Today is a special podcast featuring haiku and senryu from our very own haiku chronicle community using the technique of synesthesia otherwise known as sense switching. If you are new to this techniques you can listen to episodes 32 and 33 which will give you a quick take on how this technique works. I’d just like to add a little something to the information I put in those podcasts.

We all know the 5 senses:

  • sight
  • hearing
  • taste
  • smell
  • touch

but I was having a quick read of (1)The Haiku Handbook in which Penny Harter suggests that “there are more than five senses” and she includes the sense of movement in her list and I have done the same with this week’s podcast.


Our guests this week:

Isabel Caves from New Zealand.

She works in healthcare. She writes poetry and fiction too and if you’d like to read more from her, please go to her blog.

desert night
the moonlit hues
of a dingo’s howl

Giddy Nielsen Sweep from Brisbane in Australia.

She was very active in using this technique we emailed back and forth and I asked if I could use these examples of her work:

smell of black coal
while the firebox is stoked
carriages sway

blow away on the wind
seaside cafe

the smell of dust
as light rain starts to fall
El Niño’s constraints

Giddy’s Twitter account @GiddyNS 

Hifsa Ashraf from Pakistan.

Hifsa works in training and development. She is a very creative person involved in art and literature. She loves to design computer based digital art and along side that write not only haiku but short stories . She currently writing a book of tanka on the topic of “war on terrorism”.

april rain
i inhale and exhale

pre-monsoon rain
with every sip of the tea

which she subsequently revised as this:

pre-monsoon rain
the evening tea
with petrichor

I wanted to give you her revised version to see which you preferred. Let me know, both Hifsa and I would very much like to hear your thoughts.

A brief explanation:

pre-monsoon rain (rain showers that actually bring change in the temperature and also change the mood, this time is also the harvesting season in Pakistan, so mostly crops have been harvested before pre-monsoon).

the evening tea (two aspects: people in cities work all day in hot weather, so evening tea symbolises relaxation, call it a day, chitchat with family/friends, or nostalgia where someone enjoys the solitude etc. People in villages, take evening tea as a regular part of their lives, they sit together, share stories, plan for next harvest, talk about family matters etc.)

with petrichor (the most significant element of this haiku, the strong smell of rain that usually connects people with nature, petrichor also indicates the dry soil, dry land due to a fewer rain spell in the past or due to high temperature, so it is a sign of hope and happiness for the people to enjoy their evening time with pleasant smell of rain that may tickle their childhood memories, or change their mood ( in my case, it is both).

Professor R K Singh who writes for us from India.

He’s a very experienced and well published gentleman, 43 books he has had published including 18 collections of poems.

He writes haiku and tanka too, because it has become part of his life. Interestingly he says that his creative mood lasts a very short time, so he is brief, and haiku just suits his temperament.

post truth or fake news
hates odour of his urine–
self-invented lies

If you would like to read more of Professor Singh’s work then please go to his blogs ; ; ; and

Published works
The most recent collections are: GOD TOO AWAITS LIGHT (tanka and haiku, September 2017, published by Cholla Needles, Joshua Tree, California) and GROWING WITHIN (regular poems, tanka and haiku, with translation into Romanian, published  by Anticus Press, Constanta, Romania, December 2017).

THE RIVER RETURNS (2006), SENSE AND SILENCE:COLLECTED POEMS (2010); NEW AND SELECTED POEMS TANKA AND HAIKU (2012); I AM NO JESUS AND OTHER SELECTED POEMS, TANKA AND HAIKU (with translation into Crimean Tatar , 2014); GOD TOO AWAITS LIGHT (2017); and GROWING WITHIN (English/Romanian   2017). All these volumes carry haiku and tanka as well.

Jan Benson from Texas,USA

She is a Pushcart Prize nominated haiku poet living in Fort Worth, Texas. Her work has been published in many leading haiku publications and journals and has been translated into 8 languages! If you would like to know a little more about her please click on the link to her page on the
The Living Senryu Anthology.
or The Haiku Foundation Registry

the first scent
of yellow

Blithe Spirit Journal
May 2017 Volume 27, #2

spring snow-melt
forgetting where
the pain is buried

July 2018

Veronica Hosking, Arizona, USA

Sand grits between teeth
haboob howls across desert
announcing the rain

Congrats to Veronica too for having a few of her poems published recently in Unstrung Magazine 

More from Veronica on her blog

Robin Anna Smith, from Delaware, USA

Since we last heard from her she has been really busy with a couple of projects. A monthly column featuring her haibun called “Eraser Marks” . It’s starting up sometime this month in Rhythm & Bones’s Necropolis Blog , and in the October issue of Rhythm & Bones, she has a series of six haibun being published in their Creative Study feature .

moonshine trickles
through the treetops
light showers

day break
a beam of sunshine
screams through the blinds

More from Robin Anna on her blog

Juliet Hattersley, California USA.

