Saturday, December 31, 2011

Poems to remember from 2011 - Final day(day 9).

between sun and shade
a butterfly pauses
like none I've seen -
whoever falls in love
with someone they know?

Michael McClintock

The final few in my list of this year's best. Not sure why I like them... I don't even want to try! All that i know is I'll keep coming back to them.

Dear Malvina
It's been a long time since we It's already autumn here...
lonely evening

Rafal Zabratynski

lonely is a place
the call of a loon

Francine Banwarth

yoshino cherry tree -
it was never a question of

Johannes S H Bjerg

Thanks to all of you, my friend and readers, for stopping by and commenting. You make all this worthwhile. Here's wishing you a glorious new year and hope to meet you here again soon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Poems to remember - Day 8, medley

I know I had promised some longer poems, (for those of you who like longer poems). I had planned to feature poems on some more themes.I also needed to do a post totally devoted to haiga, if I were to do justice to all the beautiful haiga i have read this year. But being time-strapped as I am, these posts would have to wait probably till some time in next year. Today I bring you a few poems which definitely are among my best of 2011, but which I had missed somehow... and even then I'll be missing many more!

in ten summers
the convict's first visit

Johny Baranski

1 from a bridge
2 with a bullet
that kind of a family

Eve Luckring

Father's day
his wheel tracks
in the carpet

Michelle Schaefer

tree stumps
father never needed

Glenn Coats

a rainbow
baby duck

Carlos Colon

today slips
into the room hungry
on tiny paws

angie werren

(this one as a haiga with a beautiful image on Tinywords, issue 11.2, 19th October, 2011)

rushing thoughts...
the speckled breast
of this thrush

Kirsten Kliff

the documents
all signed
winter rain

Roland Packer

crashing waves -
almost believing
it's forever

Svetlana Marisova

outside :
a war, inside:
a death,
and you want me
to choose...

Kirsten Kliff

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Interview on Red Dragonfly

Melissa Allen had interviewed me for her series Lives of poets on Red Dragon fly in December, 2011. You can read the interview here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Poems to remember - Day 7, memories

I've this memory -
riding my father's shoulders
into the ocean,
the poetry of things
before I could speak

Michael McClintock

I am not sure how to describe the theme of today's group of poems. Should it be 'memories', 'parents' or 'loss'? The above poem by Michael McClintock kind of captures the mood.

where my father fished...
I drop a line
into the sky

Gregory Hopkins

eggshells fragments
what I know of the mother
I've never known

Melissa Spur

far-off owl...
the phantom scent
of father's pipe

John Hawk

charcoal on my fingers
mother explains the plan
for her ashes

Aubrie Cox

soapsuds -
mother tells me how
she'd like to die

Margaret Dornaus

father asks
if I hear
the chimes

Glenn Coats

bathing in its own light
the moon
...those who are gone

Steven Carter

Friday, December 23, 2011

Poems to remember from 2011 - day 6, flowers and blossoms

"The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks." ~Tennessee Williams

So shall we go picking the blossoms and flowers today? (Though I must admit to a personal preference for the wildflowers!)

abandoned building site wildflowers in progress

Melissa Allen

every spring
a little more alone
wild violets

Melissa Allen

old sage's desk...
just enough space
for violets


the old hurts
resurfacing -
bluebell sky

Sandra Simpson

night blooming jasmine
some prefer whiskey
to chamomile tea

Marian Olson

pear blossoms...
which one of these houses
was yours?

Laura Garrison

plum tree
when it blooms

Alegria Imperial

the slam dunk of blossoms
through the rusted hoop

Claire Everett

another biopsy -
plucking at the flowers
of my hospital gown

Cara Holman

or butterflies
every place
every season
is perfect

Christina Nguyen

I know I am missing many other lovely haiku here, especially because I'm yet to go through the latest issues of NFTG and AHG fully. This only skims the surface of my memory.

