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Free Verse: The Poetry Book Fair 2016

Conway Hall, London – 17 September 2016

kate-and-david
Kate B Hall and David Cobb

 

As part of “The British Haiku Society” outreach programme, and for the second year running, we had a table at the “Poetry Book Fair” in Conway Hall, London.

three
David Cobb, Iliyana Stoyanova and Rose Ades

 

Again all of us wore our BHS T-shirts and everyone looked very smart. Business was quite brisk throughout the day and a total of £110.00 was made from the sale of BHS books and journals. In addition, we not only gained a new member but later on quite a few people liked our Facebook page and joined our lively BHS Facebook group.

 

mark
Mark Gilfillan
frank
Frank Williams
k&k
Katherine Gallagher and Kate B Hall

In the afternoon Katherine Gallagher, Kate B Hall, Mark Gilfillan and Iliyana Stoyanova took part in very well attended haiku reading in the park – Katherine (haiku and tanka), Kate (haiku), Mark (haiku) and Iliyana (haiku in 5 different languages and haibun).

Many thanks to all involved in this wonderful event and especially to Susan Lee Kerr for our beautiful T-shirts!
All in all an eventful and very successful day!

Photos provided by Frank Williams and Mark’s and Kate’s friends!
Write-up: Frank Williams and Iliyana Stoyanova

The Reader as Second Verse

by Alan Summers flower2

 

Haiku is perhaps more so a symbiotic type of poetry than most other genres, as its very origins – via hokku – relied on a second verse to complete an internal couplet in a much longer multi-poet multi-poem and linking form called Renga, and later Renku.1 We could say that haiku is a relationship of mutual benefit or dependence; that haiku (plural and single spelling) is one organism and the reader at large (individuals and groups of individuals) is the second organism. There are the three kinds of relationships in symbiosis 2: mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism, and it could be said that haiku are dominantly in the first category.  Is the reader so vital and can influence the dynamics and innovation of haiku that it remains current to society, and if so, how?

My thoughts are that we, the writer (collective or singular) need to be open to co-operation with the reader as co-poet, and allow them to fill the space, be the space, and proactively fill in the spaces: As haiku evolved from Japanese verses that started a longer poem – where each verse was written by a different person – so a certain amount of information is left out each time, to be completed by a second verse, and then every verse after that gives a little more information to the preceding verse.

So as haiku are standalone poems, that second (linking) verse is the reader themselves; they are the connecting actions.  As haiku are open poems that allow the reader to compose their own insight that’s why haiku can often appear incomplete or at least not replete with the full facts, or stuffed with description or opinion.

So how to let the reader *be* in haiku:

While suggestions lie in the text they are deliberately not spelt out to us as we are surely proficient and able enough to work some things out for ourselves: We all have to be solvers from childhood onwards.  Good haiku avoid authorial direction as a haiku is not the single voice of the writer, but of the reader to be also. There is usually enough to get our imagination and emotions activated as a reader to complete the story as a co-author, as a partner of equal standing to the writer. If the whole story is revealed, and dictated, to the reader, what is left for us but to be merely random bystanders, rather than participants? On one level there may be a beginning, middle and end to a haiku poem but that ending is hopefully open so we, “The Reader,” can make our own conclusions and our own signature on it as a reader/co-author.

The trick with haiku is to turn the story into poem, and not just any poem, but one that avoids a definitive one and only choice of interpretation narrative onto the reader.  Should haiku leave nothing to the reader, to refuse us the opportunity for our own interpretations, dreams, and imagination so that we are engineered into obsequiously taking a narrower route into and out of the poem? We are not reading/telling/writing a story or tale for a child who is in their early development, where they require a certain amount of logical narrative progression and conclusion. We want to trick the brain into learning and discovering new ways to grow and react, to innovate and evolve as human beings and as readers.

