On December 20, WordPress sent me an e-mail saying that Isabel Marant Shoes commented on Haiku and the Japanese Garden by Michael Dylan Welch

You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website. 

Just as I mentioned before in the previous article “Haiku at the 15th HIA Haiku Contest (2013): https://akitahaiku.com/2013/12/01/, Mr. Michael Dylan Welch (vice president of the Haiku Society of America) gave such a marvelous lecture on “American Haiku Today”.  

Here is a photo of Mr. Welch giving a lecture at the Haiku International Association Annual Meeting at Ichigaya Arcadia, Tokyo on November 30, 2013.



After the lecture, Mr. Welch gave a presentation of 12 haiku of his, with Japanese translations by Ms. Emiko Miyashita (宮下惠美子).  



first snow …

the children’s hangers

clatter in the closet






tulip festival-

the colours of all the cars

in the parking lot





spring breeze-

the pull of her hand

as we near the pet store





scattered petals…

the thud of my books

in the book drop





summer moonlight

  the potter’s wheel






crackling beach fire-

we hum in place of words

we can’t recall





meteor shower …

a gentle wave

wets our sandals





after the quake

   the weathervane

         pointing to earth




Here is a photo of Ms. Miyashita, reading the Japanese translations of haiku by Mr. Welch.




home for Christmas:

my childhood desk drawer






toll booth lit for Christmas-

from my hand to hers

warm change





first star-

a seashell held

to my baby’s ear





an old woolen sweater

   taken yarn by yarn

       from the snowbank





Lastly, we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Michael Dylan Welch for his inspiring lecture and his great presentation of beautiful haiku and nice Japanese translations by Ms. Emiko Miyashita.


Hidenori Hiruta (HIA member)


On March 13, 2011, Graziella Dupuy, a Facebook friend of mine, who is a French artist, contributed the following photo with French haiku.



Michael Dylan Welch, a haikuist friend of mine in USA, wrote the original haiku in English, which is translated into French by Graziella Dupuy.


after the quake

the weathervane

  pointing to earth


Here is Japanese translations of the haiku by Hidenori Hiruta.




Michael Dylan Welch says in the article ‘Studying Haiku’ How Do You Write Haiku? 


in his essays of GRACEGUTS as follows:


In San Francisco’s Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, I had many very direct and powerful experiences during and after the quake. But my favourite earthquake haiku, the one I think seems to have the most truth, is one I partially imagined (actually inspired, as I recall, by the tipped flagpole atop San Fransisco’s Ferry building).                                                                 


You will find the article at the website: http://www.graceguts.com


On March 14, 2011, I received an e-mail from Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic and haiku poets in Croatia, whose subject is Sympathy.


 Dear Hidenori Hiruta-san,


please accept my deepest sympathies in regard to the tragedy happening to your country.  Helpless and so far away, my family and my friends, we think of you and your fellow countrymen and we pray for your strength and well- being.


 Sincerely, haiku poets from Croatia: :


Djurdja, Stjepan, Dubravko, Zeljka, Milena, Vera, Marija,


Malvina, Stanko and many others.:


 On March 21, I received another e-mail from Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic as follows:


 lives stopped             生活は止まった


under the ruins –    廃墟の下で― 


clock still ticking    時計はまだカチカチと動いている


 Jasminka Predojevic, Zagreb, Croatia


 Dear Hidenori-san,


 a friend of mine sent this haiku to me, after watching TV. Most haiku poets are in contact and full of sorrow. 


We all wish you and the people of Japan much strength and patience, Peace within the Earth itself, to let you start over, once again. 


I can’t imagine cherries blossoming above the ruins, if they survived! I think of them as the tears of the Earth as an excuse for that had happened.  This is my poem for you and my Japanese friends. Sending you most sincere regards,


