Jacar Press Anthology of Best Living
English-Language Haiku Writers

In August of 2013, Jacar Press in Durham, North Carolina published an anthology titled 7 (just the number seven). I’m one of the fourteen poets included. It contains seven haiku each by the following poets (in order): Fay Aoyagi, Tom Clausen, Garry Gay, Ferris Gilli, Lee Gurga, Carolyn Hall, paul m., Marlene Mountain, John Stevenson, George Swede, Michael Dylan Welch, Ruth Yarrow, and the two editors, Roberta Beary and Lenard D. Moore. In the words of publisher Richard Krawiec, who wrote the introduction, the book presents poems by “the best living English-language haiku writers” as nominated by “several dozen haiku writers and editors, most of them well-known in international circles.” Nearly 100 poets were nominated, and the poets included were those who were the “top vote getters.” It’s an honour to be included, and also intriguing to think about who is not included. The book says that each poet who was asked to participate (one of them apparently declined) had been asked to submit ten haiku (I was actually asked to submit fifteen), of which seven were chosen. The following are my seven poems selected by the editors, followed by the eight additional poems I also submitted.


after the quake
     the weathervane
          pointing to earth



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



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



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



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



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



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



On request, I had submitted fifteen poems for this anthology, including the previous seven, but the following eight poems were not selected. I include them here as a representation of my top poems, at least as of the date I submitted them, 2 June 2011. The one that I most wish had been selected from the following poems is “home for Christmas.”


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



summer moonlight
     the potter’s wheel
          slows



reading in bed
     my pulse flickering
     the lightly held bookmark



Valentine’s Day—
she reminds me
to fasten my seatbelt                                                 +



home for Christmas:
my childhood desk drawer
empty                                                                                               +  +  +  +



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



an old woolen sweater
     taken yarn by yarn
          from the snowbank



children’s
book
sh
elves