Haiku 1, August 2011

WHR August 2011

Haiku Final selection

Leys Farm by Susumu Takiguchi

Again, a vast amount of submissions of haiku was made. One welcome trend which has begun to emerge is that poets are starting to attempt at writing something new, different and interesting rather than blindly following the predominant main stream of world haiku, which has now become more than boring. These attempts are not necessarily successful, which is the cost of such efforts. However, in a sense that is not the point. The real point is that it is heading in a right direction, leading, it is keenly hoped, to better things. Some of them, for this reason, I have selected for this issue even if their quality is not the highest.

As usual, those haiku which fall in the category of Vanguard haiku were few and far between. This is the radical end of all haiku. I urge poets to have courage, open mind and imagination to venture into this exciting zone of haiku. For those who are unfamiliar with our classification of haiku I reprint below the guidance published in the last issue with some modification.

…Some people are asking what on earth is Shintai haiku, or Vanguard haiku. The classification is just like the index titles of a filing cabinet in order to avoid unnecessary polemics about what is and what is not haiku. There are now so many different varieties of haiku that defining haiku seems to me to be almost like fighting a losing and pointless battle. So much so that we had better say that “Haiku is haiku if the author says so.” All that remains to be done is to ask the only right and essential question: Is it then good as a poem?

All haiku poems can conveniently be divided into three categories according to how traditional or radical they are. This is more of a practical classification than of an academic one. The most traditional end is grouped together under the Neo-classical with stringent kigo or 5-7-5 rules. The most radical (freest) end is classified as the Vanguard. Anything between these two falls into the Shintai (or new-style). The borderline cases can go either category depending on the perception of a haiku poet who creates or reads them. And whichever category they may go, it does not matter. Such a preoccupation is “academic”…

Neo-Classical Haiku

First Place

Tonight let’s seesaw

between heaven and earth

on the crescent moon

Riitta Rossilahti

Second Place

hidden pond

frog after frog echoes

the one before

Bruce Ross

Third Place

tuffo di rana

riecheggia il suono in mille

piccole onde

frog's plunge

the sound echoes throughout

thousand small waves

Felice Vinci

Seven Honourable Mentions (In no particular order)

a black-yellow moth...

on the wall of our home, the day

after my sister-in-law died

Natsumi kosuge


does the summer wind go

where you have gone

André Surridge

with the world at rest

the firefly becomes busy

lighting the darkness

Priscilla Lignori


(In no particular order in terms of merit but mostly in the alphabetical order of authors’ surname)

past the chimney

December stars


Steve Addiss

Summer dawn

bamboo leaves rustle

earth song.

Siddhartha Borkakati

evening sunlight

threading the mist

pine needles

Nana Fredua-Agyeman

lavender spikes

tangled in bindweed

morning heat

Ann K. Schwader

announcing the rain

smell of

the parched earth

Gillena Cox

first warm day

the kitchen wind chime

finds its voice

Susan Constable

under a leaf

wandering caterpillar

summer's end

evening shower

swimming pool filling

into laughter

summer sunset –

changing colour of

rising waves

Ramesh Anand

love to smell

the neighbour’s red roses-

they grow over my fence

Winona Baker

at the edge of summer

going more slowly

through the rain

Gerd Boemer

a butterfly

bangs into my head –

summer’s end

Owen Bullock

summer breeze –

the load of

heavy-limbed poplars

Sharon Burrell

after the fireworks

crescent moon sinks in the west

fourth night in July

Stephen Colgan

a spider

hanging by a thread . . .

midnight moon

Susan Constable

lightening strike

uplifted saguaro arms

in a monsoon sky

John Daleiden

after the rain –

the lilac fragrance

covers the moon

Ioana Dinescu

pregnant ground hog

my summer garden

her feeding ground

rising sun

two red-tailed hawks

hovering over Lake Biwa

Raffael de Gruttola

starless sky

fireflies move in and out

of darkness

Nana Fredua-Agyeman

late autumn dusk...

I cannot quite close the lid

on the garbage can

Sari Grandstaff

Summer breeze

a newly blossomed flower

nods at the table fan

Lars Granström

A woodcock nests

beak-deep in snow

little black eye on me

John Hamley

garden wedding

a grasshopper rides

the bridal train

William Hart

cloudless might

mid-august shower

of meteors

Lois E. Harvey

after an illness

the sweet smell

of fresh cut grass

Peggy Heinrich

two white butterflies

circle each other and me

our hearts fluttering

flat heat of the day

dust clouds, clicking grasshoppers

still life everywhere

Anne Hills

meadow pond

a flurry of white wings

the heron and its image

Elizabeth Howard

this autumn evening

alone with yesterday, today

and tomorrow

Marie Shimane

long summer night a locomotive chugs across my dream

Alan S. Bridges

rain dance

brings only

clouds of dust

shanna moore

widower’s garden

her roses bloom

side by side with weeds

Victor P. Gendrano

or Haiku of Merit

The ants line up

towards the syrup

for hummingbirds

Liette Janelle

I would like to sing

Like a warbler at the dawn,

With a voice of God.

Douglas F. Johnson

Wistfully watching,

Light showers falling on jade leaves,

Child clutching at bars...

Charanjeet Kaur

red watermelon

cold and sweet to the tongue

summer drought

Howard Lee Kilby

a train journey...

I sit backwards, watching

the cornfield pass by

Natsumi Kosuge

morning broomstick,

collects crisp leaves,

a funeral mound

Snehith Kumbla

Gently his fat weight

sinks the lily pad—and yet,

the frog is himself

David E. LeCount

between the gravestones

where the lawnmower can't reach --

purple irises

Priscilla Lignori

Moonlit bird flies off --

a shadowy branch

tap, taps the window

CaroleAnn Lovin

a bat in the summer twilight

flit flies in a jittery circle

Patrick Mizelle

in the space between

star dust and your blue eyes

heaven twinkles

shanna moore


the last rays of the sun

kite goes home

Aju Mukhopadhyay

The earthly tremor

shows the land's solar resolve

the people rise again

Ravaged by earthquake

a child finds her family

a mud-coated photo

Surendra Munshi

half lotus . . .

the constant drone

of flies


summer dusk

hiking alone

I am not lonely

Marian Olson

leaves sparkle, shimmer...

sun glares on blades of grass...

Summer screams GREEN!

George Power,

cotton pyjamas

patterned with red hearts –

how many summers left?

Patricia Prime

sweltering heat

the frog won't move

for the weeding

Bruce Ross

spent peony

the next breath of wind

its last

longest day

one weed after


Ann K. Schwader


the beauty of endurance

in a shaken world

Marie Shimane

sudden summer rain -

another rinse cycle

for this week’s laundry

John R. Snyder

open windows –

from the garden I can hear

the neighbor’s long shower

John R. Snyder

wizened apples –

all the words I didn’t say

still on the tree

Richard Stevenson

Hot summer night -

Fire outlines distant hills...

Cool full moon looks on

Shalini Sunkuru

ice-cream chimes...

piercing the humid air

a little girl's scream

André Surridge

sunset view -

from balcony roof to wall

the spin of spiders

izak bouwer

the moon so pure

a meandering river carries it

as I watch

Anna Yin