Jashn e haiku contest

Jashn-e-Haiku is the official haiku contest for Jashn-e-Dastaan-e-Mumbai, the Asiatic Society of Mumbai’s virtual festival of Mumbai.

What you need to do

  • Upload up to three haiku about Mumbai here — https://forms.gle/VJzv5JxSqkQyrYNo7
  • Please make sure your name, email address and mobile number are correct.
  • But first, you need familiarity with the form of haiku. Just words written in three lines don’t make a haiku. Sayings and abstractions put in three lines are not haiku.
  • We do not require the strict 5-7-5 format used in Japanese haiku. It can become stilted in English. Anything less than 17 syllables is fine. The three lines are not a single sentence.
  • Without the break, it may be poetry, but it’s not haiku. A break can be indicated by a dash, but no other punctuation, or capital letters are needed
  • Bad haiku tries to explain. Let the images speak for themselves.
  • Haiku must have strong and vivid imagery, preferably taken from real life. Sitting at a desk and making up what you have not experienced rarely leads to good haiku.
  • There is one more thing a good haiku has – surprise. The ‘hai’ part of haiku means surprise. It’s no use writing the predictable: make sure there is something new and unexpected to lift the haiku above the ordinary.
  • And lastly, if you can do this one thing, you have a shot at the grand prize. Make us feel. Show us images with deep feelings attached.
  • The last date of submissions is 10 December 2020
  • The winning haiku and runner up will be announced in the closing ceremony on 20 December.

CH Special – Jisei – My Last Line

கடைவறி – My last line

by Raamesh Gowri Raghavan


I chose to write my jisei no ku in Tamil, a language I feel I betrayed. I am, ethnically and culinarily, Tamil, though life as an émigré has given little opportunity to engage with this rich language of my forbears. My life has been married to English, and all my thoughts and business and expression is conducted in it. On the other hand, Tamil is my private language, the language of the warmth of home, of talking to mother and father, of playing with my pets, and of scribbling its deeply poetic scripts in the margins of diaries.


கரை அறிந்த
பரிசில் அலை தேடி
சென்றேன்


My ‘native place’, as we Indians like to say, and the manoos of Maharashtra insists, is in the villages of Tirunelveli district, even if I was born in Bombay and have known no other place as home. All I know of this ‘native place’ is from one visit in December 2000, of the sandy bed of the Tamraparani, with the river herself (for rivers in India are goddesses) reduced to a small but deep channel on one bank. I remember the painted storks and other migratory birds in the paddy fields on either bank, the village boys and girls diving into the waters, and amma collecting pebbles for memory, as she does with every river.


Rivers make the theme of my life – for I feel like one, always flowing away from an imagined home, knowing not when I will meet the sea, and what the meeting will be like. Amma’s collection of pebbles speaks of many rivers: the faraway Niagara and Missouri, the holy Ganga and Brahmaputra, the putrid Yamuna of Delhi, the Satluj that reminds of our terror-shadowed days in the Punjab, and the rivers from our ‘homeland’ – the Kaveri and Adyar and Vaigai.

knowing the shore
this coracle seeks
the waves

I write poetry occasionally in Urdu and Hindi, and I took as takhallus the word for wanderer: khanabadosh: he who is bereft (badosh) of even a room (khana) to call his own, cursed to wander eternally. I am a stranger in my land of birth, and even more a stranger in the land of my ancestors, who knows not its mores and ways. Over time, I wonder whether I have resigned myself to this wandering, or indeed actively chosen it. I get bored of jobs, hobbies, friends, enemies, books, movies, places, people far too easily. Midway through a task or book or movie a thing my heart beats for something else, though I do the diligence of finishing it (Boy, am I lucky I never got into a relationship, straight or queer).


And so I wonder whether I am that coracle afloat in the Kaveri, a flimsy reed basket and nothing more, dreading to be stuck in the flotsam that lines the shores and seeking the current instead. Perhaps I will be led to sea; perhaps I will capsize over some rapids, or run aground on a shoal, waiting for my end among the shifting sand.

CH special – Jisei – water worn boulder

Angelee Deodhar’s Jisei no Ku Analysed

by Dr Brijesh Raj

water worn boulder
so smooth now
against callused feet

Angelee Deodhar

Ah! The healing touch of a riverine boulder to the footsore traveler.

