Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Haiku Laughter

This happy picture was taken at a Yuki Teikei Haiku
Retreat at Asilomar in the early 1990s.    jhhphoto

tell me

how to grow old
winter moon  

Ebba Story

from Ebba's reading at HPNC's Two Autumns in 2010


a fish jumps
from it, into it...
evening stillness

Christopher Herold

A Path in the Garden, Christopher Herold,
Katsura Press, 2000, unpaginated.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Laurabell revisited and remembered

 Here she is at the Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreat at Asilomar
featuring Robert Hass (blue shirt)
many years ago. You can see how full of life and joy she is.

I am away from my archive and will need help identifying the man in the orange shirt
(is this her Bob?) and the year that Retreat was held.

photos by June Hopper Hymas

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Belle of Haiku

Here is the message from Carolyn Hall to let us know
of the passing of that wonderful bright haiku spirit and sprite,
Laurabell Hawbecker. Good night, dear friend. . . jhh

From: Carolyn Hall
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2016 6:09 PM
To: Carolyn HALL
Subject: Laura Bell (Laurabell Hawbecker) 1925-2016

Inline image 1

Dear HPNC members,

I just received this notice from Judyth Greenburgh, a friend of Laura Bell:

"Our dear friend Laura Bell peacefully passed away November 30, 2016 at home with her teddy bear and rabbit in her arms and her faithful friend Ruth by her side. She had wanted to be home where she didn’t have to wear any stupid hospital gowns and could go the same way she came into this world.

She will be missed by her family and all her friends. She can now freely tap dance on her houseboat with Bob playing the jug."

I am particularly sad to hear of her passing. Not only was Laurabell the spriteliest person I ever met, but she was my haiku mentor. Back in 1999 and the early 2000's she taught me all she knew about haiku, and introduced me to the Haiku Poets of Northern California . . . for which I am eternally grateful. She was an active, and adored, member of HPNC until approximately 2003 when she and Bob moved from their Sausalito houseboat to the desert in Inyokern CA (which was better suited to Bob's health). We've missed her ever since.

Laurabell was a senryu master, always able to make us laugh! But she wrote heartfelt haiku as well.

Here are a few of her poems from Mariposa:

between showers
hanging the clothes out
hanging the clothes out

#1 1999

greeting my sick friend
the apology
in her eyes

#1 1999

sun-baked desert
the breeze I waited for
hotter still

#4 2001

desert quiet
a click of the camera
moves the burro’s ears

#4 2001

fall sale
women’s skirts half off
at the mall

#5 2001

spring flood
the scrubbed face
of a river rock

#6 2002

darkening mountain
red in the warmth
of the setting sun

#8 2003

Last, but not least, here is a link to a film Judyth made 
of Laurabell. We are so fortunate to have this!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Golden Waters, Memory

So many times I have visited the 
Japanese Friendship Garden
in San Jose with haiku friends.
This was taken on the most recent outing on a flying visit home.

Since this garden was established after World War II,
as a symbol of friendly relations with Japan
and the Japanese people.
I thought it would be a good image for today. jhh

over time
my own footprints
make a path

Hilary Tann

Upstate Dim Sum;
2016/B, page 5.

This is a link to a
which is well worth subscribing to!
Or inquire: John Stevenson
P.O. Box 122, Nassau, NY, 12123.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Haiku Gathering a quarter century ago!

I must have forgotten to have them say "cheese!"
Left to right: Patricia J. Machmiller, 
Margaret Chula, James Hackett!

All of these people have written books that are worth looking up!

This is a candid moment from the haiku past.
I took it at Haiku North America 1993.

who taught me how to sail
now asks me the word
for the place
where horses sleep

Margaret Chula
Ash Moon Press Anthology, 2008

on the patio
the afternoon drifts along
with the butterfly

Patricia Machmiller

Haiku World; an international poetry almanac, 
William J. Higginson, Kodansha International, 1996, page 80.

An abandoned book . . .
skimming through its pages,
breezes from the sea.

James Hackett

NOTE: Thanks to Michael Dylan Welch for the corrected date of 1993, which was the
HNA that Mr. Hackett attended.  jhh

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kiyoko's Hands

There is a proper way to do everything, and it is important to do everything properly!
These are the hands of Kiyoko Tokutomi slicing green onions 
that will be part of the meal she is preparing for us at the Machmiller beach house 
when Mr. Masahisa Fukuda, the scholar and renku expert (His haiku name was Shinku!) 
visited during the Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreat at Asilomar. It was in 1998, I think.
Kiyoko also knew there was a proper way to write haiku; she continued to write
haiku in Japanese, although she lived in America for most of her adult life.
The haiku in the book below were originally written in Japanese and published in
a haiku journal there. They were translated by Patricia Machmiller and Fay Aoyagi;
the book was published shortly before she died, and she was able to read from it 
at the Yuki Teikei holiday party in late 2002.

Autumn in the air--
from morning on, pieces of cloud
tear off and scatter

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

Kiyoko Tokutomi

from Kiyoko's Sky,
Brooks Books, 2002,
pages 79 and 43.

Editor's Note: I have plans to keep
adding content to this blog.
Plans are just plans, but better
than nothing...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Remembering Jane Reichhold (1973-2016)

This is not a very sharp or well-composed picture that I took at a
Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreat at Asilomar in the early 1990s.
But it clearly shows the intensity and involvement with each other
of Jane and Werner Reichhold--when they were discussing
matters of art and aesthetics.
Since they were BOTH artists as well as writers,
they brought a great deal of background to their discussions.

