Old Pond – Chora




Old Pond comics about famous haiku writers.



Did you know?… Shiki


Brd 001


     On how to sing

     the frog school and the skylark school

     are arguing.




This is a beautiful haiku in itself, although it does gain added point from the fact that its author Shiki had founded what was sometimes called the “Cuckoo school”.


Therefore this poem also refers to the differences between Basho’s school and Shiki’s school.


Reference: An introduction to haiku: an anthology of poems and poets from Basho to Shiki, by Harold G. Henderson



13th Mainichi Haiku Contests – International Section

Results from the 13th Mainichi Haiku Contests – International Section


First prize:



The sommelier decants

A red sunset

      Scott Mason


Among the Honorable mentions, my favorites are:


only a table left

still set for tea

      William Cullen Jr. (U. S. A.)


first snow—

the mailman’s bike

with new tires

    Damien Gabriels (France)

Did you know…?




     Fallen petals rise

     back to the branch – I watch:

     oh…  butterflies!

          — Moritake


The famous haiku by Moritake (who was a Shinto priest of high rank) was inspired by a line of scripture: “Can a fallen blossom return to its branch?”.



Source: An introduction to haiku: an anthology of poems and poets from Basho to Shiki, by Harold G. Henderson

Everyday haiku


rush hour
her flip flops
fall off
—  Anne Dunnett
I discovered Anne’s beautiful haiku cards at the Vancouver Public Library bookstore. As soon as I entered the store, her cards with attractive colors, simple design and three lines of text immediately caught my eye: haiku cards! 
watermelon seeds
the last day of smmer
left behind
– Anne Dunnett
These are some of the best haiku I’ve read in a long time. Disarmingly simple and effective.
Read more and see Anne’s cards on her site Everyday Haiku.  She lives in North Vancouver.



Ore | to | kite | asobe | yo | oy-no-nai | suzume

Me | with | coming | play | ! | parent-less | sparrow


Come! With each other kobayashi issa

let’s play – little sparrow

without any mother!

Issa (trad. Harold G. Henderson)

Haiku wars, novel by David G. Lanoue


Haiku Guy, by David G. Lanoue.  


During a haiku conference in New Orleans, a manuscript disappears. As the author Mr. Kusuban threatens to leave the conference, the organizer known as “Poet” and his pet ferret set on to discover the culprit and recover the manuscript during the conference.  The ferret has the ability to slip in the Old Japan in his dreams and there, he gets help from famous haiku masters Buck-Teeth (Issa) and buddha himself. 


As the plot evolves, we dive into an existing feud between rejected writers and a dictatorial publisher, and a war between haiku clans in Japan, the traditionalists vs the modern haiku writers, who attend the conference but don’t speak to each other. 


* * *


For writers not used to reading modern haiku, the haiku recited by Mr. Kusuban at the conference in the novel can cause quite a shock (or a chuckle) as “tower of cellos…” is used as a modern kigo. 


The novel features haiku of the highest quality recited by the narrator Poet and other conference attendees. (The true names of the attendees were changed but members of the tightly-knit haiku community will easily identify the real haiku writers behind each characters despite the pseudonym given to them by the author).


This haiku novel does a great job in capturing the atmosphere and activities of a haiku conference (haiku readings, haiku walk, dinner parties). If you’ve never been to a haiku conference, this will give you a good idea of what they are like, and if you’ve attended one before, you’ll feel nostalgic. I especially enjoyed the chapter taking place during a Haiku Death Match (a kind of haiku slam), as I have never attended one of these before and always wondered about how it works. The novel explains it quite well.


Haiku Wars is a fabulous haiku novel by David G. Lanoue.  Also recommended: Haiku Guy, by David G. Lanoue.