Saturday, May 30, 2015

Betty by the Bay

This is Betty Arnold on one of those days 
when we went to a Haiku Poets of Northern California meeting
by the glorious San Francisco Bay.

welcome home surprise—
all along the driveway

Betty Arnold

Editor's apology: we just had a two-day pause and may get another, 
due to a visit from our son's family with his four children, ages 9-4.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kitty Time

A delightful store display (from the land of Hello Kitty!) found on
the group trip to Japan in 1997.

A world of trials,
and if the cherry blossoms,
it simply blossoms

The Pocket Haiku
Sam Hamill, Shambala, 2014, page 88.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The raised hand of the Buddha

                          One of the highlights of the trip to Japan in 1997,               jhhymas
was an excursion to Nara to see Todaiji, the Great Buddha Hall.
It is a magnificent huge wooden building, truly awe-inspiring.

A butterfly, 
in the cold: it flies in pursuit
of its own soul

Takahama Kyoshi

Modern Japanese Haiku; an anthology, by Makota Ueda, University of Toronto Press, Toronto and Buffalo, 1974, page 56.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Where Shiki Dwelt

Betty Arnold and Tei Matsushita Scott seen through the shoji at Shiki's memorial,
on the trip to Japan in 2007.
Shiki's narrow sickbed (so close to the floor!) is reconstructed nearby.

beneath the trellis
old women sit patiently--
wisteria buds
Betty Arnold

the tree cut,
dawn breaks early
at my little window

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Some of us cannot tear ourselves away at the end of a YT Haiku Retreat at Asilomar.
So we clear out of our rooms and spend some time in the afternoon 
reading and discussing our haiku 
in one of the open outdoor spaces near the Administration Building. 
This is Ann Bendixen, several years ago--
with the sun-bright cobbles of one of the historic buildings behind her.

a sandy shell
curves softly in my hand
hazy moon

Ann Bendixen

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From the land of kimono

This is Ellen Brooks. She is a dancer and actress based in San Francisco.
She studied kyogen and movement for manu years 
with Yuriko Doi of the Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco.

Ellen has given dance performances at several of our Asilomar Haiku Retreats.
This one was, as I recall, the first one.
In the background, Carol Steele's embroidered orange kimono, 
which often lends its beauty to our special events.

White tail doe
calmly considers
--the chrysanthemums

Ellen Brooks

Mouthful of cherries
                running down her chin
                              she flings on the swing

Ellen Brooks

Friday, May 22, 2015

You are the sky

We often travel to San Francisco to join with the Haiku Poets of Northern California at their meetings in San Francisco's Fort Mason, perched right on San Francisco Bay, Here, Past YT president Jerry Ball and current president Alison Woolpert enjoy the beautiful bay light during one of these outings..

surrounded by fog
the sound of muffled footsteps
becomes a person
Jerry Ball

tiny reflection
you are the sky and the clouds
mountain butterfly
Alison Woolpert

YT Member's Anthology 2001

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Grandchildren of the founders

It was a wonderful surprise to discover at a celebration of the Fortieth Year
of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society that the Tokutomi's grandchildren were formerly
pupils of one of our stalwart members, Eleanor Carolan.
Here she is shown standing between Jason and Nicholette Northon.

peach blossoms
the bucket of rain
Eleanor Carolan

hearing silence --
arms of the redwoods
decorated with stars
Eleanor Carolan

both haiku from Scattered Acorns;
YT Member's Anthology 2014

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Assemble for Group Photograph!

At Haiku North America 2112, Asilomar, we are summoned for the group photograph.
Assembling, left to right: Alison Wolpert, Deborah Kolodji, black baseball cap person, 
Joseph Robello, blue shirt person, Nardin Gottfried, Fay Aoyagi, Carolyn Hall.
This is a lot of haiku talent to cram into one snapshot!

windfall apples
what I think about
when I think

Carolyn Hall

war news
the underbelly of a moth
pressed to my window

Carolyn Hall

reprinted in
Haiku 21; an anthology of contemporary 
English language haiku.
Modern Haiku Press, Lincoln, Illinois, 2011, pages 86-87.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Meeting in Japanese Gardens

Kiyoko Tokutomi is writing haiku in the Japanese garden in Golden Gate Park. 
Ed Thompson was there, too. It seems a long time ago now. 
The local members have been lucky to have had ginko in so many gardens and parks, 
which we are fortunate to have nearby in this part of California.
But any little strip of garden, woods, lawn or moor 
will surely turn out to have haiku gifts if we but look for them.

