Old Pond goes to Washington DC





Cherry Blossoms – Hanami (movie)



The German film Cherry Blossoms – Hanami (Kirschblueten – Hanami) presented at the Vancouver International Film Festival is now available on DVD.

If you like Japan, you must see this film who offers beautiful shots of cherry blossoms, scenes of Noh theatre and spectacular views of Mount Fuji.

The film is filled with visual haiku poetry (a duck crosses the road, a bench under a tree, etc.), very similar to photo-haiku.

The film tells the story of Trudi and Rudi, an affectionate long-married couple whose children have grown up and moved away. When Trudi learns that her husband is terminally ill, she keeps it from him, and urges him to see more of life and visit their son who lives in Japan. The story culminates in a pilgrimage to Mount Fuji in the midst of the cherry blossom season, a celebration of beauty, impermanence and new beginnings.

Breathmarks: ready-made haiku from the table of contents





















When I opened the little book “Breathmarks: haiku to read in the dark” by Gary Hotham published by Canon Press, I was immediately drawn by the table of contents which was a simple list of the haiku’s “first line” with the corresponding page number.  (Readers can browse the table of contents and some pages of the book on Amazon)


These “first lines”, alternating between short and long and short, could be read like a series of haiku. These ready-made haiku were sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and simply beautiful. 




soft rain 72

I lean 73

at the bus stop 74


Source: table of contents of “Breathmarks” by Gary Hotham (photo)


This is a haiku made from the three “first lines” of haiku of pages 72, 73 and 74 written by Gary.


Here are more Ready-made haiku taken from the table of contents of  “Breathmarks: Haiku to read in the dark”

by Gary Hotham (Canon Press, 1999, Isbn 1-885767-58-7):


coffee 20

night comes 21

more darkness 22



picking up the shells 26

the heat 27



music two centuries old 44

rest stop 45

the wind 46



spring wind 48

distand thunder 49

more coffee made 50



on my birthday 64

up late 65

the library book 66



no place 67

no hurry in the wind 68

outside the door 69



sipping the soup 80

this summer night 81

the sound they make 82


shadow 94

early in the night 95

before the dew is off 96



she comes back 91

one mirror for everyone 92

time to go 93



The table of contents and its “First lines” are only a sense of the beautiful haiku to come.  Gary Hotham’s writing is simply wonderfl. Here are the three complete haiku from page 84, 85, 86:


waiting up-

one hand warms

the other


a pile of orange peelings –

the night watchman

away from his desk


around our feet –

water on its way

to more water


Gary Hotham in Breathmarks


And, if you take the first line of each haiku, you get this beautiful and new “ready-made haiku”:



waiting up 84

a pile of orange peelings 85

around our feet 86


(Table of contents of Breathmarks by Gary Hotham)