Stone Poetry: Haigaonline Publishes Portfolio of Haiga Inspired by Earth and Rock

Jennifer Hambrick - waning autumn WITH SIGNATURE
“waning summer” by Jennifer Hambrick. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19-2, Autumn 2018. © 2018 Jennifer Hambrick. All rights reserved.

I am grateful to have another mini portfolio of my haiga published in the most recent issue of the journal Haigaonline. This issue. “Viewing Stones,” features haiga inspired by and depicting rocks, stones and earth.

All of the photographs in my haiga mini portfolio, “Ancient Days,” were shot in New Mexico, where earth is poetry in its own right. The haiga above, “waning summer,” shows a wall on a New Mexico pueblo crumbling “back to the earth.” The haiga below, “eroding hills,” depicts the skeletons of mountains that, eons ago, had been submerged in a vast inland sea, and that now stand, eroded and ghostlike, in the New Mexico desert.

Jennifer Hambrick - eroding hills WITH SIGNATURE
“eroding hills” by Jennifer Hambrick. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19-2, Autumn 2018. © 2018 Jennifer Hambrick. All rights reserved.

In “dust devil,” an ant hill inspires a bit of word play.

Jennifer Hambrick - dust devil 72 dpi
“dust devil” by Jennifer Hambrick. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19-2, Autumn 2018. © 2018 Jennifer Hambrick. All rights reserved.

View the remaining haiga in my portfolio here.

My sincere thanks to Haigaonline editor Linda Papanicolaou for tirelessly catalyzing new work in the genre of haiga, and for again publishing my work in her journal.

Haibun Wins First Place in Haiku Society of America Competition

JD Hancock - Down with Rainbows
Photo: JD Hancock/Creative Commons/Flickr

I am extremely honored and humbled to have won First Place in the Haiku Society of America’s 2018 Haibun Awards Competition with my haibun “That Summer.”

The genre of haibun consists of the juxtaposition of prose and haiku in ways that allow the two genres to resonate uniquely with each other, creating multiple layers of meaning. Here is “A Brief History of English-Language Haibun” by Jim Kacian, founder and board chairperson of The Haiku Foundation and one of the leading exponents of English-language haiku and related genres. This essay was compiled from Kacian’s introductions, and with Kacian’s permission, by Ray Rasmussen, the present editor of the major haibun journal Haibun Today.

“That Summer” is published on the Haiku Society of America’s Website. My haibun will also be published in the Haiku Society of America’s journal, Frogpond, one of the finest publications of English-language haiku and related genres.

Sincere thanks to competition judge John Stevenson, and hearty congratulations to my fellow poets who also won awards in this contest.

Portfolio of Haiga Inspired by Trees Featured in Haigaonline

Hambrick - you would never have guessed 72 dpi
Haiga “you would never have guessed” by Jennifer Hambrick. Poem and photo © 2017 Jennifer Hambrick. All rights reserved. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring 2018).

Go create haiga – artworks that join visual image with haiku – inspired by trees.

That was the essentially challenge the wonderful journal Haigaonline issued last fall to all practitioners of the ancient genre of haiga. And is there anyone who wouldn’t want to spend time gazing at, photographing, and writing about trees?

No, there is not.

I am most grateful to Haigaonline editor Linda Papanicolaou for showcasing four of my tree-inspired haiga in a featured portfolio of my work in the journal’s most recent issue, Vol. 19, No. 1, published spring 2018.

Here is Papanicolaou’s commentary about my haiga in this featured portfolio, and below are the haiga themselves:

Each of the tree haiga in the present portfolio approaches the interaction of text and image differently. In the first, the image of a maple tree in fall colors mirrors line 3 of the poem. In the second, there’s a wider shift as the deep red, not yet fallen leaves of the image serve as visual metaphor for the text. In the third, the image of the tree is a structural support for a concrete poem, bot linked by the revelation of line 3. The text of the fourth is dependent on the image and may not work as a stand-alone poem, but it has the bite that I’ve come to know as characteristic of Jennifer’s senryu haiga. It’s a commentary on the disposability of trees in our consumerist culture.

About eight years ago our beautiful ash tree, pictured in the haiga above (“you would never have guessed”), was diagnosed with the emerald ash borer. I wept for a week as we considered our options, but destroying and removing the tree was simply not one of them. So, we signed up for tree health care, contracting with a tree service to give the ash biennial treatments of a substance that drives away the borer. The tree is still with us and is still glorious, though its thin canopy and brittle branches remain telltale signs of its illness.

I took this photo standing under the ash tree and looking up into the canopy, which was thinning as much from autumn leaf droppage as from the borer. The haiku our fragile tree inspired comments on the ephemerality of all life and our common human delusion that all there is to any life – tree, human, or otherwise – is what meets the eye.