Master haijin that Angelee Deodhar was, her jisei no ku (death poem) demanded several rereads before the embedded layers began to reveal themselves. I have shared in Café Haiku’s Tribute to her, how our life paths overlapped in the form of a common friend. Those insights helped me appreciate something of the complex spaces she wrote from. She was generous, kind and encouraging of young haijin. Paresh Tiwari has, in the same tribute, testified to her monk like calm. Whilst Raamesh Gowri Raghavan has spoken of her visit to his home where she meditated over some marbles he had won in his school days, a process I have been sensitized to as psychometry. Small wonder then that she could connect so profoundly with seemingly innocuous things around her. She had also been a pet parent and written some stunningly poignant poems about her dog. Love, loss, loneliness and love rekindled. She had seen it all. No doubt all these and many more such experiences enriched an already keen intellect with sensitivity and steel. Modern, yet true to the sensibilities of the ancient wondering monks, hers was a formidable persona. She could be both candle and rapier, yin and yang, complete and…

Coming back to her delightful death poem, here is my humble attempt at analyzing it. I am sure Angelee would smile indulgently at the effort and forgive me my presumptuousness. So, with your leave Angelee, here goes:

water worn boulder…

what turbulence, what attrition must be endured before the face is finally smooth and at peace? Yielding to the might of mother nature. Perhaps rocklike, the haijin too challenged life in her youth, withstood its rigors in adulthood and finally prepared to become one with it in her twilight years.

so smooth now…

Evidently, Angelee identified with the tide smoothed boulder. Perhaps she found comfort in the knowledge that acceptance would eventually smoothen out everything. Oneself, one’s sense of self and all the pain associated with it.

against callused feet…

the contrast between the smoothness of the boulder and her own rough feet is palpable and easy to identify with. The first finds perfection in stillness. The other seeks it in movement. And what of the emotional calluses one accumulates over myriad journeys, lifetimes even? Until the eventual, perfect smoothening of body, mind and soul.

now…

Relief at long last! Where were you all this time? The pivot! So becoming of the master haijin. Each word weighed against a lifetime’s carefully cultivated haikai aesthetic.

There is a wistful poignance I sense in this jisei. Perhaps the haijin hopes that her path will also end smoothly? Free of all the pain and angst that were the birthing of the very calluses that once protected all that was delicate and vulnerable. Calluses don’t come easy. Angelee was the daughter of an army doctor. And an opthalmologist to boot. A caring, giving soul who experienced life’s vicissitudes up close and personal. And took them on toe to toe. The full nine rounds.

Dr Angelee Deodhar lives on – in her work, in the lives of the people she touched across the globe and in the face of the grandchild she doted on. Such is life.

Diwali Haiku – the way some days smile

Shobhana Kumar

Back in the 1980s, Diwali in the Nilgiris was a riotous affair. The quiet hills bore the relentless assault of our fire-crackers for days before and after. Climate change was still an un-coined term, and all we cared about was which house burst the most.

Our devout Catholic neighbours joined us as early as 3 am. Soon, there was a motley crew of young children and pre-teens vying for their favourite fireworks. And then, there were the clothes; brand new indulgences that we waited all the year for. Amma had carefully put away magazine clippings for designs and we spent the entire calendar year in happy anticipation of which film star we might look like.

And of course, who can forget the sweets? All painstakingly made by a working mother, who made multi-tasking seem like a breeze.

Now, the festival has become an affair that means a film on the couch, an extended siesta and some sweets, of course.

e-greetings
the four-year-old
designs his own game

hand-me-down recipes always short Ma’s magic ingredient

Cafe Haiku wishes you a very happy Diwali and a new year full of all your heart’s desires.

Diwali Haiku – a night of coal black

by Geethanjali Rajan

Diwali Diary

cowering behind
gran’s teakwood chest
my little kitten

Around here, festivals are all about camaraderie, laughter, good food and prayers. But once a year, the neighbourhood distils into a distressing evening of ‘the war of decibels’.

keeping time
with every explosion
the retriever’s whimper

However, this year is different.

the neighbour
flicks on fairy lights
my 100-watt smile

an evening of gold
the half-smile face
of the calico cat

Cafe Haiku wishes you all a wonderful Diwali and a new year ahead full of joy and beauty.

