NaHaiWriMo – February 2017

“A haiku is not a poem, it is not literature; it is a hand beckoning, a door half-opened, a mirror wiped clean. It is a way of returning to nature, to our moon nature, our cherry blossom nature, our falling leaf nature, in short, to our Buddha nature.” – R.H. Blyth


February 1, 2017 daily writing prompt: HAIKU (write a serious haiku ABOUT haiku, which is hard to do well).

at Izumo
we survive with Borges
on haiku
February 2, 2017 daily writing prompt: IS (write about existence itself, or the existence of something, but don’t use the word “is” in your poem).

I am now
in your third person
also present
February 3, 2017 daily writing prompt: A (yes, just this letter of the alphabet—where will it take you? a what? or something starting with a?).

just a bird . . .
the indefinite article
obscures this wren
February 4, 2017 daily writing prompt: HAND.

helping hands
on a huddled child . . .
desert storm
February 5, 2017 daily writing prompt: BECKONING.

wind willows
“come hither” along
the stream
February 6, 2017 daily writing prompt: A DOOR.

a door ring . . .
my apotheosis
in its sound
February 7, 2017 daily writing prompt: HALF.

the moon sheds
a half life
February 8, 2017 daily writing prompt: OPENED.

wind scent
a half-opened rose
February 9, 2017 daily writing prompt: A MIRROR.

sewer pond —
the mirror clears for
a fourth turning
February 10, 2017 daily writing prompt: WIPED.

face to face
with pine and bamboo
minds wiped clean
February 11, 2017 daily writing prompt: CLEAN.

my reflection
clean-shaven in the dew
when life was spring
February 12, 2017 daily writing prompt: IT (use this word in your poem, but try not to say what “it” is).

pine lesson
it is what
it is not

it lessens
its meaning
over time

all at sea —
it drifts without
a context

old it—
an it jumps in
the it of it

something is
without a reference
to fill it

it fades
over the time
it takes
February 13, 2017 daily writing prompt: IS (use this specific word in your poem, but try to be wary of introducing too much judgment into the poem).

grassy field
vibrant with
wind’s isness
February 14, 2017 daily writing prompt: A WAY OF (either fill in a word after “of” or write a poem about a “way” of some kind).

tomb echo —
a way of hearing
her silence
February 15, 2017 daily writing prompt: RETURNING TO (what have you often returned to in life, or would you like to return to?).

summer sloth
a dog returns to
its own vomit
February 16, 2017 daily writing prompt: NATURE (write about something natural rather than human-made that you can see right now).

as never seen
February 17, 2017 daily writing prompt: MOON.

all this and still Murtha’s moon
February 18, 2017 daily writing prompt: NATURE (again, but something you’ve experienced in another season rather than this one).

balmy night
my spirit yields to
its moon nature
February 19, 2017 daily writing prompt: CHERRY BLOSSOM (also, the submission period for this year’s Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational runs from March 1 to June 1).

bored to death
with cherry blossoms
Issa’s snail

February 20, 2017 daily writing prompt: NATURE (yet again, but this time think of something seasonal that’s unique or special where you live).

stones sweat out
incessant cicadas
summer coda
February 21, 2017 daily writing prompt: FALLING.

future falling
wind and water follow
a parting leaf
February 22, 2017 daily writing prompt: LEAF.

a sleeping dog
drools a leaf
at the end of summer
February 23, 2017 daily writing prompt: NATURE (once more, but think of human nature this time)

true to my nature
I craft haiku that wane
with this month’s moon
February 24, 2017 daily writing prompt: IN SHORT (write a very brief/minimal haiku).

February 25, 2017 daily writing prompt: TO (write a poem in which you use the word “to”).

to go back
to the beginning
the moon also wanes
February 26, 2017 daily writing prompt: OUR (our what? see where that will take you, and try to use “our” in your poem).

hour by hour
becoming ours
February 27, 2017 daily writing prompt: BUDDHA.

summer cools . . .
all the dead Buddhas
left outside
February 28, 2017 daily writing prompt: NATURE (yet again—whatever you want to write about from the natural word, and try to keep it a pure-nature poem).