Hambrick - the honeyed glow 72 dpi
Haiga “the honeyed glow” by Jennifer Hambrick. Poem and photo © 2017 Jennifer Hambrick. All rights reserved. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring 2018).

One day last fall, the sun was pouring through the yellow leaves of our maple tree that, from the second story of our home, I felt absolutely wrapped in a warm, golden glow. The image in this haiga relates something of that glow, and whatever emotional warmth the camera could not capture, the haiku, hopefully, helps to convey.

Hambrick - autumn sun 72 dpi
Haiga “autumn sun” by Jennifer Hambrick. Poem and photo © 2017 Jennifer Hambrick and Siwoo Kim. All rights reserved. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring 2018).

My friend the violinist Siwoo Kim took this photograph while traveling in South Korea and posted an unedited version of it on Facebook. When I saw the picture, the contrast between the vibrancy of the red leaves and the autumnal feel of the setting sun took my breath away. Siwoo gave me his blessing to turn his photo into a haiga, so I edited the image, bringing out more of the drama of the lighting and adding a border and the text of my poem, which the image inspired.

Hambrick - recycling day
Haiga “recycling day” by Jennifer Hambrick. Poem and photo © 2017 Jennifer Hambrick. All rights reserved. First published in Haigaonline, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring 2018).

On the day after Christmas 2017, a sadly large number of pine trees were lying at curbs all around our neighborhood. They had been put out just in time for the recycling collectors.

Congratulations to my fellow haiga artists whose work also appears in this issue of Haigonline.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Haiku by Marion Clarke

Greg Lobinski - clock
Photo: Greg Lobinski/Creative Commons/Flickr

Concluding the 2018 international Women’s Haiku Festival is a haiku by Northern Irish poet Marion Clarke.

ticking clock . . .
so many things to tell
my daughter

There is the ticking biological clock that, along with other factors, dictates the reproductive fate of every woman. But there is also the ceaseless march of time more generally, the grandfather clock that ticks in tandem with the heartbeat of all humankind. Both clocks are ticking away in this haiku, which points to the special kind of relationship many mothers and daughters share, while reminding us how little time we all have. So many things to tell, more than a lifetime, more than two lifetimes, can hold.

Marion Clarke is from the east coast of Northern Ireland, about which she writes,“The scenery where I live is amazing as the sea, mountains and forest are all within walking distance, so I feel I was destined to become a haiku poet! My poems are inspired by those I’ve loved and lost.”

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Haiku by Michelle Hyatt

Chris Isherwood - Near
Photo: Chris Isherwood/Creative Commons/Flickr

Demons inner and outer haunt a haiku by Canadian poet Michelle Hyatt.

so much makeup
hiding her face
dark side of the moon

Is this a poem about a woman so desperate for beauty that she goes overboard trying to paint it on, or about a woman who is hiding evidence of physical violence beneath mounds of cream and powder? Each interpretation speaks to a different type of darkness – the inner darkness that cannot let her see and accept her own beauty, or the darkness of abuse. And all of these layers of darkness are set in contrast to the chalky white light of that serene goddess, the ever-watching moon.

Michelle Hyatt enjoys wandering anywhere that takes her to trees, mountains, water, and moonlit forests. It is in these places where her heart feels most at home and finds creative inspiration, which sometimes develops into tiny poems. Some of her other work can be found in Yanty’s Butterfly – Haiku Nook: An Anthology. Michelle lives in Canada.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Haiku by Marta Chociłowska

stanze - Spring
Photo: stanze/Creative Commons/Flickr

Polish poet Marta Chociłowska paints a picture of the happy hustle and bustle of a market flower stand in a delightful haiku.

shopping list
a woman at the market
sells catkins

Imagine a bustling market with a stall where a woman, Eliza Doolittle-like, sells fresh-cut flowers and bundles of long, beautiful willow branches dotted up and down with soft, fuzzy catkins. Isn’t that just like your shopping list? Long and bulleted with comfort-food coziness? This clever haiku is bursting at the seams with the kind of upbeat hustle and bustle that makes you feel fully alive.

Marta Chocilowska, of Warsaw, Poland, is a fan of cats and poetry, co-author of Polish and foreign haiku anthologies, winner of Polish and international haiku contests, and a juror in Polish and foreign haiku contests. She has publications in many international haiku and haiga magazines. She is a founding Member of the Polish Haiku Association.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: A Haiku by Malintha Perera

cherry tree
Photo: Glen Bowman/Creative Commons/Flickr

With sensitivity and grace, Malintha Perera paints a tender portrait to a mother without children in a wistfully lovely haiku.

mountain cherries
the children
she longs to have

The world abounds in haiku about pregnancy, childbirth, one’s children, one’s grandchildren, motherhood, fatherhood, and grandparenthood. Haiku about infertility and childlessness, however, are less common. Is it too painful to speak in public? Or is there a certain perceived shame in even suggesting, much less admitting, publicly to that pain? This particular poem paints with heartrending beauty and delicacy both the bright and shiny fecundity of a mountain cherry tree and the almost incomprehensible kind of love a mother-at-heart feels for her unborn children. If only Mother Nature’s heart were always so big.

