Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Poetic Musings: Stone Buddha Haiku by John Soules

spring thaw
the stone Buddha
still still

Haiku Third Place, 2012 San Francisco International Competition

John Soules

Judge’s Comment: The haiku poet risks all in repetition and, when done correctly, gains it back and more. Here the same word, repeated side by side, elicits its dual definitions plus a certain additional meaning as a two-word phrase.  Humor, truth, and beauty, all in 7 words – this is admirably executed. Innovative.

Editor's Note: Antanaclasis is the repetition of a word or phrase to affect a different meaning. For more, see To the Lighthouse: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.

Monday, June 5, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Ink Stain Tanka by Michael Dylan Welch

English Original

ink stain
on the pillow slip --
what else but write
can I do
while you’re gone

Tangled Hair, 2, 2000

Michael Dylan Welch

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

在枕套上 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

在枕套上 --

Bio Sketch

Michael Dylan Welch is the founder of the Tanka Society of America (2000), and co-founder of Haiku North America conference (1991) and the American Haiku Archives (1996). In 2010 he also started National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), which takes place every February, with an active Facebook page. His personal website is www.graceguts.com, which features hundreds of essays, reviews, reports, and other content, including examples of his published poetry.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Fishing Haiku by Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic

English Original

still as a stump
the heron and I

Daily Haiga, 6 March, 2022

Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic was born in 1956, lives in the town of Ivanic Grad, Croatia, edits the magazine IRIS, translates and writes poetry, humorous sketches, short stories, haiku and haibun. So far she has published twenty books and translated a number of collections and anthologies into English. And her poetry has received thirty awards.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Azalea Tanka by Marilyn Humbert

English Original

azalea flowers
a splash of colour
in the park
red as her painted lips
before self isolation
Frameless Sky, 12, 2020

Marilyn Humbert

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Marilyn Humbert lives in the Northern suburbs of Sydney NSW Australia. Her tanka and haiku appear in international and Australian journals, anthologies and online. Her free verse poems have been awarded prizes in competitions and some have been published.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Bucket List Haiku by Bill Kenney

English Original

bucket list
as if I believe
I’ll ever die

keep walking, 2021 

Bill Kenney

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch 
Born and raised in the Boston area, and living for over 50 years in New York City, Bill Kenney was a professor for many years in the English Department at Manhattan College. He started writing haiku in 2004, a month before his 72nd birthday, and became an active participant in the New York City Spring Street Haiku group. His haiku were published in numerous journals and anthologies. And his collection of haiku, keep walking, won the 2021 Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Room of My Own: Voice of God Tanka

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, LXIX

the voice of God
commands me to go on
a hunger strike ...
on the edge of his shelter bed 
this man in a three-piece suit

waking half way
through the day
half the sunshine
half the pain
-- still time for a poem

Little Purple Universes, 2011

Helen Buckingham

AddedGame Show 2024, XXI

Trump-DeSantis feud
one pitbull jumps at another
in its rival's shadow

FYI: Politico, June 1: Trump-DeSantis feud gets ugly fast 

AddedGame Show 2024, XXII
written in response to this "ridiculously serious" New York Times article (co-written by THREE reporters) about " 'Policy Fights' where DeSantis sees his chance to hit Trump."

"policy" fights
between Trump and DeSantis
a burst of midnight barks

AddedThis Brave New World, LXXXIX

Florida sunshine
the new neighbor's swimming pool
shaped like a revolver

FYI: NBC News, Miami, Feb. 17, 2023: Backyard Swimming Pool Near Tampa Is Shaped Like a Revolver

The swimming pool in the backyard of Louis Minardi’s home may be distinctive to Florida: The custom-built pool is shaped like a six-shooter revolver, in a state made famous – sometimes infamous – by guns, gun politics and gun culture.

And Herald-Tribune, May 30: How many people were killed or injured in 2023 Florida mass shootings?

