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Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society

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IHS International Haiku Competition 2011 announced!

Category A (Irish and International)

The Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2011 offers prizes of Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English. In addition there will be up to seven Highly Commended haiku/senryu.

Category B (Irish)

The Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2011 offers prizes from Dóchas Ireland of Euro 100, Euro 30 and Euro 20 for unpublishedhaiku/senryu in English or in Irish Gaelic (with an English translation) about Poverty. Besides being perfect haiku/senryu, the winning poems in this category may include reflections upon or references to "poverty: punishment for a crime one didn't commit." This category is only open for participants born or residing on the island of Ireland. In addition there will be up to three Highly Commended haiku/senryu in this category.

Details here:

All the entries shall be postmarked by 15th November 2011. No e-mail submissions, please!

Good luck to all!

   Haiku & Senryu 

autumn wind
the sound of surf
in the flame tree

lunar eclipse
a bronze-winged moth
rests on my finger

deepening dusk
with each new star
a cricket

clear-felled forest
the river
I used to know

lunar eclipse …
shadows with red faces
at the oil-drum fire

-- Lorin Ford (Australia)

marbled mist
the smell of wood smoke
and pine

cloud country
the size
of the cows

having found it letting it go water over stone

the interval of lights
and screams

-- Chad Lee Robinson (USA)

from the dark wood:
the sound of last week’s snow
sliding off pines

borne by the evening haze the blush of a woodpigeon’s breast

humid night
three ducks follow
the main line out of town

this warm spring night
the honeysuckle scent
partners me home

-- Matthew Paul (England)

hailstones -
on our neighbour’s cherry tree
a string of lights

starless heaven
only the moon brighter
than the city

in formation
fourteen swans land
at the pond

-- Gerald England (England)

a closed parasol stirs
and settles

after rain the green of evening light

midnight moon
spooked magpies rattle
through black trees

-- Thomas Powell (Northern Ireland)

the hills
melt into morning...
drifting rain

polar wind
above the surf
a skua's cry

roosting sparrows
I turn my collar
against the wind

-- Jo McInerney (Australia)

last stars before morning
pumpkin blossoms
in the garden

copper coins
the wishes
I can't take back

the owl's last call
before dawn
winter solstice

-- Aubrie Cox (USA)

spring cemetery –
sounds of a stone cutter
chiseling new names

from a thunderstorm
becomes night

-- Tyler Pruett (USA)

grandparent's house
a different generation
of trees

salt water
the colors of her face
wear off

-- Gregory Hopkins (USA)

afternoon heat
wasp shadows
in the curtains

spring afternoon
picking the garden
from my fingernails

-- Ben Moeller-Gaa (USA)

first light 
red leaves lie scattered
on the frosty lawn

summer dance
swirls of gold and green
in the windy garden

-- Dawn Bruce (Australia)

clouds behind telephone wires
a harvest of crows

blowing wet kisses to the wind
my daughter’s t-shirts
on the line

-- Dave Lewis (Wales)

low summer sky –
in the gooseberry bush
cats' eyes

lighted candles fade –
beyond the window,
flowers and people

-- Kate O’Shea (Ireland)

a touch of velvet
December sky
hanging low
Christmas Eve
blue lights on the trees
outline darkness

-- Anna Grogan (Ireland)

ragged clouds
the horses gallop       
through flying leaves

-- Gavin Austin (Australia)

still morning
down the lavender path
the spring of bees

-- John Parsons (England)

first snowfall
a spider’s silken web        
sprouts lace 

-- Craig Steele (USA)

mossy steps
across the brook -
the lives of rocks

-- Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA)

cherry petals
settle on his belly
Laughing Buddha

-- Chen-ou Liu (USA)

waves recede
search for bubbles

-- Mel Goldberg (USA)

spring mist
a woodpecker's call
echoes the unseen

-- Joseph M. Kusmiss (USA)

alone tonight ...
the cat snuggling
even closer

-- Nancy Nitrio (USA)

cat in freezing rain –
first its breath,
then its cry

-- Sean Lause (USA)

happy hour
the moon hardly makes into
my wine glass

-- Tad Vojnicki (USA)

morning run –
a step behind
my shadow

-- Steve Calamars (USA)

cloud of dust
trailing a bus –
village path

-- Aju Mukhopadhyay (India)

a caterpillar
hanging from gossamer
her infant’s eyes

-- Andrew Shattuck McBride (USA)

orchid bloom
a honeybee's
powdered footprints

-- Lex Joy (USA)

retiring moon
the yellow immaturity
of summer damsons

-- B.T. Joy (Scotland)

