Friday, July 31, 2015


Mariko Kitakubo is a tanka and haiku poet from Japan; 
yesterday's post shows her in her kimono 
during a reading. This picture was taken at Point Lobos 
on an outing there before the YT Retreat at Asilomar.
See the blue waters of the Monterey Bay behind her?

an accident
of birth ---
on this same star
trees, wild beasts,
fish, people

Mariko Kitakubo

(translated from the Japanese by Amelia Fielden)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Tanka Sequence

This is Mariko Kitakubo from Japan, reading her tanka for us 
in front of one of Asilomar's great fieldstone fireplaces.
Although she is known as a tanka poet, she often
comes to our retreats to share her poems with us.
Many of our haiku poets also write tanka.

This sequence of her tanka poems appeared in Rattle 47.



will my later years
a mother cat has babies
at the ruined village


dim light
of cherry blossoms--
petal storm in the ruins
beyond my five senses


of the stream
in my homeland---
Strontium is soaking
into the placenta


cherry avenue
my late mother's favorite...
is there
another world?
petal drift


there were
days when I had
my dream...
are you there now?

Mariko Kitakubo
Rattle 47

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Tides; rising and falling

A view of the Monterey Bay during one of our YT Haiku Retreats at Asilomar.

serene ebb tide--
the striped-purple jellies
blink once a millennium

Roger Abe

Bending Reeds;
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
Members' Anthology 2012, page 3.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

White Rabbit

This is Kiyoko Tokutomi's oldest grandchild, Nicholette, 
at her grandmother's house many years ago.
Kiyoko loved her grandchildren very much: 
to know that all you had to do was to see them together.
Many years ago at the Watsonville Obon, I saw Grandmother and grandchild dancing
(that is a link above)
This past weekend, Nicholette danced again with her mother and sister!

are you the harvest moon's
white rabbit


Instead of seeing, as some Westerners do, a man on the moon, Japanese people perceive the outline of a rabbit. Shinji Ogawa notes that gyomei dai or gomyô dai means a "representative" in this context. The rabbit is representing the moon on earth, Issa quips.
[Explanatory note and translation of Issa's haiku from David Lanoue's website;

Monday, July 27, 2015

This feeling . . .

Always there, always ready to help since the very earliest days 
of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, Pat Machmiller,
seen here across the pool when we visited a Japanese Garden in springtime.

young leaves: this feeling
of wanting to know what now
I can never know

Patricia J. Machmiller

Spring Sky, YT Member's Anthology 2001, 
ed. June Hopper Hymas, page 3.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

While I Ponder

In the doorway, looking into the future, my Prusch Park friend: the goat with the yellow eyes!

                           While I ponder
                     a snail
                            passes me by

Out from the gate,
I too become a traveler--
autumn dusk

Haiku: an anthology of Japanese poems, 
by Stephen Addiss and Fumiko Yamamoto
Shambhala, 2011, Kindle locations 1253  and 1412.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

That Fragrance

Dear friend, Ann Bendixen, talks to a park guide
near the Emma Prusch's kitchen garden section of Prusch Park.

I don't know
which tree it comes from
that fragrance


Robert Hass, The Essential Haiku,
Ecco, 1994, page 21.

And here is the whole photograph!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Prusch Park adventures continued; see the previous posts for more 
pictures of this great City of San Jose Park!
Here are some more of the domesticated fowl you can see there.

How admirable!
to see lightning and not think
life is fleeting.


The Essential Haiku; versions of
Basho, Buson and Issa,
Robert Hass, Ecco, 1994, page 24.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Strawberry guava in bloom

This is the blossom of the Strawberry Guava, which grows on a small tree or large bush.
It is one of the demonstration plants that are maintained by the California Rare Fruit Growers
in the Heritage Orchard at Prusch Park.
This gives a visitor or enthusiast a chance to see plants that they might grow 
in a home or hobby orchard in the Santa Clara Valley.
These growing, fruiting plants were just one of the many interesting features of this park
that we were introduced to on our haiku excursion there.

when planting one
handle it like a baby
wild cherry tree


Basho; the complete haiku, by Jane Reichhold
Kodansha, 2008, page 31.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Eye Contact

Prusch Park Series continued! This was my favorite denizen of the Prusch Park 
on the day of the first Yuki Teikei ginko there.
I think it was because of the very intelligent eye contact,
but perhaps also because of the beautiful yellow eyes.

what is more
than now

John Stevenson

Dim Sum; Route 9 Haiku Group, 2015/1

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dots on my Feathers

Guinea Fowl another of the denizens of Prusch Park from one of our ginko there.
(See previous posts on Prusch Park.)

