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. See also the photo-haiga created with these poems.

first snow . . .

the children’s hangers

clatter in the closet


hatsuyuki ya kora no hangā oto tatete

toll booth lit for Christmas—

from my hand to hers

warm change


tsurisen no nukumori seiya ryōkinjo

first star—

a seashell held

to my baby’s ear +


myōjō ya makigai sotto ako no mimi

an old woolen sweater

taken yarn by yarn

from the snowbank


furukeito suzukuri ni ete nokoriyuki

tulip festival—

the colours of all the cars

in the parking lot


chūrippumatsuri iro no afureru chūshajō

spring breeze—

the pull of her hand

as we near the pet store


harukaze no pettoshoppu e te o hikare

scattered petals . . .

the thud of my books

in the book drop +


hanafubuki henkyakuguchi e hon no oto

summer moonlight

the potter’s wheel



tsuki suzushi sokudo otoshite yuku rokuro

crackling beach fire—

we hum in place of words

we can’t recall


hamingu o majie futari no hama takibi

meteor shower . . .

a gentle wave + + + +

wets our sandals


ryūseigun futari no sandaru nurasu nami

after the quake

the weathervane

pointing to earth +


jishin go no kazamidori sasu daichi kana

home for Christmas:

my childhood desk drawer + + +



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.