Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Room of My Own: Mission Accomplished Tanka

One Hundred Twenty-Ninth  Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary
written in response to this real news, Oct. 28: The White House’s Office of Science and Technology listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as one of the top accomplishments of the Trump administration’s first term.

Bush stood proudly
under Mission Accomplished
I recall 
that lingering smell
of my friend's patriot socks 

FYI: The United States has now reached an average of 60,000 daily coronavirus cases.

One Man's Maple Moon: Weight of Time Tanka by Tim Gardiner

English Original

the attic ceiling
bowed by the weight
of time ...
mother says the nights 
were darker then

Haibun Today, 11:4, December 2017

Tim Gardiner

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

而下垂 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Dr. Tim Gardiner is an ecologist, poet and children's author from Manningtree in Essex, UK. His tanka have been published in literary magazines including Atlas Poetica, Ribbons and Skylark. Tim's debut haiku collection, On the Edge, was published by Brambleby Books in 2017, while The Flintknapper's Ghost (haibun) was published in 2018 by Alba Publishing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Vendor’s Children Haiku by Angelee Deodhar

English Original

among watermelons
the vendor’s children

edge of light, 2003

Angelee Deodhar

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

Bio Sketch

Angelee Deodhar of Chandigarh (India) was an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist. Her haiku/haiga had been published internationally .She didn't have her own website.To promote haiku in India, she had translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Room of My Own: Losers!

One Hundred Twenty-Seventh  Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary
written in response to Trump's Monday claim:"news about COVID should be illegal."

COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers. Should be an election law violation, one tweeter bomb explodes, and in the blink of an eye, another attack begins. The Fake News Media is riding COVID, COVID, COVID, all the way to the Election, the President blasts out at full volume.

the White House 
spewing red clouds of virus
in my ink-dark dream
if I stare long into this abyss
will it stare back into me?

Added: One Hundred Twenty-Eighth Entry

Covid, Covid, Covid ...
crows on the white roof 
cawing back and forth

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Room of My Own: Rounding the Turn Tanka

One Hundred Twenty-Fifth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

the President claims
we're rounding the turn
at a snail's pace
a miles-long line of cars driving
past the food bank parking lot

Added: One Hundred Twenty-Sixth Entry

this look
of a masked street kid ...
the color
of an autumn sunset 
slipping away

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Cool Announcement: A Freebie, Prairie Interludes by Debbie Strange

My Dear Friends:

The award-winning e-book of haiku, Prairie Interludes, written by NeverEnding Story contributor, Debbie Strange, is now available to read free online.
Debbie Strange is an award-winning Canadian short form poet, haiga artist, and photographer. Keibooks released her second collection, Three-Part Harmony: Tanka Verses in 2018, and Folded Word published her haiku chapbook, A Year Unfolding, in 2017. An archive of publications may be accessed at her blog.
Selected Haiku: 
a wet spring
dark furrows seeded
with stars
boundary lines
every fence post topped
with a baseball cap

rusted rails
a meadowlark with the sun
in its throat

cloudless sky
a pelican’s pouch
full of light
harvesting night
an arc of moondust
from the auger
prize pumpkins
our hayrack buckles
with light

fog weaving
between fence posts
a coyote’s song

the humming of wind
in barbed wire
Happy Reading
Stay safe and well

Saturday, October 24, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Pumpkin Flower Buds Tanka by Kozue Uzawa

English Original

pumpkin flower buds
for salad
I think of Cinderella's
life after the wedding

Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, 3, 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.