North star obscured...
wild honeysuckle somewhere
in the dark

Peggy Willis Lyles

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poems to remember from 2011 - Day 5, snow and solstice

Starting right where I left off yesterday...with Issa's poem about night snow...perhaps it would be fitting to have "snow and solstice" as today's theme. Such wonderful haiku have been written in the past year on snow that i had a hard time picking only a few. The last one by David Cobb, however, was written much earlier.

flake by flake
bending bamboo

kris moon

trying to forget...
the ridge line sharpened
by fresh snow

Harriot West

Solstice breeze
in the cedars
crows becoming fog

Rebecca Lilly

winter solstice
cradled in between
the north and south of him

Karen DiNobile

drip by drip
the moonlight lengthens
in the icicle

David Cobb

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poems to remember from 2011 - Day 4, dusk

Twilight, dusk, night.Haiku poets, since the time of Basho, have always reveled in this period after sunset.The poems I bring you today are based on this theme - "dusk".

open window
a mockingbird song
the length of twilight

Christopher Herold

beer and wine
a summer night
with my sometime thing

David Caruso

sparrows at the edge
of summer dusk ...
how will I remember her

Francine Banwarth

(I am not sure this one could be called a dusk haiku though!)

closing time
winter dusk slides down
the book drop

Roberta Beary

whispering the darkness between fireflies

Laura Garrison

blue razor
on the tub's edge
winter dusk

Joyce Clement

threading the needle
one star pierces
the night

Michelle Schaefer

sound of the ocean
north of the fence...
night snow

Issa, 1803

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Poems to remember from 2011 - Day 3, birds

A bird sang, everyone listened. The sermon is preached, said the master. Thus goes a zen saying.

So shall we have""birds" as today's theme?

Let's start with this tanka.

reaching the age
of being ignored
what sweet delight
when a mockingbird
answers my call

Margaret Chula

I know i featured this next one in a previous post also, but this simply has to find a place among my best of 2011.

from wrists to fingertips...
last of the swallows

Claire Everett

testing the water
through rings of raindrops
the egret's steps

Claire Everett

where creek willows weave the sunlight ducklings

Lorin Ford

how his day went robins at dusk

Jennifer Gomoll Popolis , Acorn, spring 2011

blue highway--
of the blackbird's song

Bill Pauly (Modern haiku, winter 2011)

white sky
a cloud of blackbirds
erupts from an oak

Laura Garrison


Michele L Harvey

And finally these two ,

day moon the little grebe's leap into light

John Barlow, 2010

all day long
this fever

Peggy Willis Lyles, 2010

Monday, December 19, 2011

Poems to remember from 2011 - Day 2, autumn

'Autumn', 'falling leaves', 'red leaves', these have always been favourite subjects of haiku poets.
Today i bring you 8 poems on this theme (I know i said 2 or 3 poems every day, but what can i do when so many lovely poems have been written on autumn leaves and i want to catch every single one of them?). Some from this year, some were written earlier.

So here we go.

not much
...and yet
my autumn

Gabi Greve
Editor's choice, December issue of World Haiku Review

leaves changing a language i can't fully grasp

-Polona Oblak

autumn leaves...
I'm dispensable

-Francine Banwarth

one face
then the other...
falling leaf

-Mark E Brager


Melissa Allen

autumn riff
aspen leaves a few notes higher
than the stream

Harriot West, Frogpond 32:1, 2009

into the afterlife red leaves   
     —Peggy Willis Lyles

And lastly, this tanka,

What is it you fear,
now that autumn is ending?
We two still have time
to bring in the last parsley,
and rake walnuts from the grass.

Jared Carter

Saturday, December 17, 2011

poems to remember from 2011 -Day 1

Less than two weeks to go in this year! While i have been busy haiku-ing and haiga-ing, work has been piling up. Dust has gathered on the window-sills, there are cobwebs high up on the ceiling and soon there are going to be a couple more faces across the table and clamour for a few more dishes or dessert. Time to step back for a while , take a few deep breaths and get busy with the broom. And as i go about setting the house in order, i think it might be a good idea to go back over and share with you some of the beautiful poetry i have read this year. Like, I bring you here two or three poems everyday throughout the remainder of this month. Most of them will be haiku, maybe some tanka, and a few might be even longer poems.Not all of them will have been written this year (though the majority will be), only those i have READ this year.Many of you will have read them before, but there is no harm in going over them yet again and maybe it could help you make up your mind about which poems to nominate for the Touchstone awards, because as i said, a majority will be from the various journals and blogs of this year!

So shall we begin today?

Let's say today's theme is "love" or "love gone wrong", whichever way you'd like to look at it.

I start with a haiku/senryu from 'Frogpond'., 34.3, 2011

pinwheeling leaves
thirty-five years end
with the word amicable

Dave Baldwin

Vikram Seth, by his own admission, has been considered sort of a 'literary untouchable' because he writes poetry in rhyme and metre. But that has been no problem for me at least, and the next
poem, a slightly longer one, is by him.


To make love with a stranger is the best.
There is no riddle and there is no test -

To lie and love,not aching to make sense
Of this night in the mesh of reference.