Djurdja and family and friends…


 A Bloody Tear Raising from the Ocean  




 A bloody tear raising from the ocean  大洋から巻き上がってくるむごい狂暴


while the daydreamers of the large world still sleep  大きな世界の夢想がまだ眠りし間


a single wave swallows dreams in one motion


not enough time left even to cry, to weep


たった一つの波が一回の動きで夢をのみこむ    叫んだり、涙を流すことにさえ残された時間もなく


 As if a dirty game of mighty nightmares    あたかも強力な悪夢の汚いゲームのように


apocalypse’s bird landed on its nest   この世の終わりの日に飛ぶ鳥が巣に降りて


raising sun without care on its own path  あたりを配慮することなく自分だけの行く手に太陽を昇らせ


yet not for a moment is there rage or wrath   そこには激怒や憤怒も一瞬の間もいまだない


Has burning passion of the thinking man ceased   考える人の燃えるような情熱はもうなくなり


or he needs to feel the strength of a freed beast    また彼には自由になった獣の力を感じる必要があり


put the destruction plans to rest forever  破壊のプランを永久に保留にする必要もあり


there is enough passion in the Earth’s anger 地球の怒りには十分な激情がある


 On the lawn survivor of tragedy’s tear    悲劇の狂暴から生き残った芝生には


innocent crocus budding as if a spear  無邪気なクロッカスがつぼみをつける、あたかも槍の


ears eavesdrop for inward boom again, again  穂が内側のとどろきを再三傍受するかのように


nothing is to blame among those who remain   残っている者には何ら責められることはない


A bloody tear raising from the  ocean 大洋から巻き上がってくるむごい狂暴


mother Earth plays hymn to life on its organ   母なる地球はそのオルガンで生への賛美歌を演奏する


the Sun, pure as a loving father can be 太陽は愛情に満ちた父の如く純粋で


only dewdrops on that crocus, aren’t we?   私たちはあのクロッカスに落ちる単なる露のしずくではないだろうか?


Here, please let me post three photos taken in Miharu-machi三春町in Fukushima prefecture福島県and my haiku.








 Miharu’s earth


keeps everlasting cherries


over one thousand years


 Here, let me tell you about Miharu-machi.


 Miharu (三春町; –machi) is a town located in Tamura District, Fukushima, Japan.


As of 2003, the town has an estimated population of 19,454 and a density of 267.37 persons per km². The total area is 72.76 km².


Miharu and Rice Lake, Wisconsin,United States, have been sister cities since 1987. Jeana Schieffer helped begin this relationship and continued helping with the sister city program until 2007. Miharu is the home of the only American style bed and breakfast inJapan. It was built in 1993 by American and Japanese carpenters. All of the furnishings are American. Since its opening, some one fromRiceLake has lived and worked there. As of April 2007, the Rice Lake International House will be run by volunteers of the Miharu International Friendship Association (MIFA).

The name “Miharu” in Japanese means three springs. In most parts of Japan, plum, peach, and cherry trees blossom at different times, but in Miharu, they blossom almost simultaneously. Miharu is home of one of the national treasure cherry trees. Takizakura, or waterfall cherry tree (滝桜), is over 1000 years old and brings tourists from all over Japan to see it in the springtime

Lastly, let me post two photos taken in Miharu-machi三春町in Fukushima prefecture福島県.


  The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (10) ‘  appears on July 2.


 ― Hidenori Hiruta





Thanks to Mr. Michael Dylan Welch, I accepted the official press release announcing the HNA 2011 conference.




Haiku North America 2011 – Seattle, Washington 


Save the date! Haiku North America 2011 will be held August 3 to 7, 2011, in Seattle, Washington.


Members of the Haiku Northwest group have generously offered to host the 2011 conference and they have many exciting plans already in the works, including a harbor cruise.


The conference itself will be held at the Seattle Center, at the foot of the Space Needle, providing easy access to haiku writing and walking opportunities such as Pike Place Market (via the monorail), the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Experience Music Project rock-and-roll museum and Science Fiction Museum, and countless other attractions—including fleet week and the Seafair festival, with the Blue Angels performing overhead.


The conference theme will be “Fifty Years of Haiku,” celebrating the past, present, and future of haiku in North America.


The deadline for proposals has been extended to February 28, 2011 (http://www.haikunorthamerica.com/pages/2011.html), but sooner is better. Proposals do not have to fit the theme.


If you’ve already submitted a proposal, please confirm with Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com that you can come to Seattle on the new dates.


Speakers already include Cor van den Heuvel, Richard Gilbert, David Lanoue, Carlos Colón, Fay Aoyagi, Jim Kacian, Emiko Miyashita, George Swede, and many others.


Detailed information on registration, lodging, and the conference schedule will be available in March.


For further information as it becomes available, please visit www.haikunorthamerica.com. And check out the new HNA blog at http://haikunorthamerica.wordpress.com/.


See you in Seattle!


