Across the Haikuverse, No. 26: The Z Edition

So: number 26. If I’d been lettering these editions instead of numbering them, I’d be up to Z by now. And Z, as we all know, is the end of the alphabet. This is convenient for me, because circumstances are such in my life right now that I am afraid I must put the Haikuverse on hiatus indefinitely. The blog, too, will probably be seeing far less frequent postings for a while.

I will miss you guys. Spinning around the Haikuverse, taking in the sights, shooting the breeze… it’s been fun. I’m not planning on disappearing completely, but I have things to tend to in other corners of the universe at the moment.

Stay in touch.


the ice
of the poem
an imaginary frog
slows its heartbeat






the closest
I’ll ever be
to sentimental
a room full of hats

— William Sorlien, Haiku Bandit Society


spring cleaning . . .
the rhythmic sound of her
sharpening pencils

—Kirsten Cliff, DailyHaiku


lark’s song –
in an old landscape
I part my hair to the left

lærkesang –
i et gammelt landskab
laver jeg skilning i venstre side

— Johannes S.H. Bjerg, 2 tongues/2 tunger


Turning on the light I become someone alone in the house

— Sam Savage, ant ant ant ant ant’s blog


autumn leaf already i am attached


without permission part of me starts to bloom


winter day barely one language


winter night she knowingly reveals another arm


another day of snow my jurassic layer


the only sound that’s come out of me all day firefly


at this point i just assumed they come alive at night

Scott Metz, ant ant ant ant ant’s blog


he thinks again of turning leaves her hands

— Angie Werren, Tinywords


autumn days     straying from the text to marginalia

— Mark Holloway, Beachcombing for the Landlocked


人ひとに溺れることも水澄めり    保坂リエ

hito hito ni oboreru kotomo mizu sumeri


a human wallows in
another human…
clear autumn water

— Rie Hosaka, translated by Fay Aoyagi, Blue Willow Haiku World


swollen rosehips
if you found God
in your body you’d die

— Anonymous (“Jack Dander”), Masks 2


on 60 televisions the scissors hesitate

— Anonymous (“Bridghost”), Masks 2


haiga and other art


dog star -- / the origins / of poetry

dog star
the origin
of poetry

— Aubrie Cox, Yay Words!


two red butterflies / play strange attractor / in the garden.

two red butterflies
play strange attractor
in the garden

— Kris Lindbeck, haiku etc.


the universe / these points of light/ I spin

— Rick Daddario, 19 Planets




if we had known
this would be
our last winter
when we professed
our love for the bomb

snow swirls
into light at the end
of the tunnel
echoes of the conductor’s
last call

for the apocalypse
countless years
from now — a cherry tree’s
first blossoms

— Aubrie Cox, Yay Words!


hand in hand
a teenaged boy and girl pass
a cigarette
back and forth on their way
to being twenty

— David Caruso, DavidHaiku





I thought I had been sucked into the past. That sort of thing happens from time to time. I sat on the train on the way to the big city – well, as big as they come in Denmark – when a hippie-looking guy boarded with his monstrous Big Dane dog. My thoughts went in two directions. I thought: now, there’s a weirdo, knowing very well that in this part of the country many “off-siders” have found a cheap place to live as it’s rather poor. And I thought: great!!! Nice to see a flash of the past, and my nose replayed all kinds of smells associated with the early -70’s. Patchouli, sandalwood, fenugreek, hashish and wet and dirty “Afghan” fur coats, which was a bit of a turn-off, that last part. After having put his corn-pipe away he sat himself down in a very upright position: straight back, both feet on the floor and looking us, the other travellers, straight in the eyes. I nodded. He nodded. Dog said nowt. Then he padded the seat at his left side (he’d taken the window seat) and the dog, big as half a horse, jumped up and sat perfectly cool beside him, straight as a statue. The dog had a colourful tie as leash. We bumped on while I was listening to Incredible String Band.

straightened stream
a mirrored swan
asks twice

— Johannes S.H. Bjerg, 3ournals and frags




Dead Tree News


Some gems from the most recent edition of the always stunning Acorn (No. 27):


enough said…
the moon rises
out of the sea

— Francine Banwarth


isolated showers —
the genes that matter
the genes that don’t

— Michele L. Harvey


never touching
his own face

— John Stevenson


all night love
the candle
reshapes itself

— Jayne Miller


dad’s shed
a ladder folded
in the shadows

— frances angela


full moon
from each shell
a different ocean

— Mary Ahearn


autumn quarry
the feel of a dozer
going deep

— Ron Moss


to feel so much
of what we touch

— Peter Newton


spring melancholy
I cut my tofu
smaller and smaller

— Fay Aoyagi




Hey, seriously, I meant that about staying in touch. Drop me a line. Send me a poem. Tell me how your day went and where your life is going. I’m interested.