Nine people were injured in a Hollywood mass shooting on Memorial Day, making it Florida's 15th and the country's 263rd mass shooting of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Despite this, the state has just passed a law that will come into effect on July 1 that will allow anyone who can legally own a gun in Florida to carry one without the need for a permit.


steel anniversary
their cold war condensed 
into one shot

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Bowlful of Tear Tanka by Kozue Uzawa

English Original

giving me 
a bowlful of tears
mother disappeared 
without trace
in my dream

I’m a Traveller, 2011

Kozue Uzawa

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

Bio Sketch

Kozue Uzawa is a retired university professor. She works as editor of the English tanka journal GUSTS. She composes tanka both in Japanese and English. She also translates Japanese tanka into English and co-published Ferris Wheel: 101 Modern and Contemporary Tanka (Boston: Cheng & Tsui, 2006), and Kaleidoscope: Selected Tanka of Shuji Terayama (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 2008). Ferris Wheel received the 2007 Donald Keene Translation Award for Japanese Literature from Columbia University.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Black Swan Haiku by Simon Hanson

English Original

black swan
the morning sun
rocking in its wake
Echidna Tracks, 3, 2019

Simon Hanson 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Simon Hanson lives in Tasmania among tree-ferns, wattles, pines and eucalypts in the company of echidnas, wallabies, various lizards and snakes, hawks, owls, robins and wrens. He is Secretary to the Australian Haiku  Society and co-editor of Echidna Tracks: Australian Haiku.  

Monday, May 29, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Kimono Tanka by Pamela A. Babusci

English Original

long rainy season —
her thin kimono
heavy with grief  
the unbearable weight
of another stillborn

First Prize, 2022 San Francisco International Haiku/Senryu & Tanka Competition

Pamela A. Babusci

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

漫長的雨季 — 

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

漫长的雨季 — 

Bio Sketch

Pamela A. Babusci  is an internationally award winning haiku, tanka poet and haiga artist. Some of her awards include: Museum of Haiku Literature Award, International Tanka Splendor Awards, First Place Yellow Moon Competition (Aust) tanka category,  First Place Kokako Tanka Competition,(NZ) First Place Saigyo Tanka Awards (US), Basho Festival Haiku Contests (Japan).  Pamela has illustrated several books, including: Full Moon Tide: The Best of Tanka Splendor AwardsTaboo HaikuChasing the SunTake Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, and A Thousand Reasons 2009. Pamela was the founder and now is the solo Editor of Moonbathing: a journal of women’s tanka; the first all women’s tanka journal in the US.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Past Griefs Tanka by Sanford Goldstein

English Original

this catalogue
of past griefs
and I keep washing
the same dish

This Tanka World, 1977

Sanford Goldstein 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Sanford Goldstein has published tanka for more than fifty years.  He was born in 1925 and passed away in May 2023. Long ago, he wrote haiku, but decided to focus on tanka. His latest books, three in the last two years, have each said this would be his last.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Poetic Musings: Half Way through the Day Tanka

waking half way
through the day
half the sunshine
half the pain
-- still time for a poem

Little Purple Universes, 2011

Helen Buckingham

Commentary: In the upper verse, Helen skillfully uses syntactic parallelism to convey conflicting feelings (sunshine vs pain) while in the lower verse, the thematic and tonal shift adds depth, psychological and spiritual, to the poem. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

A Room of My Own: My Book of Love Haiku

for Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock & Roll

tell my why, tell me why ...
heartwriting my book of love 
line by line, word by word 

FYI: FYI: Tina Turner's "Why Must We Wait Until Tonight" (live at the Blockbuster Pavilion in San Bernardino, California, 1993)

...Tell me why? Baby. Why must we wait until tonight? Oh, yeah.
Tell me why? Why, when I've waited all my life?
You're touching me, I'm touching you...
Oooh, what should I do? Now tell me why, why must we wait 'till tonight?
You like to take it real slow.
Show me every little move you know.
Take a little love and watch it grow.
But I want to lay with you...darling.
Right now.
Make love all day with you baby.
And show you how...
Take my body, don't take my time.
Take your lips and make them mine...