Haiku is currently more about the spirit and degree of resonance evoked in the mind of the reader rather than the accomplishment of having fitted it all into a precise form.” Quote from Stephen Gill in Conjuring haiku from the concrete sea of Matsuyama by Shaun McKenna, Japan Times May 2016

We tend to want to over-explain rather than create a simple attempt to tell: Instead we must edit ourselves so we hint, and to let the reader explain to us.”  Alan Summers

Haiku is often the art of implication, tension, and resonance: We bring in something lateral, something ‘off screen’ to let the reader join up at least some of the dots, complete the incomplete, and add their own take, interpretation, and breakdown of the poem, adding their own ‘ending’.

The reader is the ending.” Alan Summers

English-Language haiku are not statements OR mere descriptions and reports: We need to avoid directing or controlling the reader. It’s the reader who should be in command, and not the original author/poet as can be the case in other poetry where the poet may command the reader. A haiku poet can want the reverse, for the reader to be in control, taking their meanings and comprehension, and life experiences to the poem.  We, “The Reader” are also units of intellect, and we will inform those haiku poems, directly, or in other ways.  If we use, as poets, the horizontal and vertical axis of haiku we can assist and enable the reader to see through the poem to themselves: We surely want the reader to see back to themselves?

Even if the reader veers away from the intended point of the poem, and the original event witnessed and experienced by the poet, haiku are not poems for the reader to compulsorily be ordered to follow the one way or not at all.   But of course the poet, the originator of the poem, can tease the reader along and so both writer and reader grow and evolve in symbiosis.

“…lesser poets might end up writing epigrammatic, didactic, or moralist three-liners, lacking what has been termed as ‘haiku spirit’.”  Ram Krishna Singh (July 25, 2015)

Haiku certainly have their own genre and are not quips; idioms; ditties; epithets; axiom; platitudes; directives; statements; proverbs; statement of belief; caveats; a homily or hypotheses; proselytism; or persuasive arguments.  As Ram Krishna Singh says about Didactic verse / poetry, such poems set out to teach something to someone else other than the poet/originator themselves. Haiku give readers choices of interpretation and of adding their own internal dialogue of poetry.

Perhaps we need to unlearn in order to progress and this is where the reader is vital: Allow the reader to remove the author. If so, a haiku will begin to form, and as a mutual benefit, where the poet grows through the reader, and readership, and in turn each reader becomes stronger, and ever more astute.

Footnotes:
1.) “RENGA” AND “RENKU”William J. Higginson
http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/renga_ku.htm
2.) symbiosis (ˌsɪmbɪˈəʊsɪs; ˌsɪmbaɪˈəʊsɪs), noun

  1. (Biology) a close and usually obligatory association of two organisms of different species that live together, often to their mutual benefit
  2. (Sociology) a similar relationship between interdependent persons or groups

[C19: via New Latin from Greek: a living together; see symbiont]

“Symbiōsis,” in turn, traces to “symbios” (“living together”), a combination of syn-, meaning “with,” and bios, meaning “life.”
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/symbiosis

Two organisms that live together in symbiosis may have one of three kinds of relationships:
mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism. The mutualism shown by the rhinoceros and the tickbird benefits both. Riding on the rhino’s back, the tickbird eats its fill of the ticks that bother the rhino while the rhino gets warning calls from the bird when it senses danger. In commensalism, one member benefits and the other is unaffected. Certain barnacles attach themselves to whales, gaining a safe home and transportation to food-rich waters. But the whales are generally unaffected by the barnacles’ presence.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Symbiotic+Relationships

Copyright Notice

The Reader as Second Verse©Alan Summers 2012-2016

 

Black dogs and afternoon rain

 

Inspired by reviewing:

grandma’s chip bowl
David Jacobs
Publisher: Hub Editions, Hub Haiku Series
Chapbook: 107 pages; 112 haiku
ISBN 978-0-9576460-4-9

David Jacobs is a born and bred Londoner whose work appears from Blithe Spirit to Modern Haiku, as well as other premier magazines such as Acorn, Frogpond, Haiku Presence, Heron’s Nest, Bottle Rockets, and many others. His work has also been selected by Red Moon Press of America for its best of the year anthologies, and received the British Haiku Award in 2011, plus receiving other prizes and commendations in haiku competitions.

