October 24: You and only you

So here we are again, exhibiting the peculiar human fascination with round numbers by celebrating my 300th blog post. It’s only fair that I should do this by letting some of you get a word in edgewise for a change — after all, without you there wouldn’t be a me. Or rather, there would, of course. I think. Or is it like the tree that falls in the forest with no one to hear it?

Anyway. You’re all such great listeners. And responders. The comments on this blog are like food and drink to me, and I say that as a person with more than a passing interest in food and drink. I have a suspicion I might have given up this whole crazy enterprise long ago if it weren’t for all of you, jollying me along, telling me politely what’s what, suggesting I might want to rethink one or two things, and just generally making me feel like I knew something but not too much, which is the right attitude to encourage in a blatant newcomer to any enterprise. There is some kind of charmed atmosphere around this blog which I can only attribute to the kind, thoughtful, and intelligent way all of you have received me, and each other.

These contributions were all so wonderful to read and made me feel luckier than ever. I loved seeing tanka and haiga among the contributions as well as haiku — I can’t do those things, or at least I haven’t tried yet, so it’s nice to have readers who can and are willing to share. I’ve posted all the contributions in the order they arrived in my email inbox. I hope you all enjoy.

Note: There were four haikuists who took up my (tongue-in-cheek) challenge to use the number 300 in their haiku in some way. They earn the promised bonus points, though I’m not quite sure yet what those can be redeemed for. 🙂 Congrats to Alan Summers, Steve Mitchell (tricky, that one), Max Stites, and Rick Daddario.


at the cafe . . .
caught in the firing line
of the poetry slam

(Previously published, Modern Haiku, Vol. XXX, No. 1, Winter-Spring, 1999)

— Charlotte Digregorio, charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com


Prince’s 1999
was played on that New Year’s Eve
300 seconds
that’s all that was needed
to fall in love


300 klicks
from my home to Hull
a renga love verse



warm evening
goodnight to the needlemouse*
as I check the stars

(Previously published, Presence magazine [September 2010] ISSN 1366-5367)

*Linguistic notes on the word “needlemouse”:

Kanji: 針鼠 or 蝟

Kana: ハリネズミ

Rōmaji: harinezumi

English: hedgehog

Combination Meaning: needle ( ハリ) mouse (ネズミ)

— Alan Summers, area17.blogspot.com/


obituary notice
the last of his regulars
died yesterday

— Stacey Wilson, theoddinkwell.com and inkwellwhispers.com


buried among fall debris–
the waiting

(unpublished, inspired by the post “acorn time”)

in the bare willows —
the shape of longing



— Alegria Imperial, jornales.wordpress.com


Down this road – alone
silent, solitary, still
watching autumn fall.

(after Basho’s Kono michi ya!)

— Margaret Dornaus, haikudoodle.wordpress.com


sunlit garden
when did my father grow
an old man’s neck?

(Previously published, Frogpond, Fall 2006)

sprinkling her ashes
on the rocks at high tide
the long walk back

(From the haibun, In the Air [Planet, The Welsh Internationalist Spring 2007])



— Lynne Rees, www.lynnerees.com


october roses
the last but the most vivid
than ever

faded petals
the scent of their soft touch
on my cheek


— Claire


first serial publication
grandma asks
when I started drinking

(Previously published, bottle rockets #22)

haiku history lecture
paper lanterns

(Previously published, tinywords 9.1)

— Aubrie Cox, aubriecox.wordpress.com


Rivers Fast

Rivers fast!


Flower Waits

Flower waits
For bee
You see,
Bird told me


— Laz Freedman, lazfreedman.wordpress.com


crow lands on post
carries a grasshopper
can’t talk now



soft breeze
I regard nature, but wait —
I am nature


— Steve Mitchell, heednotsteve.wordpress.com


February wind
I want to believe
the crocus

early thaw––
the earth tugging
at my footsteps


(These two both took first place in the Shiki Kukai for the months in which they were submitted. I regard the first of them as my “signature haiku.”)