At the Retreats, we never did get to know Werner that well, because he most often
preferred to walk on Asilomar Beach to attending every indoor session. . .
but we saw enough to know that he was a person serious about art!
And about literature!

We are all thankful to Jane for her service to the arts of haiku and tanka;
and we are deeply sad that she has gone from us.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Annual Reading in the Teahouse: Japanese Friendship Garden, San Jose

Featured Reader Elaine Whitman at the Yuki Teikei Annual Reading in the Teahouse!
Yes, that IS a soft pile of Hermes scarves! 
Photo by Clysta Seney.

Last Saturday, there was a series of haiku events, culminating in this reading.
Elaine was the final reader, and read an astonishing series of haiku
using the silk scarves as the art for a haiga-like pairing.
Her husband and long-time Yuki Teikei member, Neil Whitman held up
each scarf as she read the corresponding verse.
She is shown here delivering the final part of her reading
and before she folded up the scarves.

Hopefully, there will be another reading here
at the Japanese Friendship Garden next May.
It is always a wonderful event!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our Haiku Walk at Filoli

On last Saturday, April 9, despite a predicted rainstorm, 
members of Yuki Teikei enjoyed a spring blossom
outing to the Filoli Gardens in Woodside, south of San Francisco.
Patricia Machmiller, still in the "halo" after her accident
(but hopefully for only a week or two more)
was able to come. Here she is in The Garden House, 
backed by the white tulips that are featured at this time of year.
This portrait was taken by Mimi Ahern.
Some of us spent some time writing and thinking about SPRINGTIME!
in the garden house, others walked about in the house and gardens.

This is the entrance to the Garden House. It was heated in the winter!

The Swan Table in the entry court 
sported a spectacular arrangement! 

White tulips in pots were everywhere!

 The weather was moist, but it wasn't
actually raining most of the time.
To me, it felt more like walking about inside cloud.

 White wistaria was in full bloom! There was pale purple, too.

The garden is carefully laid out 
with pleasing walkways and places to sit.

Before we began, we lunched together in Filoli's cafe, 
where the pre-prepared food was fresh and very tasty.
Afterwards we met there again to share haiku.

Some of our haiku will appear in Geppo 
with another account of this fine day,
which will also appear in the HSA Newsletter.

Here are two of mine:

people taking photos
of the people they came with
--fallen camellias

pale gray-white sky
it's like living
inside cloud

JHHymas, Filoli, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Full Afternoon of Remembrance

This is an infrared photograph I took of the Markham House,
a few years ago, before the new paint job 
covered the beautiful yellow.
The poet Edwin Markham lived in this house 
near downtown San Jose. Later, the house was moved 
to the History Park because of its historical value.

The San Jose Poetry Center and the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
have an agreement with the San Jose Parks Department 
to hold scheduled poetry-related events 
and literary open houses for the public here.
In the upstairs bedrooms our volunteers maintain 
select libraries on American Poetry and on Haiku. 

YTHS holds several meetings a year at Markham House, 
sometimes to walk about the park and write haiku; 
sometimes for other topics. This afternoon 
we held a meeting in memory of our members 
who have passed away. Since YTHS has
now been in existence for more than forty years
many of the newer members were never acquainted with
the work of earlier members.

Before the meeting, Roger Abe and Clysta Seney 
(our haiku librarian) worked to list those members,
and locate examples of their poems in the library's holdings.
Each of thirteen members was introduced by one of us.
The presenter (and others present) also shared other memories
as appropriate. Roger had done Internet searches and brought
several obituaries. In preparation, I had my photos of most
of these members printed 8x10. These photos were held up
during the discussion of each person, 
and will now be kept in the Haiku Library.

All this preparation resulted in a truly memorable 
(and deeply moving) meeting.

We heard excellent haiku, some tanka and haibun, and got to
remember our dear friends. I might have taken better notes
(and copied down some haiku)
if I had thought I would be posting here about this meeting.
I was deeply moved by the fellowship and sharing,
and decided to post about this meeting on my drive home.

Here is a list of the people we remembered, together
with the name of the person who presented the remembrance. 
I am still wrapt in tender memories tonight.

Pat Shelley (1997)  ---June Hopper Hymas
Mary Hill  ---Ann Bendixen
Emile Waldteufel (2000) & Eugenie Walteufel ---Carolyn Fitz
Hank Dunlap (2005)  ---Alison Woolpert
Jerry Kilbride (2005)  ---Carol Steele
David Priebe  (2006)  ---Eleanor Carolan
Kay F. Anderson  (2007)   ---Ann Bendixen
Jim "Ouzel" Arnold   (2007)   ---Bill Peckham
Paul O. Williams   (2009)   ---Clysta Seney
D. Claire Gallagher   (2009)   ---Carolyn Fitz
Beth Stevenson Brewster   (2011)   ---Roger Abe
Tei Matsushita-Scott   (2013)   ---Carol Steele
John Schipper   ---Roger Abe

The entire afternoon was devoted to loving remembrance of the
haiku poets who are no longer here. I did not expect that this would be such a powerful and moving afternoon. Thank you, Roger and Clysta for all your work!!

Editor's note about this blog: Facebook keeps reminding me that  people (just not as many people) are still looking at the haiku memories that were posted here last year. So I have decided to continue making intermittent posts, like this one. JHH