Monday, December 24, 2012

My poetic year 2012

Michael Dylan Welch asked on NaHaiWriMo, how was your poetic year? Until then, I had not given any thought to taking stock of my year "poetically" and initially I was a little reluctant to look back, almost sure that there was nothing much to look back upon, but taking a tentative peek, I found it was not that bad, after all!

 The year started very well with my participation in A River of Stones, January mindful writing.It was a rewarding month-long experience and subsequently I had one poem included in the collection A Blackbird Sings by Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita. Maybe I could have had more included, had i submitted more poems instead of prose-pieces as it turned out to be  an anthology of short poems. Just a thought. But anyways, I really enjoyed writing the small stones everyday and posting them on the blog (and sticking them on the fridge door which was very well-received by the family)! Look forward to doing that again in the coming year...

Onto February, and THE (february) NaHaiWriMo which again i enjoyed hugely.A book edited by Michael Dylan Welch with selected poems from that month's posts is still in the pipeline.

March saw me participating in Doodle-ku by Aubrie Cox which has been one of the highlights of this year for me. The awesome doodles/sketches done by Aubrie must have brought out the best from all the participants.I have got tucked in there some of my best work this year, if it's alright to say so and the credit goes entirely to Aubrie Cox for inspiring them. Eventually selected ku from the posts along with her doodles were compiled by Aubrie in the collection Things with Wings and I had 15 poems included in that, but even a few of those that were not included remain close to my heart.It was a wonderful month of poetry!

Winning the XIV Calico Cat haiku contest  by Origa in May, held in memory of Hortensia Anderson was another treasured moment for me this year.This was my first ever participation in that contest and I was delighted to win! (View it here)

I was also thrilled  to win the 1st Haiku My Photo Challenge contest   by Chrissi Villa, judged by Kirsten Kliff the same month and no less happy to be adjudged runners-up in the2nd HMPC contest too, later this year in August. (View it here and here)

 Sometime in April I had  participated in theVancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational  and received an HM for my haiku.(View it here).

The biggest surprise of the year came when one of my tanka was included in the anthology Take Five:Best contemporary tanka, Volume 4 edited by M.Kei. I am still relatively new to tanka and the poem that was selected was my first tanka ever to be published, so I was simply delighted! It was such an honor to share the space with all the tanka greats.

There were the usual publications in The Heron's Nest, Frogpond, Moonbathing, A Hundred Gourds and Acorn and i continued to take part in NaHaiWriMo, albeit sporadically. But there was no way I was going to miss the August NaHaiWriMo with 31 different prompters.That was again an extremely challenging, but strangely fulfilling month. Though by the end of August my health had deteriorated so much that even sitting upright for more than 15 minutes had become a huge effort and I had to take a break for an indefinite period. Plans for all the contests I wanted to enter or journals where I wanted to submit had to be abandoned. So when With Cherries on Top, an e-book compiled by Michael Dylan Welch, with selected poems from August NaHaiWriMo posts was finally out in November,it was so gratifying to have 5 poems included in it.(View it here)

Throughout the year I had continued to participate in the Shiki Kukai Contests, but my best showing remained the 2nd place in both the formats in June Kukai.(See it here) Though it was compensated somewhat by the 1st place in International Kukai No. 9, administered by Rita Odeh and John Daleiden, that came at the fag end of the year. (View it here)..

Last but not the least, participation in Cara Holman's December haiku share on her blog Prose Posies...sharing and reading each others' poetry has been a great enriching experience!

So , in a nutshell, this has been my poetic journey in 2012. Many goals remain unfulfilled, but that is good, because otherwise what would remain to look forward to, to strive for in the coming year?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 2012 Shiki kukai

Again a fourth place in both the kigo and free format sections of the Shiki kukai for the month of November with these two poems.

Kigo theme: mist

deep mist-
temple bells stirring
the nothingness

Free format theme: night sounds

leaf fall
she sighs
in her sleep

John Espen Vassbotn and Tom Painting were the winners of this month and their winning poems as well as all the other poems can be read here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

what remains

what remains
of this twilight--
orange blossoms

Vol XIV, NO.3
The Herons Nest
September, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A taste of the cherries on top

If you think I'm going to blog today like my many other blogger friends have done already, about the free downloadable e-book "With Cherries on Top" edited by Michael Dylan Welch, featuring some selected haiku and senryu from August NaHaiWriMo, then you are absolutely right! The collection looks fabulous,as it is, with artwork  by Michael Dylan Welch himself and contains nearly 200 poems by 73 poets who participated in NaHaiWriMo that month, with the best 5 or more poems for each day being selected by the 31 different prompters themselves.But what is remarkable about the book is the astounding quality of the poems. I had always known there were many gifted poets in this community and many excellent poems get written every month in response to the prompts. In August, the number of participating poets were even more and perhaps because everybody wanted to excel, the level of the poems went up many notches higher.

