Into Our Words

Michael Dylan Welch and Grant D. Savage, editors. Peter Vernon Quenter, artwork.

Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2009, 40 pages, 90 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-30-5.

The 2009 Haiku North America conference took place at the National Library of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario (equivalent to the Library of Congress in the United States). This was the second time that the conference had been in Canada, and was also the tenth conference in the biennial series (started in 1991). Some words from the introduction: “No one was ever more in his element at Haiku North America conferences than William J. Higginson. Always the quintessential haiku poet, scholar, enthusiast, advocate, translator, and critic, Bill found such a stimulating and inspiring outlet for his passions and talents at this conference that he surely wished Haiku North America happened multiple times every year instead of just once every two years. He was, too, the only person who had been to all nine conferences since it began in 1991. When he passed away in October of 2008, Bill left a gaping void not just in Haiku North America, but in the entire haiku community worldwide. It is therefore fitting that we dedicate this tenth HNA anthology, Into Our Words, to William J. Higginson.” You can also read the entire introduction. See also the Press Here page for this book. Here are thirty-four sample poems from the anthology, including one translation and several bilingual versions.

mise en abîme

mes seuls cheveux blancs

dans tous les miroirs

my hair white

reflected infinitely

between the mirrors

André Duhaime

Gatineau, Québec

first snowman—

a toddler’s breath

on the windowpane

Carmen Sterba

University Place, Washington

Milky Way

his reluctance

to hold my hand

Carolyn Hall

San Francisco, California

sunflower field

all the windmills

face the same way

Charles Trumbull

Santa Fe, New Mexico

in this gentle rain


pinking the garden

Claudia Coutu Radmore

Carleton Place, Ontario

words unspoken—

smoke hovers round the mouth

of the volcano

David Burleigh

Tokyo, Japan

matilija poppies

the appliance repairman

comes the wrong day

Deborah P Kolodji

Temple City, California


mihotoke no mihana no saki e tsurara kana


Buddha on the moor,

At the tip of his nose

Hangs an icicle.

Dennis Maloney, translation

Lake View, New York

heat wave—

the cow’s udder

hangs in the pond

DeVar Dahl

Magrath, Alberta

mid-meeting the pressure released from a soda can

Eve Luckring

Los Angeles, California

hillside peas

did I ever wish

to be a man?

Fay Aoyagi

San Francisco, California

trees growing

out of rock

I give in to him

Francine Banwarth

Dubuque, Iowa

The merry-go-round

turns a few more times

as they walk away

Garry Gay

Windsor, California

setting sun—

the mountain’s shadow creeps

into our words

Gary Hotham

Scaggsville, Maryland

moonlit pool

from the silence

a waterfall

Grant D. Savage

Ottawa, Ontario

fresh asparagus

up from the urinal

farmer’s market

Guy Simser

Kanata, Ontario


devant la toilette des dames

querelle d’oiseaux


outside the ladies’ washroom

two birds fighting

Jessica Tremblay

Burnaby, British Columbia

those of money

and those of rags

their sandals in a single pile

John Brandi

El Rito, New Mexico

summer solstice

a note beyond

the singer’s range

John Stevenson

Nassau, New York

no path goes there

wild orchid

Karen Sohne

Toronto, Ontario

on paper

the tree hugger’s


LeRoy Gorman

Napanee, Ontario

the boat

at the very end of the wharf—

and two moons

Luce Pelletier

St-Basile-le-Grand, Québec

second honeymoon

taking pictures

of each other

Marco Fraticelli

Pointe Claire, Québec

my voice begins

further down in my throat

visiting home

Marilyn Hazelton

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Valentine’s Day—

a few clicks

of the swans’ beaks

Michael Dylan Welch

Sammamish, Washington

news of Hubble—

slicing a pear

for its stars

Michele Root-Bernstein

East Lansing, Michigan

pluie chaude d’été

nous ralentissons le pas

vers la maison

hot summer rain

we slow down our walk


Micheline Beaudry

Boucherville, Québec

a prism

in my eyelash

morning snowfall

Mike Rehling

Livonia, Michigan

into the darkness

the whisper

of silver grass

Patricia Donegan

Evanston, Illinois

one of the road crew

resting his eyes

spring meadow

paul m.

Bristol, Rhode Island

last light

the wing-whistle

of mourning doves

Paul MacNeil

Ocala, Florida

train whistle—

I remember the warmth

of your hand

Penny Harter

Mays Landing, New Jersey

rising mercury

our jogging circuit

all uphill

Scott Mason

Chappaqua, New York

Canada Day heat wave

the dancer takes off

her earrings

Terry Ann Carter

Ottawa, Ontario