Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Over the Monterey Bay

Does it still sometimes surprise you that the earth turns
and hides the sun, when it looks so much like the great ball of the sun
is sinking into the sea?

su no tori no kuchi aku hô ya kure no kane

toward the open mouth
of the nesting bird...

the sunset bell tolls


Translated by David Lanoue
on his splendid website:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Like Small Umbrellas

Above the surf-line at Asilomar, where the beach plants grow,
one of the special treats is the SAND VERBENA!

The sand verbena is a creeper on sandy beaches and dunes that dies back in winter and extends  itself in voluptuous abundance in the summer. The flowers grow in heads like small umbrellas. Latifolia, the yellow verbena, has a more succulent leaf than the pink beach verbena, umbellata. The leaves are shaped like tiny lily pads. 
Patricia J. Machmiller

yellow verbena
poking through the boardwalk
getaway weekend

D. Claire Gallagher

Claire Gallagher was a long-time member and support of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Her loss was deeply sad for the members.

San Francisco Bay Area Nature Guide and Saijiki, Anne M. Homan, Patrick Gallagher and Patricia J. Machmiller, Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 2010, page 50.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sand, Sea and Fog

Look up, look down, look around, Asilomar!

Summer fog
somewhere the beach
somewhere me
Roger Abe

Summer fog
young women gossiping
about boyfriends
Jerry Ball

San Francisco Bay Area Nature Guide and Saijiki,
Anne M. Homan, Patrick Gallagher, Patricia J, Machmiller,
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 2010, page 33.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sakura, and a wave

Minako Noma, haiku guardian extraordinaire, with Mr. Noma on their home turf
in Matsuyama when they took us to Matsuyama Castle during Cherry Blossom Time, 2007.

on split log benches
pale petaldrift

June Hopper Hymas

Friday, September 4, 2015


This is another view of San Francisco Bay from the festive meal at the restaurant there
before one of the wonderful meetings of the Haiku Poets of Northern California.
They just had their annual Two Autumns Reading
and I am extremely sorry to have missed it this year.

mononofu no daikon nigaki hanashi kana

Samurai gathering
Their chat has the pungent taste
Of horse radish

Matsuo Basho

Matsuo Basho by Makoto Ueda,
Kodansha, 1970, 1982, page 63.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Incoming Waves

At Asilomar, there is the beach AND there is the rocky coast!

disturbed ocean
looming, the incoming waves
speak of whales beneath . . .

Patricia J. Machmiller

Blush of Winter Moon
Jacaranda Press, 2001

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bicycle Lane

I was impressed with the communication power of this graphic on our second visit to Japan. jhh

Viata la oras--
de cand nu am vazut
o stea cazotoare?

Life in the city--
when did I last see
a falling star?

Radu Patrichi

from William J. Higginson, 
Kodansha America, 1996, page 187.

This wonderful haiku book by the late master of haiku
has an emphasis on poems illustrating 
the use of season words (kigo) in haiku.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Just a Hand . . .

More fun at a Renku Party, the traditional last evening of the YT Haiku Retreat at Asilomar.
I was going to crop this, but I have grown fond of the hand at the left, which reminds me
of Patricia Machmiller's gestures. Carol Steele is here again, with Billie Dee 
and Judith Schallberger, with her beautiful white hair behind them.
Outside, one of the distinctive streetlamps of Asilomar!

taniai ni kuruma suteari aki takashi

In a deep ravine
a car has been abandoned--
autumn sky so high

Kiyoko Tokutomi
translated by Fay Aoyagi and P. J. Machmiller

Kiyoko's Sky; Brooks Books, 2002, page 43.

Although this is not a verse from a renku,
it is a reminder that a good group poem should include
many types of subjects. An abandoned car
in a ravine is just the ticket! jhh