The poems featured in the book are already hand-picked.Still I'd mention here a few which i thought were brilliant just to whet your appetite(for those of you who are yet to read it).

The prompt "Karumi" perhaps produced the most amazing poems.  Here are a few.

sun dance
not touching the ground 
not touching each other

-Stevie Strang
(I wish i wrote that, Stevie Strang.)

the little sister 
and the big sister--
wild summer grasses

Vincent Hoarau

dappled sunlight 
dragonflies linger
over his grave

Pris Campbell

 I had not quite captured the essence of karumi, but after reading these poems, now i know what karumi is.

And what can i say about this one? It made me smile, it made me cry.

 From the prompt love,

summer night
my daughter asks how long
I might live

Dawn Apanius

The next two are also from love,

shooting stars 
the gap in our ages 
just too big

Sheila Windsor

a sparrow's song
colors the breeze...
having you near

Asni Amin

Consider these two from tidepool,

tide pool  clumps of mussels sipping starlight on the rocks

Kathy Uyen Nguyen

tide pool-
my heartbeat 

Jayashree Maniyil

And this stunning one is from sand,


divorce decree--
the remains of a castle
taken by the tide

 Michele Harvey

The following ones from grass and enlightenment respectively.

a very wise man
a bit of wild grass
in his hair

Vincent Hoarau

meteor shower
for a split second
I know

Annie Juhl

And this very moving one from birth,

growing dusk...
the stillborn calf
is taken away

Kirsten Cliff

"Breath-taking" is how i describe the next one, the prompt was surrender.

 the morning takes me--
white butterfly

Claire Everett

This incredibly beautiful one is from seam,

between the meadow
and conifer forest-
a seam of elk

Deborah Barbour Lundy

and this absolute stunner from childhood in summer.

cotton-candy clouds--
days when I am
one of the butterflies

Christine L.Villa 

 This one is simply delightful...from the same prompt childhood in summer.

farm pond
in frogs

Susan Murata

Don't miss this one,(prompt boat)

my kayak
opens and closes
the glassy lake 

Carole MacRury

And this,(prompt time)

 shiva call--
the steady sweep
of the second hand

Mark E.Brager

Finally this one , from healthcare.

with a different quiet-
chemo lounge

Edgar Hopper

 I'd have liked to include many more, but that would be giving away the whole show.

So if I've got you sufficiently interested by now, you could view or download the And let me remind you, I too have six poems tucked in there under the prompts tide pool, lion, chili pepper, seam,forgotten things and  moon viewing.

Happy reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

starry night, open window and black water

It's already mid-November and I've again missed quite a few submission deadlines of journals where i had intended to submit; but on the plus side, still one and a half month to go in this year and more importantly Diwali is behind me! I always feel relieved and upbeat when Diwali is over...don't know why.Duties done, chores completed and respects paid, I feel a whole lot lighter, like, now i am free to do my own thing, to go back to my own world. Not that there was too much to do this year...the reasons being my own illness and the passing away of a close relative. Yet the aftermath of Diwali is always NICE! The weather seems sweeter, I am feeling much better and who knows maybe soon, very soon, I'd be able to write some poetry!

Meanwhile,to go over a few recent publications, these three haiku (by me) were published in A Hundred Gourds 1:4, September 2012 issue.

 starry night tripping over the banyan roots

opening the window 
to a moth and what's left
of the moon

black water pond
how deep
the crow's eyes

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I have long been intrigued by Johannes S H Bjerg's poetry ...what he calls "fragments" ...and wanted to emulate him sometime,... just for the heck of it, to see where they take me; but never got down to doing it. Yesterday seemed a good day though to indulge in that, particularly after reading one of his latest posts. I have not been able to write anything worthwhile lately, so i just took a deep breath and plunged headlong.

