April 2, 2012: Sun Rush

It does something to me, gets the energy going, just to see the sun on the houseplants, on the deck. That’s one beauty of haiku and tanka; they’re short and there’s no pressure to publish. This morning, waking as the sun hit the crystal hanging in the window:

morning sun through
the hanging crystal
wedding gift from a friend
I haven’t seen
enough of lately

My friend Sanford Goldstein, the father of modern tanka, lives in Japan, and sits once a week in a local cafe, ‘spilling’ tanka, at least 25 a week. He lost over three thousand tanka he’d written when he was on his last trip to the US to visit his family, left them in a coffee shop. Those coffee shops – some giveth, some taketh away. I hope whoever found the notebook loves poetry, for he’s a fine writer.

A note about the photo in the ynklings heading; a ‘slice’ across a photo of my haiku for the 35th anniversary Haiku Canada Holographic Anthology; Haiku Canada publishes a set every five years; I have sets from other years and they are a delight. Sure you commit to hand-writing over a hundred of your haiku, and designing them if you wish – my haiku was about plum blossoms falling into ‘pink’ so I used a set of letter stamps to plunk the word ‘pink’ in pink at the bottom of the strung-out poem. Fun to do. Others are very careful about their materials. For instance Pearl has facebooked/blogged her style of writing her haiku with a real pen in black ink on fine paper.  Gorgeous. The fun is getting your set of haiku, each individualized by the poet, and signed. Treasures.  Here one from a set made ten years ago: It’s by Betty Warrington-Kearsley of Ottawa.

and another from Marco Fraticelli of Montreal, one of the editors of the collection: (with Philomene Kocher)

The poets clearly dig into their creative side for more than words! I’ll post a few more next time…

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April 1, 2012: Fools rush in

As the song says, Fools rush in, and the last thing I need is to start another project right now. Along with nine other poets and fifteen prose writers, I’ve completed the 2011 Wired Writers’ Studio, started at Banff in October, 2011. Since then we’ve sent our mentors work each week, and have hopefully come up with the manuscripts we wanted.

Marco Fraticelli and I have finished editing the 35th annual Haiku Canada’s Members’ Anthology, Touch of a Moth. (Scrivener Press, 2012) No one will get to see it until the Haiku Canada Weekend in Toronto near the end of May. It will be launched at the conference banquet. Heads up though, it’s gorgeous, its cover designed with a special ‘mark’ made at our request by Heather A. macDonald. A mark, not a painting; our roots are in Japan, but Japanese forms in North America have developed differently from in Japan. Members will want to order extra copies at 40% discount. No peeks though, until May.

The Call and Response project, (SPAO and rob mclennan)poets responding to photographs at the Red Wall Gallery in Ottawa, is nearly over. I am so pleased to be part of this, and fortunate to respond to the very special work of Olivia Johnston. Her portraits of teens, paired with photos of their private lairs (bedrooms) speak to the lack of commentary on this age group. Her show is called 13 – 18, the ages of the young men who volunteered to be captured on film. rob mclennan will respond to the last photography exhibit in this project. A reading/art slide show will happen on June 22nd, so you can mark calendars now.

Since then I’ve done a series of erasure poems, based on the longer poems written for 13 – 18, and hope to persuade Olivia to work with me using her images in a new project. Cross fingers for me…