I was delighted to have another haiga published recently in the journal DailyHaiga.
Pictured in this haiga is a detail of the bottom of a water chain surrounded by pebbles, a wooden border and fronds of a plant. I took the photo during summer in the Japanese Garden at the phenomenal Schnormeier Gardens in Gambier, Ohio.
The tranquil elegance of this distinctly Japanese scene gave rise to thoughts of a lazy summer day and to the haiku that I included with the image.
And even though summer’s over and we’re deep into a glorious autumn, we can take that summer feeling – warm, lazy days when everything seems to move at a slow trickle – wherever we go.
I am extremely grateful to DailyHaiga editor Linda Pilarski for again publishing my work in this major haiga journal.
Three of my haiga, all on the theme of water, were published recently in the journal Haiga Online.
The issue, “Borrowed Water,” features water-themed haiga by poets and artists around the world.
I shot the photographs in all of these haiga in June 2017 at the stunning Schnor-meier Gardens, in Gambier, Ohio, then used various digital photo editing techniques to add borders and other effects.
In “the drift,” shown at the top of this post, and in “the cool slide,” each of the visual images in its edited form inspired the haiku that accompanies it.
In “the drift,” water becomes one with the sky reflected in it. together, they take on the role of a fluid, boundless medium through which thoughts can flow as freely as a summer breeze.
The photo in “the drift” is of one of the garden’s amazingly beautiful lily ponds, which were coming into full bloom during my visit. I decided on the particular combination of editing filters because of the effect they created on the clouds, which swirl in that lazy summer afternoon kind of way.
In “the cool slide,” water becomes the pathway for a kind of experience with dementia that differs from the horrifying response this traumatic condition usually evokes. The eye slides from a rocky shore into gentle sky-blue water, metaphorically away from the harsh ugliness of the world and into peaceful depths. Maybe there can be spiritual benefits to forgetting.
The image in “the cool slide” is of the edge of one of the lakes in the Schnormeier Gardens’ Serenity Garden, which also features trickling streams, two waterfalls, a young forest of more than 200 rare conifers, and a Japanese garden house.
In “spring tide,” the rough edges of the piece of sea glass became the idea that guided me to create a poem about the wabi-sabi kind of beauty in one’s own rough edges, and the special compassion of the people who choose to accept them and, indeed, even see beauty in them.
Many sincere thanks to Haiga Online editor Linda Papanicolaou for selecting my work for this special “Borrowed Water” issue.
I was delighted to learn that one of my haiku has been named a “Judge’s Favorite” among the six winners of this year’s Golden Haiku Contest, Washington, D.C.
This year’s contest garnered more than 1,000 entries, among them poems from the authors of the other six winning haiku – Terri L. French, Marek Kozubek, Trish Bright, Mark E. Brager, Sandip Chauhan, and Michele L. Harvey.