Garry Gay, Paul Miller, Michael Dylan Welch

Haiku North America


The official press release translated into Japanese by Hidenori Hiruta is as follows:


俳句北アメリカ 2011年 シアトル、ワシントン 































― Hidenori Hiruta








Dr. Akito Arima 有馬朗人is President of the Haiku International Association (HIA)国際俳句交流協会(http://www.haiku-hia.com), a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting haiku globally.

Dr. Arima also leads the haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為(http://haikunet.info).




looking for

something lost ―       

wearing a winter cap




This haiku is Dr. Arima’s masterpiece, which was presented to the audience at the international symposium titled Haiku Worldwide – Present and Future.

The symposium was given for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of HIA on November 28, 2009 in Tokyo, informing the audience of the states of haiku in foreign countries.

The symposium became the really special forum as the audience reconsidered what haiku means to them and found a new significance of international haiku

And at last the audience realized the dawn of the new twenty-first century haiku.

In the greeting of HIA homepage, President Akito Arima says as follows:

“The Haiku International Association was established in December 1989 in order to respond to haiku’s worldwide popularity and to promote friendship and exchanges with haiku lovers overseas. Since then, our association has been continuing its activities, concentrating on the introduction of haiku culture, exchanges with international societies and the publication of a magazine.

In today’s world, political, economic and cultural walls are coming down everywhere. The world’s people have joined hands in this. Now they must mutually remove certain walls in their hearts. I am convinced that the mutual understanding derived from the love that different peoples have for haiku will prove very helpful towards the attainment of this goal.

On July 01, 2002, the Haiku International Association has opened its home page. It is my heartfelt wish that the internet will lead to increased exchanges and friendship between haiku lovers overseas and that it will provide a gateway to haiku for those of the general public with an interest in haiku.”


The following is the Japanese translations of Dr. Arima’s greeting.




The other day Ms. Hana Fujimoto (藤本はな, a leading staff at HIA, sent me the following mail, telling me about the news of haiku festival and haiku conference:

 蛭田 秀法様


さきほど、カリフォルニア州のukiahaiku の資料を転送させていただきました。ご興味があればどうぞよろしくお願い致します。今年は夏に、ワシントン州でHaiku North Americaの会議があり、また、ヨーロッパでは、若い俳人大高翔さんの俳句塾を予定しています。


国際俳句交流協会 事務局 藤本 はな


—– Original Message —–

From: Roberta Werdinger

To: ; Haiku International Association

Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2011 9:20 AM

Subject: 9th annual UkiaHaiku competition – 2nd reminder


Dear friends,
The 9th annual ukiaHaiku writing competition is underway. Attached and below are reminder notices for the Jane Reichhold International Prize. Please make this information available to your community. And please consider posting a link to our festival website, http://www.ukiahaiku.org/, on your own. 
Many thanks, and happy new year… 
For the Ukia Haiku Festival and Ukiah Poet Laureates Committee. 

Roberta Werdinger 

Writer, Publicist, Editor 




ukiaHaiku festival and competition listing 

Ukiah is a northern California town whose name, backwards, spells “haiku.” In 2011 the City of Ukiah will hold its ninth annual competition and festival. 

The competition encourages local, national, and international submissions to the Jane Reichhold International Prize category.

Website Address:                              www.ukiahaiku.org

Fee:                                             $5 for up to three haiku

Limit:                                           Maximum 3 haiku per person

                                       (only 1 haiku/person/category may win an award)

Eligibility:                                            Age 19 and over

Start date for submissions:              Saturday, January 1, 2011

Postmark Deadline                            Friday, March 18, 2011

Festival Ceremony                  Sunday, May 1, 2011 (announcement of winners)

Submission Guidelines 

If submitting via the online form:
1) On or after January 1, 2011, go to
www.ukiahaiku.org, click on “submit your haiku” and then “the online form.” Follow instructions on the form.

2) If our PayPal payment form is live by then, you can send your payment electronically. Otherwise, send the fee (US check or international money order) by snail mail to ukiaHaiku festival, PO Box 865, Ukiah, CA 95482. Clearly indicate the author’s name of the haiku submission for which the payment is intended.

If submitting via snail mail:
 1) On or after January 1, 2011, go to www.ukiahaiku.org, click on “submit your haiku” and then “the printed form (pdf)”; download the form. Follow instructions on the form. Mail along with your fee.