This collection is a Magnum Opus with one hundred and twelve haiku, thankfully the power of its themes makes this a wonderful read, and not at all bloated. These strong themes encompass other seasons, those outside nature, but of it too, such as our daily commute, thoughts of death (practical and otherwise) and one of the most powerful, endearing, and blisteringly powerful themes of today, that of mental health, as well as heartbreaking glimpses of a father and son relationship. They hold the book together, they are the stitches of multiple deep cuts that life rends from us. If you buy this book, buy it for the theme of son alone, or any one of the multiple themes. The book as whole is an amazingly woven work of lanes and roads making for a map of life. And if you can bear to read about depression, it’s worth it, as someone who has endured Black Dog all my life, and not knowing until a cafe owner in Hull switched a light on in my attic (metaphorically), and by accident has helped me deal with it.

This is an important book, keep at least one copy, or better still, two copies of this collection, one by the bedside, and one for sunlight, and when the light grows dim. The themes of the commute; depression; walking; walking without dogs; parents; death; visiting graves and cemeteries; trains; and his son are stunningly interwoven, showing great craft and care, in creating a collection that means something beyond the sum of its individual haiku. We are deeply privileged to be able to navigate the inner landscape of David Jacobs’ seasons, and it’s why experiential haiku at its most honest stands high on my list. We need these personal truths that some of us relate to, and be guided and comforted by, and grow by, and hopefully initiate hope in the dimming light. I’m also addicted, not just to personal accounts, biographical haiku, but the signature of poignancy, and the growing accounts of father and son are difficult to read without flinching, but when was haiku supposed to be pretty?

moon and stars
my son begins
to hold secrets

The skill of senryu, certainly the Western adaptation, and of others from outside the West and Japan is to at least double layer the poem: There is the immediate sight gag but if you stay a moment, longer than you normally might, there are layers of poignancy and pathos, which are underlying ingredients of great humor.

the neighbours
piling into their van
our conversation

Another type of senryu approach is something superior to simply self-depreciation, and it’s putting a microscope onto an even smaller aspect of life, that is incredibly intimate, and we might otherwise bluff through, and its one with its quirky hope, humor, sadness, and a fight against futility:

dating again
I fasten the one button
on my boxers

The empty restaurant, and we, the visitors are alone, we are the coupleless individual, faced with a sea of candlelight waiting for preferred groups:

empty restaurant
all the tables
candlelit

David Jacobs also artfully interweaves more than one theme/motif into his haiku, senryu, and melded versions equally of senryu and haiku:

autumn stillness
the cemetery cat
returns my stare

birthday’s end
the hole in the fridge
left by the cake box

cemetery grass
I tread a path
round the lovers

And poems obviously of his son, of his disappearances, arrivals, departures?

empty nest
a full moon startling
my early night

sharing the same
sofa as my son
departure lounge

sub-zero
my son’s email
starts with sorry

Jacobs captures the awkwardness of the invisible disease:

empty nest…
the counsellor grapples
with my childhood

the only one
without a dog
evening rain

a better day
the sink ant
granted a reprieve

Jacobs is also a practitioner of finely nuanced one-line haiku, and here are two examples to witness this astuteness for yourself:

twenty yards from another rat rainy spring

I’ve actually left out so many of the strongest haiku in the collection, not that these are anything but strong, but there’s more, so much more to admire. It makes me want to walk the South Bank (London) with David Jacobs for at least one brilliant day, bringing along our Black Dog, and our shades of humor and poignancy, and just laughing through our inexplicable sadness, and crying when we are as happy as a couple of stupid poets can be.

mid-life     the afternoon rain      lingering

Ah, when we reach that part of our life when we reconsider things wisely or foolishly in what is often termed a mid-life crisis. In this haiku we have long deliberate visual pauses between each word, literally lingering over them, as is the author perhaps over the spent rain and thoughts?

