Sunday, September 25, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Frayed Sunlight Haiku by Laryalee Fraser

English Original

frayed sunlight 
between the pilings --
summer’s end 

Ambrosia, 1, Autumn 2008

Laryalee Fraser 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

的磨損陽光 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

的磨损阳光 --

Bio Sketch

A resident of British Columbia, Canada, Laryalee Fraser was actively engaged in online poetry forums from the mid-1990’s until her death in 2013. Her poetry had been widely published in haiku and tanka journals, and  in 2006, she compiled an online anthology of haiku, "a procession of ripples."

Saturday, September 24, 2022

A Room of My Own: Trauma Dumping Tanka

this church group
once again trauma dumping 
on each other ...
the closeness between their bodies
the distance   between their hearts


the sound of fury
a row of houses dragged out
to sea by the storm

FYI: USA Today, September 24: 'I'm seeing homes in the ocean': Fiona makes devastating landfall in Atlantic Canada

...The Canadian Hurricane Centre called Fiona a "historic storm for eastern Canada" and a "potential landmark weather event" in a region where hurricanes are relatively rare...

Added: reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXIX

a big stuffed monkey
stapled to the railings
of a bridge
to the oldest Black town ...
my wife holds my hand tighter

AddedGame Show 2024, VII
written in response to Insider, Sep. 24Donald Trump shares Truth Social photo proclaiming him as second only to Jesus

in dim light
I'm the second greatest 
second greatest ...
he mumbles, staring at Jesus
on the wall of his psych room

FYI: Trump has made these grand proclamations himself. In August 2019, Trump told reporters in reference to trade with China: "I am the chosen one." He also shared tweets describing him as the "King of Israel" and "the second coming of God." ...Insider, Sep. 24

Friday, September 23, 2022

Poetic Musings: Nightfall Haiku by Mariangela Canzi

Kyiv the sun bleeds into nightfall

Cattails, April 2022

Mariangela Canzi
Commentary: The opening word, "Kyiv," functions like a synecdoche in this timely and socio-geopolitically conscious war haiku, providing a reference to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the action verb, "bleeds," paints a visually arresting and emotionally poignant image of a setting sun gradually sinking from the sky. And when juxtaposed with "bleeds," the closing word, "nightfall," not only indicates  that the Ukrainian people are enveloped in darkness, signifying the coming of death, but also suggests that tomorrow may be as blood-filled as today. 

Below are two of the responses inspired by the Ukrainian people:

shards of glass
on the living room floor
the pianist 
plays Chopin one last time
before fleeing her Kyiv home

smoky haze
in his battledress breast pocket
a baby photo

Frameless Sky, 16, 2022

Chen-ou Liu

For more see, my "Cool Announcement" post,  Frameless Sky, Issue 16, Dedicated to the People of Ukraine

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Argument Haiku by Michael McClintock

English Original

losing the argument
I look out a window
into space

Frogpond, 41:2, Spring/Summer 2018

Michael McClintock

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Michael McClintock's lifework in haiku, tanka, and related literature spans over four decades. His many contributions to the field include six years as president of the Tanka Society of America (2004-2010) and contributing editor, essayist, and poet for dozens of journals, anthologies, landmark collections and critical studies. McClintock now lives in Clovis, California, where he works as an independent scholar, consultant for public libraries, and poet. Meals at Midnight [tanka], Sketches from the San Joaquin [haiku] and Streetlights: Poetry of Urban Life in Modern English Tanka, are some of his recent titles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Bluebird's Cry Tanka by Christine L.Villa

English Original

his stand
on chemotherapy
the bluebird’s cry
nestles on the palm
of sunrise

First Place, 2015 Mandy’s Pages Tanka Contest

Christine L. Villa

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

An animated story teller and an artist by nature, Christine L. Villa dabbles in children's writing, Japanese short-form poetry, and photography. She is the founder and editor of Frameless Sky -- a video journal showcasing poets, artists, and musicians in collaborative projects. She blogs her haiku, tanka, and haiga at Blossom Rain.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Red Toenails Haiku by Larry Kimmel

English Original

stuck for an answer
I lower my eyes  --
her ten red toenails

The Necessary Fly, 2006

Larry Kimmel

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

我垂下眼簾不說話 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

我垂下眼帘不说话 --

Bio Sketch

Larry Kimmel lives quietly in the hills of western Massachusetts.  His most recent books  are shards and dust (cherita), outer edges (tanka) and thunder and apple blossoms (haiku).