Deadline: Friday, March 11, 2011 (postmark or email date)

Judging: Jane Reichhold will judge the Jane Reichhold International Prize category. 

Awards: $100 first place, $50 second place, $25 third place, plus a small booklet of winning poems and publication in that booklet.

Festival and Awards Ceremony: Sunday, May 1, 2011, 2 p.m. Winners are strongly encouraged to attend the festival to read their poems (winners will be contacted in advance of the festival date). Out-of-towners might consider visiting the many world-class tourist destinations surrounding Ukiah–inland wine country and redwood forests, or the Mendocino Coast (a 1-1/2 hour drive from Ukiah) before or after the festival.


In her mail Ms. Hana Fujimoto referred to HNA 2011 conference, about which Mr. Michael Rehling (マイケル・レーリング),  founder of Haiku Michigan, also did in the following message through the Facebook page: 


Haiku North America!!! Same great meeting, new location!!


Michael Rehlingさん24 8:22 返信報告

It’s confirmed! HNA will now be held August 3-7, 2011 in Seattle, Washington, at Seattle Center, by the Space Needle. Details? Visit the HNA Facebook page or www.haikunorthamerica.com. The Blue Angels will even be performing overhead for Seafair festival the same weekend! We’ll visit Pike Place Market via monorail, and take a harbor cruise on Sunday. Great speakers are already lined up too! Can you join us?
Haiku North America


Visiting the homepage of Haiku North America, to my great nice surprise, I found photos of some haiku friends of mine.

I would like to show you a few photos of them and their haiku here.




Ms. Emiko Miyashita宮下恵美子, a leading staff of HIA and a dojin, a leading member of haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為led by Dr. Akito Arima, contributed her haiku to New Year’s Haiku Festival by Akita International Haiku Network.

And Ms. Miyashita is going to visit India to give haiku teaching and haiku recitation at Tagore Hall for the students at Tagore University in the end of February.


 the first page
                       of my diary
  already Saturday



 from deep inside
 my down-filled pillow
                            the first caw                    



Here is another photo of my haiku friends.




Ms. Fay Aoyagi (青柳飛) is a member of Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California (http://www.hpnc.org) and a dojin of two Japanese haiku groups: Ten’I (Providence) led by Dr. Akito Arima and Aki (Autumn) led by Mr. Masami Sanuka.  

Ms. Aoyagi also contributed her haiku to our New Year’s Haiku Festival.


New Year’s Day

              a rabbit arrives in the ship       

from the Moon Palace




New Year’s Day mirror

                 learning how to smile         

from a potbelly Buddha




Mr. Michael Dylan Welchマイケル・ディラン・ウエルチ is in the photo above with Ms. Fay Aoyagi.

Mr. Welch has written haiku since 1976. He’s a longtime vice president of the Haiku Society of America, cofounded Haiku North America in 1991 and the American Haiku Archives in 1996, and founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000.

Mr. Welch also contributed his haiku to our New Year’s Haiku Festival.


first dream–

                           the way home                

perfectly clear




New Year’s Day–

                 the phone ringing in time        

with the temple bell




HNA says in the homepage as follows:


The conference theme will be “Fifty Years of Haiku,” celebrating the past, present, and future of haiku in North America. The deadline for proposals has been extended to February 28, 2011 (http://www.haikunorthamerica.com/pages/next.html), but sooner is better. Proposals do not have to fit the theme. If you’ve already submitted a proposal, please confirm with Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com that you can come to Seattle on the new dates. Speakers already include Cor van den Heuvel, Richard Gilbert, David Lanoue, Carlos Colón, Fay Aoyagi, Jim Kacian, Emiko Miyashita, George Swede, and many others.


Last of all, we sincerely hope that haiku will spread out to the world more and more through ukiaHaiku Festival 2011 and the HNA 2011 conference.


 The next posting ‘Haiku World of Patricia Lidia in Romania’ appears on February 19.


― Hidenori Hiruta

Member of HIA and haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為 









The last day, we received a mail of congratulations on the New Year’s festival from William Sorlien’s rabbit in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

The rabbit says, “Thank you for celebrating the Rabbit Year at a great party.”




And at last the rabbits went back home, leaving their message.




The last poetry recitation included the following haiku and tanka.



