Voices

First published in
Wordless: Haiku Canada 40 Years of Haiku, Victoria, edited by Marco Fraticelli and Claudia Coutu Radmore (British Columbia: Ekstasis Editions, 2017), page 175. Originally written in September of 2016.

I joined Haiku Canada in 1988, and received my first members’ anthology, Voices, from anne mckay, the editor, in May of 1989. I met her in Vancouver a couple of times, and also enjoyed attending Haiku Canada weekends in Ottawa, Kingston, Lethbridge, and Vancouver, where it was always wonderful to hear everyone’s voices. So many miles separate us as members, but nothing at all separates us through our haiku. Here’s my poem from the Voices anthology for 1988–89:

          sunfall
      the clicking of sudden
          cicadas

This was my first haiku publication in Canada
. I hadn't begun to use my middle name yet, so the poem is attributed to “Michael Welch,” but I was delighted to add a little harmony to fellow Canadian haiku poets. Thank you to Haiku Canada officers who have tirelessly conducted the haiku choir these first forty years, and thank you to everyone else who has eagerly shared his or her haiku and senryu through the society’s journal, newsletter, haiku sheets, anthologies, and meetings. Wonderful voices indeed!

      beached kelp—
      we examine each other’s
      life lines


Also included in the same anthology is the following poem, kindly quoted by Naomi Beth Wakan in her contribution to the book:

      loons scattering . . .
      a floatplane touches down
      into summer