Butterfly Dream: Steady Rain Haiku by Jane Reichhold

English Original

a steady rain
the dentist’s drill
turning to snow

Frogpond, 9:1, 1986

Jane Reichhold

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

Bio Sketch 
Jane Reichhold was born as Janet Styer in 1937 in Lima , Ohio , USA . She had published over thirty books of haiku, renga, tanka, and translations. Her latest tanka book, Taking Tanka Home was translated into Japanese by Aya Yuhki. Her most popular book is Basho The Complete Haiku by Kodansha International. As founder and editor of AHA Books, Jane also published Mirrors: International Haiku Forum, Geppo, for the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, and she had co-edited with Werner Reichhold, Lynx for Linking Poets since 1992. Lynx went online in 2000 in the web site Jane started in 1995. Since 2006 she had maintained an online forum – AHAforum

Friday, October 23, 2020

A Poet's Roving Thoughts: Haiku Invitational Interview with Chen-ou Liu

           Poetry is here, just here. Something wrestling with how we live... something honest.
           --  Dionne Brand
           It is not success or failure that matters but the struggle itself. The purpose of a 
           writing life is the struggle, and a haiku poet’s salvation is based upon how well
           he or she handles the struggle.
           -- Chen-ou Liu
(This online interview was conducted by Haiku Invitational committee member, Michael Dylan Welch)

blossom wind
my sick wife holds my hand

Top Winner, Canada, Haiku Invitational Winner 2020

MDW: Congratulations on having your haiku selected as the top winner in the Canada category in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s 2020 Haiku Invitational contest. How did you first learn about haiku, and how much writing of haiku or other poetry have you done?
COL: In 2009, with the aid of a newly acquainted poet friend, Brian Zimmer, I was exposed to the Japanese haiku, gendai [modern] haiku, and monostiches. Since then, I’ve studied and written haiku and related genres on a daily basis, and my poems have been published in print and online journals. In 2013, I started an English–Chinese haiku and tanka blog, editing, translating and publishing haiku, its related genres, reviews, and essays.
MDW: What was the inspiration for your winning poem?
COL: My haiku was inspired by an old Taiwanese movie scene. In it, a young couple walked out of a doctor’s office on a chilly morning. On their way home, they walked side by side, slowly and quietly. The background music of this poignant scene was their favorite song about cherry blossoms blooming on Mt. Yangming, Taipei.
MDW: Describe the moment when you first learned you had won.
COL: The moment when I first learned that my haiku had been chosen for the Best Canada category, I immediately phoned my mother, who lives in Taiwan.  She was happy for me, but her first question was, do you have enough face masks? The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted my March travel plans. My health and safety-related issues had been occupying my mother’s mind since the WHO pandemic declaration.
MDW: Do you have favourite books or websites relating to haiku that others might benefit from in order to learn haiku as a literary art and to share one’s haiku?

COL:Burton Watson’s Masaoka Shiki: Selected Poems gives me a glimpse into the suffering soul and prolific life of an innovative poet. Shiki’s three poetic principles—shasei (“sketching from life”), makoto (“truthfulness”), and everyday language—help me set my feet firmly on the ground. Haruo Shirane’s Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashō, establishes the ground for critical discussion and reading of Bashō’s poetry in the context of broader socio-cultural change. It helps me look beyond the haiku moment and debunk some modern haiku myths. Richard Gilbert’s Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese & English-language Haiku in Cross-cultural Perspectives creates a new poetic vocabulary for the haiku community to employ in analyzing how and why haiku work effectively, and it gives analytical categories and explanations for some innovative haiku that fall outside the juxtaposition/shasei realm.
MDW: Please tell us more about yourself.
COL: After more than ten years of struggling towards a new life vision and preparing for a major change in my field of study (computer science to cultural studies), in the summer of 2002 I emigrated to Canada to pursue a PhD and settled in Ajax, a suburb of Toronto. After arriving in Canada, I was frustrated by the lack of in-depth and wide-ranging classroom discussions, and most importantly, I was stressed by financial burden. I quit my studies and started to write essays in an adopted language, English. After two years of striving, I published three essays but got little attention from the scholars in those fields. Furthermore, I was disappointed by my inability to master English quickly. My pent-up emotions began spilling over onto pieces of scrap paper in the form of short poetry. The more I wrote, the more I thought about becoming a poet. Now, I’m a published poet and the editor and translator of NeverEnding Story
I write
at the gun-mouth
of time’s barrel . . .
I live for myself
by myself
MDW: How does where you live and what you enjoy doing affect the way you write haiku?
COL: I lives in Ajax, a suburb of Toronto. It’s just a five-minute drive to Lake Ontario where I spend most of my leisure time reflecting upon and responding to books, films, and socio-cultural events I’ve read, watched, or experienced. I resonate with this quotation from tanka poet Ishikawa Takuboku: “My mind, which was yearning after some indescribable thing from morning to night, could find an outlet to some extent only by making poems.” Like my favorite Canadian novelist and activist, Dionne Brand, I believe that “Poetry is here, just here. Something wrestling with how we live . . . something honest.” And I think that it is not success or failure that matters but the struggle itself. The purpose of a writing life is the struggle, and a haiku poet’s salvation is based upon how well he or she handles the struggle.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Saharan Dust Tanka by Janet Lynn Davis

