Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Turtle Haiku by Peggy Willis Lyles

in memory of Peggy Willis Lyles who helped me publish my first English language haiku

English Original

Indian summer
a turtle on a turtle
on a rock                                                                                  

Heron's Nest Award winner, 3:10, December 2001

Peggy Willis Lyles

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Peggy Willis Lyles was born in Summerville, South Carolina, on September 17, 1939. She died in Tucker, Georgia on September 3, 2010. A former English professor, she was a leading haiku writer for over 30 years -- helping bring many readers and writers into the haiku community -- excerpted from To Hear the Rain: Selected Haiku of Peggy Lyles edited by  Randy M . Brooks
Below is excerpted from The Heron's Nest's announcement of The Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award:
Isaac Newton reputedly claimed, "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." By any measure, Peggy Willis Lyles was a giant presence in the world of English-language haiku during the last quarter of the twentieth century and the first decade of this century. Those who came to know and admire Peggy's published work were enriched by the encounter. The scores of fortunate poets-from newcomers to veterans-who corresponded with Peggy at her "turtlerock" email address during her eight years as an editor with The Heron's Nest were even more profoundly rewarded through their firsthand experience of her incisive intellect and her generous spirit.


  1. spring fever —
    the turtle’s neck
    at full stretch

    Second Place, Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Awards

    Carole MacRury

    This poem doesn’t need commentary. After all, don’t most of us stick our necks out at the first sign of spring?

    I would like to state up front, however, that I worried that my choice might be suspected of bias in that the late Peggy Willis Lyles, for whom this award is a memorial, penned a marvelous haiku about turtles. Moreover, said poem was used as a highlight in the announcement of this contest. Well, the truth is that “spring fever” became a favorite despite that worry. In other words, it not only had to be “excellent,” it had to overcome a disadvantage the other poems didn’t have: my concern about bias. It occurs to me that the poet who chose to submit this haiku may have done so to honor Peggy. If so, then I am even happier for my decision.

    -- excerpted from the Judge's comment

  2. The following haiku is the opening poem in "Section Two: Featured Haiku," Ripples from a Splash: A Collection of Haiku Essays with Award-Winning Haiku by Chen-ou Liu

    autumn dusk
    red leaves fall
    into a poem

    in memory of Peggy Willis Lyles

    who helped me publish my first English language haiku

    and in response to one of her one-line haiku

    into the afterlife red leaves

    Finalist, 2010 Touchstone Awards

  3. Tiny tracks in snow ~
    Winter sparrows' chirp ~
    Wakens silent morn

    Amateurish, I know, but I felt it might fit here...