Alan Summers (UK)     アラン ・サマーズ (イギリス)


sky shift                空の変化
a Chinese lantern
hits the moon



the party trick           おはこ         
a Regency England tale    摂政時代の英国の話
of the New Year           新年の



Yasushi Sato (Japan)        佐藤康(日本)


The new year starts 

when the seasonal wind comes      烈風の海渡り来て年明くる

roaring over the sea 



New year days 

four generations get together        年迎ふ居久根の中の四世代

in an old Igune 


* Igune is a ciecle of large cedars surrounds houses 

   scattered in the paddy field. 



RAM KRISHNA SINGH (India) ラム・クリシュナ・シン (インド)



Haiku:               俳句  

Brightness of moon              月の明るさ 
the same as when tied the knot–
61st New Year

(My Birthday falls on 31 December)


Returning home               帰郷
to the swaying of branches–
New year’s wild rain

 Perfume of wine–                                     ワインの芳香

remembering the bouquet    花束を思い出しながら  


 she gave me once           彼女が昔くれた


Tanka:                                                短歌                                         
No cakes or cookies         ケーキもクッキーもない
to celebrate my birthday     私の誕生日を祝うために
this New Year eve          今年の大晦日
lunar eclipse and blue moon   月食とブルームーンが 
cheer the cup in foggy chill  霧の冷気の中で杯に歓声を送る  
(December 31, 2009)        (2009年12月31日)


T. A. Smith (USA)                   T.A.スミス (アメリカ)         


one loss yet                 さらに一つ失う

blessing—my eldest           幸福の恵み ― 最年長の 

graduates                   私の卒業生たち 



heavy snow at dusk              夕暮れの大雪 

blankets bough and path—at dawn,    枝と道を覆う ― 夜明け 

new year rabbit tracks               新年の兎が足跡をつける 



William Sorlien (USA)               ウイリアム ・ソーリアン (アメリカ)


new winds,                        新風、 
wet leaves and scudding cloud;
rabbits escape the moon


new arrivals;                 
dimly, from distant trains;     遠く離れた汽車から、かすかに;
song of the qeej                 クイージの歌 


coffee and lefse;               コーヒーとレフセ;
the grandfather clock
strikes nine


 Barbara A Taylor                 バーバラ  A  テイラー

 (Australia)                          (オーストラリア)


New year                           新年 
faded decorations flap
on the tori gates

fortune cookies       
promises of good health
for the bunnies



Juhani Tikkanen (Finland)  ジュハニィ ・ティカネン (フィンランド) 


snowflakes falling ―     

one of those          降りしきる雪片の一つ三日月が 

a crescent moon



you had to leave me ―      離れて行く定め  

a candle flickers          蝋燭が揺れている          

a long while              長い間  



Maria Tirenescu (Romania)        マリア ・ティレネスキュ (ルーマニア)


New Year concert –            ニューイヤーコンサート
a boot without shoelace
at the broken paling



the brink of New Year –             新年間際 ―
the woodpecker pecking
an old cherry tree



Sasa Vazic (Serbia)                    ササ ・ヴァジク (セルビア)     

opening the door               ドアを開ける

at midnight  into a new year     真夜中が新年へ 

a gust of snowflakes           一陣の雪片が 



on the greeting card              賀状が 

in the postman’s hand            郵便配達人の手に 

a snowflake melts               雪片が溶ける 


Michael Dylan Welch       マイケル・ディラン ・ウエルチ

(USA)                   (アメリカ)


first dream–

the way home               初夢や身綺麗にして里帰り 

perfectly clear



New Year’s Day–

the phone ringing in time       元日や時鐘とともに電話鳴る 

with the temple bell



robert d. Wilson (USA)       ロバート ・d.ウイルソン (アメリカ)


summer storm . . .

an old rat lights             夏嵐老鼠の香を灯しけり 




after dark . . . 

a beggar changing           闇おりて乞食の影の変わりけり 




Tad  Wojnicki (Taiwan)          タッド ・ウォジュニシキィ (台湾)


Rosh Hashana

squawking fight for         ロシュハシャナ罪滅ぼしに戦えり 

sins to go


Previously published in Modern Haibun and Tanka Prose, #1, 2009, ed. Jeffrey Woodward. The haiku refers to the Jewish tradition of casting bread crumbs into a flowing water to symbolically rid oneself of the last year’s sins.



