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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