Monday, September 19, 2022

To the Lighthouse: Character/Persona Tanka

Character tanka, also known as persona tanka, are a genre where the poets take on the roles of other people. They are written in first-person or third-person accounts of a character's behaviour  towards/response to a certain life situation or of thoughts/reflections. A successful character tanka depends on selecting an interesting or a unique persona (mask in Greek) whose view of life or perception of reality is conveyed through an effective juxtaposition of his/her thought and action.

The following is a set of character tanka for your reading pleasure:

My heart: 
black linen 
hung at night 
in the shadow 
of a crow. 

Modern English Tanka, 1:1, Autumn 2006 

M. Kei

locked windows
and a dead bolt
used to comfort her;
tonight on the 9th floor
she plays some Bill Evans 

A Hundred Gourds, 1:1, December 2011

Marian Olson

fresh leaves
of a large elm tree
crumpled by wind
I am detested because
I wish to live passionately

Breasts of Snow, 2004

Fumiko Nakajo

in my closet
clothes for all occasions
yet the years
it took to be comfortable
in my own skin

The Tang of Nasturtiums, 2012

Carole MacRury

To conclude today's post, share with you three of my character tanka with different personalities: one timid, another arrogantly dreamy, and the last racist.

I've the right
to swing my fist, but this freedom
stops at the tip
of my love rival's nose ...
I shout before the mirror

by the penthouse window
my friend repeats 
this is America
why settle for pretty good? 

a policeman
throws a black woman
into the mud
shouting, she held a knife!
(found only in his mind)


Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXVII

God, my country
just hard work, no handouts ...
in the spotlight
the mayor punctuates his words
with a gavel-on-the-desk gesture

Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Room of My Own: Imperial leftovers: Seeing Is Believing

written in response to The New Yorker, September 10: The monarchy presents itself as a “mysterious and magical inheritor of an endless past.” Would Britain be better off without it?"

a double-rainbow
breaking through gray clouds
over Buckingham ...
on its gold and black rails
notice of the Queen's death

Oh god I hate this
as the "King" signs his name 
with a leaking pen ...
I recall his "my luck" laughter
in the leaked "tampon" phone call

the adulterer
who once talked dirty on the phone
now Liege Lord --
a woman yelling Not My King
surrounded by policemen

"Prince" Andrew
walks behind the Queen's coffin
down the Royal Mile --
a shout from the packed crowd
you’re a sick old man

boos heard clearly
over the crowd of well-wishers 
greeting the "King" --
on the Cardiff Castle walls
Abolish the Monarchy

a meteor
streaks across the sky
over London --
the Queen once claimed
I've to be seen to be believed

royal members
take turns to watch over
the Queen's coffin ...
"Prince" Andrew in uniform
as mourners file past, bowing

at last the end
of ten days of mourning ...
as the sun sets
in the shadow of Big Ben
an old man and his wife

new royal
favorites and suchlike 
jostle for spots 
on Buckingham Palace's balcony ...
kids in a bakery window

FYI:  Child Poverty and Action Group, UK: ... There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2020-21. That's 27 per cent of children, or eight in a classroom of 30...

FYI: MoneyWise, September 18: The Crown Estate — estimated at over $34B in assets — now belongs to King Charles III. But he won't have to pay the UK's 40% inheritance tax. 

Queen Elizabeth II's death involves a transfer of her personal wealth of roughly $500 million to her first son, Charles. That means he doesn’t have to send roughly $200 million of Queen Elizabeth’s $500 million estate to the tax collector.