New Year’s

quiet dawn…             元旦や静穏のうち鳥を焼く

roosters roasting



Jadran Zalokar (Croatia)    ジャルダン ・ザロカー (ルーマニア)



A seaside dining room –        海辺の食堂 ―  

Guests dressed in            客が着替える 

Rainy  clouds               雨雲で



A clock without hands         針のない時計 

Strikes the years             行く年を打って来た 

On the tavern’s wall           酒場の壁に 


Jianqing Zheng (USA)         ジアンチン・ジャン (アメリカ) 


on new year’s day—what else   元日はお茶を立てるにつきにけり 

can I do?



new year’s eve

snowflakes hush            大晦日雪片黙し時鐘へと 

into the temple bells


V E R I C A  Z I V K O V I C    ヴェリカ ・ ジヴコヴィシ

(Serbia)                   (セルビア)


the snowy peak              富士山の雪の峰 

of Mount Fuji glistens –         白く輝く               

the New Year moon           新年の月に  


the New Year moon –          新年の月 

she an he, waiting for the train,   男女二人列車を待つ  

eat the same apple            同じりんごを食べながら 



Hidenori Hiruta (Japan)                     蛭田 秀法 (日本)


First sunrise

surprises the moon rabbit           初日の出月の兎の目覚めけり 



Peter Rabbit

eating vegetables             初夢やピーターラビット菜を食ふ

New Year night’s dream


First running

rabbit’s tracks printed         元旦の兎の跡や走り初め 

New Year’s dawn


Minoru Kono   (Japan)                              幸野 稔 (日本)  



Rising sun- 

Shining through the clouds      叢雲を押し分けて射す初日かな    

On New Year’s Day.


New Year stage-

Bravo to the hero,            教え子の新春舞台主役なる

My former student!



“Autumn of passion”

Let it be my rabbit year’s       「赤秋」を卯年のわれの決意とす






The next posting ‘2010 in Review by WordPress.com’appears on January 8. 


― Hidenori Hiruta



On May 18,2010, I received a comment on haiku by Roberta Beary for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival from Michael Dylan Welch as follows:


Nice to see these translations of Roberta’s poems from the book!



Since then we have been exchanging e-mails.


First of all, I would like to introduce Michael to you.


Michael Dylan Welch has written haiku since 1976. He’s a longtime vice president of the Haiku Society of America, cofounded Haiku North America in 1991 and the American Haiku Archives in 1996, and founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000. He is editor/publisher of Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem (since 1997) and of Press Here haiku and tanka books (since 1989). He previously edited Woodnotes (1989–1997). Michael’s haiku and longer poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in fourteen languages, and he’s won first prize in the Henderson, Brady, Drevniok, and Tokutomi contests. These invited poems focus on plants and trees of the Pacific Northwest.

Individual poems first published in various haiku journals. Two of these poems (“after-dinner mints” and “bookmobile day”) were also stamped onto paper grocery bags distributed at selected Seattle grocery stores, and also part of Bob Redmond’s SLUG Food Haiku Reading that I participated in at Seattle’s Jewelbox Theatre on 24 August 2009, and also appeared in a handmade anthology of poems from this poetry event. See photos and the Seattle Times article about this reading.


 Now I present you Food Haiku by Michael with my Japanese translations. You will find his haiku in his website ‘GRACEGUTS’ at https://sites.google.com/site/graceguts/haiku-and-senryu/food-haiku.


birthday picnic— 

grandma’s throw 

half way to the toddler 







we walk the boardwalk hand in hand 

                sharing ice cream 








after-dinner mints 

passed around the table 

. . . slow-falling snow 







busy Italian restaurant— 

happy birthday 

sung to the wrong table 






express checkout 

     the fat woman counts

           the thin man’s items







at his favourite deli 

the bald man finds a hair 

in his soup 







rice chaff 

whitens the scoop— 

supper alone 





apples picked 

and the casket chosen— 

lingering sunset 





grocery shopping— 

pushing my car faster 

through feminine protection 







a crab apple 

from the highest branch 

rattles down the rain spout 





the waiter interrupts 

our argument on abortion— 

a choice of teas 





first day of school— 

I eat my buckwheat pancakes 

in silence 





bookmobile day— 

huckleberries bloom 

along the white picket fence 





breakfast alone 

slowly I eat 

my melancholy 





a table for one— 

   leaves rustle 

in the inner courtyard 






a deer leaps— 

the hunter’s 

         closed eye 






tarnished silver 

        the only guest 

               eats in silence 





a withered apple 

caught in an old spine rake 

. . . blossoms fall 





gunshot recordings

echo over the vineyard . . .

a grackle’s stained beak






a broken bamboo cane—

         ripe tomatoes

         glow along the ground




cafeteria line—

the good-looking girl

looks at my plate




I sincerely hope that you will appreciate food haiku by Michael, and that you will try to write food haiku too.  