Juliet works in copywriting and marketing. She has surprised herself with her ability to write haiku, such a succinct way of writing because she says she is usually rather verbose. She’s another person with unusual hobbies which include Belly Dancing! Fantastic.

Cool night air,
the sound of crickets —
and snoring

and if you’f like to read more from Juliet you can find her on google plus and at her blog.

Heike Gewi from Germany

She is a German lecturer at the University of Anhalt. She has a warning for us all: If you don’t want to be stuck with it for the rest of your life, don’t start, ’cause writing haiku it’s addictive.

new tenants –
“Salam aleykum”
echoes through corridors

Ommm …
to the bowl

If you would like to read more of Heike’s published work, “Chasing the wind”, “Haiku Pick” and “Points of Light click on this link

Radostina Dragostinova from Bulgaria

She sent me this haiku which appeared the first time in the in the 10th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest

my daughter’s giggle
the first garden peonies
burst into bloom

Congrats to Radostina. Since we last her from her she haswon 2nd Prize in the 4th haiku contest on the theme of GOURD 2018
AND had her first publication in Time Haiku, and publications also in Haiku Masters, Femku Issue 3, Failed Haiku and Stardust

Judit Hollos from Hungary

She is a teacher, writer and translator, who is currently putting together a collection of haiku and haibun that explores the stories and fates of the people she met while being a writer-in-residence in Macedonia.

I have to say she has a number of interesting hobbies, learning endangered languages, Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi), traditional Korean dance to name but a few.

She thinks that good haiku may try to push the boundaries of the language it is written in and even leave some room for the reader’s imagination. It may also exhibit an unusual combination of images, as well as a strong musicality.   I think I agree with this but would only add that a good haiku should leave room for the reader’s imagination, but I know that view is not universally shared.

I absolutely agree with Judit that the best way to learn to write haiku is by reading haiku, but also by being outdoors and discovering the moments nature has to offer.

first chemo session
the dimgrey rustling
of beech leaves

orchard thief
a peach-scented moon jailed
by tree branches

If you’d like to know more about Judit you will find her on Twitter and in the haiku registry on the Haiku Foundation website. 

A selection of haiku and senryu from UK poets

Mark Gilbert

the taste of every colour
on my tongue
the burning oilfield stench

You can find him on the Haiku Foundation registry 

Katherine Winnock from Brighton.

The blossoming rose
wings of the butterfly
Flutter to the scent

The drooping petals
Drips dewdrops through the night
Blue light

You can find Katherine on Twitter @thewovenwords

Ian Speed

Ian loves the subtlety combined with succinctness of haiku. He thinks that haiku writing is about finding the essence in things. He loves Japanese woodblock prints and uses them as a source for his Haiku. In fact he has a number of woodblock print books which he is using to prepare a book of Haiku which he hopes to self-publish. Keep us posted on your progress Ian.

And so to his haiku:
Being the Crow-

crow’s white winter eye
enters and inhabits our being –
caw caw caw we cry.

Guliz Mutlu from Turkey

finger tipping
the gin bottle
jet lag

meteor shower
children’s imaginary
dinosaur cries

You can follow Guliz on Twitter @gasparddela 

Mineko Takahashi from Japan

She wondered if we would be interested in reading something a little different. She was recently given a copy of vol.6 of Tokyo Poetry Journal (all in English) by expats and Tokyoites which included a new set of tanka translation of Terayama’s by Marc Sebastian-Jones. It doesn’t have haiku in this volume, but butoh and poetry.
Find it on Facebook

on a silent ceiling
music painted cursively
a pianist at play

You can follow Mineko on Facebook @yourjapanesetutor

Su Wai Hlaing from Singapore via Burma

This haiku was inspired by a trip back to visit family in Burma. She was at her grandma’s place and noticed lorries carrying pigs passed by the house almost 4 times a day. Every time it passed by the house, she could hear their cries.

Cry cry cry
but I can not stop the Lorry
my poor piggies

You can read more from Su Wai on her blog

Me writing from Switzerland

in the silence
two deer chomp the grass
autumn mist

AA Milne’s book The Redhouse Mystery (2). The first two lines belong to or were inspired by AA Milne, the last is mine.

from a distant lawn
the whir of the mower
itchy noses

I was so delighted and inspired to read everyone’s haiku and senryu, thank you all so much. I look forward to receiving more submissions from all of you.

  1. The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku by Higginson and Harter
  2. The Red House Mystery AAMilne
Week 43: Making sense of the world

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