And FYI: The New Yorker, September 10: "The Fantasy Behind Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign: The monarchy presents itself as a “mysterious and magical inheritor of an endless past.” Would Britain be better off without it?"

The job of the monarchy is “to provide a kind of space and style, a kind of mystique, a kind of secular religion, if you like, in which people can feel some sort of kinship and community with each other.

-- Simon Schama, Historian of British History

Added: written on the day of the Queen's Funeral

inside   Westminster Abbey
outside Westminster Abbey
two-minute silence

FYI: This haiku is a "politically neutral" sequel to my 9-tanka sequence, Imperial leftovers: Seeing Is Believing 


written in response to Judith Butler's remark: “One way of posing the question of who ‘we’ are... is by asking whose lives are considered valuable, whose lives are mourned, and whose lives are considered un-grievable.

long live the king
rest in peace, your majesty
written on the loaves ...
many food banks closed 
for the Queen's funeral 

our beloved Queen
forever in our thoughts
scrawled in black ink
on the top of the boulder
in Holocaust Memorial Garden 

FYI: Yahoo News UK, September September 19: "Profoundly inappropriate:" Tributes left for Queen at Holocaust memorial spark backlash. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Closet Tanka by Carole MacRury

English Original

in my closet
clothes for all occasions
yet the years
it took to be comfortable
in my own skin

Carole MacRury 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Carole MacRury resides in Point Roberts, Washington, a unique peninsula and border town that inspires her work.  She is the author of In the Company of Crows: Haiku and Tanka Between the Tides (Black Cat Press, 2008, 2nd Printing, 2018) and The Tang of Nasturtiums, an award-winning e-chapbook (Snapshot Press 2012).  

Friday, September 16, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Tsunami of Mosquitoes Haiku by Ali Znaidi

English Original

after the hurricane 
a tsunami
of mosquitoes

Haiku Laureate, 2022 Hexapod Haiku Challenge

Ali Znaidi

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Ali Znaidi (b.1977) is a Tunisian poet, haikuist, writer, and translator living in Redeyef, Tunisia. A former English teacher with a degree in Anglo-American studies, Znaidi published a haiku collection, Bye, Donna Summer! (2014), and his haiku have been included in top international haiku journals. His honors include a nomination for the Pushcart Prize in 2018, a silver medal in the UPLI Global Poetry Contest in 2015, the Grand Prize in the 8th Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest in 2016, and a Special Recognition/Lauréates in the 2013 Fujisan Haiku Contest. Follow him on Twitter at @AliZnaidi.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hot News: A New Milestone, 1.45 M Pageviews and Call for Submissions

My Dear Friends:

Launched on the first day of 2013, NeverEnding Story crossed the 1.45 million view mark late last night.

I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this poetry journey. And look forward to reading your haiku and tanka. 

See anthology submission guidelines for haiku and tanka. The accepted haiku and tanka will be translated into Chinese and posted on NeverEnding Story and Twitter. And You are welcome to follow me on Twitter at @ericcoliu (4 following, 4395 followers).

on the windowsill
two canaries singing
to each other
I tweet and retweet
NeverEnding Story  😋

We read to know we're "not alone."

-- The character of C.S. Lewis in William Nicholson's play, "Shadowlands" 

The proper response to a poem is "another poem."

-- Phyllis Webb 

Happy Reading and Writing 


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A Room of My Own: Now Liege Lord Tanka

This Brave New World, LIV

the adulterer
who once talked dirty on the phone
now Liege Lord ...
a man shouting Not My King
surrounded by policemen

Note: L2 refers to “Tampongate,” sometimes misogynistically called “Camillagate,” ... a secretly recorded conversation between Charles and Camilla in 1989, in which the Prince of Wales joked that he’d like to be Camilla’s tampon. See a transcript of the exchange, as provided by the Mirror. -- HuffPost, May 13, 2020: Prince Charles And Camilla's Infamous 'Tampongate' Chat Won't Make "The Crown:"It's the one scene the Netflix hit won't cover.