Diwali Haiku – the thin threads

by Raamesh Gowri Raghavan

Vasu Baras
we make do with feeding
the crows

Dhanteras –
amma’s nostalgia for
gold coin sweets

painting diyas
the unintended holi
on my clothes

kaju katli
for the driver sweeper
kamwali bai
while all of our neighbours
make do with soan papdi

Rangoli…
how mother lights up
when sister calls

Diwali dinner
Appa says he’ll make do
with the sweets

Bhau beej
picking up our squabble
from last year

after Diwali –
Dad’s face on seeing
the light bill

Diwali haiku
the thin threads that hold
my thoughts together

Cafe Haiku wishes you all a very happy Diwali filled with light, laughter and lots of poetry.

SH Special – Jisei no ku – Warrior poems

One thing we like to do here at Cafe Haiku, is take a fresh and unique look at themes in the world of haiku. This series is a look at poignant, touching poetry – the jisei or death haiku of the Japanese tradition. This series will continue for a while as our editors take a new look at an old subject. And not only Japanese. We will look at death poems from the rest of the world too. Join us on this emotional but ultimately life affirming journey.

Jisei – Warrior Poems

Geethanjali Rajan

Japan’s history is filled with the stories of ‘daimyo’, ‘samurai’, ‘bushido’ and the shogunate –warriors, their power, bravery and their code of conduct. Famous tales of war and heroism have filled the pages of books and later, the frames of anime. Personally, what comes to my mind here, is the culturally rich and colourful tapestry of a kabuki show that I happened to witness – a scene from the classical masterpiece, ‘Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura’ (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees)– where one of the central characters Tomomori, ties an anchor around his waist and throws himself off a cliff to a brave and splendid death. This was similar to the dramatic ends that I had witnessed in Kathakali. However, my thoughts at the time were – “This kind of dramatic death could definitely be preceded by a jisei no ku.” 

It is said that many warriors wrote death poems before riding out into battle and after death, their poems would be found on their person. Others are believed to have uttered their last poem in the throes of death. The story of Ota Dokan (太田道灌)is one such. He was a feudal lord, warrior, poet and Buddhist scholar who lived in the 1400s. When he was finally assassinated in his bath, he is said to have made this tanka as he lay bleeding:

かかる時/さこそ命の/惜しからめ/かねてなき身と/思い知らずば
kakaru toki/sakoso inochi no/oshikarame/kanete nakimi to/omoishirazuba

Had I not known
that I was dead
already
I would have mourned
the loss of my life. *

Travelling back even earlier, let us go to Minamoto no Yorimasa, a celebrated warrior, Buddhist and well-known poet who lived in the 1100s and was known as a warrior leader in the Genpei war. His is perhaps one of the earliest recorded cases of ritual suicide or seppuku (切腹)among warriors, who preferred to die before being captured in defeat. This warrior – monk’s jisei no ku is a tanka and the tone of regret is unmistakeable in the face of defeat and death.

埋もれ木の/花咲くことも/なかりしに/身のなる果てぞ/悲しかりける
umoregi no/hana saku koto mo/nakarishi ni/mi no naru hate zo/kanashikarikeru

Like a fossil tree
From which we gather no flowers
Sad has been my life
Fated no fruit to produce**

Many death poems from warriors speak of loyalty, patriotism and bear the regret of defeat. The references to nature are many – trees, moss, seasonal flowers, the moon. What did the wives, lovers, mistresses or family of the dead warriors write about? Of course, about love and loss. After all, a war takes it all.

Here is a jisei tanka from Oroku, the wife of a retainer of a provincial ruler in the seventeenth century.

nagaraete/kono yo no yami wa /yomo hareji/shide no yamaji no/ iza tsuki wo min

And had my days been longer
still the darkness
would not leave this world—
along death’s path, among the hills
I shall behold the moon. ***

For more on death poems, watch this series!

*(Translated English version taken from Japanese Death Poems, Yoel Hoffman, page 52)

**(Translated English version taken from Wikipedia – original source -Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 200,307-308.)

*** (Reference to Oroku and Translated English version taken from Japanese Death Poems, Yoel Hoffman, page 65)

For further comments on Oroku’s poem and translation – Beichman, Janine. Yoel Hoffman as Japanologist:Japanese Death Poemshttp://www.cismor.jp/uploads-images/sites/2/2018/05/Yoel-Hoffmann-as-Japanolpgist-Japanese-Death-Poems.pdf

CH Special – A Series on Jisei

One thing we like to do here at Cafe Haiku, is take a fresh and unique look at themes in the world of haiku. This series is a look at poignant, touching poetry – the jisei or death haiku of the Japanese tradition. This series will continue for a while as our editors take a new look at an old subject. And not only Japanese. We will look at death poems from the rest of the world too. Join us on this emotional but ultimately life affirming journey.

