Tracing the Fern

Michael Dylan Welch and Billie Wilson, editors. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2005, 40 pages, 67 poets (two poems each), ISBN 1-878798-28-6.


For 2005, the Haiku North America conference moved to the northwest corner of the United States, taking place at Fort Worden Conference Center, Port Townsend, Washington. From the introduction: “This book’s title reminds us that the carefully chosen words of a memorable haiku are often like tracings of nature—so real that the reader is compelled to participate in the experience that inspired or informed the poem. In each of the haiku and senryu that follow, we hope you enjoy the participation.” The following are fifteen sample poems from the book.



neige qui fond

sous le soleil d’hiver

le bambou’s s’érige


snow melting

in the winter sun

—bamboo springs back


                Abigail Friedman

                Quebec City, Quebec



late summer

a hermit crab caught

between homes


                Carole MacRury

                Point Roberts, Washington



with soft lips

she plucks the purple thistle

—shetland pony


                Carol O’Dell

                Port Townsend, Washington



crossing a stream

     the bridge

my shadow makes


                Christopher Herold

                Port Townsend, Washington



out in the meadow

   she uses her

      “inside” voice


                Connie Hutchison

                Kirkland, Washington





the wind


                Dietmar Tauchner

                Puchberg, Austria



bright rain puddle

the sun brings mountains

down to earth again


                Doris Thurston

                Port Townsend, Washington



forest romp

children shout from chanterelle

to matsutake


                Francine Porad

                Bellevue, Washington



Horizon moon

the snowman headless

no longer


                George Swede

                Toronto, Ontario



after the storm

the air filled with sweet smell

rice stalks fallen down


                Kimiyo Tanaka

                Matsuyama, Japan



afternoon hike—

the pussy willows dwindling

from my handful


                Michael Dylan Welch

                Sammamish, Washington



migratory ducks

I have never

kept a diary


                paul m.

                Bristol, Rhode Island



after love

she traces the ferns

in the window’s frost


                Penny Harter

                Summit, New Jersey



barefoot in dew:

across the alpine lake

the sweep of stars


                Ruth Yarrow

                Seattle, Washington



autumn morning—

the shape of the mountain

in the white cloud


                William J. Higginson

                Summit, New Jersey