Wednesday, November 25, 2015

:He's the Yuki Teikei Website Guy!!

Here is David Sheretz reading from his work at the introductory session
in the YT Retreat just past. Already it seems to be TOO LONG
until the next one. Looking on, Eleanor Carolan (center)
and Anne Homan in apricot sweater.

David Sheretz is our Webminder for the Yukii Teiket Website:

Be sure to go there for the news and views
and all about Yuki Teikei.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


You can see what a good time we were having at the YT Asilomar Haiku Retreat this year!
Left to right, Anne Homan, Genie Nakano, Joan Zimmerman & Toni Homan.

on hands and knees
I blow a baby spider
out the door

Genie Nakano

The Plover and the Moonstone, page 23.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Top Hat

Patrick Gallagher knows how to be a Renku Master 
at the End Of The YT Retreat Classis Renku Party.
We all wear some sort of costume, which I think is a tradition 
he began by showing up in Japanese costume several years ago.  
He is also decisive and authoritative, which keeps things moving right along. 
The printed renku is likely to appear in Geppo, if tradition is followed.

spring cleaning
if only Mother had saved
my comic books

Patrick Gallagher

The Plover and the Moonstone
page 15

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Morning Tide

Irrepressible, and ubiquitous in the haiku zone, 
Debbie Kolodji definitely attended the YT 40th Anniversary 
Retreat at Asilomar.

Here are two of her haiku from the new anthology:

morning tide
a sea otter rolls
in the kelp bed

pi day
the circumference
of an onion slice

Deborah P. Kolodji

The Plover and the Moonstone,
edited by Patricia Machmiller,
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 2015m page 19.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Plover and the Moonstone

Patricia Machmiller, editor, and Patrick Gallagher, book design and production,
introduce the 40th Anniversary Anthology 
of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society at the 2015 YT Retreat at Asilomar!
The title is The Plover and the Moonstone.
That's Patrick's design on the cover.

The title is taken from this haiku:

                                   a pair of plovers forage
                                   among moonstones

                                      Joyce Lorenson


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Texts and Subtexts

Between sessions of the YT Haiku Retreat, 
Emiko Miyashita and Jerry Ball find out what's new.

In his discussion of haiku at the 40th Anniversary Reading in the Teahouse,
on May 9, 2015, Jerry gave examples of several different types of haiku. 
Haiku like the ones below he called "Haiku with a subtext."
These are the haiku which suggest a scenario for the reader to imagine.

waking up late
yesterday's mail
still unopened

the first autumn rain
belief in heaven and hell
no longer needed

the first fallen leaves
again I'm reminded
of the autumn inside

Jerry Ball

All these haiku were written by Jerry Ball and published in:
The Plover and the Moonstone; 
the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society 40th Anniversary Anthology
edited by Patricia J.Machmiller, 2015, page 47.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Renku Extravaganza!

On the final night of the YT Retreat at Asilomar,
we have a longstanding tradition of a festive RENKU PARTY.
Here you see Renku Master Emiko Miyashita in official regalia. 
We will be showing some of the other poets' costumes in the days to come.
The wall hanging behind her was made by Donnalynn Chase 
incorporating one of Emiko's drawings from the previous Retreat.

Perhaps this will give you an insight into the tone of the proceedings!
This is verse 13--a little more than one-third of the way through
the 36-link renku form. It is a "moon link"
meaning it must use, in this case, the winter moon.

Winter moon
as pale as

I took the picture before the author's name was written on the record.
I will have to add it when I find out who wrote that great link!  jhh

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The dog's name is Penny

Here is Jerry Ball, one of the earliest members of Yuki Teikei Haiku Society,
at the YT Haiku Retreat at Asilomar last weekend.
I think there are only three of us left who joined soon enough to know Mr. Kiyoshi Tokutomi,
and Jerry is one. When I went over to talk to them this time, he said, "Penny says . . .."
and looking at his wife, I said, " I thought your name was Sandy." 
She laughed and told me it was the dog who was named Penny.
This is how I found out that there is someone besides my husband who
quotes from the wise words of dogs. . .
We were all thrilled to get to spend a little time with Jerry.    jhhymas

winter moon
my neighbor draws the curtains
his wife opens them

Jerry Ball

 This is Jerry's moon link from one of our renku:
California Surf

Monday, November 16, 2015

Basho's Crow

Early in this year's 40th Anniversary YT Haiku Retreat, 2015 poets began
to nudge each other and whisper after this crow perched on the drought-stressed 
California Live Oak outside the window of the Trident Meeting Room.
From across the room, I had a good view. The beautiful colors were just like this
in the soft afternoon light; I have not altered them, 
just cropped the photo to feature Basho's Crow.

On a bare branch
A crow is perched -
Autumn evening. 
                                           Makoto Ueda [1]

On a withered bough
A crow alone is perching;
Autumn evening now
                                           Kenneth Yasuda [2]

On a withered branch
a crow has settled...
autumn nightfall.
                                                     Harold G. Henderson [3]

on a dead branch
the crow settles -
autumn evening

                                            Bruce Ross [4]

On the dead limb
squats a crow -
autumn night
                                             Lucien Stryk [5]

On a withered branch
A crow is perched,
In the autumn evening.
                                              R. H. Blyth [6]

on a bare branch
a crow has alighted...
autumn nightfall.

                                             Makoto Ueda [7]

on a bare branch
a crow lands
autumn dusk

                                             Jane Reichhold [8]

A crow
has settled on a bare branch -
autumn evening.

                                              Robert Hass [9]
on dead branches crows remain
perched at autumn's end
                                                         Hiroaki Sato [10]

on a barren branch
a raven has perched -
autumn dusk

                                               William J. Higginson [11]

a solitary
crow on a bare branch -
autumn evening

                                                Sam Hamill [12]

on a leafless branch
a crow comes to nest -
autumn nightfall

                                                 Haruo Shirane [13]

on a withered branch
a crow has settled -
autumn evening.

                                                  David Landis Barnhill [14]


[1] Ueda, Makoto
Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary
Stanford University Press, 1995.

[2] Yasuda, Kenneth
Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature and History
Tuttle Publishing, 2002.

[3] Henderson, Harold G.
An Introduction to Haiku: An Anthology of Poems and Poets From Basho to Shiki
Doubleday Anchor Books, 1958.

[4] Ross, Bruce (ed).
Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku
Charles E. Tuttle Company, Vermont, 1993.

[5] Stryk, Lucien
On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho
University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

[6] Blyth, Reginald Horace,
Hokuseido Press, 1997.

[7] Ueda, Makoto
Matsuo Basho
Kodansha America, 1983.

[8] Reichhold, Jane
Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands on Guide
Kodansha International, 2003.

[9] Hass, Robert
The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson & Issa
Ecco press, 1994.

[10] Sato, Hiroaki

[11] Higginson, William J. with Penny Harter
The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share and Teach Haiku
McGraw-Hill, 1985.

[12] Hamill, Sam
The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa and Other Poets
Shambhala Publications, 1995.

[13] Shirane, Haruo
Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory and the Poetry of Basho
Stanford University Press, 1998.

[14] Barnhill, David Landis
Basho's Haiku: Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho
State University of New York Press, 2004.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Voices of Children and Birds

This morning on the last day of the 2015 Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreat at Asilomar,
the Monterey Bay looked like this--after heavy rain in the night. The sea was very active,
with lots of brilliantly white crashing surf. And birds were everywhere overhead!

One of the highlights of this year's Retreat 
was the introduction by Emiko Miyashita 
(who traveled from Japan for the Retreat)
of the current anthology of children's art and haiku
Impressions of Dreams, edited by JAL Foundation.
The book is the result of a biannual competition 
sponsored by Japan Airline's JAL Foundation.
Emiko brought copies to share and also sets of the postcards 
that are made from individual haiku.
Each haiku is presented in the original language of the child
and translations into English and Japanese,
Every page has colorful reproductions of children's art from the same contest.
The haiku are funny or thoughtful, clever or wise, and always delightful;
they were written by children from all over the world.
The art is reproduced in bright, shining color.
We went around the room taking turns selecting
just one haiku to read aloud. Wonderful!
Here is just one:

To fly with belief
Free like a feather
to fly even without wings--

Mariam Martirosyan, Armenia

Impressions of Dreams, JAL Foundation, 2014, page 82.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Asilomar at dawn during the Retreat in 2012. The sandpipers are further on;
just keep walking toward the left. . .

an answer short of
the sea

Michele Root-Bernstein

Something out of nothing; seventy-five haiga,  
Ion Codrescu, Red Moon Press, 2014, page 77

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A bitter morning

We had news today of the passing of James W. Hackett in Hawaii. 
He has long been one of the titans of English language haiku
and this is sad, sad news.
This picture was taken at Haiku North America 1991 when he sat at the speaker's table,
after one of his superb presentations
The baleful glare is probably directed at me; it looks like I had
not yet learned to cancel the flash when taking a portrait.
(See the hard shadow behind his head.) 
Most modern cameras almost never really need the flash.
Try turning yours off.  jhh

a bitter morning
sparrows sitting together
without any necks

James O. Hackett

Winner of the top prize in the Japan Airlines Contest 1964

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gathering Seashells

Stalwart members of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society,
Mimi Ahern (left) and Toni Homan (right)
smile at the 2012 Asilomar Retreat: Haiku Pacific Rim.
Mrs. Minako Noma, from Matsuyama, Japan,
is the tiny, white-haired figure in the upper left.
Mimi currently serves as the Corresponding Secretary
and Toni as the Membership Secretary of YTHS.

eucalyptus bark
layers of sunset

Mimi Ahern

hoofmarks in the sand
gathering seashells now
all gone in one wave

Toni Homan

Both haiku from 
Extinguished Candles; 2009 Membership Anthology,
edited by June Hopper Hymas

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Winter Sky

This is Alison Woolpert (center, in black) making an introduction
to one of the many informative sessions that were held at our joint conferences
in 2012. The couple right in front of us are Mr. and Mrs. Noma from Japan
who were such a delightful addition to this assembly.
Alison has been the president of Yuki Teikei Haiku Society for several years now.
She spends a lot of time outdoors and is a true lover of nature.

winter sky
the released doves circle once
and are gone

Alison Woolpert

Something out of Nothing; seventy-five haiga,
Ion Codrescu, Red Moon Press, 2014

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Grandfather tells us . . .

At the Annual YT moonviewing in  Capitola, California last month, 
we had a great sunset in addition to a mooncake and the actual moon!

Grandfather tells us
about gathering firewood
under the full moon

Jerry Ball

From the Renku:
First Day of School
reprinted in Renku Moon, YTHS

Friday, November 6, 2015

the earth spins

This turtle in the bright sunlight was spotted
many years ago during a Yuki Teikei ginko
at Hakone Gardens.

turtles dozing 
on this warm and sunny rock 
how slow the earth spins

Ben Gieske

7 October 2013

For information about
the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
and its history and events
visit our web page at:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

It is autumn

On the grass, on the ground, on the bare cement surfaces, leaves are falling.
This one fell three days ago.

The kitten
holds down a leaf
for a moment


Don't Tell the Scarecrow
and other Japanese Poems.
Various translators;
pictures by Talivaldis Stubis, 

Scholastic, 1969, no pagination.


one-by-one the chickadee carries sunflower seeds into the wood 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Even among insects

The day Ann Bendixen invited me to come on a tour of the Lotus Garden
in Modesto, was beautiful and sunny, with no annoying bugs. 
It wasn't specifically a haiku outing, but a ginko with a friend.  jhh

Even among insects in this world
some are good at singing
some bad


Don't Tell the Scarecrow
and other Japanese Poems.
Various translators;
pictures by Talivaldis Stubis, 

Scholastic, 1969, no pagination.

Isn't Issa Cool????

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Edge of the Woods

Before he left us in 2009 (way too soon) Paul O. Williams 
was always able to enliven and enlighten any haiku meeting, 
event or poetry gathering, with his comments: 
wise, intelligent and often also very, very funny.
We miss him a lot.
He also wrote a series of seven post-apocalytic novels 
called The Pelbar Cycle;
they have always had a devoted following
and are now available on Kindle.

In rain, people pass
the water-rippled window
like living stained glass

Paul O. Williams

The Edge of the Woods;
55 Haiku
Paul O. Williams, Elsah, Illinois, 1968

This haiku is a fine example of what can be accomplished
when using the 5-7-5 form in English.
It is not the only good English haiku form,
but many excellent haiku have been written this way.
Kiyoshi and Kiyoko always supported this form;
In remembrance, and to honor them, 
the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
holds the Tokutomi contest 
for 5-7-5 haiku each year.

For details about the contest and for other activities
and highlights of the group's history, visit

Monday, November 2, 2015

Songbird . . .

Naia is in the foreground of this informal glimpse 
of the 2012 Retreat at Asilomar. I think this is the same renku party 
that Alan Pizzarelli is shown leading in a recent photo on this blog.
Joseph Robello is at the right 
and that's the indefatigable haijin Deborah Kolodji in the center.
I went looking for this photo because Naia's haiku below
was the Daily Haiku on Charlotte di Gregorio's Writer's Blog today!  jhh

        songbird . . .
        even the crow in the next tree


                               Basho Festival Anthology, Japan, 2001

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Did I get the shot?

In the bright mid-day sun at Asilomar 2012 when it is almost impossible
to see the screen of your camera to improve your framing, 
Mr. and Mrs Noma from Matsuyama, Japan, 
and Ann Bendixen, longtime YT member from San Jose (center.) 
all try to see what they have.

the sunlight behind
is irritating...
blooming irises

(Haiku and translation 
from David Lanoue's wonderful website)