To touch,unclaimed by fear of imminent day,
And understand, as only strangers may.

To feel the beat of foreign heart to heart
Preferring neither to prolong nor part.

To rest within the unknown arms and know
That this is all there is; that this is so.

Vikram Seth

And finally, another one from Frogpond, 34.3 :

And yet
deep in the dewdrop

Michele Root-Bernstein

Vikram Seth is a noted poet, novelist, travel writer and the winner of Crossword Book award in 1999.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

photo prompt

winter rain-
the old wharf still holds
the boat's shape

Saturday, December 10, 2011

all that I want

all that I want
to tell you tonight...
glass bangles

Spring, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Photo prompt by Carlos Colon

Before i start today's post, i'd like to thank all my 5 followers for joining my blog and giving me a patient hearing. There are some of you who visit and comment,(and how i value you) but haven't joined yet, and there are quite a few of you who visit regularly , but don't comment and hence i have no idea about your identity, but i am grateful to you. too.Please consider joining through the Google friend connect even if you don't have a blog as that would give this blog a healthy look (you don't want your friend's blog to look impoverished, do you?) and give me a legitimate excuse to post more.And if you do have a blog, i'll immediately return the favour by joining your blog, that is, if i haven't done so already!

So thanks a ton, Claire, Kirsten, Rick, Ted Zutphen and Don Wentworth.

Now to the post.

The last day(30th November) of Carlos Colon's prompt at NaHaiWriMo turned out to be very interesting. He provided a photo and we had to write a ku based on it. I found the picture really fascinating and you can see my response below.

through the looking glass -
the sunlit path
to home

But there were many other excellent responses.
For example, here is what Pamela Cooper felt.

the sun
skipping with
the tree's shadow

warm path buried knuckles clutch the walking stick

Terri L French

this calm day I brace for the storm

Angie Warren

bend over backwards or bow low anything to please you

Johannes S H Bjerg

This one was done in a very nice way, with the text bending with the branches, but i could not post the image here.

And finally this one which takes the cake, i think.

parents too
bend over backwards...
autumn winds

-Hansha Teki

Stella Pierides is the prompter for December and I am looking forward to another exciting month with her.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

rocking chair

rocking chair
back and forth
between now and then

Vol 34.3, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

from crocus to crocus

photo: Akky

from crocus to crocus -
the spider adding
a new dimension

vol 34.3, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Haiga 17

where i stop,
they take off...
gulls at the pier's end

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Submission declined

So what do you do when you get a mail declining your submission? Ask me. Because I get plenty of them. Usually, it doesn't bother me much. I feel dejected for a while, sometimes i mope even the whole day, but by next morning, i'm myself again, planning something new, be it the next submission, next post or something totally unrelated to poetry. Anybody who has anything to do with the written word and wants to be published knows these""rejections" are part and parcel of a writer's life. And i also know that nine times out of ten my work is below par, so these small disappointments are going to happen from time to time; no sweat! I've been fortunate enough to have editors who have... right from the time i was just a newbie, taking my first uncertain steps on the haiku path... indulged me and even when not accepting my work, have always had the time to stop by and say something soothing and nice, to soften the blow. Lately even very senior editors and poets have been gracious enough to add a few encouraging words while not accepting. Then there are editors who have not replied at all,either to say 'yes' or 'no', but when persisted with, have responded with a poem or two,( of which you may or may not make any sense of), but i mean, it's damn sweet of them to do that! And some even have gone to the length of explaining what exactly was wrong with the poem, what i should do to improve upon it and why they/he/she couldn't accept.But then sometimes i get a mail which does not only contain a curt message; polite curtness is acceptable to some extent; but there is such an air of unspoken condescension in the wording of these mails, that it gets my goat.Is it necessary to put "submission declined" in capitals in the subject line? Couldn't that be included in the body of the message? Do they decline everybody in the same way? Same guidelines apply to everyone?Maybe I am over-reacting, i am prone to doing that sometimes. But I definitely think that only being an editor is not enough, you also need to learn how to say 'no' with gentleness and humour; maybe you ought to learn a thing or two about graciousness from the senior editors!