Added: Game Show 2024, XX

Ain't No Sunshine
to Ron DeSantis whose political preoccupations are: “Disney-bashing, book banning, and policing who uses which bathroom" 

repeat after me
Make America Great again...
his baby babbling

amazing dad!
he teaches his toddler daughter 
to build the [paper] wall

2024 bid
just another Trump without
(sexual) baggage

FYI: The New Yorker, May 25: It Was More Than a #DeSaster: Ron DeSantis’s botched campaign launch suggests that he’s no Trump-killer

... when DeSantis’s official campaign launch, on Twitter, was mired with technical glitches.... both on Twitter and in a subsequent interview on Fox News, which boiled down to a lot of complaints about the ‘legacy media’ and little rationale for his candidacy.” DeSantis failed to mention Trump by name, and instead focussed on his own political preoccupations—which Glasser describes as “Disney-bashing, book banning, and policing who uses which bathroom.”

Added: This Brave New World, LXXXIII
written in response to Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial "Statesman"
and for Christopher Hitchens author of The Trial of Henry Kissinger that presents a series of arguments about alleged war crimes committed by his American “nemesis”.

Kissinger blows out
one hunderd birthday candles 
in the spotlight
as I imagine him being put
in the dock at The Hague

FYI: Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands. You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking. Witness what Henry did in Cambodia – the fruits of his genius for statesmanship – and you will never understand why he’s not sitting in the dock at The Hague next to Milošević.”

-- Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

For more, see Democracy Now, May 24Kissinger at 100: New War Crimes Revealed in Secret Cambodia Bombing That Set Stage for Forever Wars

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Change Tanka by Naomi Beth Wakan

English Original

I wash my hair
and put on fresh clothes
repeating to myself,
you change yourself
you change the world 

Gusts, 35, Spring/Summer 2022

Naomi Beth Wakan

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Naomi Beth Wakan is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2014–16) and the Federation of British Columbia Writer’s Inaugural Honorary Ambassador. She has published over fifty books. Her most recent book of essays, On the Arts, came out in 2020 (Shanti Arts). Her trilogy, The Way of Tanka, The Way of Haiku, and Poetry That Heals was published by Shanti Arts in 2019. Wakan is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada, and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, the sculptor Elias Wakan.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Laughter Button Haiku by Ken Sawitri

English Original

spring shower
a toddler finds the laughter button
on her doll

Right Hand Pointing, Low Sky, Winter Haiku, 2017

Ken Sawitri

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Born in Blora, Central Java, Indonesia, Ken Sawitri completed a psychology degree at Universitas Indonesia in 1993. She wrote for the Psychology & Education section of Ayahbunda Magazine from 1995 to 1998. She now writes haiku for Japanese and other international haiku publications.  She dedicates her haiku for her motherland on Listen, The Spice Whispers; Haiku from Indonesian Archipelago.

Monday, May 22, 2023

A Room of My Own: In Between Haiku

buzzing of flies 
in between
the Bakhmut bombings

FYI: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the city, where the war's longest and bloodiest battle has raged since August, was "not occupied" by Russia "as of today." 

-- BBC News, May 21: Bakhmut "not occupied" by Russia, says defiant Zelensky


the President replies 
Bakhmut is only in our hearts -- 
a soldier swipes
through cellphone photos, sighing
killed, killed, killed, wounded, killed ...

FYI: The Associated Press, May 21: Zelenskyy says ‘Bakhmut is only in our hearts’ after Russia claims control of Ukrainian city

Today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing on this place, just ground and a lot of dead Russians... Our defenders in Bakhmut ... did strong work, and of course we appreciate them...


in the dugout
a recruit groans, I hate weapons
and gory violence
as if he still didn't know
where he was ...Bakhmut


smell of spring
wildflowers bloom red
on trench walls


spring counteroffensive ...
the buzzing sound 
of an old man's meat grinder

FYI: i24news, May 25, Tel Aviv, Israel: Zelensky’s advisor says Ukraine began long-awaited counteroffensive

'We will use the weapons you gave us to destroy Russian positions on the territories that Moscow has occupied,' Podolyak promises Italians

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told Italian TV on Thursday that Ukraine began its long-awaited counteroffensive “several days ago.”