Blackpool Promenade –
the iron balustrades
hiding the sea

-- Noel King (Ireland)

harbour rocks
a cormorant
measures the length

-- John Oliver Byrne (Ireland)

strolling past a graveyard
in late summer –
how sweet the air

-- Conor O'Neill (Ireland/Chile)

morning frost
robin searches for
the first bite

-- Tom Moloney (Ireland)

wooden sea-shell
with an ear-hole –
whistling wind

-- Diarmuid Fitzgerald (Ireland)

summer storm –
between the maize fields
a strip of heat

-- Beth McFarland (Northern Ireland/Germany)

ripe mango
on the garden floor
an aphid takes a bite

-- Adjei Agyei Baah (Ghana)



cold rain
even the forest lake
gets goose pimples

-- Nicola Djuretic (Croatia; translated from the Croatian by the author)

sticking out, the legs
of an old scavenger

-- Nicola Djuretic (Croatia; translated from the Croatian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

ice water –
with his eyes closed, a thrush
washes himself

going straight up,
this maple seed's
tap root

bluebells dancing around the wild strawberry

scratching himself
as he chirps,
a sparrow

-- Olga Logosh (Russia; translated from the Russian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

February chill
through the door –
cat’s tail stops swaying

laundry on the line
spring wind dancing a polka
with pants and night-shirts
-- Solveig Rabb (Finland; translated from the Swedish by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

wall of rain
the swollen river explores
the banks

snow-covered twigs
over untrodden snow –
perfect stillness

a new offshoot
on the magnolia tree –
the year’s start

-- Annelies Verbeke (Belgium; translated from the Flemish by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

growing on the shore,
these tangerines that smell
of seawater

night moth,
you have your own universe
in my room

-- Jadranka Vucak (Croatia; translated from the Croatian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

first dawn –
the monuments’
long shades

hole in the fence –
a boy counts

-- Djurdja Vukelic Rozic (Croatia; translated from the Croatian by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

early afternoon
carp in the pond moves to
a sunny spot

no fireplace now –
the grandfather keeps
chopping firewood

-- Klaus-Dieter Wirth (Germany; translated from the German by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




J.Hayward. Moorland Scene

"Moorland Scene" by J. Hayward (England)




Stepping Back, Moving on


by Martin Vaughan (Ireland)



On a cool August morning I find myself on a rare return to active service on the family farm where I head out to the far pasture to fetch the cows for milking. Twenty five years ago this was part of my daily routine. Did I really believe that one day I would be the farmer? It all seems far removed from the life in the city I’ve since come to know. Every move I make has a disarming sense of déjà vu.

As I wash the milk tank or mark out a fresh strip of grass for grazing, every half forgotten task is fulfilled through a strange mixture of instinct and memory. 


morning dew
wet grass wipes yesterday
from my boots


Book Review

One Hundred Poets on Mount Ogura, One Poem Each

Edited by Stephen Henry Gill and Okiharu Maeda

Published by People Together for Mt. Ogura and Hailstone Haiku Cirle, 2010

136 pp.; ISBN 978-4-9900822-4-6

Available from Hailstone Publications, c/o Miyazaki, 54 – 16 Hamuro-cho, Takatsuki-shi, Osaka 569-1147, Japan

Priced at USD 12 (cash), USD 15 (airmail, postage paid)

The epigraph from Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book says “Of mountains, firstly, Ogura.”  This mountain (some call it a hill) situated not far from Kyoto is renowned as Japan’s Mount of Poetry.

The book contains one hundred poems, haiku and tanka, which were, according to the preface, “written by young and old, by men and women from many different countries.” Some of them are published poets, some others complete beginners. The profits of the sales of this book will go towards the rubbish-tip-clearing and other natural conversation in the area.

The idea to use poetry for raising money to help nature sounds appealing. Of course, poems in the book are uneven, which seems to be unavoidable in cases like this.

What follows are the pieces that we especially liked.

Firstly, a few excellent haiku by Japanese haijin:

Remains of the party
the crickets had last night:
wild chrysanthemums bloom

(Jin Matsumoto)

All around
the monument to Zhou Enlai
spring birdsong

(Akiko Takazawa)

Discarded glass bottle –
inside, the arabesque
of green fern

(Keiko Yurigi)

Reading haiku like this, one can’t help regretting that this particular bottle will be removed from the spot!

Now, a few Western haiku:

Above the Hozu River –
splayed maples shake
to a deer’s call

(Ted Taylor)

Picking up the heap
of last year’s rush-screen…
a young centipede stirs

(Laura Bean)

Hozu River:
wisteria claims
the wooded gorge

(Ellis Avery)

A haiku by a member of the Irish Haiku Society that found its way onto the pages of this book:

Little round mushrooms
cling to a twig –
buttons on a flute

(Diarmuid Fitzgerald)

And, of course, a haiku by the editor:

following the monk
with a key as long as a wand…
autumn leaves


In the Afterword the editor, Stephen Gill aka Tito, reminds us that Mount Ogura has been one of the nation’s preeminent sites during the past twelve centuries of Japanese literary history. It was celebrated in tanka and haiku. He quotes a waka by Ki no Tsurayuki:

In the cry of the deer
on Mount Ogura
where the moon’s eye
gleams in the twilight sky…
The end of autumn, felt…

The Afterword also offers a small selection of poems from “One Hundred Verses in a Day”, a limited edition published locally.