"Your praying for rain's


reed thrush

-Issa, 1819

Oh well, enough of my rant! Time to go cheer myself up with some music. Perhaps you too would like to join me here .
Roughly translated it means I spin(katiya karoon) the cotton (roon) of your memories and words throughout the night.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


dipping my toes
in winter clouds

(Sketchbook, Nov-Dec, 2010
'winter clouds' kukai,
2nd place)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A haibun

I have been fascinated by haibun for quite some time, though never been able to write one. Sooner or later, i will. Meanwhile, in order to educate myself , i have been reading up a lot of haibun on all the online journals. Here is one such haibun that i came upon on my reading spree. Many of you might have read it already, but this is for those who have not and who are too lazy even to click upon a link. So here i bring it to you on a platter: titled Self Surrender, from Modern Haiku, winter-spring 2010 issue, by Carol Pearce-Worthington.

Self Surrender

fireflies avoiding
my fingers

we eat lunch at a drugstore counter near the courthouse and he buys a paperback book that he hopes to take with him and we walk east to the fortress within which somehow live and breathe the ill conceived the unfortunates the police the prosecutors the guards the unthinkable the mummified and we climb stone stairs into the stone walled waiting area where we stand because we cannot sit and we cannot speak and him now with no choice but to go on into this tomb and to leave me returning to the street alone and he cannot make himself go and so police wearing plain clothes come out and take his arms and lead him to the gate and unthinkingly I call to him the three men turn and I salute him us our future lost and he says only yes and a guard opens the doorway wired to a metal detector and he walks through it

how far does
a star fall
in the night sky

by Carol Pearce-Worthington

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween "spirits"

night chill...
raiding the cellar
in search of spirits

Halloween or All Hallow's eve was celebrated in the West yesterday (Monday, 31st October).The prompt by Pris Campbell at NaHaiWriMo was 'ghosts or spirits' and this was my response .

Here's Michele Harvey on the same prompt at the same forum :

wind chill-
the creak on the stairs
when nobody's there

And this is what Stella Pierides had to say:

ghosts -
wherever you look
a double-burger

There is a great haiga by Sheila Windsor as well , but you better visit the NaHaiWriMo page for that.And you must go take a look at Rick Daddario's halloween haiga here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

deepavali deafavali

Diwali.Autumn. The cirrus clouds and swirling leaves.Early dusk and the nip in the air.Diwali.The flickering glow of the diyas, the mango leaves in the doorway and marigolds at the altar. The boxes of sweets piling up,fridge bursting at the seams with stuff.( I could also add 'the irresistible aroma of sinful things being prepared in the kitchen'. But I have managed to wriggle out of that this year citing unavailability of LPG :-)) And Diwali...the shopping! Ah, but what i would do without shopping? Also Diwali, when you wake up at 4.30 in the morning with your heart in the mouth because your neighbours, having had the ritual bath, have decided to advertise the fact and usher in Diwali by bursting crackers right below your windows.

And thereon, it's totally downhill . Crackers for morning tea, crackers at breakfast,afternoon crackers, and of course all through the evening till the wee hours.There is a continuous rumble of firecrackers punctuated with the frequent eardrum shattering blasts.And this is not just for one day, but at least for one week,though to a lesser degree, or till the children and young adults run out of their stock or Tulsi Vivah, (another festival that comes a fortnight after Diwali); whichever is later. One cannot go out anywhere and it becomes outright dangerous to walk the roads because one might suddenly find oneself in the middle of a crossfire or whatever, or in the path of a rocket. Accidents do happen with a fair amount of regularity. But all the pleas of observing Diwali as a festival of lights and not as a festival of noises, fall on deaf (literally and metaphorically)ears.

One cannot expect the children to understand the concept of silence and we, Indians, do not understand the concept of noise pollution.( I am not even talking about concern for the elderly and the unwell.) So perhaps it is too much to expect that a beautiful festival like Diwali be observed in quietude, with just the lamps, sparklers and silent fireworks.But maybe we could exercise some restraint?
Perhaps the lawmakers could restrict the fire crackers within a time limit, say 6 to 9, and enforce it strictly?As far as i know, there actually exists such a law as well as a law on the sound decibel limit of crackers, but the cracker enthusiasts don't let such a small thing as a law spoil their fun.And who cares to monitor the decibel levels? So the next best thing is probably to have a specified cracker zone away from the residential areas where you can go and burn crackers any time of day and night.Though i doubt very much anybody would be willing to take the trouble to walk/drive to such a place when all they need to do is stand on their balconies or maybe walk a few steps down to their neighbours' doors, in order to indulge in their whims.
Unless the people themselves realise it and take some initiative and the few peace-loving people raise a voice against this menace and also until some stringent measures are taken , we'll continue to face this auditory onslaught every year and Diwali will continue to remain a festival of noises; noises not to drive away the evil spirits, but to wake up even the corpses.

