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
was played on that New Year’s Eve
that’s all that was needed
to fall in love
from my home to Hull
a renga love verse
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
Combination Meaning: needle ( ハリ) mouse (ネズミ)
— Alan Summers, area17.blogspot.com/
the last of his regulars
— Stacey Wilson, theoddinkwell.com and inkwellwhispers.com
buried among fall debris–
(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
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
the last but the most vivid
the scent of their soft touch
on my cheek
first serial publication
when I started drinking
(Previously published, bottle rockets #22)
haiku history lecture
(Previously published, tinywords 9.1)
— Aubrie Cox, aubriecox.wordpress.com
Bird told me
— Laz Freedman, lazfreedman.wordpress.com
crow lands on post
carries a grasshopper
can’t talk now
I regard nature, but wait —
I am nature
— Steve Mitchell, heednotsteve.wordpress.com
I want to believe
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
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
how nice to see the sun
— Ashley Capes, ashleycapes.wordpress.com/
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
eight syllables only
to tap your haiku
across my wall
— Lawrence Congdon, novaheart.wordpress.com
sharing full moon
with all the world’s
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”
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!)
Thanks, Angie. I agree, what an amazing collection of talent — I feel humbled. (Also, you may be interested to know that you just made the blog’s 900th comment. 🙂 Bonus points to you too. 🙂 )
haha — definitely firing up the printer!
I’m so overwhelmed so much so that this haiku:
three hundred haiku
falling with the gingko leaves–
the sky emptying sighs
Bonus points to you, Alegria! 🙂
Ginkgo leaves falling are the most amazing sight …
Thank you, Melissa! A bonus to top off a haiku composed in situ–awesome!
Thanks, Melissa! Haiku is still a challenge for me after 16 years, and over 200 haiku published. That’s one of the beauties of haiku.
Thanks, Charlotte, I really appreciate your support.
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!
Oooh, sorry you missed the deadline, Abigail. 🙂 Give it another three months or so …
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.
I will definitely respond to that call — it’s timely for me since tomorrow is the birthday of my father who died earlier this year. Thanks.
Hooray! Bonus points!
Thanks for hosting this, Melissa. This is great.
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. 🙂
Thank you. Congratulations on your blog–your writing and your special gift of encouragement. Good to read everyone’s poems.
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
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!
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!
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.
Good collection, and Congrats Melissa 🙂
Thanks, Devika. 🙂
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.
of three hundred reds
the number yellow
I agree, I keep coming back to read these and seeing new things in them.
I too return to reread and look forward to your posts as well. You have the gifts of an editor as well as poet! Thanks again.
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.
Pingback: Halloween Humor and A Challenge Response | A 19 Planets Art Blog 2010