sultry sun
a last dragon cloud
wisps away

NaHaiWriMo – March 2016

#1 – Metadata
hear the hiss
underpin my choice
of words
#2 – Truculent
on edge
my pen tip at odds
with my words
#3 – Gestalt
in waves
the ocean cupped 
in her hands
#4 – Extinct
fear of what?
this manic extinction
of darkness
#5 – Catalyst
until her smile
just a universe
#6 – Freethinker
all at sea
an old salt defies
the stars
#7 – Seclusion
locked away
the sparkle in the eye
of an ancestor’s image
#8 – Impermanent
earth the consistency of departures
#9 – Spatial
moonless night
the centre everywhere
without relief
#10 – Hierarchy
at long last
where the buck stops
mountain spring
#11 – Absolute
at its end
the beginning
of the end
#12 – Organic
while still new
on the compost heap
rot sets in
#13 – Murky
a water weed
feels its way through

NaHaiWriMo – February 2015

“The prompts for this month will all start with the letter N, and each week will have a parts-of-speech theme. Prompts for the first week will all be adverbs, followed by a week of adjectives, then nouns, and then verbs, all starting with the letter N. Please consider each word in terms of the category it’s offered in, even if an adjective might also be a noun, or a noun might also be a verb. You can include the word (or a form of it) in your poem, or let the prompt word take you in whatever direction you wish.” 
#1 now
now and then . . .
the lapping sound
of the moon
#2 noisily
dawn chorus . . .
light mimes its coming
#3 nervously
side to side
the coop intruder’s
darting eyes
#4 nakedly
without guile
a prima donna’s
death scene
#5 nonstop
ebb-tide moon
the ouroboros
trailing me
#6 nonchalantly
late summer . . .
cicadas shuffle sound
#7 nearest
out of sight
a red dwarf hides
#8 native 
the sound
my native tongue makes
reading haiku
#9 nuclear
mushroom cloud—
the nucleus of reason
grows unclear
#10 novel
time returns a novel way
#11 northwest
down under
the prevailing wind
wins over
#12 numeric 
one – no two
stars unable to
count on
#13 newfangled
mangled into
English stew
#14 neuter
worker bees
neither here
nor there
#15 nest 
cloud wisps
a bird’s flight
from the nest
#16 nickel
fallen star
the value of nickel
in loose change
#17 nosebleed
autumn dusk
the darkening rose
of her sneeze
#18 neon
migrant smile
another buddha
goes neon
#19 nuance 
shifting light . . .
every nuance
of the rock
#20 notebook
ancient quill
secreting life 
in a notebook
#21 newlywed
a glowering sky
and her brow
#22 nudge
rolling sky— 
a hedgehog nudges
past its past
#23 name 
earthbound voice
naming the one fall
that sticks
#24 nag
big bang— 
the past that nags
at my heels
#25 navigate
alone at last
a spider navigates
a wider web
#26 narrow
my field of vision
#27 nominate
awake at dawn
tree bird and mountain
called by name
#28 neglect
half moon
making light of
drone targets

NaHaiWriMo – August 2014

Prompter – Kris Kondo
all prompts this month will be verbs… one of the catalysts in a haiku… even if the word also has a noun or adjective meaning to it…. fun to try for the action or nmovement…
late winter sun —
earth air fire water
Promethean night —
what gods are these still
that lie in wait?
tidal flats —
an unborn babe hiccups
its presence
desolate sky
wanderers huddle up
under a huddle
of stars
smouldering gun —
her daisy heaps burning coal 
into his heart
vernal equinox —
a girl halves her apple
with a stranger
centering prayer . . .
darkness highlights the troughs
between waves
in blind faith
the seer hires another
set of eyes
moon gazing —
the light on her face
hijacks my eyes
this winter
an unhitched neighbour
hikes alone
godless sky —
the hollow man’s lament
louder and louder
sound of rain
as if humouring
riot control
a cold snap hinders
spring’s effusion
dead of night
a distant train hoots
its passing
16: TO HOP
candle light
a shadow hops around
my beer
17: HEQET the Egyptian frog goddess
birth cry!
the water folds over
after the frog
winter blues
my critic harps on 
season words
pristine light
an apple hisses
with beauty
sultry night
the heated silence hints
at a darker love
so long ago,
it seems, when wind hustled
last year’s leaves
22:  TO HEW
lacking colour,
I hew out her likeness
from wooden words
sails heave
into sight as dawn 
breaks a sigh
24: TO HEX
six eyes now
bewitch the night
in the heat
ice-water hyphenates
into steam
August 26: TO HAZE
bright-eyed child
another cease-fire
hazes over
August 27: TO HOIST
wind change . . .
a recruit hoists the flag
August 28: TO HOOK
flash flood —
streams of consciousness
hook up
August 29: TO HEDGE
chance cloud
a rain dancer hedges
his bets
August 30:TO HUM
Gaza strip
a child hums descant
to the drone
August 31: TO HUG
feast or famine
another grim death hugs 
the edges