Of course the haiku could be brought back into what is often thought of as the standard approach of three lines:

mid-life
the afternoon rain
lingering

But the craft and the extra-special pausing and nuances are lost and better suited as the original one-line haiku (monoku):

mid-life      the afternoon rain      lingering

Those long pauses, that long white space, could indicate the passing afternoon rain, remnants settling on everyday objects, and a lone man sitting on a bench in a park perhaps?

It feels both celebratory and poignant which may make sense to some of us who have varying degrees of depression, as this is a recurring theme in David’s book. This is a good example of where the white spaces are packed with words unsaid. A highly evocative piece of writing.

David Jacobs often includes a touch of karumi (lightness); and other Japanese characteristics such as sabishii (lonely; lonesome; desolate; and solitary); and a modesty combined with self-depreciation, excellent aspects in approaching some of our haiku.

thinning crowds
the station mouse obeys
the Keep Left sign

There is a hope that we can sometimes breach our self-induced distances, and I feel this book will help:

holiday rain
the distance between me
and the carnival

First publication:
Themocracy: The Themocrats and their Concept Albums
Four book reviews by Alan Summers of writers who weave theme.
Blithe Spirit Vol 25 No. 3 August 2015
Reprinted by Haiku Reality
http://haikureality.theartofhaiku.com/bookrew69.htm
Additional material: September 2016
Copyright notice: Black dogs and afternoon rain©Alan Summers 2015-2016

October 9, 2016

Black dogs and afternoon rain

Inspired by reviewing:

grandma’s chip bowl
David Jacobs
Publisher: Hub Editions, Hub Haiku Series
Chapbook: 107 pages; 112 haiku
ISBN 978-0-9576460-4-9

David Jacobs is a born and bred Londoner whose work appears from Blithe Spirit to Modern Haiku, as well as other premier magazines such as Acorn, Frogpond, Haiku Presence, Heron’s Nest, Bottle Rockets, and many others. His work has also been selected by Red Moon Press of America for its best of the year anthologies, and received the British Haiku Award in 2011, plus receiving other prizes and commendations in haiku competitions.

This collection is a Magnum Opus with one hundred and twelve haiku, thankfully the power of its themes makes this a wonderful read, and not at all bloated. These strong themes encompass other seasons, those outside nature, but of it too, such as our daily commute, thoughts of death (practical and otherwise) and one of the most powerful, endearing, and blisteringly powerful themes of today, that of mental health, as well as heartbreaking glimpses of a father and son relationship. They hold the book together, they are the stitches of multiple deep cuts that life rends from us. If you buy this book, buy it for the theme of son alone, or any one of the multiple themes. The book as whole is an amazingly woven work of lanes and roads making for a map of life. And if you can bear to read about depression, it’s worth it, as someone who has endured Black Dog all my life, and not knowing until a cafe owner in Hull switched a light on in my attic (metaphorically), and by accident has helped me deal with it.

This is an important book, keep at least one copy, or better still, two copies of this collection, one by the bedside, and one for sunlight, and when the light grows dim. The themes of the commute; depression; walking; walking without dogs; parents; death; visiting graves and cemeteries; trains; and his son are stunningly interwoven, showing great craft and care, in creating a collection that means something beyond the sum of its individual haiku. We are deeply privileged to be able to navigate the inner landscape of David Jacobs’ seasons, and it’s why experiential haiku at its most honest stands high on my list. We need these personal truths that some of us relate to, and be guided and comforted by, and grow by, and hopefully initiate hope in the dimming light. I’m also addicted, not just to personal accounts, biographical haiku, but the signature of poignancy, and the growing accounts of father and son are difficult to read without flinching, but when was haiku supposed to be pretty?

moon and stars
my son begins
to hold secrets

The skill of senryu, certainly the Western adaptation, and of others from outside the West and Japan is to at least double layer the poem: There is the immediate sight gag but if you stay a moment, longer than you normally might, there are layers of poignancy and pathos, which are underlying ingredients of great humor.

