Friday, April 17, 2015

NaPoMo, April 17

I had something else lined up for today. But since April 17 happens to be the International Haiku poetry day, let me post some haiku instead. I had avoided posting haiku so far this month, as I thought lately the standard of haiku being written has fallen considerably. Maybe it's only me! But everything I read these days seems to be a rehash of something I have read before. Especially in the kukai contests where if a certain verse is successful, it seems to bring about a plethora of similar verses in its wake. God knows how many times the fishing net has caught what kind of  reflections from the depths of the sea; if one beggar has shared his bread or blanket successfully, then poem after poem in edition after edition we find that ubiquitous beggar attempting the same thing and last but not the least, a straight lift from the Japanese masters. Issa must be the most maligned one in this matter. A turn of phrase here and there and you see Issa staring at you from the kukai winners lists. Each time. Yes, almost each time!

And let me tell you that the latest trend that seems to be catching on is: soldiers.No doubt we are going to see a slew of dead soldiers in the next few months. Not that these verses are not well-written; they are all beautiful and lyrical; but just that they seem so predictable and so artificially designed to tug at the heartstrings.

But enough of my raves and rants! I am sure this all must be a case of sour grapes with me. Having failed to win a single shiki kukai in all these years, I now look suspiciously at everything I see.So anyway, today I'll feature here just two of the haiku from the handful I've loved from my recent readings. The first one is by Melissa refreshing after all the recycled stuff.

autumn sky
only one of us

     Melissa Allen, Frogpond 37.1

And Ron Moss.

old horses
days of endless rain
in their eyes

     Ron C. Moss, The Heron’s Nest XVII.4

Both these poems are among the shortlisted ones for the annual Touchstone award poems. I hope they win! There are also some other really brilliant poems in that list. Check them out on the Haiku Foundation page on Facebook.

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