Spring Haiku

December 2004

Spring 2004 Session: Haiku

Retirement of an’ya and new appointments at WHCbeginners

In an announcement through the WHCnewsletter on 1 March 2005, Susumu Takiguchi announced the retirement of an’ya from the Directorship of WHCbeginners, thanking her for the great contribution she has made to this forum, taking it on when it was first established, developing and enriching it to a unique place and a centre of excellence in the world haiku community where beginners can learn the basics of haiku in a thorough, helpful and joyful way. an’ya will assume different roles at WHC.

Sue Mill has been appointed new Director of WHCbeginners and Editor of WHCbeginners for World Haiku Review. DeVar Dahl has been appointed Mentor of WHCbeginners. He will work along with another Mentor, Carole MacRury.

*Director’s Notebook*

*Note: Firstly, I would like to say that Sue and myself have had to search the archives to recreate this for the new World Haiku Review, so if any information is wrong or if I’ve missed anyone’s name, please accept my apologies and please be sure to contact me privately at: anya@empnet.com and we’ll get it corrected.

Well now, looking back through the archives, I was amazed to see that 7978 messages have flown through cyberspace since our first beginners’ session in 2001.

Firstly, I harken back to the previous session in autumn of 2003, having just received an email from one of the mentees that I would like to share with you here:

“It was in the Fall of 2003 that 12 writers in the WHC Beginners’ group participated in a kukai with the subject ‘The Milky Way.’ And so began the milky way group of haijin. After the end of the workshop, the 12, along with three of the workshop mentors, continued to correspond about their work, submissions, acceptances and other things. In December 2003, the suggestion was made for each person to create a haiga or photo-haiku to create a calendar for 2004. The calendar was created and shared among the group and some of the haiga were also published in haigaonline. Everyone in the group enjoyed the wide variety of talent that became evident during the workshop and each one of us has enjoyed seeing the names of others in the group as their work finds its way into many publications.” Jim Swift

Darned if it doesn’t make us mentors feel like we’ve actually made a little difference [s]. Moving on, one of the exercises we now do at each session of WHCbeginners is conducting a mock-kukai. I would like to share with you the results from our most recent session, Spring 2004:


(Mentee’s Selections by Popular Vote)

First Choice:

restless cows
head toward the barn–
milky way

Laryalee Fraser

Second Choice was a tie:

milky way–
kicking sand
into the sea breeze

Thomas Patrick DeSisto

gathering wind–
the chaff from harvest fields
brushes the milky way

Sara Winteridge

Third Choice:

a dead fly
in my hot cocoa–
milky way

Aruna Lakshaman

We practiced repetition in haiku, and my favorite one overall is this super one-liner:

peony ant follows ant follows ant . . .

David Bewley

Moving on to the lighter side of WHCbeginners, we ended up with a sequence called SARA’S SOUND BITES, and here is the link I got a real ‘kick’ out of (pun intended) . . .

the owl
hoots hoots hoots
a boot flies through the air!

Pris Campbell

During this particular session, Kirsty was ill, and so of course, we had to do a haiku-get-well-card, and since it was May, we also did a Birthday card for Susumu. After all this and much much more that we crammed into the month, the spring 2004 mentees posted some final revisions. The following are some examples:

October beach–
someone’s straw hat
surfs the waves

Aruna Lakshaman

I depart alone
with my silent guitar

John White

planting fenceposts–
my neighbor’s mastiff
moves into the shade

Thomas Patrick DeSisto

morning mist–
a naked man dives
from razor-sharp rocks

Dawn Richardson

fish swim under a forest
of swaying reed

Cristina Grama

dusk deepens
the purple moors–
a kestrel plummets

Sara Winteridge

spring sunset
silver threads the gold
on the river

David Bewley

winter moon
a boney cow trots
through the shrubs

Pris Campbell

a last dragonfly hovers
by the stream

Norman Darlington

rush hour–
the setting sun flares
on each rear window

Leanne Opaskar

misty dawn . . .
a halo around
the dogwood

Christy Boylan

evening twilight
a faded flag sags
against the pole

Darlene Johnson

midnight solitaire
moonlit yard–
laying down of spades

Brian Marc

A breeze sways–
the tall cattails in
the lake in the park.

Wild Rose (Georgiana Tichna)

I could go on and on because we covered about 20 times the amount of things already mentioned, but for the sake of brevity, last, but definitely not least, we completed a colorenga, similar to this one that we did in the Autumn 2003 session:


A Redenga, Autumn 2003

one last leaf on the elkhorn sumac / Jim Swift

clouds in the dawn sky tell of a storm / Elaine King

after the rain a ruby sunset / Jorge Salguiero

her red-hot lips beckon a lover / Amtul Husain

valentine’s day my mailbox empty / Sue Mill

sparks from a bonfire fill the night air / Vicki Huntress

torching ends the sugar harvest / Howell Jones

a sweet looking convertible at the stop light / Mary King

the scarlet bow in her hair his fingers / Debi Faulkner

tangled undergrowth conceals a KitKat wrapper / Chris Boultwood

wild strawberries among the nettles / Jerry Dreesen

a cardinal takes flight as tired hikers pass / David Harris

* More haiku from WHCbeginners Autumn 2003 can be seen here.

Now for the Spring 2004 colorenga:

*Ultra-Violet* (Practice Makes Purple)

A Violenga, Spring 2004

purple skies
campfires flare circled
by swirling skirts

Pris Campbell

a storm coming
two ravens pass stones
one to the other

Sara Winteridge

february moon
the deep amethyst
of her belly-ring

Aruna Lakshmanan

poached in chocolate–
white wine

David Bewley

twilight breeze
clusters and clusters
of lavender

Leanne Opaskar

lilac wilting
near the breakfast leftovers
an unopened letter

Cristina Grama

clover fields
the children skip homeward
licking lollipops

Dawn Richardson

magenta morning
mallard shadows across
the mountain lake

Thomas Patrick DeSisto

how odd! a plum!
the muskrat carries it
into his tunnel

Kirsty Karkow

first rainbow
in the disused dye pit
a new mauve

Norman Darlington

spring rain
wild irises bowing around
the garden buddha

Christy Boylan

suddenly the long hike
is worthwhile . . .

Laryalee Fraser

I think this last verse just sums it all up nicely. Thanks to all participants in both sessions.
love ya, an’ya,
Director of WHCbeginners.


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