Close to the Wind

Michael Dylan Welch and William Hart, editors. Naia, illustrations. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2013, 52 pages, 97 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-35-0.

The 2013 Haiku North America conference took place August 14 to 18 aboard the Queen Mary, docked in the harbour at Long Beach, California. This book’s introduction says “We hope you enjoy reading the poems in this anthology, our second largest in more than twenty years of biennial HNA conferences. As with all previous anthologies, we’ve arranged the poems by each poet’s first name. Even when gales are lashing and we’re sailing close to the wind, here’s hoping we can maintain our close-knit spirit of community and always remain on a first-name basis.” You can also read the entire introduction and order the book on Amazon. Here are thirty-five sample poems from the anthology.


the river fills with stars . . .

we always thought

we would have tomorrow

            Angela Terry
            Lake Forest Park, Washington

a spider strand

catches the last of the sun

the clamor of mynahs

            Angelee Deodhar
            Chandigarh, India

Bohemian waxwings—

and I didn’t even have

a bucket list

            Billie Wilson
            Juneau, Alaska


the (OMG venomous!) centipede

in my hand

            Carolyn Hall
            San Francisco, California

she drones on

about writing from the heart

the hard conference chairs

            Charles Trumbull
            Santa Fe, New Mexico

rolling hills—

wheat pennies in the jar

on my father’s desk

            Cherie Hunter Day
            Cupertino, California

home again

after a week on the road

plum blossoms

            Deborah P Kolodji
            Temple City, California

after sunset

     sometimes the clouds light up

let’s wait and see

            Don Eulert
            Santa Ysabel, California

prison concert—

the harpist peering out

through the strings

            Don McLeod
            Sherman Oaks, California

wet sand—

the stork’s legs

twice as long

            Ellen Cooper
            Montréal, Québec

the potato peeler on the table

pointing to him—

life is sometimes quiet

            Gene Myers
            Rockaway, New Jersey

dry riverbed

too late to say


            Jennifer Sutherland
            Glen Waverley, Australia

lotus buds

the glint of pennies

in the fountain

            Joshua Gage
            Cleveland, Ohio

they can tie the knot

after all

those years in the closet

            kris moon
            Kanagawa, Japan

beach house—

the scent of sunscreen

in an unmade bed

            Linda M. Papanicolaou
            Palo Alto, California

piano fugue—

Glen Gould’s

twenty fingers

            Luce Pelletier
            St. Basile le Grand, Québec


where there is no mountain

a mountain

            Margaret Beverland
            Katikati, New Zealand

branding time

the sun-tanned ‘V’

on the cowhand’s neck

            Margaret Chula
            Portland, Oregon

a hand sticking out

from the balcony below . . .

small rain

            Michael Dylan Welch
            Sammamish, Washington

where other trees

reach upwards

the willow

            Michael Rehling
            Presque Isle, Michigan

buoy bells . . .

her plan to forget one man

with another

            Temecula, California

arriving late—

the others’ footprints


            Pamela Cooper
            Montréal, Québec

frost-covered car

now some drama

in my life

            Patrick Gallagher
            San Francisco, California

windfall apple

a few geese that should

have moved on

            paul m.
            Bristol, Rhode Island

at sunset memory feathers weighed against a cheek

            Richard Gilbert
            Kumamoto, Japan

distant party

a bush moth’s wings beat

on the porch light

            Ron C. Moss
            Leslie Vale, Australia

      wind from the south

her finger traces the character

              for snow

            Sandra Simpson
            Tauranga, New Zealand

old hunting knife—

in the blood groove a trickle

of pear juice

            Scott Mason
            Chappaqua, New York

the living room

now looking less lived-in—

spring cleaning

            Sean Carlton
            West Hollywood, California

cello music

the hotel room

feels warmer

            Sheila Sondik
            Bellingham, Washington

Sparrows flit by.

Even the sick child

  finds a smile.

            Steve Carter
            Menlo Park, California

curriculum vitae

the years

that went missing

            Susan Antolin
            Walnut Creek, California

summer dream

the earring maker’s hands

on my neck

            Terry Ann Carter
            Victoria, British Columbia

fall twilight

in the bungalow for rent

a vacuum sings

            William Hart
            Montrose, California

Budding cherry

let’s forget the formalities

and get started

            Yu Chang
            Schenectady, New York