Not the answer
I was expecting 
heat haze

Joan Zimmerman

Modern Haiku, Summer 2012

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Rooster's Shadow

The first time we went to the Prusch Farm Park, was a very sunny one
with sharp clear shadows. Roosters, hens and other poultry wander the grounds
of the park, making for a wonderful experience.

morning heat
a crow departs
from its shadow

Desiree McMurray

Bending Reeds; 
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society 
Members Anthology 2012, page 14.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Haiku Books and Other Cuddly Things

Here are some of the haiku books that are waiting for me back in California.
I have a thing for stuffed animals, too, which I am revealing here for the first time. jhhymas

tell us, hazy moon--
what lunacy will you send
to our fragile town?

Dennis Noren

First Prize
Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Memorial 
Haiku Contest 2010

Wild Violets; Yuki Teikei 
Members Anthology 2011, page 21.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Child in a blue dress

On an overcast day at the Japanese Friendship Garden
when we had one of our annual spring haiku readings
in the Teahouse, I saw this perfect child.

many various
things come to mind
cherry blossoms


Basho; The Complete Haiku,
Jane Reichhold, Kodansha, 2013, page 107

Friday, July 17, 2015

Emma Prusch

This is Emma Prusch, a very smart and civic-minded lady who left her farm 
(then nestled right in the middle of the City of San Jose) to the city 
to be used as a demonstration place for the rural life of earlier times. 
She also had the civic-mindedness to specify that parking at the park 
must always be free; and thus families are seen enjoying the park, the animals 
and the large grassy playing field in all good weathers. 
Emma is seen here in her portrait on display at the Prusch Farm Park.

One of our Yuki Teikei presidents (and a long-time member) is Roger Abe,
an Interpretive Park Ranger for the City of San Jose.
We often visit parks and reserves (as we did this one!) with Roger
on our ginko, or haiku walks. We had a wonderful one here at the Farm Park
and over the next few days on this blog we will look at pictures
of some of the  things we saw. Prusch is a great place.
I find it wonderful that such a place is nestled alongside the freeway
near a cloverleaf interchange.

This is one of the cats that live at the  Prusch Farm Park
who came to the meeting when we were reading
the haiku we had written on our tour of the Farm Park.
This is a very self-possessed cat!

sharing the food
in the cat's dish...
baby sparrow


translation by David Lanoue
from his website:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

At the Carmel Mission

Roger Abe, Emiko Myashita (haiku poet and translator who lives in Japan) and
Kiyoko Tokutomi on a stop at the historic Carmel Mission after one of our YT Haiku Retreats.
We had but recently learned of the seriousness of Kiyoko's illness, so it was
a sad time, but wonderful to still be able to spend time together.

This earlier post is from that same outing.

the way she smiles
the way he laughs
migrating monarchs
Roger Abe

Wild Violets YT Membership Anthology 2011, page 1.

I shake it asking
Are you still alive?
--a packet of seeds
Kiyoko Tokutomi

Kiyoko's Sky, Brooks Books, 2002, page 47.

On a lower branch
a larger bloom--
purple magnolia  
Kiyoko Tokutomi

Kiyoko's Sky, Brooks Books, 2002, page 48.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blue Iris

On one of our visits to a Japanese garden, there were so many photographers
trying to get a picture of these flowers that I had to wait for quite a while
before I could get close enough. Then I rushed to catch up to my haiku people.

elbow to elbow--
water iris in bloom

June Hopper Hymas

* * * * *

scummy pond,
a mirror deep with movement
calla lilies

Susanne Smith
(Wild Violets, YT Membership Anthology 2011, page 16.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The voice of Buson

Where else but on the shores of the Monterey Bay 
where we have spent so many happy hours
in haiku friendship!

This feeling of sadness --
a fishing string being blown
by the autumn wind

Yosa Buson

(1716 ~ 1783)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Group Shot

We are assembling for Garry Gay to take the group photograph 
for Haiku North America at Asilomar in September, 2012.
I really love how different these photos are from the posed ones!
How many haijin can you spot? I see Joan Zimmerman, Carol Steele, Susan Antolin,
Billie Dee, Joseph Rubello, the top of Minako Noma's white head, 
perhaps Jerry Ball's cap and Mr. Noma near her and Ann Bendixen at the far right,
It was a world-class event!

Monterey cypresses—
out of the fog the romaji
of twisted forms 

Patricia J. Machmiller

from HNA’s The Regional Reading

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The broad-brimmed hat

This picture of Kiyoko Tokutomi in sun hat and sunglasses 
was taken on one of our ginko, or haiku walks, in early summer. 
We always tried to choose a special place to see at its special time of year, 
and planned to spend a good portion of the day there, 
perhaps with a picnic lunch.

Not even the sky
is wide enough--scale clouds
burgeoning outward

Kiyoko Tokutomi
from Kiyoko's Sky; the haiku of Kiyoko Tokutomi,
 Brooks Books, 2002.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

You can hear the stars

Several years ago, I saw this Alison smile at a Tanabata party.
Those with sharp eyes can also see that hostess Ann Homan
has her unabridged dictionary ready-for-use in the background.
This picture shows quite clearly why Alison is so beloved.
She is the Yuki Teikei President now.

you swear

you can hear the stars

—muteness of the moon

Alison Woolpert

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Pond's Surface

On a haiku walk in one of the many Bay Area Japanese gardens, I met more bronze cranes!

