Haiku by Kala Ramesh in India


On May 20, 2010, we received a comment on ‘Haiku by Aju Mukhopadhyay for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010’ from Kala Ramesh in India.

She said in her comment as follows:

Hi Thorfinn Tait,

I would like to share my published work with you.
I do write haiku, tanka, haibun, senryu and renku.
I came to know about your site through Aju Mukhopadhyay.

Kala Ramesh 


 She also sent me another e-mail.

Dear Hidenori Hiruta san,

Sending my work for your site.

Please take time over your translation, because I’ve sent tanka and Haibun too, which might need more time for proper translation, I feel, since they are longer.

I’m given you many poems, please choose whatever you like from each genre.

Thanking you,




Kala Ramesh kindly contributed her work of poetry and her bio.


Kala Ramesh has long had a fascination for Indian classical music and is an exponent of both Carnatic and Hindustani Classical Music styles. She was fortunate to undergo vigorous training from leading musicians. She has worked extensively on Pandit Kumar Gandharva’s compositions and Nirguni bhajans along with the paramparic bandishes of the Gwalior Gharana, under the guidance of Vidushi Smt Shubhada Chirmulay, Pune.

Kala has made a concerted effort to understand the ‘spirit’ behind Kumarji’s gayaki – incorporating the vigour and the vitality, which is so inherent in his style of singing and she has performed in major cities in India.

Coming from an extremely artistic and culturally rich South Indian Tamil family, Kala believes, as her father is fond of saying, “the soil needs to be fertile for the plant to loom”. She also feels she owes this poetic streak in her to her mother. Kala is keen to see children in India take to haiku and its genres.

Kala is the deputy editor-in-chief of The World Haiku Review; is a member of the editorial team of Modern English Tanka Press’s new anthology, Take Five: The Best Contemporary Tanka 2008/2009/2010, is on the panel of the literary e-journal Muse India, for the areas of haiku and short verse [http://www.museindia.com/feature17.asp]; and was the in-house editor for Katha, New Delhi for the book Seeking the Beloved: The Poetry of Shah Abdul Latif (2005). Since April 2009, she has acted as Katha’s Poetry Editor and, in this capacity, edited an e-book of haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, and haiga encompassing the work of 35 Indian haiku poets–the first such book to come from an Indian publishing house!

Currently, she is also the lead poet (sabaki) of a Kasen renku with six other international renkujin: experimenting, discovering, and incorporating the traditional renku with the Rasa Theory of India (which consists of nine rasas or emotions, namely erotic, comic, sorrow, anger, valour, fear, disgust, wonder and tranquillity, traditionally known as the nava rasas). Kala heads the World Haiku Club in India. As director, she organised the World Haiku Club Meeting at Pune in December 2006. The four-day 9th World Haiku Festival she organized at Bangalore in February 2008 was sponsored jointly by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji and Sri Ratan Tata Trust

Soundings, a UK journal of politics and culture, (Issue # 38 Spring 2008) showcased Kala’s work on their page: Leading Writers of Haiku: at www.soundings.org.uk  Four haiku were selected for the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Contest (2009); Solo exhibition in Three Lights Gallery at http: www.threelightsgallery.com/kala.html .(Spring 2009); Featured Haiku Poet with 25 haiku showcased: Simply Haiku (November 2009)  http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv7n4/haiku/feature.html & an individual page in Simply Haiku (Autumn 2009) http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv7n3/haiku/kala.html  Winner, Tanka Splendor Award (2009); an exclusive interview on tanka online live from January to July 2010 http://www.tankaonline.com

Here I present some haiku by Kala Ramesh with my Japanese interpretations.





morning star
the way I hold on
to dreams






lotus viewing . . .
the flowering






receding wave . . .
crab holes breathe
the milky way






the pause
in a dragonfly’s glide—
noon shadows






howling wind —
an autumn note within
the bamboo flute


風がヒューヒュー ―




new year’s eve
all that I could have left
unsaid . . .






feeling as if
on a summer cloud …
hill temple






the waterfall rock-tumbling speckled rhythms 


滝  岩を転がり落ちる  点々としたリズム



trying to know me
deep within me

autumn day 







wading through
leaves. . . with each step
the thoughts







desert sands …
I enter the whole
of nothingness






Credits: [first publication]:

morning star – Modern Haiku (Summer 2010)

lotus viewingMagnapoets (November 2009)

receding wave – Honorable Mention, 9th Mainichi Haiku Contest International Section (2009);

the pauseAmong the Lilies: A White Lotus Anthology (Spring 2008)

howling wind – Commended, British Haiku Society, James W. Hackett International Haiku Award (2007)

new year’s eve – moonset (Spring/Summer 2008) – Featured haijin of the issue




a wave curl swathed in moonlight the chiselled girl’s face


巻き付けられた縮れた巻き毛  月光の中 輪郭のはっきりした少女の顔

forest tent …
a firefly switches on
my smile




  my fear …
the darkness
between stars





modern art in squares in and out of endless squares 






_kala says “searching” is the one word that seems to say everything about her. She went through the path of Indian Classical Music, first instrumental then vocal, from South Indian Classical crossed over to North Indian Classical music, performed in various cities in India. Then plunged into Yoga, Hindu Philosophy and Vipassana—and this accidentally led her to haiku in 2005, and since then it has been haiku, senryu, tanka, haibun and renku that she breathes.


The next posting ‘Haiku by Michael Dylan Welch’ appears on June 12.

― Hidenori Hiruta

10 thoughts on “Haiku by Kala Ramesh in India

  1. Dear Gabi,

    Thank you so much for such a warm welcome.
    I’ve reached your land…
    Feels really good.

    My many thanks to Hidenori for giving me this opportunity,

  2. Dear Alan,

    What a nice thing to say, I’m clean floored.
    Thanks a million,

  3. I am very happy to see the profile and the works of great indian haiku poet Kala Ramesh. I used to read his haiku poems. I have written more than 1500 tamil haiku poems, modern poems and also senru haiku poems. I wish every success of his works.

    Kaa.Na.Kalyanasundaram, Chennai.

  4. it is so nice to have someone introducing and encouraging haiku and such subtle literary nuances in india.
    i loved reading all lines by kala ji.

  5. kala ramesh haikues are exquisite and have a beauty of its own i wish to have written her

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