And here is what i wrote.

  shadows jostling at the window unknown

in the sink unwashed dishes and three clouds

parting the midnight fog trumpeting tuskers

they are not coming back, but i keep the porch lights on

blindfolded i can see as far as the sky (and the sky is where my left shoulder is)

labored breath the barometer turning purple
why the phone keeps on ringing at the bottom of river
just a handful of sesame seeds, but the guilt, the guilt

the universe is too young for you, black dwarf, or you are


Though this has been inspired by JHSB and is an unabashed attempt (which failed) at emulating his style, the content, after a while, took me where i hadn't planned to go at all.
Now i must go and get an appointment with the psychiatrist too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a forced break

It has been a while now that I have written any blog post. In fact, I haven't written anything at all for quite some time. I have missed quite a few submission deadlines, some contests i wanted to participate in and even cancelled travel plans.The reason being this debilitating pain I've been struggling with for the past few months which won't let me focus on anything, let alone write or even sit at the computer for an extended period of time. Nothing serious, (I hope) and with time, perhaps, I\ll be back again...(at least I intend to)... to bother you all with my bad poetry but meanwhile i thought it only fair to let all the readers, visitors and the handful of my blog followers know why I have been playing truant lately. Thanks to all of you who are still visiting regularly. Please bear with me some more.

by this day's end
if I may come home whole, 
life might be good--
for now, I'm glad to see trees
and the light shining through them

-Michael McClintock

Thursday, September 13, 2012

all that's been happening

Christine Villa's 2nd HMPC (Haiku My Photo Challenge) results were out this week and to my delight, I found myself among the winners once again, along with Rick Daddario (1st place) and Kirsten Kliff (3rd place). This was especially gratifying as till the last moment, i was not sure i could participate at all and also because this was done in the format of a kukai contest, that is, the winners were selected by the participants' votes. All credit goes to Chrissi, of course, for holding such contests successfully time and again. Huge thanks to you, Chrissi!

Here is my 2nd place winning haiku .

lilac dusk~
a song we are yet
to sing

Yon can read all the winning entries and everything else about this contest here on Christine Villa's blog, Blossom rain.

The Heron's Nest September issue and A Hundred Gourds issue 1.4 are out too with great stuff as always and I am happy to be a part of them with one poem in THN and three in AHG.

On Mann library daily haiku, the featured poet this month is Yu Chang and he is absolutely unmissable!So in case you've forgotten to take a peek in there lately, do so today!

Finally i am sure many of you are already participating in Rick Daddario's 30 days of haiga bash... (i wish i could, too), if not you could find out all about it here.

Last but not the least, Aubrie Cox is having another lovely doodle prompt contest on the theme of the sea and/or thieves on her blog Yay Words, the last date for which is today. Another fun contest i absolutely hated to miss. But I hope you haven't!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

June 2012 Shiki kukai

I've talked here before about how I've been participating in and struggling with the monthly shiki kukai contests without ever topping it once! The last one in July was another sorry tale that I'd rather not talk about at all, but in June I came pretty close to it, I was placed second in both the formats with a mere 2 or 3 points separating me from the winner.And I was mighty pleased with it, in fact so pleased that I don't know how i managed to stay so long without bragging about it here. Shows what age does to you. So here are my two second -placed entries.

In the kigo section, the kigo was "ice cream", so no wonder I could write something that was well-received.

ice cream
on the patio-
strawberry moon

In the free format section, the prompt was, "day moon".

whether to leave or linger-
day moon

Hope you will like them too.

Haiga ( for 30 days of haiga)

Rick Daddario is having the 30 Days of Haiga bash on his blog 19 planets Art Blog just like last year in which I had participated. I would have loved nothing better than to do so this year too but have been incapacitated with circumstances beyond my control.On the other hand, I feel so wistful reading and looking at all the entries of the other participants and the ones Rick himself has been doing (which are awesome) that i thought i would post at least one haiga as a token participation for Rick's blog.So here is the one I did for September 7, the prompt word was "grandmother memories".

afternoon quiet-
she opens
her trinket box

Monday, September 3, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo - final week

Whew! That was some week! Some month! Cara Holman started the week with a gentle prompt, but after that it was an uphill struggle for me. I don't know if they were really so hard or it was just me who found them so, because of my nagging health problems which won't let me focus on anything, but anyway, I am happy that I stuck it through and here are my poems for the final week.

August 25 - " summertime childhood memory" - Cara Holman

raising caterpillars
until one day
the blue moth

August 26 - "time" - Jessica Tremblay

faint heartbeats-
the old clock
ticking away

August 27 - "beatles song" - Johannes S.H.Bjerg

This one was particularly difficult for me, not being well-acquainted with the beatles' songs. But everybody else enjoyed it hugely.

let it out
and let it in,
Hey Jude, begin-
the movements you need
for your frozen shoulder

blue moon-
two of us sunday driving,
not arriving...

