From The Haiku Anthology

These twenty haiku appeared in
The Haiku Anthology, edited by Cor van den Heuvel (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999; hardback cover shown). All poems were published previously in various journals.
See also On the Art of Writing Haiku, which pairs each of these poems with a quotation on the art of writing.



landing swallow—
the ship’s chain

dips slightly                                                                                                                                       +



spring breeze through the window . . .

     stains on an apron

     left at the counter



morning bird song—

my paddle slips

into its reflection                                                                                                                             +



mountain spring—

     in my cupped hand

          pine needles



beach parking lot—

where the car door opened

a small pile of sand



low summer sun—

the shadow of an earring

on your cheek



  after the quake

adding I love you

      to a letter



fresh snow on the mat—

the shape of welcome

still visible



after-dinner mints

passed around the table

. . . slow-falling snow



toll booth lit for Christmas—

from my hand to hers

warm change                                                                                                                            + + + +



spring breeze—

the pull of her hand

as we near the pet store



my face dripping . . .

the floppy-foot clown’s

plastic flower



after the quake

     the weathervane

          pointing to earth



first day of summer

a postman delivers mail

in a safari hat



grocery shopping—

pushing my cart faster

through feminine protection                                                                                                           +



reading in bed

     my pulse flickering

     the lightly held bookmark



first snow . . .

the children’s hangers

clatter in the closet



taking invisible tickets

at the foot of the basement stairs—

child’s magic show



paper route

     knocking a row of icicles

     from the eave



home for Christmas:

my childhood desk drawer

empty                                                                                                                                       +  +  +  +

Among the many new poets in this anthology, all with exceptional talents, there are a large number who show not just a promise of greatness to come but have already established a record of accomplishment that makes them substantial figures in the haiku world. Most prominent are Lee Gurga, Dee Evetts, Wally Swist, and Michael Dylan Welch.

        Welch intertwines memories of childhood with the present, giving his work an immediacy blended with nostalgia. His images are more urban and domestic . . . and he varies the form more so that his haiku create fresh shapes on the page. Welch is also very important to the haiku community as an editor. His Press Here has published many of the best haiku chapbooks to come out in recent years, and he edited the haiku magazine Woodnotes until deciding to discontinue it in order to start a new one, Tundra, due this year.

—Cor van den Heuvel, from his introduction to
The Haiku Anthology (Norton, 1999, third edition)