Malintha Perera is an established poet whose work is featured in numerous journals. She writes haiku, tanka, micropoetry as well as longer poems that are mainly centered on Zen Buddhism. Her first published haiku book, An Unswept Path (2015), is a collection of monastery haiku. She resides in Sri Lanka with her family.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Two Haiku by Terri L. French

Ken McMillan - damselfly
Photo: Ken McMillan/Creative Commons/Flickr

Poet Terri L. French talks middle age and damselflies in two beautiful haiku.

winter solstice
middle age
shifts to the right

As the earth and neighboring planets shuffle around the Milky Way, the seasons emerge, according to which parts of the earth are nearest to or farthest from the sun. Read a number line from left to right and notice where the “middle age” years fall. With each moment, each day, each year – and with some wishful thinking – they slouch farther down the line, into the winter of your life, whether or not you’re ready for it.

***

damselfly . . .
let’s become
our own heroes

Outside of storybooks and movies, how many damsels in distress have been rescued by fathers, brothers, or celebrity athletes? With a touch as delicate as a damselfly’s wing, this poem warns us not to wait for the fiercely named dragonfly to bring us securely into our lives. It is a call to action, an invitation to us all to become the people we want to be.

Terri L. French is a writer, editor, and poet. She is a former SE Coordinator of The Haiku Society of American, past editor of Prune Juice Journal of Senryu and Kyoka, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Haiku Foundation.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Two Haiku by David He

yowlong - Chestnut Hill Reservoir at Dusk
Photo: yowlong/Creative Commons/Flickr

Poet David He gives voice to a young girl’s sweet song and an older woman’s early dusk in two beautiful haiku.

a green leaf
between the girl’s lips
her sweet song

I envision a little girl holding a green leaf between her lips and humming a happy tune – maybe that of a nursery song, or maybe a tune she’s making up on the spot. This poem a tight shot on a moment of complete innocence. Maybe the girl doesn’t know anyone sees her with the leaf between her lips or hears her “sweet song.” Or maybe she does know and doesn’t even think to care. The poet’s language is as simple and unburdened as the haiku moment it captures.

***

Mum’s story
in her grey hair…
early dusk

The vivid image of a woman’s grey hair tells only part of the woman’s story. But the “early dusk” in the poem’s third line says it all. This grey-haired woman isn’t exactly old; her hair makes her look older than she is, and – doubly tragic – this in the face of an “early dusk.”

David He has been working as an advanced English teacher for 35 years in a high school. He has had twenty English-language short stories published in anthologies. His haiku have been published in
Acorn, The Heron’s Nest, Presence, Rocket bottles, Frogpond, One Hundred Gourds, Shamrock, First Literary Review-East, Modern Haiku, Frozen Butterfly, and elsewhere. He has also had tanka published in Skylark, Ribbons, and Cattails.  

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Two Poems by Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff

Chris Staley
Photo: Chris Staley/Creative Commons/Flickr

Mama’s new pair of shoes and Daddy’s obituary star in two poems by U.S. poet Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff.

new stilettos
she announces
her divorce

And there she is with her new stilettos, with her new-found independence, with all the concomitant fears and regrets and scars and, unless she’s some kind of stiletto-wearing saint, resentments. The stiletto as the ultimate symbol of female autonomy, of female no-one-owns-me-ness. She’ll wear those shoes like badges of honor. She’s going to need them. I hope they’re flaming red.

***
how quickly
a skipped stone sinks
his obituary

All that life and liveliness that once glanced off the surface of the river of life – now all boiled down to the verbal arroyo of a death notice. Just the facts, just the skeleton of who he was and what he did, all rendered on such a tight deadline. And with his death, the death of a marriage, a siblinghood, a parent-child relationship. All gone in the time it takes not to breathe.

Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Loras College in English: Writing and Theology respectively. She is originally from Northern California, but has spent the last 30+ years in Dubuque, Iowa, USA. She has served over 30 years as a higher education professional, and has written poetry since childhood. Over 250 of her poems, including numerous haiku, senryu, and rengay, along with articles have been published in magazines, juried journals, and anthologies. She studied haiku with Bill Pauly, and has taught courses on publishing and judged writing contests at the local and national level. Her writing garnered a grant from the Iowa Arts Council and awards in local and national competition, including earning her River Arts Association Writer of the Year honors.