August 28 - "wishes/dreams" - Pamela Cooper

on an eyelash-
the path of a wish

August 29 - "health care" - Dave Serjeant

This one was closer home.

all the pills
by my bedside-
who needs a moon?

August 30 - "fence" - Terri Hale French

first light-
a shoe stuck
in the barbed wire fence

fence gate-
where she waited for us
to come home

August 31 - "moon viewing" - Alex Benedict

blue dusk-
she lifts her veil a little
to view the moon

So that's how the month ends. And looking back, it seems I have been writing mostly about moons throughout the month!

For the month of September, Johannes Bjerg is providing the prompts and going by the first few days' prompts , this month is going to be such an awesome one!I would have loved to participate this month as well if i could, but something tells me perhaps it's time to step back for a while ...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo - 21,22,23,24

Fellow NaHaiWriMo-an Jayashree Maniyil thinks the Nahaiwrimo this month is nothing less than a 'bootcamp' experience and I absolutely agree with her. The prompts keep on coming at us thick and fast like bullets and get tougher by the day. Sample the prompts for these past four days and you'll know.

August 21 - "driftwood" - Kathabela Wilson

I responded with a haiga for this and the next prompt.

picking driftwood
for the campfire-
which song shall we sing tonight?

August 22 - "forgotten things" - Alan Summers

This one was a killer alright.

lightning moon~
i don't remember
the scars at all

August 23 - "heat" - Pris Campbell

Sounds simple, but perhaps not so simple, particularly if one is trying to avoid writing about the weather.

coal-black eyes-
the colour of his anger

August 24 - "seam" - Susan Murata

Again very deceptive. Not being a seamstress,I found this very difficult to write about, until cricket cameto my rescue.

the highway
into the horizon

dating a seam bowler-
so many ways
this night could end

Hopefully, the prompts would get easier by the next week.
And before i forget, i am happy to say that i was awarded a HM for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival(VCBF) haiku invitational. Michele Harvey was the winner and quite a few of my nahaiwrimo mates won HM and sakura awards.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo - 17,18,19,20

We are more than half-way through August Nahaiwrimo with the prompts getting even tougher. Hardly had I gotten over 'enlightenment' and the 'birth'ing pains, when my dear friend Alee Imperial Albano decided to spring the 'lion' upon us.I do not know about others, but I had to pull out a fair amount of my hair to come up with anything about lion. In the end, it was fun though. Here are all the prompts for these four days.

August 17 - "lion" - Alee Imperial Albano

circus lion-
his yawn bigger
than his roar

in autumn clouds
the goddess astride the lion

August 18 - "boats" - Alison Williams

One of my all-time favourite prompts. Ended up writing quite a few and set them aside for a rainy day. These two are the ones I posted at Nahaiwrimo.

writer's block-
my canoe stuck
in duckweed

dragged ashore-
the boat stained
with setting sun

August 19 - "humidity" - Susan Delphine Delaney

humid day-
the clothes-line
begins to sag

humid day-
a ladybug crawls out
of the air-conditioner

more and more humid
every day-
tomorrow's prompt on my mind

August 20 - "surrender" - Chrissi Villa

A beautiful prompt, although not very easy. After much writing and rewriting, this was the one I decided to go with.

to this dark,dark night
candle wax

Friday, August 17, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo - 13,14,15,16

The prompts for these 4 days at Nahaiwrimo were all great, but hard to write about nevertheless.

August 13 - "love" - Gillena Cox

Love is always a beautiful subject for poetry or prose, but how do you haiku about it? My response was this:

how to describe
that green corn moon-
first love

August 14 - "enlightenment" - Carlos Colon

This must have been the most difficult prompt so far this month. I wrote:

whichever way i turn no escaping the streetlight in my eyes


sitting cross-legged waiting for the penny
to drop

August 15 - "chilli pepper" - Paul David Mena

An easier prompt, though i wanted to write about the colour...but that would have to wait.

with the in-laws...
hot chilli pickle

August 16 - "birth" - Christina Nguyen

Another tough one, next only to enlightenment! These were my responses:

grain moon-
her hand
on her belly


eighth month-
through her window
the ripening moon

In case you are feeling confused about 'green corn moon', 'grain moon' and 'ripening moon', these are all different names for the August full moon.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo - 9,10,11,12

We are almost at the end of the second week at Nahaiwrimo and i have been able at last to get some sort of momentum going. The prompts were interesting and these are what i wrote in response to them.

