warrior of many winds
at the top of the mountain –
search and rescue
the neighbor’s cat
on a cold mountain
Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying this milder weather and have a chance to get outside. Speaking of outside, Sally and I took a ginko “drive” – a trip to write haiku – all the way to Ainsworth Hot Springs! You can read about it on Sally’s blog and when we have finished we will post our haiku series for you!
Last weekend the Vancouver Haiku Group had a great discussion about saijiki. Saijiki is the dictionary of the more than 500 authorized Japanese kigo (season words). It is available as a thin volume with the words and basic explanations or as big as a seven volume series with much broader explanations, examples and even pictures!
Most but not all kigo are nouns and they are generally divided into seven subsections; seasonal weather, terrestrial, celestial, humanity, observances (events like festivals etc.), animals, and plants. I use this list from Haiku Foundation which I actually printed out to have on hand.
Climate change is proving to be an issue for the authorized saijiki. Warmer weather and more extreme weather have shifted some kigo into different seasons. This will be something to watch over the next decade and it will be interesting to see how the Japanese saijiki is changed (or not).
Of course, not every Japanese season word is useful when writing in countries other than Japan. Things happen at different times, animals and plants vary, festivals and other events vary as well. Use the saijiki as a jumping off point to meet your own location.
Isabella Mori from the VHG (and one of our members) is interested is creating a saijiki of season words specific to the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. Let me know if you have any words you would like to suggest to her.
Finally, a big announcement! Next newsletter will see the launch of the first annual Solitary Daisy Haiku Contest! No fee to enter, and cash prizes! Stay tuned for all the details.
When David Brydges put the cat out on his deck in Cobalt, Ontario, they simultaneously looked up to a full moon.
David’s #haiku appears here March 15,
While he didn’t tell us himself, I found this rengay from Michael Dylan Welch and two of his fellow haikuists in The Scarlet Dragonfly on February 1.
Both Sides Now
a cumulus cloud
darkens the horizon — MDW
my search for mud gear — MDC
the brolly blows
inside out — SJ
full memory card — MDW
alone with my worries
a stratus-filled sky
lightens my steps — MDC
above the mountain
bright cirrus clouds — SJ
-- Subhashini Jayatilake, Australia (SJ)
-- Michael Dylan Welch, USA (MDW)
-- Marcyn Del Clements, USA (MDC)
Speaking of Michael Dylan Welsh, we have him to thank for NaHaiWriMo, or National Haiku Writing Month, celebrated every February since 2010. The premise is simple – to write one haiku per day for each day of the month. The idea came to him after participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. He thought there should be something similar for haiku. February was chosen because it is the shortest month, the shortest month for the shortest form of poetry. And the rest is history. With almost 4000 followers, the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page is a popular platform for haiku writers of all levels. Prompts are provided for each day of the month.
We challenge you to participate in NaHaiWriMo this year!
- cold sparrows
- cold carp
- withered reeds
- coming of spring
- returning cold
- spring dawn
- lingering day
- east wind
- spring light
- hazy moon
- spring mist
- spring meadow
- thin ice
- cats in love
- plum blossoms
- seaweed or lakeweed
- spring grasses
- twittering birds
- soap bubbles
- spring melancholy
- light snow
You can tap on this picture to download a printable version of the calendar.
Opportunities and Deadlines
Acorn Haiku is open for submissions until the end of February.
Also open until the end of February, Kingfisher Haiku Journal
Looking for a place to send your senryu? Prune Juice is open until the end of February.
Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize, open to Canadians until March 31 welcomes haibun and haiku sequences, in addition to other forms of poetry.
Open until February 15, The Cicada’s Cry.
There are still a couple of days left until the closing of First Frost on February 5.
Just for fun you might want to check out the Top 100 European Haiku Authors
Please remember if you are submitting to a contest or a journal to read the submission guidelines carefully and make sure your haiku follows said guidelines.
This Week’s Prompt
Send us one to three haiku based on this photo. We look forward to reading your work!
“There is no stranger under the cherry tree.”-Kobayashi Issa