Haiku North America, Day 1
by Melissa Allen
I’m back in the garden of the Inn at Queen Anne. Taking a break. Writing to you. My brain is too full not to dump a little of it out onto the page. So here’s the story of yesterday.
On my way to register for HNA at the Seattle Center, I met Susan Diridoni in the courtyard…
We talked one-line haiku and infuriating politicians. Two of our favorite subjects.
monomania the cure for wildflowers
First on the agenda after registration was a walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park down by the harbor. Michael Dylan Welch had a camera permanently attached to his face so the only picture of him I was able to get was one I took while he was taking a picture of me.
Debbie Kolodji and I found ourselves reflected in one of the sculptures….
I’m not sure if our reflections count as “touching” in the eyes of those who wrote this warning sign. I also find it interesting to ponder the difference between visual art, which can indeed be harmed by indiscriminate touching, and haiku, which haiku poets encourage our readers to put their grubby little hands all over, knowing that will only make it more interesting.
It’s Fleet Week in Seattle, so there were ominous-looking ships mulling around the harbor. On the plus side, they interacted well with the sculpture.
These flowers were everywhere, growing low all over the ground. I love them. Somebody tell me what they are.
This was my favorite sculpture. Anyone under the age of 35 who knows what it is gets a prize.
This metal-plated tree enchanted me, if only because I don’t like to let well enough alone where nature is concerned.
Back at the Seattle Center, Michael showed us this stone with a haiku of Basho’s engraved on it. (Rhyming couplet, awesome.)
Went out for a late lunch/early dinner with a few people, then back to the hotel, where Charlie Trumbull and Jim Kacian were scheming in the courtyard. (All their schemes were legal and ethical. I checked.)
Then to a dessert reception and open mic reading at the Seattle Center, where I met people at a ferocious rate.
… Wonderful people.
(Lidia Rozmus [my wonderful roommate], Wanda Cook, Carlos Colon, Don Wentworth, Marjorie Buettner, Sarah and Gene Myers, Marilyn Hazelton)
I talked until my throat got sore, and then I went off to a gendai haiku writing workshop and talked a whole bunch more.
Here we all (okay, about half of us) are listening to Emiko Miyashita telling us about gendai haiku in Japanese. (That’s Charlie Trumbull, Garry Gay, Kathy Munro, Billie Dee, Sheila Sondik, Jim Westenhaver, Emiko Miyashita)
At the end we all tried our hand at writing more gendai, and I finally managed to get a picture of Michael without a camera in front of his face.
It was past eleven by the time we finished. Wild and crazy haiku poets, that’s us.
A few of us had a late-night snack, and by the time I got to bed it was about three in the morning in Wisconsin. Which is the time that counts, after all.
I’ll write about today tomorrow. See how that works?
Hope you’re all having a great time whether you’re in Seattle or not.