August 9 - "tide pool" - Patty Hardin

tide pool-
finding you again
and yet again

holding the stars
the sea left behind-
tide pool

August 10 - "grass" - Melissa Allen

meadow grass between my teeth the pungent taste of summer

rain quail
through grassland mist-
a call from an ex

August 11 - "water melon" - Stella Pierides

new moon-
scooping out the flesh
from the watermelon

August 12 - "holiday activities" - Annie Juhl

climbing the hills,
skipping across streams-
on Google maps

You can find out all about the ongoing NaHaiWriMo prompts here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo - 5,6,7,8

From day 5th to day 8th on August Nahaiwrimo... here are the prompts and my responses to them.

August 5 - "exploration" - Michael Nickels-Wisdom

after the spacecrafts
the moon probed
bat by bat

August 6 - "hope" - Johny Baranski

I'd write that poem...
kurinji in bloom

August 7 - "star myths" - Linda Papanicolaou

North star,
your dreamless eyes-
a nightjar's cry

August 8 - "spider" - Sheila Windsor

spent blossoms
caught in a spider's web-
pathway to old age home

You can find all about the August Nahaiwrimo and the 31 different prompters here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August NaHaiWriMo -(1, 2, 3, 4)

August Nahaiwrimo has started with a bang and here are the prompts and my responses to them for the first four days.

August 1 - "heart" - provided by Kat Creighton

a sparrow's heartbeats-
holding the new-born

August 2 - "full moon" - provided by Judith Gorgone

One of my all-time favourite prompts, yet strangely, i couldn't come up with much. Wrote and discarded at least ten of them and finally settled on this one.

full moon-
turning the key
in the latch


the key in the latch-
full moon

(revision suggested by Freddy Ben Arroyo)

August 3 - "sand" - provided by Vincent Houreau

beach holiday-
resigned to the sand
in my soup


sand dunes
as far as the eyes go
you, you and only you

August 4 - "karumi" (lightness) - provided by John Carley

in the wake of the waterfowls the lightness of ripples


unknown seabird-
the anchor rope tilts
ever so slightly

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Haiga- rifted

rifted night the cosmic call of the screech owl

Posted in Free haiga...the ku done in response to a nahairimo prompt: "cosmic".

August NaHaiWriMo

My participation in Nahaiwrimo for the month of July as well as the past few months has been only sporadic, due to many extraneous reasons and I was only beginning to wonder about my plans for August, when i came upon this announcement : 31 different prompters for the month of August.
I was hooked immediately. And i think, so would be you if you read this.

Though i am doubtful how far i'd be able to keep to my commitment of writing a haiku throughout this month, I sure am going to give it a try.Not only it gives me an opportunity to rejuvenate my flagging creativity, but it is also going to be exciting to guess each day who is going to be the next prompter! We are sure to have Cara Holman one of these days! Is Melissa Allen going to be there too? I hope she is! Haiku Elvis (Carlos Colon)? And who else , apart from the past prompters?

Kudos to Michael Dylan Welch for coming up with new ideas which keeps this site so lively and buzzing all the time!

So don't just stand on the sidelines...join me on NaHaiWriMo starting tomorrow!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Doodle ku 27

The last of my ku that was included in Things with Wings.

snail trail...
i scribble
on the belated card

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Doodle ku 26

March 26

This must have been the most charming of all the doodles by Aubrie and i hope my response did justice to it.

how to hold
a tulip glass...
the bee's bumbling ways

Friday, July 13, 2012

Haiga - Flight

Another haiga I had done for NaHaiWriMo a few days ago. The prompt was "flight".

the wind

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Doodle ku 25

March 25

the child-
a pawn between
the couple

This one has not been included in the collection, but you can read so many lovely takes on this doodle by different poets in Things with Wings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Haiga - Repetition

Taking a break from Things with Wings today. Instead here is a haiga I did on NaHaiWriMo yesterday on June 8th, for the prompt "repetition". The prompter this month is Kathabela Wilson.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Doodle ku 23 - Things with Wings

One of my favorites again!