NaHaiWriMo – June 2014

#1 – found
lost and found
candlelight flickers
over her
#2 – fence
between here
and the fence post
static whispers
#3 – fox
in this world
neither a foxhole
nor a nest
#4 – finch
on the wing
a twitter a halfinch
from my finger
#5 – flood
rising stream —
ancient archetypes
haunt my words
#6 – free
string theory —
a fly shakes free
from the web
#7 – fire
breath cloud —
at last my words
take fire
#8 – fork
parting ways
between two streetlights
my shadows
#9 – face
death mask —
the smile so beguiling
as if it knew
#10 flat
thunder struck
the sky billows up
in B-flat major
#11 free
free verse poet
her paper dress unfolds
before me
#12 fog
river fog —
a chiaroscuro of self
word by word
#13 full
the sea change
at full fathom five
through his eyes
#14 flag
autumn flag
the bones of Hone Heke
rattle away
#15 fruit
still falling
the fig-leafed flesh
of its fruit
#16 foot
unmeasured space
the sound of foot-falls
in the yard
#17 — flea
secret tryst
my blood with hers
in the flea
#18 — fade
by moonlight
the almostness
of her kiss
#19 — follow
fallow field
our bodies follow
the seasons
#20 — frog
frogpond —
a critic dissects
the haiku
#21 — first
the sound of it
before it ceased to exist —
a big bang
#22 — focus
a star
out of focus
out of itself
#23 — float
the dark drift
of a floating point
between galaxies
#24 — fly
winter sport —
the cries of the poor
to wanton boys
#25 — fish
breaking fast —
the nets cast out
for new seas
#26 — field
distant voice
in a potter’s field
of dreams
#27 — flock
fruit-stripped tree —
a flock of lambs gambol
to their slaughter
#28 — feather
a baptism
of three white feathers
in my hair
#29 — friend
in the storm
an orphan drawing
friendly fire
#30 — fin
still the same
in French

NaHaiWriMo – February 2014

I have completed and survived all 28 days of the haiku challenge by responding to daily word prompts by Michael Dylan Welch.  Writing to such prompts can easily become a process that bears only a marginal connection with that place from which these little poems rise.  Having said that, the creativity of the human imagination is unlimited and has the potential to discover connections with the universal in and through the most mundane and unpoetic of objects.  Whatever poems one somehow creates out of this communal routine, there is fun to be had in seeing where the leap from the prompt takes one.
#1 banjo
sour grapes
the twang of magpies
through the trees
#2 brother
sunset fire
a blood brotherhood
of praise
#3 bandaid 
festering sky —
a child gathers bandaids 
from the cliff bottom 
#4 black
for the sky
a mix of cyan, yellow
and magenta
#5 bump
foggy path
her otherness bumps
into mine 
I I I —
all the ids that thud
in the night
I stumble among
undetonated egos . . .
haiku killing field
#6 battery
summer breeze
the sudden silence
of caged hens
#7 box 
sudden chill
a family boxes in
on itself
#8 bounce
morning jog
liveliness springs
from her step
#9 belief
first light . . .
I awaken to a dream
of myself
#10 bean
autumn dusk . . .
afterglow of peace, love
and mung beans
#11 biscuit
little sparrow . . .
biscuit crumbs trail
before her
#12 break
sound of water —
a haiku hinges on 
this line break
#13 book
rain forest . . .
all the trees not found
in my books 
#14 betrayal
valentine’s day
the wandering eyes
of a blackbird
#15 busker
still not found
what he is looking for
night busker
#16 bicycle
my unicode
built for two
#17 bagel
lenten vows
on her ring finger
a bagel
#18 burrito
summer heat
a burrito brays
after itself
#19 baby
in the bowl
a wailing madonna’s
pregnancy tissue
#20 bling
Huysmans’ tortoise . . .
a hip-hop pimp hobbling
under guilt
#21 brussels sprouts
almost there
the sprouting of green
on the stalk
#22 barn
 bumper harvest time —
a rich man plans bigger barns
to hoard his excess
#23 beehive
thunder hive
a taste of honey
from the rock
#24 boat
before Charon
summer ends
#25 braid
to this end
the twists and turns
of her finger
#26 brew
end of summer —
what spectres bubble
from the mud pool?
#27 button
cold war —
the rehearsal of
a button press
#28 bridge
the other —
my shadow bridges 
its abyss