Jisei no ku / Death poems

辞世の句

by Geethanjali Rajan

What does a person say when he or she knows that death is nearing?

In many cultures, this is a question that a lot of people do not want to or will not think about, in the normal course of things. Having read some stunning poems written in the Eastern literary tradition of Jisei no ku, we at Café haiku have decided to revisit some of these verses in this series on death poems.

Part 1 – Jisei no ku – A Simple Overvie

A simple translation of jisei no ku would be ‘death poem’. The phrase comes from Japanese and the word ‘jisei’ itself is made of 2 kanji – ji (辞) and sei (世), which means to leave this world, to die. Jisei no ku are poems written before death in the Eastern literary tradition and are particularly known in Japan and in certain eras of China and Korea. Death poems are also known as zetsumeishi (絶命詩). Japanese literature records jisei no ku left behind by warriors, samurai, zen monks, poets, writers and other ‘ijin’ (great people). The predominant forms they are found in are kanshi(漢詩), tanka (短歌)and haiku(俳句). While the Heian period onwards, kanshi or traditional Chinese form poems are seen, among the waka, tanka seem to be favoured by most (other than haiku poets) as they amply allow for expression of one’s emotion, along with the images of nature.

by being aware
that the time has come to fall
in this world
a flower becomes a flower
a person too becomes a person *

Hosokawa Tama/Hosokawa Garasha, a historically famous lady from the samurai clan of Akechi in the 1500s penned the above tanka (which is found engraved in Osaka). A well-known verse, it captures the beauty of falling petals and links it to her death. A flower is beautiful because there comes a time when it has to fall. Knowing that it is time to fade away, perhaps, is the source of beauty – for people too. Her own fearless approach to death is recorded in history.

Before we go into the world of death poems, it may be of value to understand how the Japanese view death itself. While Shinto Gods rule most of the important ceremonies connected with the living (marriage, birth), death rituals are part of Buddhist tradition. Death is viewed as a natural phenomenon and the Japanese have a practical approach to it. Many Japanese people prepare themselves for death, not just in the material world (writing wills, planning their own funerals) but also in a spiritual sense, seeing death as something that purifies the soul. Hence, the tradition of writing a death poem is probably a natural extension of a culture where a person leaves behind a message in the form of a poem, when he or she knows that death is nearing. That death is not the very end, is also an interesting facet of the belief – the spirit is thought to be near for a particular number of days (or even years) and then, the altar at home (butsudan), forms an important part of communicating with family that have moved into the next stage. The annual Bon festival is in the same vein, much like the Indian tradition of pitrupaksha.

The rest of the world has been able to hear about death poems from around the Second World War when young kamikaze pilots left behind poems before their last sortie. The tone of the poems perhaps depended on what the pilots went through just before their sortie – some were dark, some were heroic and favoured the concept of dying honourably, and many focused on what they felt about their family and loved ones. In 1945, a 22-year-old pilot is said to have written this poem –

If only we might fall like cherry blossoms in the spring — so pure and radiant!  **

Do watch this space for more on death poems and their enigmatic beauty – coming soon!

*Original in Japanese reads –

散りぬべき   時知りてこそ   世の中の   花も花なれ    人も人なれ

Translated by me, the English version probably does little to bring about the beauty of the original. Apologies!

**Quoted from Blooms of Death, Michael Hoffman, The Japan Times, 2.3.2012  (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2012/03/25/general/blooms-of-death/)

Haiku Journeys – Sunflower

Sunflower – My Ku Journey 

Jesal Kanani

On August 11th, 2013 my father passed away with cancer. No unhealthy habits, just that his own cells staged a mutiny and my father, us, we were betrayed. 

A silver cup rolled out of a dairy milk foil.

He walked and walked long distances with an Echolac briefcase, meeting customers, noting down their specific requirements for PVA glue mix he’d make for them. In Sewri, in Mahim, Raey road sometimes. And then after walking and walking through galas of industrial warehouses, he’d seek out a convenience store to buy me a Dairy Milk. Back home, the love wouldn’t end at the giving, for when I’d finished the treat, I’d handover the paper-thin foil and he’d patiently smooth it out with an edge of a coin, folding in edges, shaping it into a silver cup, that he’d present to me with much satisfaction. 