away from the window
hearing the rain
trickle down the window


38 thoughts on “Across the Haikuverse, No. 26: The Z Edition

  1. Me, too! Your blog is part of my nourishment, Melissa. But life even on stones never remains as is. Good luck on everything that has spun into your hands

    in the winter trees
    red wings
    what’s real lies not
    in what’s seen

  2. I’ll join the chorus. Your blog is one of “the heavies” in my more or less regular web-reading and I’ll miss it. But … if life has other demands on your time and energy, I guess you’re needed there.

    absent frogs I return to the pond where the moon swam

    Be well out there – tho you won’t be a stranger (won’t allow it, couldn’t stand it, not acceptable etc.)

  3. You and Red Dragonfly will be very much missed. Always surprising, original and risk-taking. Your “underneath the ice” tanka is a stunner. Feels like it belongs on word pond. Thank you for everything. We’ll all celebrate your return. Take care, Melissa. ~ Donna

  4. Pingback: underneath, a tanka by Melissa Allen / Red Dragonfly « word pond

  5. the fallen tree
    a woodpecker dazzled
    in new light

    Thanks Melissa…. I could get lost in your blog! How’s my day going? Well the last week has been a whirlwind…meetings, shows, friends coming, sharing, great fun for me who has been isolated for so many years. Your heading “Dead Tree” reminded me of one of the paintings in the show I just photo’d today. When I read the haiku, I too am dazzled by the light.

  6. oh, thank you melissa for all you do here, and for including my little words so often. stand still, and find what settles. then you’ll know where you need to be.


  7. Since you asked (which you may regret in my case), I’ll tell. On the eve of my birthday (in full whine mode), my life officially sucks. On a better note, I wrote a tanka recently after reading a one of your posts on tanka (and following your links to a couple of other tanka related sites). I’m really trying to improve my writing, haiku and tanka in particular. Time and desire coordinating, stop by and give it a read. (I’ll just go ahead and be tactless and leave the link —

  8. dear Melissa, thanks for all the wonderful things you’ve done here-the poet interviews,the mushroom and dragonfly fun,all the beautiful haiga and poems. lovely stuff. always loved how you shared so much,connecting with all of us with such humor and joy. and thanks for including my haiku today along with other poets i admire so much.
    dragonfly dreams
    another pond
    another season-
    i think peter said it best.
    take care my birthday pal,
    mary ahearn


    have you come
    to save us haiku poets?
    red dragonfly

    -Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

    aloha Melissa,

    …now that you’ve shown us the doorway to what can be…

    Thank You.

    I look foreword to continued connections through the passage ways – including these net gates. im glad passage ways work in both directions.

    focused tendings on you. light on your circumstances so that they evolve in good ways – particularly in ways that allow you to return to things you enjoy.

    be well. good life travels on you. and have more fun. more.

    the last dragonfly
    returns in spring

    aloha, r

    • Wrick, Wrick, Wrick… what to say to you… love this haiku. and am tearing up a bit at your words. things are hard. but they will get better. probably. … don’t be a stranger.

  10. Thanks Melissa,
    your “Haikuverse” was becoming a touchstone for me of what is really good in the world of Japanese-inspired poetry in English.
    I subscribed to your site today, so that now when you’re posting less often I won’t miss you.
    Be well, and good luck with your new projects.

  11. John used to raise fish, and if anyone here has ever raised fish, especially to breed fish, one knows what that means…tanks from one of the place to the other. Haiku is like that too … at the end of the year we step back and see what we can do and what takes the energy away from what we need to do. Melissa, I will look forward to seeing you wherever you decide to lite….a red dragonfly indeed. Many thanks for this site.

  12. Thank you, everyone, for your incredibly kind and supportive words. They mean more than you can imagine. I’ll still be around, just a little scarcer, so keep dropping by and saying hi, I love to see you all.

  13. Your blog is one of my major haiku highlights of the year!

    But I personally know how hard it is to continue blogs that showcase so much information and quality work.

    Enjoy your extra time to write now. 😉

    Alan, With Words

      • Melissa, You have no idea how many people Alan has gotten into this business of words…. some of us fighting and kicking over the years… but he’s patient… just watch…he can be surprising too! But always in a good and amazing way! 🙂

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