The next posting ‘ Haiku by Angelika Bygott in Canada’ appears on August 21.

Hidenori  Hiruta


On May 18,2010, I received a comment on haiku by Roberta Beary for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival from Michael Dylan Welch as follows.


Nice to see these translations of Roberta’s poems from the book!




Since then we have been exchanging e-mails.


First of all, I would like to introduce Michael to you.


Michael Dylan Welch is passionate about poetry, especially haiku, which he has been writing since 1976 and teaching since about 1990. He has won first place in numerous poetry contests, and has had his haiku, senryu, tanka, and longer poetry published in more than a dozen languages in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including two Norton anthologies. He edited the quarterly haiku journal

Now I post his essay ‘Haiku and the Japanese Garden’ with my translations.

When I told him to take it up in our website, he sent me an e-mail on June 9, saying as follows.

Thank you — I would love to have you present that essay and your translations. You might also be interested to know that I recorded that essay on audio, with koto and shakuhachi music by Elizabeth and John Falconer, for the Seattle Japanese Garden audio tour. The track is available for online listening or download. If you go to http://www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/japanesegarden.htm and scroll down to Audio Tour, there are links there to iTunes and RSS. Click either one to get a list of all the audio tracks. My recording of “Haiku and the Japanese Garden” is the second-last track (track 11). If your site also linked to this, that would be great. You can also click the “Audio Tour Liner Notes” link to get a description of all the tracks and the credits for the recordings. Thank you again!

And do let me know if I can answer any questions you might have as you do your translations.


Haiku and the Japanese Garden First published on the Haiku Garden Poetry Readings site in 2004, and also recorded for the Seattle Japanese Garden audio tour in 2009.There’s something poetic about a garden. Sometimes any garden will do, but a Japanese garden seems especially poetic. As you walk around such a garden in the flow of the year’s season’s, you may notice a fallen camellia blossom, a blade of grass set to swaying by a passing dragonfly, a drying oak leaf clinging to a mushroom, or frost sparkling on a bright red berry. These details inspire poetry the world over. In Japan, they often inspire a special genre of poetry known as haiku.  

               mountain morning— 

              all over the red berry bush 

              snow in tiny heaps 

Haiku seeks to capture these details, these brief moments of keen perception and intuition, recording them so that the poet and reader—or listener—might share and celebrate their universal authenticity.

              clicking off the late movie . . . 

              the couch cushion 



Haiku is a poetry of nature, but it is also a poetry of human nature. Haiku gives readers feelings, and shows human existence amid nature. Not all haiku are about beauty, but they are always about what is real. We have an emotional reaction to the poem’s image, sense perception, and seasonal reference. On reading a good haiku, we are mentally and emotionally moved to experience what the poet experienced, yet we do so without being told what to feel. We simply see it, touch it, taste it, hear it, and smell it through the words—and thus feel it. We leap into intuitively feeling and understanding what the poet deliberately left out of the poem so we could figure it out for ourselves. This is the magic of haiku, and the Japanese garden is an ideal place to make the most of this magic.

             winter wind— 

             kite string tangled 

             in the garden trellis

At a Japanese garden, you can walk around and notice the ponds, the bushes, the flowers, the fish, the birds. Or you can learn their names, notice their details, notice their seasonal changes. Bashō, the great Japanese haiku master, said to “learn of the pine tree from the pine tree, and of the bamboo from the bamboo.” He meant to ground yourself in the authentic, to be in the present, and to see the thing itself deeply and freshly, rather than your interpretation of the thing, and not to be distracted by what is going on other than where you are and what you are doing at the present moment. By writing haiku about what you sense in the garden, you can make the garden a more vibrant place, and by learning haiku that others have written and sharing them with others in the garden, you can also enrich the experience.