Until then, happy deafavali to my Indian friends. To all others, happy deepavali (diwali)!

O insects
don't you complain too!
this autumn



Friday, October 21, 2011


The moon has always unfailingly stirred me to poetry. I never tire writing about moon, or reading about it, for that matter, because moon has the same effect on most of the poets.

The following three poems were placed among the best three poems at the Moonviewing party at HAIKU BANDIT SOCIETY in consecutive months.

the ball kicked
higher and higher -
muddy moon

(June,2011 moonviewing party)

cloud-smudged moon...
a breath
on the mirror

(July,2011 moonviewing party)

wet behind the ears still the moon tonight

(August,2011 moonviewing party)

And these two, in later months... which were not placed, but still remain my favorites, probably because unlike the first three which fell onto my lap out of the blue, so to say; some effort had gone in shaping these two.

match point -
the distance between
this moon and that

a swirl of moon
in the glass...
weighing the possibilities

Sigh, sigh...!

Oh well..., come next full moon and I'll again be back to mooning, or probably much before that.

"with or without you the moon"---Melissa Allen

the river
the river makes
of the moon

-Jim Kacian

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Manmohini Morey" (a must-hear)

With one week to go for Diwali, time is at a premium. While I plunge headlong into Diwali-cleaning or at least plan to do so,why don't you listen to this? This is the kind of Indian classical music I love to hear again and again. The gorgeous voice of Aditya Rao , Shankar Tucker on the clarinet and mridangam played by Ajay Ravichandran who is a local to Washington DC ...this could be a perfect start to the festival.
Hope my non-Indian friends enjoy this too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

lime pickle

An afternoon spent playing with colours, fonts and photo effects ... and this is the result of one of my efforts. The ku has been published in Frogpond.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

gypsy moth

gypsy moth -
the wind tugs at
a brown leaf

I have never been able to do well in the kukai contests that I participate in. Have always ended near the bottom at the Carribean kigo kukai that I have been taking part in for the last 7-8 months and have fared only marginally better in the Sketchbook kukai contest in which
I actually got the first place once some time back, even got the 2nd and 3rd place in two subsequent editions.

But it is the Shiki kukai that I find most fascinating and which has always eluded me . My best showing has been a third place way back in 2007 or 2008, when I had just started writing haiku.After a hiatus of almost 2 years, during which I didn't write almost anything, I have again become a pretty much 'regular' there since last year.Though lately, I have been a little consistent in that I have mostly managed to finish within top 10, which is not bad really, considering that for this particular contest, there are on an average 100+ entries from all over the world by the very best haiku poets whose work I've come to admire and the winners are decided on the basis of peer votes. So, even if I manage to get a 6th, 7th or 8th place that means my work has been appreciated and I give myself a quiet pat on the back.

The one featured here is from June, 2011 shiki kukai, the kigo(season word) was 'moth'.

Monday, October 10, 2011

these days

These past few days have been very unproductive. Things haven't really gone well and in spite of the positive mantras I keep on repeating; somewhere along the way, my confidence has taken a beating and any creative streak I might have had in me, has hit an all-time low.

Perhaps this is the time I should take a step backwards, take a deep breath and let go for a while.

Perhaps I should let the world pass by and just be content, watching.

Perhaps I am trying to gatecrash in a place where I was not meant to be.

Perhaps I should concentrate on other things that need my attention.For example, maybe this is the time to tackle that unfinished book that has been by my bedside for months now. Or maybe, I should clean one kitchen shelf instead. Or perhaps, just perhaps I should go shopping...with Diwali closing in, I should do that, anyway and that is a guaranteed and time-tested way to perk one up, though only temporarily.

Have you noticed the materialistic bent of my mind, the direction my thought takes when under duress? This is why I doubt I was meant to be a poet...least of all, a haiku poet!
I should restrict myself strictly to reading them, at least for a while.

And talking of reading,these beautiful lines from a blog I love to visit, perhaps best describe my feeling now:

i fear it's too late
like starlight
i should have set out earlier

-Mark Holloway

Thursday, October 6, 2011

between unkempt lawn

between unkempt lawn
and wildflowers, the lights of
my childhood home

Monday, October 3, 2011

one more haiga

I think I was dying to do this. So, as soon as I get a chance, off I go. Call it haiga, call it doodle-ku, here is my today's offering. The ku has been posted today at NaHaiWriMo, the prompt was '"courtship".
And here is the haiga:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Haiga -beyond twilight

The last day of haiga-a-day challenge and my last haiga, for the time being!

