Across the Haikuverse, No. 20: Summer Solstice Edition

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The first day of summer, and already I’m wondering where the summer went. It was a day that skittered between sunshine and rain, not fulfilling any promises. In the evening the sky turned green for a while and we kept an ear out for the tornado siren. Some lazy thunder rumbled by. I remembered later that I’d forgotten to eat for most of the day. It hadn’t seemed necessary, the way it never seems necessary in dreams. Around bedtime I finally got around to asking my husband where the rosebush that had suddenly appeared on our doorstep a couple days earlier had come from.

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that shade of pink
I wonder if I’m
blushing too

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Haikai That Caught My Eye

Wow, people were writing haiku on a wide variety of subjects the last couple of weeks. Underwear and the universe and tomatoes and dinosaurs…maybe I am dreaming after all.

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I am alone
for week-long Spring rains
singing loudly to
the computer screen just how much
you are my sunshine

— Donna Fleischer, word pond

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housework
an old song in my head
over and over

— Catherine J.S. Lee, Mann Library Daily Haiku

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森のごときをんなが眠る夏電車  平井照敏
mori no gotoki on’na ga nemuru natsu-densha

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a woman looking like
a forest sleeps
summer train

— Shobin Hirai, translated by Fay Aoyagi, Blue Willow Haiku World
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universe
a collection of numbers
that rhyme

— Rick Daddario, 19 Planets (this is a great haiga, go take a look)

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the waning moon-
  a hole
in my underwear

— Aditya Bahl, dipping butterflies
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tomato—
sometimes even stars are not
enough

— Stella Pierides, Stella Pierides
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temporary relief –
while the pears ripen
I’m stuck on Earth

midlertidig lettelse .
mens pærerne modnes
sidder jeg fast på Jorden

— Johannes S.H. Bjerg, 2 tongues/2 tunger
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January thaw—
the garden exposed
to my dreaming

— Adelaide B. Shaw, DailyHaiku

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what they tell us
about the war
ornamental poppies

— Mark Holloway, Beachcombing for the Landlocked

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step back into the fragrance our histories mingling

— Susan Diridoni, Issa’s Untidy Hut, Wednesday Haiku
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not awake enough
to turn the swifts’ chitterings
into a haiku

— Patti Niehoff, a night kitchen

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incessant rain
falling on ferns and dinosaurs and
on my eyelids

— Taro Kunugi, quoted on Donna Fleischer’s word pond

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cicada song
the cat stalks
fat robins

— Angie Werren, feathers

The epigram to this haiku: ““There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

This is part of Angie’s unbelievably cool project this month to combine NaHaiWriMo prompts with random Shakespeare quotations…what? How does she think of these things?  Who cares — just go check it out, it will blow your mind.

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Journaled

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A bunch of journals came out this week that I hadn’t seen before and was mightily impressed with, like for instance…

Lishanu: an interlingual haiku journal

Online journal, full of, oh joy, oh bliss, haiku in multiple languages, all translated into English. Or vice versa. You know what I mean.

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ripe moon –
my pale hands
in the berry bushes

зрела месечина –
моите бледи дланки
во малините

Elena Naskova, English/Macedonian

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lumière d’aube –
rien d’autre
dans la toile d’araignée

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dawn light –
nothing else
in the spider’s web

Damien Gabriels, French/English

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American Tanka

Another online journal. Very minimalist, but very high quality. Twenty tanka, one to a page, click on through and enjoy yourself.

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years of buttons
in a glass Ball jar
the blue one on the top
so far from the blue one
on the bottom

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Eucalypt

This also counts as Dead Tree News, because it’s a print journal only. And a really nicely done one — glossy covers and paper, and lovely ink illustrations. More journals should have illustrations. In my humble opinion. Someone get on that.

(Oh, it’s all tanka, did I mention? And Australian. But you probably could have guessed that from the name.)

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when what might happen
happens
the earth is turned
as if the planting
might begin again

— Kath Abela Wilson

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The shortest night of the year has started. I’m tempted to see it through. Skip the dreams for once. Try making my own.

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what dreams may come…
black ink dripping
from rain-soaked leaves

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13 thoughts on “Across the Haikuverse, No. 20: Summer Solstice Edition

    • I read it all, never fear. Your stuff this month is amazing, not just the Shakespeare project but all the others, one-liners, etc. … I wish I had your powers of observation.

      Words, words, words…

  1. aloha Melissa – great reads – thanks for the inclusion. …and hey… if you’d like to post any of my haiga… let me know. we can do that. or for some reason some other image… or pick a topic and let me see what i have. bwahahahaha – okay, just thinking outloud on the keyboard again.

    city rain
    the oil slick rainbow
    in summer colors

    mahalo – aloha and summer fun on you too.

    • Hey, thanks, Wrick. Yeah, I would really be serving you haiga-ists better if I just posted the haiga..so few people click and they don’t know what they’re missing. For some reason I’m shyer about just grabbing haiga without permission than haiku. And too lazy to run around getting permission.

      Hey, that would be fun…having you be my illustrator sometime. I should send you some of my upcoming stuff and see what you come up with. 🙂

      • aloha Melissa – cool – i started some thoughts here on images – then thought may be that’s better in a gmail. so i sent it there.

        and to fyi you, i’ve noticed since this Haikuverse came out 2 or 3 “Referrers” per day have come from your blog to mine.

        thank you – i’m reasonably sure that at least some of that happens as a result of your Haikuverse.

        so people not only read what you write – they pay attention (and they should – imo – ha) – and they follow the links you suggest too – cool on that and thank you again as well. and… thank you to those who do this. – aloha

  2. jshb32 says:

    Honored to be mentioned and noticed in such a fine selection of haijins and tanka writers (bet there’s a jap word for that too).

    I too stumbled across Lishanu and was excited. One way of getting my native language to become more “haiku-ish” is the ping-pong with the English/American development that hadn’t really had any impact in my country. Here most of the haiku I come across is very dull, old fashioned and syllable-counting-restricted-or-diluted stuff, traditional as they thing Japanese would do it – in the 17-hundreds, that is.

    I’ve joined the World Haiku Association where all haiku is presented in at least 2 languages. Bilinguality – or interlinguality – is also a way to broaden haiku and to become acquainted with haiku from countries you normally won’t be able to.

    So glad you take your time travelling the web. Always an eyeopener.

  3. Thanks, Johannes. Yeah, I’ve been thinking I need to join the WHA too. I do so love reading all these haiku in different languages. Even though I don’t really know very many — I know French and Russian and a middling amount of German so I can pick my way with difficulty through pretty much anything Romance or Slavic or Germanic, which more or less takes care of Europe. Love comparing the vocabulary between all these related languages. (Jorden! Great word for Earth.) And of course: Must. Learn. Japanese.

  4. Thank you Melissa, for feeling this tanka of mine… it is so beautiful that we can touch each others lives this way… I noticed you wrote this… but I am not sure that I thanked you!

    when what might happen
    happens
    the earth is turned
    as if the planting
    might begin again

    ~kaw (Eucalypt)

    (this written inspired by a beautiful friend artist, Susan Dobay, her painting “musicscape” brought this to my mind)

    I love all your commentary and the care you take with these postings.

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