Monday, October 24, 2016

A Room of My Own: War Veteran Tanka

midnight moon ...
a war veteran
stabbing and slashing
his mind-demons
onto the canvas

Note: This poem is a sequel  poem to the following tanka, which was first published in Atlas Poetica, 19, 2014:

in the shade
of a weeping willow
a war veteran
takes on shifting shadows
in hand-to-hand combat

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Fireflies and Stars Haiku by Roberta Beary

English Original

my son and  i
counting fireflies
counting stars

First Prize, Penumbra Haiku Contest, 1999; The Unworn Necklace, 2007

Roberta Beary

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Roberta Beary is the haibun editor at Modern Haiku. Her bestselling collection The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press) won a Poetry Society of America finalist award. Her haibun collection Deflection (Accents Publishing) won the Eric Hoffer and Touchstone finalist awards. Follow her on twitter @shortpoemz.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Waiting Room Haiku by Elizabeth Nicholls

English Original

waiting room
counting the red gladdies
yet again

A Hundred Gourds, 4:4,  September 2015

Elizabeth Nicholls

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Elizabeth Nicholls lives on the shore of the Indian Ocean in Perth, Western Australia. She spends many hours walking along the rugged coastline and composing haiku in her head whilst keeping a lookout for dolphins and ocean birds.  Elizabeth has been writing haiku for about seven years.

One Man's Maple Moon: Edge Tanka by Gabriel Bates

English Original

holes in a wall
the burden
this surname carries
living near the edge
of all that we don't have

Gabriel Bates

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Gabriel Bates is a contemporary poet from Pittsburg, KS (U.S) He writes in many forms, including haiku, senryu, tanka, etc. To read his archive of work, go to or follow him on Twitter @falsepoetics

Friday, October 21, 2016

Poetic Musings: Border Haiku by Chen-ou Liu

winter twilight
crossing the border
a child's shadow

4th Prize, 2016 New Zealand Poetry Society Haiku Competition
Anthologized in  Penguin Days

Judge's Comment by Cynthia Rowe: "winter twilight" is very much in the zeitgeist, the spirit of the time. The poem is literally, and metaphorically, dark. We are reminded of the plight of refugees fleeing a war zone, of a child slipping past the border guards on his/her mission for freedom. The poet has intentionally specified a child, drawing on the vulnerability of innocent young lives affected by the bombing of their homes by super powers, collateral damage in the hostilities that we read about in the media, that we see on the nightly television news. The poet specifies ‘crossing the border'. This haiku brings an immediacy to the realities of world conflict and if one more child is free we should, by inference, celebrate this. A thoughtful haiku.


1 I also won two other awards in the contest:

cliff edge ...
the sound of waiting
for nothing

Highly Commended, 2016 New Zealand Poetry Society Haiku Competition

Father slipping
through the cracks in words ...
patchy fog

Commended, 2016 New Zealand Poetry Society Haiku Competition

2 The following haibun is another award-winning poem about the refugee crisis:

A Home Away from Home

where the sky
meets the winter desert ...
refugee tents

Arzu walks out of the tent to meet her friends, waiting in line with hundreds of others for water distribution. A wisp of cloud drifts by. It reminds her of the camp teacher's departing words, "Those puffy, sheep-like clouds you're looking at come from Syria. You will all return home one day, I promise."

Honorable Mention, 2015 United Haiku and Tanka Society Samurai Haibun Contest
(Judge's comment by Sonam Chhoki: Amidst unceasing news of overwhelming number of people fleeing the conflict-torn regions in the Middle East, Chen-ou Liu’s Honorable Mention haibun is both timely and compassionate in his presentation of a young girl’s plight. The poet’s imagery of a ‘wisp of cloud’ is laden with significance. It evokes poignantly the fragility of Arzu’s hope for a safe return to her native land and also works as a ‘beacon’ of light in the otherwise drab and desperate tents-filled camp. What I find particularly powerful is how Chen-ou turns on its head, the largely negative media representations of how refugees threaten the civilizations of the host countries in which they seek asylum. There is quiet dignity in both Arzu and her teacher who holds out the promise of a return to their homeland)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Hushed Silence Haiku by Gregory Longenecker

English Original

the hushed silence
of snow

Honourable Mention, World Haiku Review December 2012

Gregory Longenecker

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

A poet, Gregory’s work has appeared in numerous publications in the United States and abroad and was featured in A New Resonance, 9 by Red Moon Press. Two editions of the Red Moon Anthologies of English-language haiku have carried his work (2013 & 2014) and Modern Haiku Press, Haiku 2014 and Haiku 2016, as well. Currently on the editorial staff of the Living Haiku Anthology Gregory was a co-judge in the Haiku Society of America’s 2016 Haibun Contest.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Spring Thaw Haiku by Bob Lucky

English Original

spring thaw
my wife undresses
with the lights on            

Asahi Haikuist Network, 6 March 2015

Bob Lucky

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Bob Lucky is the author of the chapbook Ethiopian Time and the content editor at Contemporary Haibun Online. He lives in Saudi Arabia.