Imagine, imagine! What's awaiting me inside that beautiful jewelry box? Aubrie's doodles have that inexplicable quality that could really make the imagination soar!
The ku came effortlessly.

how it must be...
cherry blossom rain

Things with Wings, the collection by Aubrie Cox, could be downloaded here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Doodle ku 16

old letters--
the yellowing scent
of decayed words

Though this one was not included in the collection, I loved doing it!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Doodle ku 17 - Things with Wings

March 17

falling stars...
do you hear the stillness

To read some beautiful poems on this doodle by Aubrie Cox, you could download Things with Wings here

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doodle ku 15 - Things with Wings

I absolutely adored this doodle. It spoke to me of spring and dew-laden mornings. The ku followed naturally.

how we spent
the cold, cold nights...
blossoms, too, chime in

Monday, July 2, 2012

Doodle ku 12 - Things with Wings

March 12

Though a lovely sketch, initially I found this a little challenging to ku on...but finally came up with this!

cutting flowers
to fit the vase
petals scatter in silence

Friday, June 29, 2012

Doodle ku 11 -Things with Wings

March 11

back home--
in the doorway
the big black
of my Dad

I loved the doodle again and though these are mushrooms, that was enough to get me started on "umbrellas", one of my all-time favourite prompts!

There are five other lovely poems on this doodle in the collection Things with Wings...but I enjoyed writing this one!

Doodle ku 8 - Things with Wings

Of all the doodles by Aubrie, this has been among my top 3 or 4 favourites. This image has also been used by her on the cover of Things with Wings.

March 8
spring break--
till the water's edge
and back for dinner

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Doodle ku 7- Things with Wings

March 7

crackling candlelight-
through the window
a murmur of rain

For many other beautiful poems on this doodle, read Things with Wings.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Doodle ku 3 & 4 - Things with Wings

March 3

my poetry
so much better
as paper cranes

March 4

by the dragonfly's wings

All doodles by Aubrie Cox.
Ku by me.

To read many other poems on these doodles, download the PDF copy of Things with Wings! Believe me, it's worth that small trouble!

Things with Wings...Doodle ku 2

"Things with Wings and other poems", Aubrie Cox's compilation of selected poems along with her doodles,(remember"I doodle, you ku", the fun project we had participated in on her blog Yay Words back in March? I had blogged about it here) is finally online!And what a fantastic collection it has turned out to be!I am so happy to have 15 of my poems featured there alongside the work of many other poet friends of mine! Download the pdf copy here if you want to feast your eyes on Aubrie's awesome doodles and some amazingly brilliant poems from first to last.

Over the next few days, I plan to feature in this space, all my poems that have been included in the collection (and also a few that have not been included) paired with Aubrie's original doodles.

I begin at the beginning, on March 2nd, where my poem first makes an appearance.

sun down the wake of a red-tailed hawk

Monday, June 25, 2012

Haiga in collaboration - Krishnachura

Haiga done in collaboration.
Sumi-e painting by Linda L Ashok and the words by me.
You can see this and many other beautiful images and poems by Linda on her blog here.

Thank you, Linda, for the inspiration.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

the haiku that didn't happen

I could not participate in NaHaiWriMo this month, being tied up in too many other things.But I've been closely following the very challenging prompts given by Alison Williams, the prompter for this month and one of the prompts a few days ago that aroused my interest was the creative random word generator at where you only had to click a button to get a set of words. I thought that would be fun and I could make up for my past few days' of inactivity.

So I press the button and get my first word: "microbes".
I had no intention of writing about microbes and couldn't, even if i wanted to. So I took a second chance.

The word i got this time was:"jass".
I had no idea what that meant, so went and looked it up in the dictionary. A card game played with a 36 card pack, it said , with some other complex rules. I didn't think i could write a haiku on that either.

Again i refresh the button and get "metal detector"!
Things are not really going my way, i thought... how could one get poetic about a metal detector? Well, i know some of you very talented poets out there could do even that, but not me!

So off again i go and click the button with hope in my heart and a prayer on my lips. Perhaps I'm going to be fourth-time lucky?

The word that leaps out at me is:"CHIMPANZEE"!
( Though not in caps, but it looked like that to me.)

At this point, I gave up and went to bed.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The XIV Calico Cat haiku contest

Well, friends...I'm delighted to tell you that I've won this XIV Calico Cat haiku contest held by Origa!

As if you didn't know already! As if i hadn't shouted loudly enough from my Facebook page!

But this was such an unexpected honor, as there were many many beautiful entries and for me it was totally a spur-of-the-moment decision to enter this contest...being drawn in by the image and the fact that it was dedicated to the memory of Hortensia Anderson who passed away recently and whose work I had always admired immensely... that i cannot help feeling thrilled with the outcome!