Touched by a fine rain
it closes itself up early
the mimosa
Kiyoko Tokutomi

The little stream's murmuring
is louder--new sprouts
of iris
Kiyoko Tokutomi

Kiyoko's Sky, Brooks Books, 2002, pages 20 and 26.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Bounty of Blossoms

Last year, our group had a ginko and a picnic at the Tilden Botanical Garden 
in the East Bay Regional Parks District near Berkeley in northern California. 
We had a great time; some wonderful haiku were written and shared. 
The native plant gardens are spectacular and very interesting!
This year, we are going to do it again on June 13, 2015.
Details are in the current Geppo. It's blooming again now!
Go if you possibly can!

humming to myself--
a hovering dragonfly
ruffles the air

Wally Swist

The Silence Between Us;
selected haiku, Brooks Books, 2005,
page 101.

(Note: I recently was able to find a copy of 
the selected haiku of longtime Massachusetts haiku practitioner 
Wally Swist, where I found this haiku.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sky in the Water

On a blue day at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose.
Something about the sky, I think.
We were there for a haiku walk and a reading.

Shadow of willow
softly touches a carp’s fin
summer afternoon

Kiyoshi Tokutomi

Saturday, May 16, 2015

On the boardwalk at Asilomar

This is Zinovy Vayman, smiling!  I met him for the first time at Haiku North America in 2012,
but we had been having written discussions about our YT publications for much, much longer.

Yom Kippur Eve
by the church-turned-mosque
an ice cream truck's tune

Zinovy Vayman
Haiku in English; the first hundred years,
W. W. Norton, 2013, page 282.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Three Smiles

At Haiku North America, 2012, Ann Bendixen, a dear and faithful member,
is flanked by Mr. Noma and the irrepressible Mrs. Minako Noma 
from Matsuyama, Japan.

waiting for the moon--
through hanging paper lanterns in a line
breeze at the beach

Noma Minako

first laugh!
a kookaburra perching
on an old gum tree

Ann Bendixen
from Autumn Deepens
thirty-fifth commemorative member's anthology, 
2010, page 4.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kiyoko's Sister

This is Mitsuyo Shibata Tao, Kiyoko Tokutomi's sister, 
during one of the commemorative events recently held 
in celebration of the 40 Anniversary 
of the founding of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society.
Kiyoko was not without family during her adult life in California.
Two of her sisters lived nearby, with their families.
as well as other member's of Kiyoshi's family,
who were from this area. (Photo by Patricia Machmiller.)

Nobody visits
and here I am wishing to share
this crushed ice
Kiyoko Tokutomi

with its redwoods
springing to their full heights
the mountain laughs
Kiyoko Tokutomi

From Kiyoko's Sky
Brooks Books, 2002,pages 105 and 88.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Donna Beaver & Alan Pizzarelli

In the bright afternoon sun at Asilomar during Haiku North America 2012, 
Donna Beaver and Al Pizzarelli, creators of  Haiku Chronicles; the podcasts,
smile for the photographer!

staples rust
in the telephone pole

light rain
on the young tree
a strip of burlap ... flaps

Alan Pizzarelli

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Perusing Old Files

On one of our last outings with Kiyoko, we went out to lunch.
Afterwards, we paused in the parking lot for this portrait of Kiyoko and Patricia.

So lightly it goes
and so lightly it comes back
--the swallowtail

Kiyoko Tokutomi
from Kiyoko's Sky, Brooks Books, 2002. 
translated by Fay Aoyagi and Patricia Machmiller

perusing old files
dusty thoughts rise and settle--
the spinning spider

Patricia Machmiller
from Blush of Winter Moon

Monday, May 11, 2015

Geisha; going away

As they passed us, we pretended not to stare!
They must have been coming from or going to a photography session.
It was cherry blossom time in Japan!
(From the group visit to Japan in 2007.)

falling petals
the afternoon starts
with applause

Jane Reichhold

from A Dictionary of Haiku; 
second edition, AHA Books, 2013, page 31.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

San Jose Japanese Friendship Garden

If you could see past the left edge of this picture, you would be able 
to see the Teahouse in the Japanese Friendship Garden, where yesterday, 
the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society held a reading by the past presidents of the group.
Friends came from near and far and Deborah Kolodji drove 
from far Southern climes to take photographs.
This is one of them, stolen from Facebook.