NaHaiWriMo – April 2013

April 1 – smooth
washerwoman — 
in death her wrinkles
ironed away
April 2 – empty/emptiness
emptiness —
love drains the cup’s
last drops
April 3 – delta
defining limits
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
without godwits
April 4 – celestial
Maui takes his cue
from a worm
April 5 – a special place 
first light —
the universe shaping up
within her eyes
April 6 – sport
sickle moon —
a cat plays cat and mouse
with a mouse
April 7 – precipice
lover’s leap —
the princess falls
for a frog
April 8 – red
starlit path . . .
a poinsettia brims
its sacrifice
April 9 – sound
autumn rain . . .
a cypress susurrates
white sound
April 10 – zoo
come make of my arm
your zoo
April 11 – underwater
moonstruck —
the lady of the lake
raises a sword
April 12 – clown
in the spotlight
hiding behind the tears
of a clown
April 13 & 14 – missing & pond
the old pond —
another haiku missing
in action
April 15 – alley
moonless night . . .
shadows lengthen along
a blind alley
April 16 – wildflower/weed
autumn harvest . . .
a breeze ripples a field
of wild oats
April 17 – mushroom
bush debris —
a mushroom clouds
my judgement
April 18 – antique
antique verse —
a tadpole stirs up
the pond scum
April 19 – dark/darkness
night fall — 
shadows bridge the distance
between our eyes
April 20 – music/musical instrument 
lacking voice,
dew-drenched trees burst into
a dawn chorus
April 21 – clothing 
tropical storm —
a lavalava shadow
darkens coral sands
April 22 – wheel/wheels/wheeled.
the old woman spinning yarns
like a fifth wheel
April 23 – time 
moonless night . . .
a sun dial’s shadow
April 24 – visual arts
your life’s chiaroscuro
on a white wall
April 25 – garden
autumn light . . .
fig leaves wreathe through
a girl’s song
April 26 – root/roots 
what holds me?
sound of a pine breeze
in her touch
April 27– totem/icon/symbol
koru —
from a still point,
the dance
April 28 – farm animal
dried off cow
its eyes too look empty —
the flickering screen
April 29 – train 
night train . . .
distance thins out
with its sound
April 30 — mountain 
the words to unveil it:
mountain mist

NaHaiWriMo – February 2012

#1 {a is for apple} 
omega …
having bitten it
to the core
#2 {b is for boat}
one godwit
misses the boat …
chilly dawn
#3 {c is for catfish}
catfish love
spent now, stirring
murky light
#4 {d is for dog}
setting sun …
a caged dog returns
to its vomit
#5 {e is for egg}
beneath the wings
of a brooding dove –
the rising sun
#6 {f is for frame}
a poet
frames the moment –
#7 {g is for grief}
can five months
still the echo
of your words?
#8 {h is for hat}
feather in her cap …
shooting star
#9 {i is for ice}
cloudless day …
my single malt
without ice
#10 {j is for jam}
haiku prompt –
poets jamming many words
into less
#11 {k is for kitchen}
summer break –
everything but
the kitchen sink
#12 {l is for laundry}
laundry day …
a fool hanging out
with King Lear
#13 {m is for mountain}
almost as if
it’s Taranaki …
Mount Fuji
#14 {n is for nachos}
when all else
fails to inspire —
#15 {o is for opera}
 cicadas —
summer climaxes
in chorus
#16 {p is for pool}
sudden death …
the moon overflows
shallow pools
#17 {q is for queue}
kissing booth –
an ancient frog
jumps the queue
#18 {r is for rattle}
a cicada
rattles in the web …
autumn dusk
#19 {s is for sandal}
the sandals
I dare not untie …
lenten vigil
#20 (t is for talus}
 rough weather …
he sets his face
like flint
#21 {u is for umbrella}
stepping out
from under ANZUS …
acid rain
#22 {v is for vent}
flatulence …
White Island too
lets off steam
#23 {w is for wig}
new moon …
she reflects light
#24 {x is for …..}
lingering war …
she seals the letter
with x’s
#25 {y is for yellow}
some days
yellow just gets
in the way
#26 {z is for zip}
 fading dreams …
first light unzips
sky from sea
‎#27 {deliberately bad haiku}
I uproot a plant
and now my universe
is all upside down
‎#28 {cyberpseudopoetic haiku rewrite}
dimly amorous
desolate lamps play flatly
fiendishly, clean clear
power outage …
moonlight sculpts with me
her curves
#29 {leap day}
dark night …
she proposes he take
a flying leap