One Man's Maple Moon: Wind Tanka by Mark Gordon

English Original

The wind spins
leaves on the birch
         of sorrow
faces of light

Mark Gordon

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Mark Gordon grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He started writing tanka two years ago on Twitter. His longer poems have been published in numerous literary journals, including Poet Lore, Quiddity and Illuminations. He has lived in Toronto for the past forty years, where he has taught ESL to newcomers to Canada.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Kiss Haiku by ai li

English Original

empty house
that kiss

still 2: three, 1999

ai li

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

ai li is a Straits Chinese haiku and tanka poet. She writes about Life, Love and Loss bringing healing and prayer to her poems. She is the founding editor and publisher of still, moving into breath and dew-on-line and the creator of cherita. Find her essence and poems at:

Monday, October 17, 2016

One Man's Maple Moon: Lights and Shadows Tanka

English Original

lights explode
between the sun
and tree line --
I hide my face
in deepening shadows

Gusts, 22, fall/winter 2015

Marilyn Humbert

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

光線耀眼 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

光线耀眼 --

Bio Sketch

Marilyn Humbert lives in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney NSW surrounded by bush. Her pastimes include writing free verse poetry, tanka, tanka prose and related genre. She is the leader of Bottlebrush Tanka Group and member of the Huddle and Bowerbird Tanka Groups. Her tanka appears in Australian and international journals.

A Room of My Own: Crashing Waves and Wheelchaired Man Haiku

wavecrashingintowave      wheelchaired man

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Foggy Evening Haiku by Anna Goluba

English Original

Foggy evening --
The old boat
Sinks in the silence

Commendation, 2014 Sharpening The Green Pencil Haiku Contest

Anna Goluba

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

有霧的夜晚 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

有雾的夜晚 --

Bio Sketch

Anna Goluba lives in Warsaw , Poland. She has been writing various kinds of prose and poetry for many years. She started writing haiku and tanka in 2007 and haibun a few years later. For her, writing is like a journey between worlds. It's really her passion.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

One Man's Maple Moon: Missing Piece Tanka by Rebecca Drouilhet

English Original

a missing piece
of her jigsaw puzzle...
in the middle of the moon
where light once shone
a jagged space

Rebecca Drouilhet

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

缺少了一塊 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

缺少了一块 ...

Bio Sketch

Rebecca Drouilhet is a 59-year-old retired registered nurse.  Her tanka have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including Bright Stars, Atlas Poetica, A Hundred Gourds, Skylark, Ribbons and NeverEndingStory.  She lives in the Deep South where she enjoys playing word games and spending time with her large family.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Solstice Sunshine Haiku by Kjmunro

English Original

solstice sunshine --
snowflake caught
in a spiderweb

DailyHaiku, 9:18 , Fall 2014/Winter 2015


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

冬至陽光 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

冬至阳光 --

Bio Sketch

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, kjmunro moved to the Yukon Territory in 1991. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and is an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. Her chapbook, summer evening, is available through Leaf Press as number ten in their oak leaflet series.

NeverEnding Story: Call for Haiku Submissions

A haiku or a tanka without "rhetoric" was likely to be no more  than a brief observation without poetic tension or illumination.
-- Donald Keene, The Winter Sun Shines in: A Life of Masaoka Shiki, p 57.

My Dear Friends:

Send your best published haiku (please provide publication credits) or new work and a bio sketch (50 words max.). No more than twenty haiku per submission and no simultaneous submissions. Please note that only those whose haiku are accepted will be notified within three weeks, and that no other notification will be sent out. For more information about submissions, see anthology submission guidelines for haiku .

Look forward to reading your work

Happy Writing!


Note:  For information about the effective use of rhetorical devices, see my "To the Lighthouse" posts on Utamakura (Poetic Place Names), Parallelism, Oxymoron, Hyperbole, Wordplay, Defamiliarization, Synaesthesia, Repetition, and Inversion. And for information about the effective use of punctuation, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, titled Strategic Placement of Punctuation Marks.