English Original

Saharan dust
clouds my Texas sky
           strong winds
of uncertainty
sweep across the globe

Ribbons, 15:1, Winter 2019

Janet Lynn Davis

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

Bio Sketch

Janet Lynn Davis began her tanka journey in late 2005. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous familiar journals and anthologies, and she also has served the tanka community in various capacities. Janet currently lives in a rustic area of southeast Texas, away from the hustle-bustle of the big city.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Elephant Skull Haiku by Kokuu Andy McLellan

English Original

elephant skull
the looming shadow
of Kilimanjaro

The Mamba, March 2018

Kokuu Andy McLellan

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

Bio Sketch

Kokuu Andy McLellan is a haiku poet and Soto Zen novice priest living in Canterbury, UK.  He spends a lot of time drinking tea and has three children and a PhD in plant biology.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A Room of My Own: The most famous person in the world by far

One Hundred Twenty-Fourth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

"'Oh, no, I'm not. I'm the second,' I said. Then my guest leaned toward me and asked, 'Who's more famous?' I replied, (the President pauses for a moment, and a silence reigns over the amphitheater), 'Jesus Christ.'" 

In the North Carolina sunshine, this almost-totally barefaced crowd roars its approval as the President claps his hands, smiling.

piles of Jesus Saves
and Donald Trump Four More Years ...
new surge of cases

FYI: The Hill, October 15: Trump says only Jesus Christ more famous than him


a crescent moon
on the Chicago River ...
in blazing blue letters
over Trump on the Tower 

FYI: In 2014, the Trump Tower installed a huge "Trump" sign on its building that is located in the middle of a touristy attraction along the Chicago River.


for Kamala Harris 

a black woman
dances in a Florida downpour ...
rain or shine
democracy waits
for no one

FYI: The Indian Express, Oct. 20: Kamala Harris dances in the rain, Twitterati can’t have enough of it

Monday, October 19, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Dappled Light and Gun Haiku by Alan Summers

English Original

dappled light the glint of gun
Human/Kind Journal, 1:1, January 2019

Alan Summers

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Alan Summers is President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, and co-founder of Call of the Page. He enjoys watching classic episodes of Dr. Who, all over again, as his ten year old nephew has discovered them for himself. Website:

Sunday, October 18, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Autumn Leaves Tanka by Martha Magenta

English Original

another layer
of autumn leaves
on his grave
my memories
settle deeper

Eucalypt, 26, Spring 2019

Martha Magenta

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

Bio Sketch

Martha Magenta lived in England, UK. Her haiku and tanka had appeared in a number of journals, and anthologies. She was awarded Honourable Mentions for her haiku in The Fifth Annual Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku  Awards, 2017, and in the 71st Basho Memorial English Haiku Contest, 2017, and for her tanka in UHTS  “Fleeting Words” Tanka Contest 2017.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Hilltop Abbey Haiku by Tim Gardiner

English Original

hilltop abbey
a midsummer mass
of fireflies

Acorn, 40, 2018

Tim Gardiner

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Dr Tim Gardiner is an ecologist, poet and children's author from Manningtree in Essex, UK. His haiku have been published  in literary magazines including Frogpond, Modern Haiku and The Heron's Nest. His first collection of haiku, On the Edge, was published by Brambleby Books in 2017 while his first haibun collection, The Flintknapper's Ghost, was released by Alba Publishing in 2018.