Standing Still

Michael Dylan Welch and Ruth Yarrow, editors. Dejah Léger, illustrations. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2011, 36 pages, 74 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-32-9.


The 2011 Haiku North America conference took place August 3 to 7 at Seattle Center, in Seattle, Washington. In this book’s introduction, I wrote that “The 2011 conference theme of ‘Fifty Years of Haiku’ reminds us that it has been five solid decades that English-language haiku has flourished in North America, with the first haiku journal having started in 1963.This theme also connects us to the location of the 2011 conference at Seattle Center, at the foot of Space Needle, which opened for the World’s Fair in 1962.With fifty years of creativity and increasing numbers of poets and poems to celebrate, the Haiku North America conference demonstrates that haiku poets do not stand still in their development and appreciation for this rewarding genre of poetry.” You can also read the entire introduction. Here are thirty-five sample poems from the anthology, with selected illustrations by Dejah Léger. Read Melissa Allens report of the 2011 Haiku North America conference.



ebb tide . . .

the blue heron

wrapped in stillness


                Angela Terry

                Lake Forest Park, Washington



shipped oars

we drift with the jellyfish

through her ashes


                Billie Dee

                San Diego, California



barefoot summer . . .

a drop of honeysuckle

on my tongue


                Cara Holman

                Portland, Oregon



grass shoots

              deer’s breath

              just above them


                Ce Rosenow

                Eugene, Oregon



scribbling pens

to find one that works

winter trees


                Cherie Hunter Day

                Cupertino, California



the electric fan

turns from the boxscores to

the fashion page and back


                Cor van den Heuvel

                New York, New York



quiet woods—

he turns to kiss me

through a snowflake


                Dejah Léger

                Shoreline, Washington



sweet grass and cedar: woven

when the settlers came

her gather basket


                Dianne Garcia

                Seattle, Washington



spring waterfall . . .

the morning sun splashes

from my hands


                Don Baird

                Palmdale, California



Brisk west wind,

yet the meadow grass sways

both ways


                Don Wentworth

                Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania




ryūboku no karosa shirosa ya minami fuku


the lightness

of the driftwood—

evening southerly


                Emiko Miyashita

                Kawasaki, Japan



deep ruts

under the children’s swing:

end of summer


                Ernesto V. Epistola

                Sarasota, Florida



Spring galaxy—

the windup robot

takes one more step


                Garry Gay

                Windsor, California



Grandma’s face

in the window above the sink

       distant stars


                Gene Myers

                Rockaway, New Jersey




the stars overhead

the stars below


                Jay Friedenberg

                New York, New York




the crows outlast

the gardener


                Jay Gelzer

                Seattle, Washington



first fireworks

she turns her face

to mine


                Joshua Beach

                Sammamish, Washington



scattered dominos

new constellations

to disagree about


                Katharine Grubb Hawkinson

                Seattle, Washington



rope swing

across the river,

across the years


                Kathleen Tice

                Kent, Washington



full moon

the fox re-sorts

the recycling



                Whitehorse, Yukon



a light snowfall—

grandpa waves his hand

on the platform


                Makoto Nakanishi

                Matsuyama, Japan



city passersby

stare at haiku poets

standing still


                Marilyn Hazelton

                Allentown, Pennsylvania



midsummer’s day

this heavy

sweet-bee heat


                Marjorie Buettner

                Chisago City, Minnesota



a show of hands

in the jury room . . .

winter light


                Michael Dylan Welch

                Sammamish, Washington




gan kensa nan nashi kiro ni kau nikki


trouble-free cancer exam

on the way home

I acquire a diary


                Minako Noma

                Matsuyama, Japan



drinking radiation no risk of on the news in Japan drinking rain


                Richard Gilbert

                Kumamoto, Japan



no trespassing . . .

prickly pear blooming on both sides

of barbed wire


                Richard Tice

                Kent, Washington



sketching wild orchids—

slowly I sense

their sweet smell


                Ruth Yarrow

                Seattle, Washington



Mother’s Day—

flowers without thorns

in the psych ward


                Susan Antolin

                Walnut Creek, California



I tell him

he does too much—

overflowing flower basket


                Tanya McDonald

                Woodinville, Washington



wood grain of the door

suddenly a forest grove

inside my room


                Terran Campbell

                Seattle, Washington



a Chopin étude

on late-night radio

pale lilies in a vase


                Terry Ann Carter

                Ottawa, Ontario



floating mist

the odd sound of

my new address


                Tracy Koretsky

                Bellevue, Washington



deepening sunset

on the sideboard

last year’s canned peaches


                Wanda D. Cook

                Hadley, Massachusetts



numbers on his arm . . .

a grandchild asks

how he got them


                William Scott Galasso

                Edmonds, Washington