Boy, am i glad that I decided to participate! Though my efforts were amateurish, having had no drawing or haiga background and only the most rudimentary know-how in photoshop... the only application I had at my disposal... it was tough going, yet I had so much fun, even if it meant sitting bleary-eyed at the computer till late at night.

Because I always love experimenting with colours! And seeing something totally new emerge from a dull, flat picture or clipart was a reward in itself.Finally all the colours and shapes in the world to dabble in and splash, stretch and twirl, daub or spatter as I want! I discovered quite a few new online photo editors along the way and learnt a lot from the other participants as well.

Before I end, 'sorry' to those unsuspecting visitors to my blog whom I inundated day after day with my haiga and lotsa mahalo and aloha (even if i say so not in the right order) to all those who have encouraged and egged me on, not that I needed much encouragement though! Really and truly 'way fun' , Rick Daddario!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Haiga-bat wings

Haiku previously published in Simply haiku. The woods in the photo are just opposite my house.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Haiga -night rain

Another haiga based on clip art. For the record, I haven't been absolutely truthful here with the ku. Just a figment of my imagination! The bloke I live with does, indeed, sleep well.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Haiga-autumn light

An image taken from clip art which I cropped a bit and then photo shopped. At last my clip art haiga is ready!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The week that was

Last one week has been extremely erratic for me. Every body else has been writing beautiful poetry and creating amazing artwork while I have been away...! To a place I must have visited some 383 times before (well, I am exaggerating, but not much), and where I spent all the time gazing at sea and stuffing myself with all kinds of delicacies (mostly Goanese preparations of fish and desserts from all over the world) and have, at last, come back richer by a few inches. Also with an armload of photographs. Which was the saving grace, because i thought they would be wonderful raw material for my haiga project.

Only to find, that now I don't find them so interesting. I want to do haiga, using clip art like Alee, (Alee Imperial Albano at Jornales), but cannot find anything appropriate and cannot come up with anything decent.

Meanwhile, as i said, all the poets are doing great things! Johannes S.H.Bjerg has posted a fantastic haiga, created using some layering technique, on NaHaiWriMo.

autumn moon I take it on face value

To see the image you'll have to visit the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook.

And two weeks of fabulous haiku on Dailyhaiku by Claire Everett and Michele Harvey. They have such contrasting styles and yet both are such superb poets.

I am going to quote here just two, one from each of them, but I'd suggest you visit DailyHaiku if you don't do it already... and read the whole lot.

So here they are:

from wrists to fingertips...
last of the swallows

Claire Everett

summer fling -
strands of twine
litter the hayloft floor

Michele L.Harvey

(For the non-haiku reader of this blog, please note how in the 2nd poem the lines hint at something beyond just the image of a hayloft floor littered with twine. Again, it could be just that, only a hayloft floor and nothing else - who knows? And in the first poem, how wonderfully the image of a mehndi ritual ties in with a season in nature, the 3rd line being the key-line here.)

As for me, maybe I should go watch the match between MI(Mumbai) and CSK(Chennai) that's in progress as there's nothing like a dose of cricket to calm your restless mind. And boost creativity as well (at least, I hope so) !

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Haiga- marriage vows

Today's haiga is one I had done for Terri Hale French on NaHaiWriMo. Here I have taken a similar (but not the same) image, altered and and added a frame to it, only the ku remains the same.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Haiga - autumn dusk

I finally decided to play the haiga-a-day challenge for Rick Daddario of 19 planets art blog, encouraged by Rick and inspired by a couple of fellow haiku poets. Rick Daddario, who is an awesome artist, insists anybody who can write with a pen or pencil, has the ability to draw anything one wants. I beg to disagree. Drawing a line or shape doesn't come so easily to me. Yet i am so impressed by his artwork and having always wanted to do haiga, i thought maybe i could learn to use photoshop/digital art or whatever.

The one today is just a loosener. I've used only a sample picture, photoshopped it a bit, adding twirl and added a ku...that's about it! Maybe I'd try to do something more complex as I go along and gain some confidence.

So here we go:

Visit 19 planets art blog if you want to see Rick Daddario's wonderful artwork and haiga.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The rain has eased off in the last few days. After four months of downpour (most of the time), torrential rains (some of the time), heavy shower (at other times), non-stop rain (at all times) and drizzle ( almost never) ; the sun has come out, clothes are dry and warm at last, the resident squirrel is back to its usual noisy ways and there are pockets of golden yellow at unexpected corners of my house.