In the contest we were asked to write haiku on the theme "Moment of eternity" based on this sumi-e painting above, done by Origa herself. Origa doesn't need any introduction in the haiku circle, but for others she is a Russian poet as well as an artist. She conducted the contest single-handedly, even translated all the poems (the Japanese translations by Isao Yasuda) and brought out the results within a week.

You can read the results and the winning poems by clicking on this link:

And here is her commentary on my poem:

Dear friends, I am happy to announce the RESULTS of the contest. As always, I was looking for faithfulness to the theme of the painting, employment of its images, evidence of “haiku spirit” corresponding to this memorial edition. Thank you all for your love for haiku which spans continents!

Our First Prize winner is

*********SANJUKTAA, India -- САНДЖЮКТАА, Индиия -- CONGRATULATIONS !!!********

the last poem
signed with a flourish --
falling star

This is a classic example of the embodiment of a HAIKU as a unique poetic genre establishing connection between the creativity of Nature and human art. Two concrete images are juxtaposed: a signature on a finished poem, and a falling star. A poet finished his creation with a flourish (great wording here!) – and next moment, a star has fallen. Or, the flourish and the fall could have occurred simultaneously, as a synchronous act. The main point is that the poet participates in the nature’s creativity, follows it -- zōka zuijun (where zōka means the working of the universe, the activity of the universe, the Creative -- a relatively new term coined by scholars Hori Nobuo, Horikiri Minoru, and David L. Barnhill) by merging his art with it, adding to its beauty, celebrating it. Remember, how Bashō valued an artist’s ability to recognize and follow the natural mode of creativity? To him, all great art was based on this creativity. As Barnhill pointed out (“The Creative in Bashō’s View of Nature and Art”), for Bashō, “Humans are incomplete unless they achieve a unity with the moon and flowers and become a companion to the four seasons.” In this haiku, the poet seems to have achieved it – and so does the author of the haiku. The creative work is brought to culmination – tsukusu as Bashō called it (another “new” term used in haiku theory). In the context of our contest’s special edition, we also think of Hortensia’s last poem and the “flourish” as a hidden metaphor for a “falling star”. Apart of the theoretical approach, this is simply a beautiful, intense, instant “ah!” moment stunner haiku -- BRAVA, Sanjuktaa! Sumi-e 'Moment of Eternity' goes to India.

Now you tell me, don't I have a good reason to feel pleased as punch?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Plum blossoms

image:Michael Carr

after all the things
that have gone wrong-
plum blossoms

Published in The Heron's Nest, June 2012. Vol 14.2

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May NaHaiWriMo - Part 8

After we've been through the chakra prompts, there were still 3 more days left in the month and for this we were asked to write on the following prompts.

29 - touch
30 - borrowed/found haiku
31 - smell/taste

And I wrote,

May 29 (touch)

his hands
on my fevered brow-
summer rain

May 30 (borrowed/found haiku) - the instructions were:
Please go to any text of your choice: Shakespeare/Lady Gaga/a letter from your mother/the gas bill/a billboard... any text... find a haiku in there and bring it here. You are looking for a phrase that embodies the spirit of haiku. It might need some revision to make it a haiku: tweak away.

I wrote this:
not knowing
the meaning of life--
lilacs in bloom

Based on this:

Now that lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
And twists one in her finger while she talks
"Ah my friend, you do not know,you do not know
What life is, you hold it in your hands

Portrait of a lady

And another excerpt from the same poet, T.S.Eliot,

If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing...
drip drop drip drop drop drop drop"

And this is what i eked out of the above,

dreaming rain
cicada song
in dry grass

May 31 (smell/taste)
We were asked to write about either sense, but preferably incorporate the two.

into the wild berries-
scent of a waterfall

roadside teashop-
the sharp scent of ginger
in my tea

All the prompts this month were challenging, but I struggled most with "power" and 'fear". Thankfully though, was able to finish with a cup of ginger tea!

Friday, June 1, 2012

May NaHaiWriMo - Part 7

The seventh center - Sahasrara or the crown chakra is the last milestone of the evolution of human consciousness.
The crown chakra is, as its name says, located on the top of the head. It is represented by a lotus with 1000 petals, which is a symbol for eternity. When Kundalini rises until the seventh chakra, the person is said to have reached enlightenment which means being one with God, in a total union and in full awareness. You are conscious of the truth and are detached from the illusion of the material world.