the neighbours
piling into their van
our conversation

Another type of senryu approach is something superior to simply self-depreciation, and it’s putting a microscope onto an even smaller aspect of life, that is incredibly intimate, and we might otherwise bluff through, and its one with its quirky hope, humor, sadness, and a fight against futility:

dating again
I fasten the one button
on my boxers

The empty restaurant, and we, the visitors are alone, we are the coupleless individual, faced with a sea of candlelight waiting for preferred groups:

empty restaurant
all the tables
candlelit

David Jacobs also artfully interweaves more than one theme/motif into his haiku, senryu, and melded versions equally of senryu and haiku:

autumn stillness
the cemetery cat
returns my stare

birthday’s end
the hole in the fridge
left by the cake box

cemetery grass
I tread a path
round the lovers

And poems obviously of his son, of his disappearances, arrivals, departures?

empty nest
a full moon startling
my early night

sharing the same
sofa as my son
departure lounge

sub-zero
my son’s email
starts with sorry

Jacobs captures the awkwardness of the invisible disease:

empty nest…
the counsellor grapples
with my childhood

the only one
without a dog
evening rain

a better day
the sink ant
granted a reprieve

Jacobs is also a practitioner of finely nuanced one-line haiku, and here are two examples to witness this astuteness for yourself:

twenty yards from another rat rainy spring

I’ve actually left out so many of the strongest haiku in the collection, not that these are anything but strong, but there’s more, so much more to admire. It makes me want to walk the South Bank (London) with David Jacobs for at least one brilliant day, bringing along our Black Dog, and our shades of humor and poignancy, and just laughing through our inexplicable sadness, and crying when we are as happy as a couple of stupid poets can be.

mid-life the afternoon rain lingering

Ah, when we reach that part of our life when we reconsider things wisely or foolishly in what is often termed a mid-life crisis. In this haiku we have long deliberate visual pauses between each word, literally lingering over them, as is the author perhaps over the spent rain and thoughts?

Of course the haiku could be brought back into what is often thought of as the standard approach of three lines:

mid-life
the afternoon rain
lingering

But the craft and the extra-special pausing and nuances are lost and better suited as the original one-line haiku (monoku):

mid-life the afternoon rain lingering

Those long pauses, that long white space, could indicate the passing afternoon rain, remnants settling on everyday objects, and a lone man sitting on a bench in a park perhaps?

It feels both celebratory and poignant which may make sense to some of us who have varying degrees of depression, as this is a recurring theme in David’s book. This is a good example of where the white spaces are packed with words unsaid. A highly evocative piece of writing.

David Jacobs often includes a touch of karumi (lightness); and other Japanese characteristics such as sabishii (lonely; lonesome; desolate; and solitary); and a modesty combined with self-depreciation, excellent aspects in approaching some of our haiku.

thinning crowds
the station mouse obeys
the Keep Left sign

There is a hope that we can sometimes breach our self-induced distances, and I feel this book will help:

holiday rain
the distance between me
and the carnival

First publication:
Themocracy: The Themocrats and their Concept Albums
Four book reviews by Alan Summers of writers who weave theme.
Blithe Spirit Vol 25 No. 3 August 2015
Reprinted by Haiku Reality
http://haikureality.theartofhaiku.com/bookrew69.htm
Additional material: September 2016
Copyright notice: Black dogs and afternoon rain©Alan Summers 2015-2016

BHS Spring Gathering 21st May 2016

 

David Bingham started the day introducing a session about organising work into sequences. Participants were given some examples of haiku and asked to think about the interesting question of what might follow, some example sequences were also provided. Then after an introduction to Haiku sets (Gunsaku) and Sequences (Rensaku) there was a small group sequence exercise. The resulting sequences were then read out and displayed. Unfortunately none were signed so the following example has to be anonymous.

spring-gathering

 

Arrivals

destination
haiku spring gathering
taking three lines

Hungerford Bridge
the beggars thin face
her empty cup

cherry petals
scattered at my feet
on my way

lilacs in the square
blunted by this chilly wind
have lost their fragrance

Everyone agreed that this was an interesting and productive session.

