Francisco, California



      trees growing

out of rock

      I give in to him


                Francine Banwarth

                Dubuque, Iowa



The merry-go-round

turns a few more times

as they walk away


                Garry Gay

                Windsor, California



setting sun—

the mountain’s shadow creeps

   into our words


                Gary Hotham

                Scaggsville, Maryland



moonlit pool

from the silence

a waterfall


                Grant D. Savage

                Ottawa, Ontario



                                    fresh asparagus

                  up from the urinal

farmer’s market


                Guy Simser

                Kanata, Ontario




devant la toilette des dames

querelle d’oiseaux



outside the ladies’ washroom

two birds fighting


                Jessica Tremblay

                Burnaby, British Columbia



          those of money

        and those of rags

their sandals in a single pile


                John Brandi

                El Rito, New Mexico



summer solstice

a note beyond

the singer’s range


                John Stevenson

                Nassau, New York



no path goes there

wild orchid


                Karen Sohne

                Toronto, Ontario



on paper

the tree hugger’s



                LeRoy Gorman

                Napanee, Ontario



the boat

at the very end of the wharf—

and two moons


                Luce Pelletier

                St-Basile-le-Grand, Québec



second honeymoon

taking pictures

of each other


                Marco Fraticelli

                Pointe Claire, Québec



my voice begins

further down in my throat

visiting home


                Marilyn Hazelton

                Allentown, Pennsylvania



Valentine’s Day—

a few clicks

of the swan’s beaks


                Michael Dylan Welch

                Sammamish, Washington



news of Hubble—

slicing a pear

for its stars


                Michele Root-Bernstein

                East Lansing, Michigan



pluie chaude d’été

nous ralentissons le pas

vers la maison


hot summer rain

we slow down our walk



                Micheline Beaudry

                Boucherville, Québec



a prism

  in my eyelash

morning snowfall


                Mike Rehling

                Livonia, Michigan



into the darkness

the whisper

of silver grass


                Patricia Donegan

                Evanston, Illinois



one of the road crew

resting his eyes

spring meadow


                paul m.

                Bristol, Rhode Island



last light

the wing-whistle

of mourning doves


                Paul MacNeil

                Ocala, Florida



train whistle—

I remember the warmth

of your hand


                Penny Harter

                Mays Landing, New Jersey



rising mercury

our jogging circuit

                 all uphill


                Scott Mason

                Chappaqua, New York



Canada Day heat wave

the dancer takes off

her earrings


                Terry Ann Carter

                Ottawa, Ontario