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Showing posts from 2014

Workplace haiku II

Workplace haiku

The Financial Times' workplace haiku competition is in its fourth week (of ten). Last week's theme - balancing work and home-life - netted me a runner-up place:
weekend overtime
the kids all smiling at me
from a photoframe

The discipline of a theme and deadline are proving good for my haiku writing: even if it's just an hour or so each week spent scribbling words and ideas.

Haibun Today

Dream Date

It's not going to work between me and Gerard Butler despite the way he hugs me, rocks me with his enthusiasm, his smile. Even though he turns away his ex-girlfriend who turns up in a gold lamé negligee. Even though he has a male assistant called Mitzi with a bald head.
He has four dogs. He feeds them on broken biscuits and crackers. His house is a warren of tunnels and secret doors. And the forest fire is getting closer, flames wrapping the hillside, running down towards the edge of the lake, which may save us, or may not. His father was Spanish, he says quietly as we leave the house with only a picnic basket.

Kind of Blue
believing I loved him
and all that fucking jazz

Haibun Today
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

haiku uncut: Blithe Spirit

Many thanks to David Bingham, editor of 'Blithe Spirit', journal of the British Haiku Society, for publishing the following article this month Volume 24 Number 3.
haiku uncut
Take a look through any haiku journal or anthology and the majority of haiku will be constructed from a fragment preceding a phrase, or vice versa. They might be composed over the usual three lines or along a single line. The kire, the cut or caesura, may be explicit in the form of punctuation, or suggested by line break, or by phrasal construction, as in this fine monostich example from ‘Blithe Spirit’ 24.2 where the natural breath pause after rock-and-roll is obvious when read aloud:
rock-and-roll she outdid me that summer
Frances Angela          
The American haijin, Jane Reichhold, was instrumental in articulating and disseminating this structure, both online[1] and in her accessible and informative handbook, Writing and Enjoying Haiku, A Hands-on Guide (Kodansha International 2002). American haiku poet,…

What happens when haiku happen

I'm delighted to post Paul Griffiths' account of a course held at Ty Newydd, near Criccieth, North Wales at the beginning of May. 'Haiku: Writing from Life and the Landscape' ran from 9th to 11th May, 2014 and it was a joy to lead. Please, join us, vicariously, for the weekend.
Haiku and haibun at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre
This is an account of my participation in a weekend of discussing and writing haiku and haibun in a course on the theme, Haiku: Writing from Life and Landscape, held at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre, Llanystumdwy, near Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales, in May 2014.
Tŷ Newydd (The New House) is an old, beautiful building, looking across fields to the sea, a short walk away. David Lloyd George (1863-1945) grew up in Llanystumdwy and returned to the village in his last years, where Tŷ Newydd was redesigned for him by Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978), creator of Portmeirion village. Lloyd George’s grave, also designed by Williams-Ellis, stands close to the house, i…


drawing 18” by 16”, felt tip pen on coloured paper by Ffion, age 4
There is a red house with orange windows and a pink door. There is a black cat whose feet have slipped off the bottom of the page. There is a tree sprouting flowers, petals pushing against the paper’s edge, a lavender sky with a sun and a crescent moon. And floating above the roof of the house, two stick people, holding hands, unwilling to come down to earth and decide whether the sun is about to set, or if the moon will make way for dawn, or whether the cat is trying to escape or climb into the picture and run towards a door that could be closed, or might be on the point of opening.
all the times I have been wrong fresh paint
from forgiving the rain (Snapshot Press 2012)

Cae Cottage, Penceilogi

From 'Three Houses'

wiping the dust off
my grandmother's clock
another year

Memory paints my grandparents like the characters in a Dutch interior: Granny in the doorway between the porch and dark scullery, D’cu sitting in a low chair by the fire where two brass horses rear on blocks of polished oak. I enter silently, from daylight on the unpaved lane, stepping down over the stone hearth into the shadows, as if even the slightest noise could tear the membrane that divides remembering from not remembering. 
I am sure I stayed here once although my mother cannot be sure. But I know the two connected bedrooms in the eaves, the cool lino beneath my bare feet, lying in an iron bed with my sister watching the squeeze of sunlight and dust around the edges of the pulled curtains. 
The garden is a field with long grass and trees and an outside privy where, a young woman with auburn hair tells her two wide-eyed daughters, I was once chased by a goose. 
from forgiving the rain (2012)

Join me for 'Haiku: Writing from Life and the Landscape'

A residential weekend at the beautiful Ty Newydd on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. 9th to 11th of May 2014
More details here.

and now, with May, after the south side blossoms come those on the north
Nigel Jenkins (1949 - 2014)

Just published: Contemporary Haibun 15

The arrival, and settling in, of the latest anthology of the best haibun harvested from haiku writing journals from around the world. 
After being edited by Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross and Ken Jones for the last 15 years Volume 16 will be edited by Jeffrey Woodward, Founder and General Editor of Haibun Today. Really looking forward to seeing his particular stamp of generosity and enthusiasm next year but in the meantime let's enjoy this.