The cat had been observing me closely for quite sometime, but after realising that I really bear him no ill-will or grudge,( we are at loggerheads most of the time, the reason being our similar tastes in food) he has stretched out on the window sill and gone off to sleep. There is so much to do, mails to write, calls to make, reading to catch up on...but at this moment all I want to do is to emulate the cat, curl up in this pool of sunlight on the recliner and snooze away! Everything else can wait!

siesta time -
a gentle tide washes over
the shingle

Wait a minute! Did i just write my first haibun?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Svetlana Marisova, the Russian poet from New Zealand, passed away yesterday, finally losing the battle to inoperable brain tumour. Though I had known Svetlana very briefly, only through Facebook...she had sent a friend request and added very graciously, "I have always wanted to know you"...yet I always admired and loved her poetry which belied a maturity far beyond her years. The experts would tell how sound her technique was and how she understood the zoka (of which i know nothing about) , but what struck me was their depth and always that sadness, that shadow of death which had surprised me at first, before i knew about the nature of her illness and later the intrepid manner in which she faced death.

Svetlana was a much loved poet in the haiku community and many have written loads of poetry for her in the past few weeks. But for me, the best way to remember her today would be through her own poetry.

miss august
curls at the edges...
end of summer

This was the last one she had posted on NaHaiWriMo on 1st August, only days before she slipped into a coma.

And some others,

in my brain...
a death watch beetle
marks time

pearl diving...
haiku and tumours
from the depths

in the wind
what might have been...
sleepless moon

the distance
between dusk and dawn...
deep waters

summer surf -
within its sound
I am sea

bitter spring -
not all ducks
are paired

And finally the last entry that was found in her notebook:

godwit's flight...
light disappearing
with the sun

She had been feeling homesick and wanted to come back to New Zealand from Russia where she had been undergoing treatment, but unfortunately couldn't complete the journey.

Svetlana was only 21.
Rest in peace, Svetlana. May you find oneness with the wind, the sea, this universe.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ganesh chaturthi and Herons nest

The 10-day long Ganesh chaturthi celebrations began on Thursday, officially ushering in the festival season. This year, though, the fervor has been much da
mpened by torrential rains of the past one week.The good part is that the sound of rain has drowned out the loudspeakers, bad part is that once there is a lull in the rain and the crackers start, they won't stop for a long time!

According to Hindu mythology, Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati and there are many stories regarding how he got his elephant-head.The unusually large head also signifies an extraordinary amount of intelligence! But on another level,Ganesh is associated with the root or mooladhara chakra in the subtle body. which is the first energy centre that represents the earth element, providing a solid foundation for material life. That is why He is the first god to be worshipped always before embarking on any spiritual, religious or worldly venture.

On a personal note, Lord Ganesh has been kind to me this year, bringing with him the heron's nest editor's choice award. That is the kind of stuff I sometimes daydreamt about(when i saw other poets featured in that hallowed space) knowing fully well this was going to remain only that, a dream.But well, the editors found my poem worthy of a special commentary from Scott Mason and I would really like to thank him for that wonderful commentary! I have also been lucky to have Paul Macneil as my editor, who has been one of the sweetest editors I have come across in my brief haiku journey, if I may say so!

The Heron's Nest September issue is full of lovely poetry,many of them by poets whom I have come to know through the NaHaiWriMo site on check it out! Though I am yet to go through it fully, I liked this one by Cara Holman, for its layers underlying the deceptively simple lines:

fine mist
he says frogs
I say crickets

Of the many other wonderful poetry I have read in the past few days, here is another one

her youngest daughter
calls me daddy

Colin Stewart Jones.

And finally, this one-liner by Kala Ramesh which she wrote at the end of an email to me:

where forest meets river the night of fireflies

We have come a long way from Ganapati festival, haven't we?
Have a great weekend...all of you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tanka today

Pamela A Babusci -(the well-known poet and editor of Moonbathing, for the benefit of my other readers) - has very sweetly sent me two tanka links to help me learn the form. I don't know how far I am getting ahead with the "learning" part, but these links turned out to be a virtual treasure trove of such wonderful tanka by practically all my favourites, that I could sit here all day reading them and even if I don't write anything ever, who cares because now I know that I could never write poetry even half as good!

for fifty years
through all the weathers
of the mind,
I have loved the world with my eye
...if nothing else, that

Larry Kimmel

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Haiku generator

Some people are born mad, some have madness thrust upon them.