             tulip festival— 

             the colours of all the cars 

             in the parking lot

So what is haiku? It is a brief poem capturing a moment of deep perception of nature or human nature, using the techniques of pause or juxtaposition (kire in Japanese) and seasonal reference (kigo). The juxtaposition of two parts of the poem creates tension that the reader can resolve by figuring out their relationship. A seasonal reference grounds the poem not only in very real and present time but in the grand sweep of each season’s metaphorical associations, as well as to other poems that use the same seasonal foundation. You can compose haiku well by writing about things themselves rather than your reactions to those things.

              an old woolen sweater 

             taken yarn by yarn

             from the snowbank


Haiku is often misunderstood as a “form” of poetry, being merely anything that can be written in a pattern of 5-7-5 syllables in three lines. That pattern applies to traditional haiku in Japanese (although they count sounds, not strictly syllables), and is not used by the great majority of dedicated haiku poets writing in English. Also, the genre is too often tarnished by “joke” haiku that claim the name of haiku but nearly none of its highly developed aesthetics. Though haiku in English has been mistaught in schools as a “5-7-5-syllable” poem, such a focus on form, and an incorrect form for English at that, minimizes the much more significant characteristics of the two-part juxtapositional structure and the seasonal reference.

              morning chill—

             the bag of marbles

             shifts on the shelf


Haiku are typically rooted in objective description (avoiding metaphor, simile, and other rhetorical or subjective devices, including judgment and analysis), and always try to leave something out (often the feeling one experiences) so that it might be implied. It is thus much harder to write than its deliberately simple language would imply. As French philosopher Roland Barthes once observed, “haiku has this rather fantasmagorical property: that we always suppose we ourselves can write such things easily.”

              home for Christmas:

             my childhood desk drawer


In English, haiku objectively suggests a moment of here-and-now realization (an “aha” moment) about nature or human nature, or human nature in the context of nature, usually presented in three lines using no set syllable pattern. Haiku typically avoid using a title, rhyme, or other devices that call attention to the words themselves (or to the poet’s cleverness) rather than what the words signify. American haiku pioneer James W. Hackett gave good advice on this topic: “A haiku,” he said, “is like a finger pointing at the moon, and if the finger is bejeweled, one no longer sees the moon.” Indeed, haiku are not meant to be obscure or private, and should, as Jack Kerouac once wrote, be as simple as porridge.

              warm winter evening—

             the chairs askew

             after the poetry reading


Not only can a Japanese garden inspire poetry, but so can the rest of the world. Haiku is a means of sense awareness, of mindfulness, a poetic window to the suchness of the full range of existence. You can take haiku sensibilities cultivated in the Japanese garden and apply them to the rest of the everyday world, making the ordinary extraordinary as you write haiku and see the world with wider eyes.















私たちは詩のイメージ、意味の認識、そして季節への言及に対して感情的な反応をしめす。すぐれた俳句を読む時、私たちは詩人が経験したことを経験してみたい気持ちに精神的にそして感情的にもなります。しかし、私たちはどんなことを感じるべきか言われなくてもそのようにしているのである。私たちは言葉を通じてただ単に見、触り、味わい、聞きそして匂いをかぐのである ― そしてこのように感じるのである。私たちが自分一人で理解できるように詩人が詩の言外に入念に残したことを直感的に跳び込むように感じ取り、理解するのである。これが俳句の魔術であり、日本の庭園はこの魔術を最大限に活用する理想の場である。

冬の風 ―













朝冷え ―












温かな冬の晩 ―




The Japanese Garden Celebrates 50 Years!
Sunday, June 6th 2010

This three-and-a-half acre formal garden, located within the Washington Park Arboretum, was designed and constructed under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juki Iida in 1960. Since then it has won the hearts of locals who appreciate its artfully-placed trees, shrubs, flowers, stones, lanterns, ponds, paths and bridges that create a harmonious balance of northwest and Japanese garden design.


HOURS – 2010 Season

Feb 16 – Mar 21 – Tues-Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mar 23 – May 2 – Tues-Sun – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
May 3 – Aug 15 – Mon-Sun – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Aug 16 – Sep 20 – Mon-Sun – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sep 21 – Oct 17 – Tues-Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Oct 19 – Oct 31 – Tues-Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nov 2 – Nov 14 – Tues-Sun – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Garden closing times are subject to weather, available light, and impacts of daylight savings time.

* Admission rates and Garden activities vary according with our events schedule.


I sincerely hope that you will visit Seattle Japanese Garden, and that you will enjoy audio tour by Michael, and write haiku. 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Narayanan Raghunathan’  appears on June 19.

― Hidenori  Hiruta