After lunch

Colin Blundell led a very interesting session during which he asked us, looking at a range of haikuic examples, to consider how various haiku writers had made connections between images.

He argued that we are constantly asking what he called ‘virtual questions’ – we don’t actually ask them out loud – they are virtual, occur briefly in the neurons just before we act out a response; they have the effect of sustaining life: what shall I do next? What will my next idea be? Shall I scratch my arm now? What can I see/hear/feel/smell/taste? Shall I move my bottom in the chair now? Shall I look away from the computer screen? On and on… And of course haiku writers, being human, are no exception to this process. They are constantly asking virtual questions like ‘How can I connect this with that?’ ‘What image might connect feeling fully with the first thing I noticed?’

The most resourceful virtual question anybody can ask is HOW CAN I CONNECT THIS WITH THAT?
Example: Shiki, ‘to write a haiku look at the violet at your feet and then look up at the distant mountain…’ Connect them.

By looking at a range of examples, we had to step into the shoes of each writer and figure out how they might have made connections. We did the same thing with connections between verses in some renga.

Short break for tea

Then Kate B Hall led a topical Haiku and Shakespeare workshop, participants were asked to write individually and in groups haiku inspired by passages from various of Shakespeare’s plays. A found haiku exercise followed and then a final exercise using Prospero’s “Our revels now are ended.” From the Tempest, where both inspiration and found haiku could be used. Then end results were then read to everyone. Although Shakespeare was chosen as the inspiration for this session, any writing, poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. can be used in this way.

Here are one group’s haiku from that last exercise:

Inspired by Prospero!

sparkling vision
absorbed by
summer night
—Gunita Zaube

up-rising moon
the ebb and flow of its tide
sand castles collapse
—Mark Gilfillan

rounded with a sleep
our revels now are spirits
dissolved into dreams
—Alan Maley

towering clouds
the water meadows exult
marsh marigold
—Nick Sherwood

The whole day was interesting and creative, many thanks to participants and session leaders.

Write up: Kate B Hall
Photo: Gunita Zaube

BHS celebrates International Haiku Day 2016

frank

BHS handed out 108 haiku to complete strangers on London’s Southbank on Saturday 16 April 2016 to celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day the next day.
Thanks to Iliyana Stoyanova we learned of the declaration of the day – 17 April for 17 syllables. And thanks to Frank Williams: he quickly created the giveaways. Twelve BHS poets each contributed 3 haiku Frank then printed, with photographs, on A5-size cards, with the BHS web address on the reverse.

mark

Iliyana, Frank and Susan Lee Kerr took up three different locations at 10 am – and within 20 minutes had lightened the life of over 100 people with the joy of haiku. ‘An interesting experience!’ says Iliyana, who gave a card to one delighted Japanese family, and had to explain haiku to another taker. Says Susan: ‘It was fun! Some rejections because people feared I was selling something, but many smiles and curious acceptances from others.’
All three went on to the quarterly Committee meeting held in Festival Hall – a very productive day!

toni susan kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we have a year’s notice before the next International Haiku Poetry Day, BHS can plan more concerted effort… perhaps freebie haiku handouts in towns and cities all across Britain?

Write-up: Susan Lee Kerr
Flyers and photos: Frank Williams

Ohanami Festival – 10 April 2016

 

1
Ohanami Festival

The Ohanami Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria takes place in April every year. It is organized by the Bulgarian Haiku Union under the patronage of the Japanese Embassy in Bulgaria, courtesy of the Club “Friends of Japan.” There are haiku readings, ginko, ikebana, martial arts demonstrations (Ju-Jitsu, Aikido and Kendo), as well as the planting of sakura trees as part of an over 50 years old tradition. In connection with the festival the Bulgarian Haiku Union invites poets to participate with their works in the International Haiku Contest, in the haiku installations and recitals.