I don’t know if I qualify for either of these categories, because I consider myself one of the most level-headed persons this side of the Indian Ocean; but obviously everybody doesn’t think so. I found out today that in Truth game, which is played on Facebook, as many as two people have answered in the positive when asked, “Is Sanjuktaa crazier than Ron Artest?”(and also, “do you think Sanjuktaa swears like a sailor?”). Now I couldn’t find out the identity of these persons , not having enough coins to unlock that, but I have some strong suspicions and one day, after I manage to gather enough coins, I am going to find you out! I also am pretty sure that the reason why they think like they do, lies in the fact that I love poetry!

And what I am going to write about today won't help matters any and would only reinforce their beliefs even more.Be that as it may...

Now, yesterday, the prompt by Terri Hale French at NaHaiwriMo was an evil one.We were asked to go to the Haiku Generator (a java script application) and write our own version or interpretation based upon whatever gibberish it threw at us.

Sample this, for example:

Crows drift feebly, friends

Darkening, rumbling dwarfs ride

Pigs wailing sailors

We were supposed to write a haiku on this! I almost fainted when I saw this!

And surprisingly, some people made quite a good job of it. For example, read this one by Cara Holman:

Marveling pebble

Clamoring, squelching mists slump

Forlornly, calm, pure

Cara’s version:

misty morning

the crunch of gravel

beneath my feet

And this one by Stevie Strang

insipid careworn

…massive immortals lying

corruption beckons

Stevie Strang's version:

one more chance

to get it right

election day

By then, I had started feeling I was in danger of losing my sanity. But luckily, this random one was thrown my way:

Knives mystify, knives

Snooze messily, orange moving

Gnarled, scornful, flustered

Based on this, I wrote:

the setting sun


by the gnarled oak

Emboldened by this success, I went on to try a few more and the results began to get more and more startling. But believe me, you won’t want to know that!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The rain today

The rain has started again today, after easing off for a few days and the woods opposite my house looked so lovely in the morning that perhaps only these words by Michael McClintock could do justice to that.

for a look at the world
I opened a window -
a blue morning wind
tossing rain around
the green ankles of spring

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today's poem(tanka)

What does the reader do if the blog-writer herself goes away to read some other blog?
Why, he/she stares at an empty page or "no post", of course!

But no, even though i am off to read today's haikuverse at Red Dragonfly, i won't let my reader go away empty-handed. I'd leave you with at least one poem to read and savor.

So here is today's tanka:

never pity
the solitary bird -
what poetry
the owl must hear
in the wind, in the trees

---James Rohrer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Published in Simply haiku,summer 2011, with the lines slightly tweaked.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend ennui

Feeling lethargic since morning.

Skipped workouts/yoga and didn’t feel much guilty about it; it’s Saturday, after all!(Hope my daughter doesn’t read this though! Nah…she would be busy with her own stuff right now.)

Must, must, must write something if I am to meet the submission deadline for the Sketchbook kukai, the last day being today. But what with the exploits of Anna Hazare being aired/blared loudly over the TV all day, the husband trying to educate and update me about the current political scenario, the maids’ excited chatter about the imminent good times and my own weak efforts at running a household…it doesn’t seem likely at all.

Wait a minute, the deadline says, 20th midnight and it’s not yet 20th midday there, we in India being ahead of US. Ah, thank god, so I have time, after all!

OK, let me then quickly tell you about this post--Dragonfly dreams in Melissa Allen’s blog “Red Dragonfly”which doesn’t need any introduction to anybody in the haiku community. But for my other readers, here’s the link:Dragonfly dreams. And this new post is really a dream. Superb poetry and why not, considering both Pamela. A.Babusci and Paul Smith, two of my all-time favourites are there, apart from beautiful haiga by Rick Daddario, Polona Oblak and lovely poetry by Margaret Dornaus, Kirsten Cliff, Angie Warren, and Susan Antolin among many others. I, too have a haiku there and am happy to share the space with these amazing poets! But it is the photography by Jay Otto which leaves me speechless. I don’t know how he managed to capture those shots. I’ve gone there like about 10 times just to gape at them. All in all, I’m going to look at dragonflies with new eyes after this amazing post.

And finally the poem, a tanka which matches my mood today.

I am going
the day passes

Not sure who is the author, most probably Michael McClintock. Or is it Tom Clausen?

My sincere apologies.I’ll find out and let you know.

And to compensate for this morning’s lassitude, I’ve decided I’d go for a long walk in the evening…! And come back with a carton of icecream , to reward myself for the walk.