Overall, it is a nicely presented and well designed publication that establishes yet another possible – can we call it reciprocal? – connection between nature and poetry.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky


Zugvögel / Migratory Birds / Oiseaux migrateurs / Aves migratorias – 150 Haiku

by Klaus-Dieter Wirth

Published by Hamburger Haiku Verlag, Hamburg, 2010

200 pp.; ISBN 978-3-937257-27-3

Available from Hamburger Haiku Verlag, Postfach 20 25 48 – 20218 Hamburg, Germany or via

Priced at Euro 14.90

In this collection, 150 haiku are presented in four languages: the original German, English, French and Spanish. All the translations have been made by the author, Klaus-Dieter Wirth, a philologist, who has been known and well respected in the haiku community for many years. Haiku connoisseurs will surely remember excellent self-translations of his haiku edited/polished by David Cobb. Two of Klaus-Dieter Wirth's haiku were published in Shamrock No 14 in translations made by the author of this review; two more (not from the reviewed collection) are being published in this issue among the translated haiku (see above).

The first poem in the book was written as early as in 1967; the rest of them come from the 90s and 00s.

Not being able to fully enjoy the French and the Spanish translations because of language limitations, we have to limit ourselves to commenting on the English texts – and occasionally on the German originals.

There’s a lot to enjoy in the book. E.g. haiku like this:

the brighter the night
the lonelier the snowman
by the entrance path 

It is interesting to see how the author contemplates the changing of the seasons in terms of changing emotional states. The reader will surely take pleasure in the poet’s close observation of the natural world:

wayward wind
playing with the insects
in the cobweb

in stagnant water
a pattern of whitish scum
forming a lotus 

The following haiku – an excellent piece! – was written directly in English:

Poplar columns,
the dome of the sky
out of reach

Klaus-Dieter Wirth’s senryu are equally convincing:

artificial flowers

grandma puts them into water
to keep them fresh


more and more interested
in his own wife

customer’s complaint
after one hour’s wait
for his snails 

The poet here is a satirist who has a keen eye and a sharp pen.

We didn’t really want to comment about translation issues in this review but we feel that we have to do so. The order of words in English is (or should be) completely different from what is has to be in German. Sometimes the word by word method of translation played a trick on the author. E.g. the following haiku:

Tausenden Sonnenblumen
bleich nur ein Mond

was translated as

thousands of sunflowers
pale just one moon

Same here:

Endlessly barking
a dog as evening falls.
louder and louder 

In some of the translations the author tries to recreate the 5-7-5 pattern of the original. Despite the original haiku being convincing as a poem, the translation sometimes looks like this:

The solo flautist
is swaying like a rush, is
playing with the wind

Also, it isn’t clear what prevented the author from getting rid of all the forms of the verb ‘to be’ in this and some of the other translations.

The abundance of direct simile is a suspect, too. “Swaying like a rush”, “Night is closing in like an open question”, “A cloud like a knife cut the moon in two”... Isn’t it enough to juxtapose the two images, i.e. to put them next to each other, so the readers can figure out all those ‘like’ and ‘as’ for themselves?

Phrases like “a year full of flies”, or “telephone wires busy with little birds” sound a little puzzling, so the reader has to consult with the original texts – if he/she is lucky to understand German.

We have repeatedly warned our brothers and sisters in haiku about the perils of self-translation, especially where they translate themselves into English. Unfortunately, English is not particularly forgiving in cases like this.

Summing up, we must say that it is an impressive collection by one of the masters of the genre, with much admirable work included, and we recommend it without any reservation. A word of warning for those who have to rely on the English translations: not all of them work.


Anatoly Kudryavitsky


Peggy Heinrich. Peeling an Orange. Haiku

Photographs by John Bolivar

Published by Modern English Tanka Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 2009

82 pp.; ISBN 978-1-935398-12-7

Available via

Priced at USD 11.95

Marshall Hryciuk. Arizona to Crete. Haiku of the Open Road

Published by Imago Press, Canada, 2008

122 pp.; ISBN 978-0-920489-24-6

Available via Imago Press, 30 Laws St., Toronto ON M6P 2Y7, Canada

Priced at USD 16


Doghouse Books

DOGHOUSE Books have a limited number of copies left of two collections of haiku poems by two Irish haijin:

John W. Sexton. Shadows Bloom. DOGHOUSE Books, 2005. Reviewed here

Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Morning at Mount Ring. DOGHOUSE Books, 2007. Reviewed here

Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Capering Moons. DOGHOUSE Books, 2011

One can get them postage free for the price of €12 to anywhere in the world.

Also, check out here the range of poetry books and anthologies we've published.

PO Box 312
Co. Kerry

Tel: +353 (0)66 7137547
Fax: +353 (0)66 7137547


"Dream. After Dream" by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, a collection of his novellas, stories and prose poems in English translation, has been published by and is available to order via Honeycomb Press (

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