Sometimes there were toys, but always something. 

Every single day.

His hands were permanently calloused by carrying the Echolac briefcase. Yellow, hardened hills rising in the fair plains of his palms. 

*

At his funeral, people came from far and wide, as a testament to the person he was, people we hadn’t seen in years and of course, those who were family. When he, of all people, passed away, what filled up within me was a blankness. 

Make it through the day. That’s all I focused on. 

The next.

One more after that. 

I don’t know how but somehow, I scraped through. Perhaps because I knew I couldn’t break down; my kids were too young and I couldn’t trust them enough to show them what heartbreak felt like. 

*

In a country where people have long periods of mourning, which involve abstaining from going out anywhere except for the essentials, I went to a writing workshop in Karjat, a nearby hill town. I was familiar with the other participants. We’d met several times over years to discuss one another’s writing in each other’s homes. It never moved beyond writing for me, because I was always rushing to and fro, back home to my infant daughters.

*

A large bay window opened to a verdant plain, a river gurgled unmindfully, the scenery at odds with everything I was feeling inside. Here, Raamesh Gowri Raghavan presented us with the idea of haiku, the placing of the images, the jux. We all went for a walk later. On returning we presented our first kus. My father was on my mind, all the time, and though the fields must’ve been fringed by velvety hills, dotted with wildflowers and full of quivering blades of monsoon grass, what came to my mind was this: 

black butterfly
descend gently
on young green leaves

If you must approach, Death, do it kindly. 

A ku lies in the eyes of the beholder. 

*

Earlier in the year, I’d slogged over a difficult story, tore my hair in frustration, cried over it, not knowing what to cut, what to keep, had sewed some sections together until nothing made sense. Maybe, it was only because I wanted it off my table, that I sent it to a literary magazine because when the reject arrived, I readily accommodated it, like an expected guest. But here, hey, the haiku came formed like a pearl, complete and luminescent, wrapped in three short lines and yet, surprise of all, it was able to tell exactly what I was feeling. As a writer, there couldn’t be a greater reward, how often does one arrive at the happy overlap of being able to express exactly what one wants to say and along the way meet aesthetics. Raamesh sent it to A’nya, who published it Cattails, the next day. I’d never been published as easily. My poem winked back at me from my phone screen. I was as pleased, in as much as was possible to be, in those days. Through the fog, I felt that maybe, just maybe, this is something I could do. I didn’t know then that haiku and later the tanka would become my safe place of writing. The kind of writing that didn’t make me wallow in self-doubt while crafting. 

*

In 2016, we accompanied my husband on his work trip to Tokyo, and we visited Kinokuniya in Shinjuku. It was here I chanced upon Machi Tawara’s collection of tanka, ‘Salad Anniversary’. And it blew my mind. 

*

Over the years, I’d kept a journal following my father’s death. After writing hundreds of pages, the edge of the pain had dulled. And within the pages detailing my times with him, (I still couldn’t bear to call them memories, because then he would be definitely, irretrievably gone), other thoughts had started appearing. 

What I saw in the smattering of books at a corner-shelf housing translated Japanese lit, was a diary. A personal diary in which Tawara had written about the simplest of things: disgruntled tomatoes, baseball games, rejection, love, beaches, fathers, Modgliani women, and done so with so much intimacy, I felt it was a gift that I’d been allowed to take a peek in her diary. 

 unable to make
 even one love mine
 I chew idly
 an overcooked cauliflower
 -       Machi Tawara

Of course, the cauliflower! A vegetable with no much taste of its own, no much spirit, overcooked, been in the game, far too long.

 like lingering to watch
 a street pantomime
 and gazing 
 for a moment
 into the performer’s eyes
 -       Machi Tawara 

Such an intimate moment, heightened more so, when made with a stranger. In that second, a flare of recognition, a connection, past the layers of costume and make-up. And this is what all her poems do, they flow out and wrap their tendrils around so many things and people around her, making them hers. 

I loved how relatable her tanka seemed, so utterly in love with the everyday, as light as icing on cake.  Confined and mostly home bound with two young children, the poems spoke to me of a companionship. Woman to woman. And in response, I too wanted to record my world, just as she had done hers, though I knew mine would never be as happy. 