FYI: ABC News, September 14: As the UK mourns the Queen, police treatment of Not My King protesters is sparking freedom of speech fears.

AddedThis Brave New World, LV

Oh god I hate this
as the "King" signs his name 
with a leaking pen ...
I recall his "my luck" laughter
in the leaked "tampon" phone call

FYI: The Guardian, September 13: ‘Oh god I hate this’: King Charles expresses frustration over leaking pen:

“Oh god I hate this (pen)!” Charles said, standing up and handing the pen to his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort.

“Oh look, it’s going everywhere,” Camilla said as her husband wiped his fingers.

“I can’t bear this bloody thing … every stinking time,” Charles said as he walked away.

Below is an excerpt from the transcript of the 1989 exchange Prince Charles and his mistress, Camilla, infamously known as "Tampongate:"  

CAMILLA: Mmm, so do I. I need you all the week. All the time.
CHARLES: Oh, God. I’ll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!

CAMILLA (laughing): What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers? (Both laugh). Oh, you’re going to come back as a pair of knickers.

CHARLES: Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck! (Laughs)

CAMILLA: You are a complete idiot! (Laughs) Oh, what a wonderful idea.

Added: Game Show 2024, VI
written in response to Ted Cruz's Sep. 9 remark: Republicans are "lying" or "idiotic" if they dismiss Trump for 2024

a collapsed fence
among morning glory vines
Trump 2024

FYI: CNN, "The Point," September 9: Ted Cruz nails something fundamental about Donald Trump and 2024. And The Independent, September 15: Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted in stolen documents scandal

Speaking on the conservative broadcaster Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Mr Trump said an indictment would not deter him from running for president because he would have “no prohibition against running”.

“But I think if it happened, I think you'd have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps, we've never seen before. I don't think the people of the United States would stand for it,” he added.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Bill Evans Tanka by Marian Olson

English Original 

locked windows
and a dead bolt
used to comfort her;
tonight on the 9th floor
she plays some Bill Evans 

A Hundred Gourds, 1:1, December 2011

Marian Olson

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Marian Olson, non-fiction writer and widely published international poet, was the author of nine books of poetry, including the award winning haiku in Songs of the Chicken YardDesert HoursConsider This, and Moondance.  Published in 2017, The Other and Kaleidoscope were her first books of tanka.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Gnarled Oak Haiku by Kirsty Karkow

English Original

gnarled oak
my path to the hills
starts in mist

Modern Haiku, 33:2, Summer 2002

Kirsty Karkow

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Kirsty Karkow lived in Waldoboro, Maine, where she wrote haiku, sijo, tanka, and other short forms. Lyrical, poignant, and spare, her poetry reflected a rich and deep sense of place and spirit. Her haiku had won the Mainichi and the R.H Blyth Award and have placed in other contests. And she had two best-selling books in print: water poems: haiku, tanka and sijo and shorelines: haiku, haibun and tanka , published by Black Cat Press.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Special Feature: Selected Haiku for the Enduring Legacy of 9/11

My Dear Friends and Readers:

President Joe Biden quoted the late Queen Elizabeth II in a speech at the Pentagon on Sunday remembering the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Grief is the price we pay for love.

The following haiku are selected for your reflections on the enduring legacy of 9/11


Shot Glass,7, June 2012

Chen-ou Liu

twin towers
repeating their absence
day after day

World Haiku Review, January 2007

Bill Kenney

two light beams shining
where there were once twin towers –
my son, my daughter

Grand Prize, 15th International “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition

Jack Galmitz

To conclude today's 9/11 Special Feature post, I would like to share with you the following haiku set about the lingering of grief and loss decades after 9/11:

9/11, Then and Now

sleepless again ...
the lingering thoughts
of “if only” 

Sunday breakfast
between us a glass-top table
and the silence


FYI: In his speech at the Pentagon commemorating the 21st anniversary of the deadly attacks, President Joe Biden repeatedly called for remembrance and unity:

I hope we’ll remember that amidst those dark days, we dug deep, we cared for each other, and we came together.