Sycamore seed
breaking the pond's surface
---the mind's surface

Graham High

Spring Sky; Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
Member's Anthology 2001, page 9.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Prevailing Winds

From one of our Tanabata celebrations in the hills above Livermore, 
we could see the many large white wind turbines that have been there for many years.

brown hills
the party much livelier
just after sunset
Patrick Gallagher

Spring Sky; Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
Member's Anthology 2001, page 12.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Waiting for Moonrise

Joan Zimmerman is a powerhouse of writing and exploring writing and helping others to do so.
She has even been on the radio about haiku!
Here she is at one of our outings at Point Lobos just before Haiku North America 2012.

waiting for moonrise
the man on the yellow cart
whistles Puccini

Joan Zimmerman

Spring Sky;
Yuki Teikei Membership Anthology 2001
page 8

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Awaiting the Stars

Swimmer spotted at Hakone Japanese Gardens in Saratoga, California.  jhhymas


hoshi matsu ya kame mo suzushii ushirotsuki

awaiting the stars--
even a turtle cools
his behind


Translation and Japanese with Romaji
from David Lanoue's website:

Tonight is Tanabata!

(But we'll have the YT celebration
this coming Saturday.)
Details on the website:

Bonus turtle image from my granddaughter. jhh

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tanabata Memories.

Left t right: Alison Woolpert, Carol Steele, June Hymas, Anne Homan, 
Linda Papanicolaou, Donnalynn Chase! This picture was taken at a Tanabata celebration
at the Homans' home above Livermore. If you look carefully, you can see a paper kimono
on the borrowed bamboo branches between Anne and Linda.

meadowlarks explode
from the grass ahead . . .my heart
keeps pace with their wings

Anne Homan

the mockingbird sings; 
1997 Membership Anthology
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society,
edited by June Hopper Hymas, page 5

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Black Bamboo

Mary Hill cultivated a small stand of black bamboo is her back yard. 
It made the perfect place to hang the paper kimonos and poem-papers 
at our Tanabata Celebration; we were able to celebrate here several times.

a bamboo shoot
when I was a child it was
fun to sketch

a cuckoo
in a bamboo thicket
leaking moonlight

Both translations from
Basho; The Complete Haiku
by Jane Reichhold, Kodansha, 2008, page 197

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Gathering

Where else but at the beloved Asilomar?

the spring tide
piercing my entire body
the whistle from a boat

Yamaguchi Seishi

Modern Japanese Haiku;
an anthology, compiled, translated 
and with an introduction by
Makoto Ueda, 
University of Toronto Press, 1976, page 159

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tanabata Overlook

High above our daytime worlds we wait for darkness, so we can see The River of Heaven.
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Annual Tanabata Celebration, 2007.

I read a book--
somewhere within the book
an insect chirps

Tomiyasu Fusei

Modern Japanese Haiku;
an anthology, compiled, translated 
and with an introduction by
Makoto Ueda, 
University of Toronto Press, 1976, page 176

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Glance by Glance

      As they move through the water, koi create patterns of varying beauty.       jhhymas

River of Heaven

fishing out
the river of heaven
glance by glance

beneath the highway bridge
all empty swallows' nests

no longer sure
who is the smarter species
after the nature special

my inky thumbprint
on the application form

            Nathan White
            Linda Papanicolaou

Mariposa 23; Haiku Poets of Northern California, 2010.

Continuing with the Star Festival Theme, here is a cooperative
poem modeled on the renku form: three line segments which alternate with two-line verses. It is a wonderful practice to work on one of these with someone else! Just two stanzas can be called a "tan-renga" and is the form Patricia Machmiller and I use for our annual New Year's greeting we end to some of our friends in Japan. Garry Gay invented a six-stanza version called a "Rengay" which many people use. I think you should be able to vary the length depending upon the material and the amount of time you have for writing. Some people compose these via email or postal mail, sending the unfinished poem back and forth like a ping-pong ball. I started one of these by mail and it is still in the air ten years later. Maybe I'll look for it tonight . . .  jhh

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Remember your haiku notebook!

This is Carol Steele, a stalwart member of the the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
She has served as President, and is just retiring as the long-time Editor of Geppo, our newsletter. Countless meetings and special events have been ornamented by her Ikebana,
of which she has made a long-time and devoted study.
Here she is shown working on a haiku at our Tanabata celebration 
in the hills above Livermore in 2007.

It is a worthwhile habit to carry a small notebook like this with you
so you can catch haiku impressions when they occur to you.

so many night lights for
sleeping garden stones

Roger Abe
from the Poet's Pages at
which is the many-layered website of
The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society

(This haiku also appeared in
The mocking bird sings;
1997 YT Member's Anthology, page 11)