Thursday, July 21, 2011

Haiku Moments

This year I’ve had a renewed interest in haiku. While I have published well over a hundred haiku in the past twenty years, I usually resort to haiku when I feel stymied in writing other kinds of poems. I find that its brevity and simplicity of style can restore my muse.
This year, however, I have made a concerted effort to write haiku more regularly and have made frequent use of the small Modo leather-bound notebook, a gift from my wife, that I always carry in my backpack. One stimulus has been giving a haiku workshop at the South Fork Natural History Museum, in Bridgehampton. I did this first last August, but thought it would be a one-time affair. When asked to repeat it this July, I wrote 30 haiku in the 2 weeks beforehand, as a sort of warm-up.
I also read some marvelous books, including Japanese Death Poems (Tuttle), The Poetry of Zen (Shambhala), and, especially, Haiku: An Anthology of Japanese Poems (Shambhala). This last book all people with an interest in haiku should treat themselves to.
I was also asked by the Sag Harbor Express to write a haiku for its summer-supplement  magazine, to accompany a beautiful color photograph of the moon rising over the Atlantic as seen from Sagg Pond:
                                       Deep blue where Sagg Pond
meets the sea – the peach disc
   of the full Hay Moon

In preparation for the workshop, Roxanne Hoffman, the sterling publisher of Poets Wear Prada, which published my chapbook of moon poems, Phased, wrote a press release in which she included a haiku of mine that last spring won honorable mention in the Off the Coast national haiku contest: entries had to comment on a haikuist who took 5 minutes to introduce his haiku at a poetry reading. Here’s mine:
                                                   Five-minute intro—
much ado
   for one haiku
On July 19th, the Performance Poets Association of Long Island announced that a haiku of mine was selected as one of 8 winners of its haiku contest:
                                                   Great blue heron
                                                at dawn on the horizon
                                                   drawing up the sun
If you feel so inclined, please post a haiku in a comment on this blog.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Satire

I once called Pres. Obama a pragmatist here, and now he's made his most pragmatic move: