Saturday, February 28, 2015


This is Carol Steele. She has been President and Geppo editor 
of Yuki Teikei Haiku Society 
and helpful in more ways than we can count.
She also studies and practices Ikebana.
Here, she presides over one of our Spring Teahouse Haiku Readings
standing next to one of her arrangements.

fluting the pie-crust
Mother's hands-no my hands-
autumn approaches

the Buddha rests
in purple campanula-
light autumn rain

Carol Steele

Friday, February 27, 2015

Group Picture

This is Garry Gay; he's a  professional photographer 
Above, he has us lining up for a group photo at Asilomar.

Migrating whales-- 
from the harpoon boat
taking pictures

Garry Gay

from The Long Way Home
Brooks Books © 1999 Garry Gay

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What fish feel . . .

I wanted to spend all day photographing the koi in transparent green waters
at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga! What marvelous and lovely times 
our group has spent there!        jhhymas

What fish feel
birds feel, I don't know---
the year ending


The Essential Haiku; versions of Basho, Buson and Issa,
edited  by Robert Hass, ECCO, 1994, page 40

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tulips for Kiyoko

This was taken at Kiyoko's birthday party. I think she was 71, but it may have been her 70th.
Her only grandson, Jason, is on her lap, as he often was.

ten takashi ko taibo no onoko ete

Towering sky--
my daughter has the son
she long wished for

Kiyoko Tokutomi

from Kiyoko's Sky;
the haiku of Kiyoko Tokutomi,
trans. by Fay Aoyagi and Patricia Machmiller, 
Brooks Books, 2000, page 66.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teruo Yamagata, a sad farewell

From Japan, the very, very sad news that Mr. Teruo Yamagata has died. 
He was involved with Yuki Teikei Haiku Society from our very beginnings 
when we were an offshoot of the Yukuharu Haiku Society in Japan to which he belonged.
He visited us whenever he traveled to California; we were thrilled
when he came to the celebrations for our Twenty-fifth Anniversary in 2000.
no sooner swept
than on the same street
scattered acorns

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

for children to play
a game of hide-and-seek
a field of haystacks

no more
western films
summer house

Christmas card
which should I choose
Mt. Fuji or Ukiyoe

looking taller
than a cathedral
bare trees

Teruo Yamagata

These haiku appeared in the 2014 Member's Anthology,
which was titled Scattered Acorns after his haiku.

Monday, February 23, 2015

a morning-glory

Emiko Miyashita has been a longtime friend of Yuki Teikei
 and has come all the way from Japan for many of our Haiku Retreats at Asilomar.
Here she is at one of them, in seaside light, sharing her expertise.
She has translated haiku into English, including fine books 
by Masajo Suzuki and Dr. Akito Arima
now available on Amazon.

a morning-glory
blue to its throat:
I refill my fountain pen

Emiko Miyashita

 from Simply Haiku: 
A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry 
Vol. 3 No. 3, Autumn, 2005

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Japanese Friendship Garden

There goes Pat Shelley in her elegant raincoat! 
We were at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose 
for one of the Yuki Teikei springtime Haiku Readings in the Tea House
in the Garden, quite a few years ago now. You can even see from here
the pretty color of her hair; she told me once that
the tint was a special recipe for her, made by her colorist
by adding "a capful of Red Fox" to a blonder shade.


Cherry blossoms. Voices of people
lifted quietly into the air
Fins extended like wings or feet, the koi

walking on water
my sandaled feet on a path
deep in pebbles. The faraway sound

of a bamboo flute, one note
without a name. The ranger
offers us food for the koi

Near the Tea House
the cryptic
stepping stones.

Pat Shelley

from The Rice Papers, Saratoga Trunk, 1992, page 65.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Haiku Companions

This is Jean Hale. It would be hard to praise her enough for 
all the wonderful and cheerful help and support 
she has been to Yuki Teikei Haiku Society 
over many, many years. She served two long sessions 
as editor of our periodical GEPPO. 
I don't know how we would have managed 
many times to keep it coming out without her.
She did all this without wanting to show off
or make herself stand out in any way.
Her warm and gracious friendship
is treasured by all the members.
This picture was taken outside the Markham House
in San Jose's History Park after our meeting
there in February 2006.

Basho's friend, pupil and companion on some journeys, including the one to the far north, Oku no Hosomichi, was Sora (1648-1710.) His manuscript diary of the journey was rediscovered in 1943. Sora's record gives more details about that famous trip. Here are two of Sora's haiku which appear in Basho's account.

To and fro, to and fro,
Between the lines of barley,
The butterfly.

The stars on the pond;
Again the winter shower
Ruffles the water.

These translations appeared in
Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
Summer 2005, vol 3 no 2

Friday, February 20, 2015

Every time I look . . .

This shows one reason we love to come to Asilomar for our Haiku Retreats.                    jhhymas
It was Jerry Ball's idea, many years ago; it was a good one.

naki haha ya
umi miru tabi ni
miru tabi ni

my lost mother
every time I look at the sea
every time I look . . .
The Art of Haiku, by Stephen Addiss, Shambala, 2012, page 221.
Issa is one of the great voices in classical Japanese haiku. 
His story is a sad one; his mother died when he was two years old.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Picnic Table

After the ginko at Hakone Gardens, June 6, 2006, 
we got together around the picnic table to share haiku. 
Closest is Ed Grossmith, and Linda Papanicolaou is in the center.

at the June wedding
the pianist is playing
only the white notes

Ed Grossmith

school bell--
teacher shuts the door
on spring
Linda Papanicoloau

Both these haiku are from this year's membership
anthology, Scattered Acorns.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Bamboo Gate at Hakone

This is the bamboo gate at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, California, 
the day we had our early summer ginko there on June 10, 2006.
It was a beautiful day, and we shared some fine haiku.

in the rapid flutter
of another language
the words "ham sandwich"
June Hopper Hymas

This is our list of summer kigo from that day, 
still in my computer files.:Summer Kigo  
(Hymas and Bendixen worked on these)
early summer
short night
green bamboo
green plum
scented breeze
wild iris, Japanese iris
heat, hot, smoldering
summer sky
deep tree shade
summer butterfly
leaf quivers (check)

near the garden gate
Japanese-American's greeting
"Haiku? Oh, that seven stuff"
June Hopper Hymas

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Then this is what happened

Of course he is blurred; now he's on the move!
This great egret was in the garden when we had one of our annual spring readings
in the Teahouse in San Jose's Japanese Friendship Garden/

butterflies and birds
restlessly they rise up
a cloud of flowers

translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pewter and Moonlight

As the day moved towards evening during the YT Haiku Retreat at Asilomar in 2006, 
I fell in love all over again with the structures of pines against the sea.

The golden day
fades to pewter and moonlight
your messenger, 
Death, reminds me
I'm not necessarily right

Joan Zimmerman

in Scattered Acorns; 
the Yuki Teikei Membership Anthology 2014, page 55.

Yuki Teikei Members have also been studying tanka, 
the ancient Japanese poetic form of five lines. 
Joan Zimmerman has been a tireless proponent of this form.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lavished with sunlight

Patricia Machmiller and Kiyoko Tokutomi giving instruction during a session at 
a YT Haiku Retreat at Asilomar. You can see the beauty of the light there
and the young Monterey Pines and other dune vegetation.

the trees are lavished
with sunlight

Kiyoko Tokutomi
from Kiyoko's Sky

summer sea--mint-green
there's something in its sound of . . .
remoteness, of . . . calm

Patricia Machmiller
from Blush of Winter Moon

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Blue Lupine with Ladybugs


April 19, 2009. A group of us are at Monterey Dunes to study and write together.
The sun is bright enough to leach some color from the lupines blooming on the dunes.
And there are ladybugs everywhere! It is wonderful!

this world of dew
is yes, a world of dew
and yet . . .

Issa Kobayashi

from Patricia Donegan's
Haiku Mind; 108 poems to
Cultivate Awareness &
Open Your Heart,
Shambala, 2008
page 21.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tsukiji Fish Market

Trip to Japan, 2007. Kiyoko said we must see the great fish market
while we are here. So off we went; it was wonderful!
The Tsukiji Fish Market is on the Sumida River;
on this great river Basho lived and, beside it, planted his banana tree.
Jerry Ball has some Japanese, so he was able to speak to this couple
who gave is a such a great welcome. Smiles!

heat of afternoon
scrape of a workman's shovel
against the pavement
Jerry Ball

* * *

spring peace--
a mouse licking up
Sumida River

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A School Visit

One event of our trip to Japan in 2007 was a visit to a school!
This is the class I went to, and that is me, June Hymas, in the center
wearing my green silk blouse and my pearls that I just got on a shopping trip.
These students were terrific, so lively and so polite!
You can tell from this picture how much fun I had with them.

"tired of children"
for those who say that
there are no flowers

Basho; the Complete Haiku
translated by Jane Reichhold, 
Kodansha USA, 2013, page 209.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dressing up for The Renku Party

Longtime members Janis Lukstein and Patrick Gallagher in festive garb donned 
for the Renku Party held on the final evening of the YT Retreat at Asilomar in 2009.
We compose linked verse in a classic form every year.

flute music
from the temple
we cannot enter 

Patrick Gallagher

* * * * * *

. . .  every chill  . . .
brings deeper autumn
                empty nest

Janis Albright Lukstein

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reading her brother's letters

At the YT Asilomar Retreat in October, 2009, we had a special event celebrating
the publication of Autumn Loneliness, the volume of letters between Kiyoshi and Kiyoko 
(translated by Tei Matsushita Scott and Patricia Machmiller)
during the months he was in Japan for some experimental, and unsuccessful, 
treatments to restore his hearing. Many family members were able to attend.
This is Mitsuye Tokutomi Hoshino, elder sister of Kiyoshi Tokutomi, 
reading from that volume at Asilomar.

Up, up heavenward
riding its own melody
the unseen skylark

Kiyoshi Tokutomi

Monday, February 9, 2015

The sea darkens

Here is the various and beautiful sea at Asilomar during our YT Haiku Retreat in 2006.       jhh

the sea darkens —
the voices of the wild ducks
are faintly white

clattering cobbles —
on tide-wet sand, a feather
half black and half white
June Hopper Hymas

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Matsuyama Castle

In 2007, a group of us went to Japan for haiku meetings there. 
We were treated especially well in Matsuyama
where the cherries were in bloom
at Matsuyama Castle.

avenue of cherries
shall we wait until they light
the paper lanterns?

June Hopper Hymas

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sketching Lesson

                             Several times at the YT Asilomar Haiku Retreat,                 jhhymas
Carolyn Fitz has given us lessons 
in sketching with the Pilot Parallel Pen. 
I think this was the first one. 
Look at how we are paying attention!
Since then, many of us delight in using this sketching tool.
Here, I  was trying the experiment of photographing a group using a fisheye lens;
I did manage to include a lot of dear friends, some of them now gone.

a real summer downpour
the writing brush never drying
for a thousand words


a hundred day summer training period
my mind is steady
my inkstone does not hesitate


Copying sutras in my summer retreat
I use my writing brushes
to count the days


The classic Japanese haiku poet Buson (1716-1783) 
was also renowned as a painter and calligrapher. 
Here are some of his haiku on that topic from 
Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson
translated by W. S. Merwin and Takako Lento, 
Copper Canyon Press, 2013.

Friday, February 6, 2015


    On a day of haiku writing and sharing on the shores of the Monterey Bay; April  2010      jhhymas    

a gust of wind
    the water birds   


the short night--
shallow footprints
on the beach at Yui


Translations by Robert Hass from 
The Essential Haiku, Ecco, 1994

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Bird Into Clouds

This gull was there during the 2007 YT Haiku Retreat at Asilomar!          jhhymasphoto

autumn sea--
the gull on his rock island
looks at me on mine

Roger Abe

Scattered Acorns; 
Yuki Teikei Membership Anthology 2014, page 9
this autumn
why getting older is like
a bird into clouds


from Basho; the complete haiku,
Jane Reichhold
Kodansha, 2013, page 239

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Margaret, or Maggie!

This is the redoubtable Maggie Chula in all her blonde glory.
Go to her website (below) and find out about the contributions 
she has made to the world of Japanese-form poetry in English.
Plus, she is a lot of fun!

wiping lipstick
from the rim of my tea cup
I gaze out at flocks
of Siberian cranes—
their bright red patches

Margaret Chula

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Robert Hass and Garry Gay

This was the YT Retreat at Asilomar that had Robert Hass as the featured guest. He is shown signing a copy of his book The Essential Haiku for Garry Gay. Garry is well known in haiku circles, having been active in (or a founder and/or president of) Haiku Poets of Northern California, Haiku Society of America, American Haiku Archive (California State Library) and Haiku North America.

A light mist
we skip to the playground
my daughter and I

Garry Gay

from The Long Way Home


Children imitating cormorants
are even more wonderful
than cormorants
Kobayashi Issa
translated by Robert Hass

The Essential Haiku, ECCO, 1994, page 155

Monday, February 2, 2015

Asilomar at Sunset

Often, at the YT Haiku Retreat, the sunset over Monterey Bay is spectacular! 
Several times, over the years, we have seen the Dining Hall empty as people rushed outside
to get a better view. This is my favorite of the sunset pictures I took there.

from out of nowhere
a tern falls into the sea--
beginning of autumn

Patricia J. Machmiller
from Blush of Winter Moon

Sunday, February 1, 2015

That Benedict Smile!

This is Alex Benedict at the Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreat at Asilomar the year
James Hackett was the featured poet. Alex is a Past President of Yuki Teikei, 
and also an artist with recent exhibits at the Kala Art Institute and elsewhere.

today the sea 
as quiet as the wind 
among the grasses

Alex Benedict
(on Twitter)