First Snow / 初雪

Printed as a trifold for the occasion of the Haiku International Association Annual Convention, 30 November 2013, Ichigaya Arcadia hotel, Tokyo, at which I was the keynote speaker. Japanese translations by Emiko Miyashita (see my keynote address, “Haiku Neighbours: North American Haiku Today”). These haiku are among my most widely published, anthologized, and prize-winning poems over a twenty-year period.



first snow . . .
the children’s hangers
clatter in the closet

        初雪や子らのハンガー音たてて
        hatsuyuki ya kora no hangā oto tatete


toll booth lit for Christmas—
from my hand to hers
warm change

        つり銭の温もり聖夜料金所
        tsurisen no nukumori seiya ryōkinjo


first star—
a seashell held
to my baby’s ear

        明星や巻貝そつと吾子の耳
        myōjō ya makigai sotto ako no mimi


an old woolen sweater
       taken yarn by yarn
              from the snowbank

        古毛糸巣づくりに得て残り雪
        furukeito suzukuri ni ete nokoriyuki


tulip festival—
the colours of all the cars
in the parking lot

        チューリップ祭色のあふれる駐車場
        chūrippumatsuri iro no afureru chūshajō


spring breeze—
the pull of her hand
as we near the pet store

        春風のペットショップへ手を引かれ
        harukaze no pettoshoppu e te o hikare


scattered petals . . .
the thud of my books
in the book drop

        花吹雪返却口へ本の音
        hanafubuki henkyakuguchi e hon no oto


summer moonlight
       the potter’s wheel
              slows

        月涼し速度落としてゆく轆轤
        tsuki suzushi sokudo otoshite yuku rokuro


crackling beach fire—
we hum in place of words
we can’t recall

        ハミングをまじへ二人の浜焚火
        hamingu o majie futari no hama takibi


meteor shower . . .
a gentle wave                                                                                                                                                        +       +
wets our sandals

        流星群二人のサンダル濡らす波
        ryūseigun furati no sandaru nurasu nami


after the quake
       the weathervane
              pointing to earth

        地震後の風見鶏指す大地かな
        jishin go no kazamidori sasu daichi kana


home for Christmas:
my childhood desk drawer                                                                                                                                  +
empty

        空つぽの僕の抽斗クリスマス
        karappo no boku no hikidashi kurisumasu


These poems have appeared in the following publications: An Adventure Interrupted (Carolyn S. Underwood; New York: iUniverse, 2003), Anglo Files, Best of the Electronic Poetry Network (Carlos Colón, Barbara Verrett Moore, and Jeffrey L. Salter, eds., Shreveport, Louisiana: Shreveport Regional Arts Council Literary Panel, 2000), Blithe Spirit, Brussels Sprout, Bulgarian Haiku Anthology, The Chimaera, California State Library Foundation Bulletin, Dogwood Blossoms, Electronic Poetry Network (Shreveport Memorial Library, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1998 and 2001), Euro Poésie, Evergreen Haiku Anthology (Ikuyo Yoshimura, ed., Gifu, Japan: Rainbow Press, 2003), For a Moment (Pointe Claire, Quebec: King’s Road Press, 2009), Frogpond, Fuyoh/Rose Mallow Haiku Quarterly, Geppo, A Glimpse of Red: 2000 Red Moon Anthology (Jim Kacian, ed., Winchester, Virginia: Red Moon Press, 2001), Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets Worldwide (George Swede and Randy Brooks, eds., Cullercoats, North Shields, U.K.: Iron Press; Oakville, Ontario: Mosaic Press, 2000), Haijin’s Magazine/A Revista do Haijin, Haijinx, Haiku Alte und modern Meister (Jackie Hardy, ed., Düsseldorf, Germany: Patmos Verlag, 2004), Haiku Canada Newsletter, Haiku Compass: Directions in the Poetical Map of the United States of America (William J. Higginson; Tokyo: Haiku International Association, 1994), Haiku Headlines, Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (Jim Kacian, ed., New York: Norton, 2013), Haiku Poésies Anciennnes & Moderne (Jackie Hardy, ed., Paris: Éditions Véga, 2003), Haiku Poetry Ancient and Modern (Jackie Hardy, ed., London: MQ Publications, 2002), Haiku sans frontières: une anthologie mondiale (André Duhaime, ed., Orléans, Ontario: Les Éditions David, 1998), Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (William J. Higginson; Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1996), Haiku: A Poet’s Guide (Lee Gurga; Lincoln, Illinois: Modern Haiku Press, 2003), How Small: A Calendar of Haiga (Itsamess Press, 2003), HPNC Newsletter, HSA Newsletter, IDG World Update, Illinois News, , Midwest Haiku Anthology (Randy M. Brooks and Lee Gurga, eds., Decatur, Illinois: Brooks Books, 1992), Mie Times, Mirrors, Modern Haiku, On Snails, Sage and AIDS (Haiku Poets of Northern California, 2001), Open Window (Decatur, Illinois: Brooks Books, 2000; online book), Pen Chant, Poet’s Market 1998 (Chantelle Bentley, ed., Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 1997), Presence, Raw Nervz, Score, Snapshots, Snapshots Haiku Calendar 2001 (John Barlow, ed., Liverpool, U.K.: Snapshots Press, 2000), A Solitary Leaf: 1996 Members Anthology (Randy M. Brooks and Lee Gurga, eds., Decatur, Illinois: Haiku Society of America/Brooks Books, 1997), The Haiku Anthology (Cor van den Heuvel, ed., New York: W. W. Norton, 1999), The Heron’s Nest, The New Haiku (John Barlow and Martin Lucas, eds., Liverpool, U.K.: Snapshots Press, 2002), Tremors (Foster City, California: Press Here, 1990), Tulip Haiku (Angela Leuck, ed., Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec: Shoreline, 2004), Under the Bashō, Waverley Writers: Celebrating 25 Years 1981–2005 (Palmer Pinney, ed., Palo Alto, California: Waverley Writers, 2007), and Woodnotes. In addition, the following poems have won awards: “an old woolen sweater” won second place in the Haiku Society of America Henderson Haiku Contest, 1991; “crackling beach fire” won a runner-up Heron’s Nest Award in December 2004; “first star” was the grand prize winner (“special award”) in the Bashō 360th Anniversary Haiku Contest, 2004; “home for Christmas” was the first prize winner (December) in the 2001 Snapshots Haiku Calendar Contest; “meteor shower” won first place in the Haiku Society of America Henderson Haiku Contest, 2000; “summer moonlight” won second prize in the 1990 Kaji Aso Haiku Contest; “toll booth lit for Christmas” won second place in the Haiku Society of America Henderson Haiku Contest, 1995; and “tulip festival” won an honorable mention in the Yuki Teikei Haiku Contest, 2000. My grateful thanks to all readers of these haiku worldwide.