the traffic clears
on both sides of the road
wild mustard

Deborah P. Kolodji

Scattered Acorns
YTHS Membership Anthology 2014
page 25

Saturday, May 9, 2015

YT 25th Anniversary; after the reading

15 years ago we celebrated the 25th anniversary 
of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
with a reading by the past presidents.
They are all in this photo, except for Mr. Tokutomi,
and Edwin Falkowski, who were no longer with us,
Now the two on the edges of this photo are also gone:
Mr. Yamagata, who died this year and Mrs. Tokutomi,
who has been gone a long time.
The rest of these people read today at the Teahouse 
in the Japanese Friendship Garden, but neither
Dave Wright (white beard) nor June Hymas (green blouse)
was able to attend. Other long-time members read for them.
And Deborah Kolodji put the photos on Facebook as the reading
progressed. I hope to get these photos from her for use here.
Also reading today were president Alison Woolpert and
past-president Carol Steele.
And so we go on!

each new grain of rice
seems to stand with the others
in the straw bag

Teruo Yamagata
Scattered Acorns; YTHS Member's Anthology 2014, page 46.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Flute Music

This is Patrick Gallegher, who has been invaluable to Yuki Teikei
in so many ways, as webmaster, Pagemaker expert, photographer
and just generally sensible person and thoughtful, incisive poet.. 

flute music
from the temple
we cannot enter

Patrick Gallagher

Thursday, May 7, 2015

An Inch

Asilomar Beach at Dawn, September, 2012. The distant figure is Anil, 
who came all the way from Uttar Pradesh to attend this haiku conference.

in the twilight of dawn
a whitefish, with an inch
of whiteness

translated by Haruo Shirane

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Statue of Kobo Daishi

I am thinking this was a statue of Kobo Daishi (774-835)
that we saw on the trip to Japan, but my journal is stored elsewhere;
perhaps it could be another holy traveler with a staff.

wisteria in bloom--
voices of pilgrims
voices of birds

translated by David Lanoue

flitting butterfly--
after dinner, a temple

translated by David Lanoue

riding piggy-back
a butterfly too is a pilgrim...
Zenko Temple

translated by David Lanoue

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Sheltered Spot

If I remember correctly, this place is called China Cove; it is at Point Lobos and has recently been closed to people because sea lions have colonized this beach. Jim Arnold, known to us as Ouzel, 
his haiku name, was a docent at Point Lobos, and brought us 2006.
I think I see him in a blue shirt leaning toward Mariko in pink to explain something.
That is Janis Lukstein going down the stairs,
It was a memorable, beautiful day. 
(Fisheye lens causes distortion.)

the wide winter sea –
my little problems
ebb on the tide
~Ed Grossmith

Monday, May 4, 2015

In Alum Rock Park

Fay Aoyagi gets closer to a spring wildflower on our ginko
in Alum Rock Park.

Fay is an expert on haiku, here as well as in Japan;
She also posts a translated modern haiku from Japan every day.

spring mud
I find a comb
left by a nymph
Fay Aoyagi
Beyond the Reach of My Chopsticks, 
Blue Willow Press, 2011, page 30.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One Line Haiku

Here is Deborah Kolodji at the special reading at the Tea House 
and our visit to the convalescent koi in 2010. Since she sprang onto the haiku scene, 
she has made herself irreplaceable, promoting haiku and very frequent haiku events
in a variety of ways. She's another member from the Southern California Haiku Study Group.

(Addendum: Debbie just emailed me that these were three line haiku and posted the wrong way
on my source. I'll try to clean this up and redo this post soon. Editor.)

migrating birds 
the line of planes 
at rush hour

Deborah Kolodji

thistles in bloom
 grandmother’s needle threaded 
with purple

Deborah Kolodji

If you haven't tried writing haiku in one line of 17 syllables or less,
try to fit the attempt into your busy life. You know who you are . . .

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Scented Breeze

This is Naia at the Annual Yuki Teikei Reading in the Teahouse on May 6, 2010.
Naia means nymph. She is another of our Southern California members,
and a really terrific writer and friendly person!

songbird . . .
even the crow in the next tree
BASHO Festival Anthology, 2001 (Japan)
scented breeze . . .
the whir of a hummingbird
Modern Haiku Vol XXXIII Nr 2 (Summer 2002)

And here she is on the same day writing haiku in the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Calling the names

This is Mrs. Minako Noma seeing us off at the station 
when a group of us visited Japan in 1997.
And that's a blonde sliver of Alice Benedict, I  think,
Mrs. Noma has been so helpful to us during our two trips to Japan;
Her smiling volubility during this first visit made a deep impression on me. jhh

feeding goldfish
children call the names
of each

Minako Noma