— Bill Kenney, haiku-usa.blogspot.com


reading history
seagulls gather on the beach
then fly away

(From Poems from Oostburg, Wisconsin: ellenolinger.wordpress.com)

turning the page
of a new book
branch of gold leaves

(From New Poems: Inspired by the Psalms and Nature: elingrace.wordpress.com)


— Ellen Olinger


the photo booth
becomes a grave-marker
our snapshots

how nice to see the sun
again, despite
returning spiders


— Ashley Capes, ashleycapes.wordpress.com/


who needs
three hundred facebook friends when
haiku are three lines

three fluttering notes
drift through the passage to find
the player and score


— Max Stites, outspokenomphaloskeptic.wordpress.com


a solitary bird calls to the space between lightning and thunder

(Previously published, http://tinywords.com/2010/08/11/2175/)

— Angie Werren, triflings.wordpress.com/


— Rick Daddario, www.rickdaddario.com/, 19planets.wordpress.com/, wrick.gather.com, www.cafeshops.com/19planets


spider song

eight syllables only
to tap your haiku
across my wall

— Lawrence Congdon, novaheart.wordpress.com


sharing full moon
with all the world’s
haiku poets


summer’s meadow
flowers too
inspire each other

— Kerstin Neumann





overcast midday sky-
her shrill voice calling
the ducks home

— Devika Jyothi


28 thoughts on “October 24: You and only you

  1. wow — what a breathtaking assortment! thank you Melissa for the wonderful compilation and for collecting such talented readers. I feel like I should print this post and frame it on my wall (and not just because I got a new printer!)

  2. So much beauty, intensity, full of surprising ways to look at the world and bold “I wouldn’t have thought of that” imagery – an overflow of riches! I can’t believe I forgot the deadline was yesterday and didn’t submit anything….um, how soon do you think your 400th post will be? I need to put it on my calendar now!

  3. Too much fun! I only hope I have half as many readers as you by the time I hit my 300th post (which will be a while). In the meantime, I’m asking readers to respond to my call for haiku in honor of lost loved ones that I’ll post right before Halloween and The Day of the Dead.

    Best, Margaret

    • I’m thinking of redesignating the bonus points as “brownie points,” which can be redeemed for brownies the next time any of the four of you are within a hundred miles of me. Wisconsin being the hot tourist destination that it is for folks from Arizona, Hawaii, and England, I probably will come out way ahead in this bargain. 🙂

  4. Kerstin’s poem about sharing the moon with poets reminds me of a haiku I wrote some time ago as a play off of one of Basho’s:

    poets and prostitutes
    the moon
    in good company

    This was a fun read. Some names I know, some I don’t. I absolutely adore Stacey Wilson’s haiga. I keep meaning to try that style (photographing the actual words). Gorgeous!

    • Hi Aubrie,

      thanks for sharing that one! Reminds me of “Haiku Guy” (I am working on a German translation), although I wrote my haiku before I knew the book. It was my very first full moon after I had started writing haiku and I suddenly felt this weird connection to all these other weird people all over the world staring at the moon and writing haiku 🙂
      Stacey’s haiga reminds me of Herta Müller (German writer who recently got the Nobel Prize for Literature). She made poems from words she had cut out of newspapers, using different fonts to give the poem a second layer.


      • Thanks, Aubrie and Kerstin. I too enjoy sharing the full moon with all the haiku poets out there. Have either of you ever submitted to Haiku Bandit’s Full Moon Party? I keep thinking about it and then forgetting.

        And I agree — Stacey’s work is amazing, I wish I had that kind of eye …

        • I have not actually. I’ll have to look into that. Considering I write about the moon… really quite often.

          Given that I’m considering doing a series of photographs on writing and the writing process, I may have to try to incorporate this sort of thing!

      • Kersten:

        Chances are I’d read Haiku Guy by the time I wrote this. I love that book. 🙂 Though in talking about full moons, Laughing Buddha totally comes to mind. (insert more shout-outs to David here).

        The original poem by Basho, for anyone who doesn’t remember it:

        Under the same roof
        Prostitutes were sleeping —
        The moon and clover.

        (trans. Donald Keene)

        I’ll definitely have to think more on this cutting out letters business. I always mean to do it, but never quite get around to it.


  5. yeah. there are outstanding gems here. it’s almost unfair to read them all at once. some have slipped up on me after having read them a day or two ago when i wasnt able to post well.

    yeah on the word photo haiga by Stacey Wilson. i like that.

    congratulations on your 300th post and beyond.

    the color
    of three hundred reds
    the number yellow

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Ellen! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. It’s been a pleasure getting acquainted with your poetry as well.

  6. Pingback: Halloween Humor and A Challenge Response | A 19 Planets Art Blog 2010

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