On 10 April 2016 BHS members and friends of the Society took part in the Second International Haiku Contest “Cherry Blossom” in Sofia, Bulgaria part of the Ohanami Festival.

11
Japan’s ambassador to Sofia Takashi Koizumi presenting the awards to the Haiku Contest winners

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up and many thanks to all the participants in the Ohanami Festival and Haiku Contest!

2frank
Frank Williams
21shrikaanth
Shrikaanth K. Murthy
5paul
Paul Smith

 

 

 

 

Awards – International Section:

FIRST PRIZE

spring dusk
the shadow of my cherry tree
gets back home
— Magdalena Banaszkiewicz – Krosno Odrzańskie, Poland

SECOND PRIZE

23
Kendo demonstration

cherry trees in bloom
he switches from charcoal
to watercolor
— Billy Antonio – Pangasinan, Philippines

rusted bucket
cherry blossoms patch
every hole
— Debbie Strange – Winnipeg, Canada

THIRD PRIZE

17graham
Graham High

the flick
of sparrow’s wing
swirls of petals
— Jan Benson – Fort Worth, USA

picnic for two –
a fallen cherry blossom
in both cups
— Graham High – Blackheath, UK

Earth Hour –
cherry blossom
moonlit
— Daniela Lăcrămioara – Galaţi, Romaniа

RUNNERS-UP:

26sheila
Sheila Windsor

first light –
pink blossoms trapped
in a spider’s web
— Frank Williams – Barking, UK

there again
the wistful look in Dad’s eyes
Yoshino blossoms
— Sheila Windsor – Bexhill-on-Sea, UK

spring breeze –
cherry petals
flavoring my tea
— Marilyn Fleming – Pewaukee, USA

my heart too
is floating through the air –
cherry blossoms
— Paul Smith – Worcester, UK

pastel cherry blossoms
we open a book
of baby names
— Meik Blöttenberger – Hanover, USA

chasing his ball
the dog’s nose
flecked with blossom
— Andrew Shimield – Isleworth, UK

at the bottom
of a cherry tree children
blackbirds on top
— Vilma Knežević – Viškovo, Croatia

only three days old
they start flying from their nest –
these cherry-blossoms
— Marc May – Schin op Geul, The Netherlands

cherry blossoms fall
children upturn skirts
cupping showers
— Adjei Agyei-Baah – Kumasi, Ghana

stepladder
framed by cherry blossom
my granddaughter’s smile
— Andre Surridge – Hamilton, New Zealand

spring breeze
the baby finch bathes
in cherry blossoms
— Sneha Sundaram – Jersey City, USA

a wild cherry
– its petals shaken down by
the blows of an axe
— Nina Kovačić – Zagreb, Croatia

cherry blossom rain…
my baby and i scatter
a flock of pigeons
— Shrikaanth K. Murthy – Birmingham, UK

how can I forget
first pink blossoms under
the toddler’s first steps
— Angelee Deodhar – Chandigarh, India

april storm
one cherry petal lands
at the airport
— Ernest J Berry – Blenheim, New Zealand

a cancer ward window
a cold wind and
cherry petals
— Anna Mazurkiewicz – Chelm, Poland

repainting white lines
road workers swear softly
flying blossom
— Jon Horsley – Oxford, UK

refugees convoy –
beyond borders
bloomed cherry
— Daniela Lăcrămioara – Galaţi, Romaniа

Not one at all
welcomes me in the station
only the cherry blossoms
— Adina Enachescu – Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania

Some of the haiku have been chosen for the Art installations and here you could read the haiku recital
One Hundred and One Cherry Blossom Haiku (101 authors and 27 countries): https://vidahaiku.wordpress.com/one-hundred-and-one-cherry-blossom-haiku/

Photos by the Bulgarian Haiku Union, Nihon Tomono Kai, Aikido Club Aiki Budo and other participants
More photos here at: https://www.facebook.com/events/874268769385726/?active_tab=discussion
Write-up by Iliyana Stoyanova (Ohanami Haiku Contest Administrator)