Pain had brought with it the gift of clarity. In the wake of my Dad’s death, and this maddening urge to freeze time as my kids grew older, I was haunted by the thought that the grains of time were falling swiftly, that all of life was dated, and in the subsequent scramble I wanted to record everything that was happening to me. In the way Tawara had. Except I just didn’t know how, through tanka. I was tired of writing longform, perhaps.  I remember those days, turning the pages of her book often. I had thoughts, observations but the poetry of her poems escaped me. I was aware they were translated, and yet, there was no denying the musicality in them. There was no rhyme but there was a moving rhythm. I read her book over and over again, until the music of tanka seeped into my heart and I memorized the cadence I wanted in my words. At least I tried. The syllable count became redundant. 

*

As I ventured to write my tanka stories (for that is what tanka feels to me, a story clicked of a particular moment – external or internal), I felt it was large enough to accommodate all my feelings: the imaginative endings and beginnings my life would’ve taken, all the what-ifs weaved their way in and I realized the tanka was not just about the present, but the past and the future, and everything in between: I could paint anything I wanted with this wordbrush that I was given.

*

In a time when life was physically rooted in one place, my mind was left free to go on flights of fancy or write about this real moment, before me, or wait for the next. And because the framework of tanka was set, like playing in a courtyard, safe in its boundaries, I wasn’t worried that I’d get lost. 

Motherhood, heartbreak, loss, love, and the tangible: vegetables, beaches, forests and salons, oh I wanted to write about it all. Like a jigsaw puzzle, I kept arranging, rearranging lines and got addicted to that dose of serotonin that washed over me when a tanka set well! 

On my agent’s suggestion I began sharing these online, and I found they echoed with so many readers.

All Art by Sreerag Praful

Even though not familiar with the tanka, they took to it, maybe there was something about its simplicity and poignancy that must’ve reached out to a generation constantly on Instagram and as the five phrases flowed from my phone screen to theirs, they connected and sometimes even wrote their own stories or meaningful memories back to me. Synapses passing information back and forth. I hadn’t ever thought that this kind of connection was possible, in an online world full of strangers. It was baffling to think that a 1000-year-old art form, had made its way from the palaces of Japan to phone screens of the 21st century and still connected with anyone who had been in love, or in love with the world around them! 

Submit your festival haiku for a cheerful end to a difficult year

2020 is winding down to a well deserved end. It’s been an amazingly difficult year for the whole world and its not over yet. But the last two months of the year is a time of lights and festivity and our chance to end this dark period on a high note.

Here, in India, festivals come one after another. Navratri is just over and the festival of lights, Diwali comes mid November. In December, there are the cheerful days of Christmas.

We are doing a series on festive haiku so please send us your best. You can write on any festival, but if its obscure, please add a couple of lines explaining it. 

Haiku, haibun, tanka, renku, senryu or any other haikai mix you can come up with. Illustrations, artwork or photos and haiga are welcome in jpg format.

Deadline – the last day is 25 November

For this series we are accepting previously published work (with credits) as well as unpublished work.

We would love to hear from you, so please start writing.

Send in your work to – inhaikumumbai@gmail.com

Copy it in the body of the email. We will not open attachments except for picture files.

The Haiku Journeys also continue till the end of December. We have recieved some very good ones but there is room for more so please send us yours. Here are the guidelines again.

Haiku Journeys

We would like to know your haiku journey. How you came to it, how you learned, what influenced you the most, what you struggled with. It is always interesting and encouraging to read the story of others and we would like to hear yours.

Not less than 500 words but no upper limit. Send us a long essay if you wish!

No deadline but soon. If this interests you don’t keep putting it off. Start writing and send it in.


Haiku stories

Its always interesting to know how an idea or an image becomes a haiku. We would love to hear your story. Pick one of your own ku, one of your favourites but a published one. Tell us the story behind it. Where were you, what was happening, how did the words shape into the haiku. Revisions if any and how it came to its final form.

One single haiku, your own in each piece. You can write several pieces about different haiku. Send a piece in when it’s ready. This is an ongoing effort so no deadlines. Do participate.

At least 500 words but no upper limit. Tell us your haiku stories here. Make it interesting and give us the feel of that moment.

We are also open to an articles you might have on the haikai field, casual or scholarly.


We may make minor spelling corrections. You retain all rights, of course, but allow us to publish here and maybe once later, in an anthology in book form.