Shades of Green

Michael Dylan Welch, editor. Cherie Hunter Day, illustration.

Press Here, Foster City, California, 1997, 24 pages, 63 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-18-9.

The 1997 Haiku North America conference took place at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. In the introduction, I wrote that “Haiku poets are universally attuned to nature, whether that nature is a glacial moraine, a piece of redwood bark, dolphins in the sun-sparkled ocean, or a humble window planter shadowed by clouds between skyscrapers. We notice the weather, the light, the temperature, the bird songs that ebb and flow with the seasons. Our haiku are also about each other, and about ourselves. We are attuned to human nature, noticing and celebrating the subtleties of our passing emotions, imperfections, and interaction with nature. Knowing nature—and human nature—sustains us.” See the Press Here page for this book. Here are twelve poems, including two translations, from the book. Shades of Green was also the featured book of the week in early April of 2018 on the Haiku Foundation website, where you click to view a scan of the entire book.

rising mist—

flood waters reach

another slat in the fence

Ce Rosenow

Portland, Oregon

a visit with my father . . .

beneath an outdoor spigot

the tall grass

Cherie Hunter Day

Portland, Oregon

window frost

our names drip

from my finger

Christopher Herold

Redwood City, California

“I can’t hear you,”

he says, continuing to

munch potato chips . . .

Elizabeth Nichols

Colorado Springs, Colorado

chiru hana ni

motsururu tori no

tsubasa kana


entangled with

the scattering cherry blossoms—

the wings of birds!

Janine Beichman, translator

Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken, Japan

the morning after—

cutting only the orchids

flattened by rain

Margaret Chula

Portland, Oregon

landing swallow—

the ship’s chain

dips slightly

Michael Dylan Welch

Foster City, California

Misoka tsuki nashi

chitose no sugi o

daku arashi


The month’s last night, moonless—

a thousand-year-old cedar

embraced by the wind

Sam Hamill, translator

Port Townsend, Washington

midori ni mo

iro samazama ya

ame no niwa

All the same green, yes,

but how many different shades there are!

Garden in the rain.

Steven Carter

Irvine, California

Midnight stillness

just a pattering

on the young leaves

Tombo (Lorraine Ellis Harr)

Portland, Oregon

through blossom light

into the gathering dusk

the swift bus

William J. Higginson

Santa Fe, New Mexico

haiku conference

someone clears a frog

from his throat

Yvonne Hardenbrook

Columbus, Ohio