The prompts were as follows:

25 - letting go
26 - rainbow
27 - dragonfly
28 - circle/spiral

May 25 (letting go)

I was too lazy with this prompt and used only an old one.

falling stars
letting go of memories...

May 26 (rainbow)

Came up with two for this one to make up for the previous day's sluggishness.

Sorry, this one has been submitted for publication

all the way home
the rainbow hugging
the windshield

May 27 (dragonfly)

And two for this also.

leaf flutter-
a dragonfly settles
on my poems

did he smile,
did he not?

May 28 (circle/spiral)

lotus viewing-
the circle of boats

raging wind beyond the circle of his arms

We have now come full circle and this completes our journey through the chakras. For the remaining few days of the month (May), we would explore the generally under-explored senses. We deal with that in the next post.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May NaHaiWriMo - Part 6

The sixth chakra (ajna) is the chakra of forgiveness and compassion and is also known as the third eye chakra.Situated in the middle of the forehead,the colour representing this chakra is indigo.

And the prompts given by Sheila Windsor were:

21 - open/ing
22 - ink
23 - Hortensia Anderson (in memoriam)
24 - perspective

What I wrote:

May 21 (open/ing)

Sorry,submitted for publication

may 22(ink)

power outage
the ink bottle

May 23 (Hortensia Anderson)

Hortensia Anderson passed away on 23rd May. She had once mentioned in an interview this poem as being her favourite among all the poems she wrote.

moonlit night--
the pond floats
a waterlily

tribute to her was a take-off on that one.

petals of the waterlily
close around you

May 24 (perspective)

blue kite unreeling the summer sky

Third eye chakra is the narrow gate which opens the way for our consciousness to ascend to its final destination, which is the seventh center.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May NaHaiWriMo - Part 5

After the heart chakra we move up to level 5, the throat chakra, also known as Vishuddha. Vishuddha is positioned at the neck region near the spine, with its superficial activation point in the pit of the throat. This is the chakra associated with" self expression... speaking one's truth... clear and honest communication."

And the prompts were:

17 - voice (own)
18 -mirror
19 - tea
20 - blue

I wrote these in response:

May 17 (voice)

my voice trails off-
the winds in the bamboo grove

May 18 (mirror)

the antique mirror
an ancient face

framing me
the pitch-black night
train window

May 19 (tea)

evening tea-
the robin sipping sunset
at the birdbath

May 20 (blue)
blue butterfly
one more bloom
in the morning glories

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May NaHaiWriMo - Part 4

The fourth chakra or heart chakra which is also called anahata is located in the centre of the chest, over the heart. It is related to love and compassion and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche like mind and body, male and female, ego and unity. The colour associated with this chakra is vivid green.

The prompts given by Sheila for this level were as follows, though I am not sure of her reasons behind one or two of them.

13 - break/broken
14 - child/ren
15 - rose/s

Anyway, these were my responses:

May13 (break/broken)

broken wall
with the bluest sky

May 14 (child/children)

see saw
on the other end
she places her doll

May 15 (rose/roses)

petals shut tightly-
the rose
from my shy neighbour

May 16 (drum/music)

in the junkyard

The fifth chakra or throat chakra awaits us in the next level.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May NaHaiWriMo - Part 3

I was truly sorry to learn that Hortensia Anderson passed away today after a major surgery.The cancer she had been battling for past three years had spread and perhaps this was inevitable , yet the news was shocking. I had been acquainted with her work right from the time i started my haiku journey and she was right up there in my list of must-read poets. R.I.P Hortensia Anderson, you and your beautiful poetry will be missed !

Coming to the NaHaiWriMo prompts i had been writing about... at the third level of the chakra prompts we're about to explore the Solar Plexus Chakra known also as Manipura chakra,the third primary chakra, according to Hindu tradition. Located midway between the rib cage and the navel, this is associated with personal power or sense of identity.
The solar plexus chakra relates, among other things, to digestion and to friendship as well and is represented by the colour "yellow". The prompts for this level were,

10. ball

Here are my responses to the prompts:

May 9 (power)

power pylon-
two hawks fight
for the highest perch

May 10 (ball)

another ball lands
on the stadium roof

May 11 (meal)

making dinner--
spaghetti and
my tangled thoughts

May 12 (sunshine)

water's edge-
a sandpiper stepping
into sunrise

At the next level, we will explore the heart chakra.