This week, our community of poets are writing on the subject of music. What a super selection we have, some from poets we have met before and happily some new poets are joining us today. A welcome to all of you, and a huge thank you to you all. Truly this podcast would be nothing without you.

Before I continue let me say congrats to some friends of the podcast who have written some lovely pieces and have their haiku on placards around the Washington DC golden triangle. Congrats to Hifsa Ashraf, Professor R K Singh, Dr Tim Gardiner, Lucky Triana, and Alan Summers, sorry if I’ve missed someone, let me know if I have. If you live nearby go and have a read, perhaps take photos and tag me on Instagram, @pealogic.

Let’s start with a few haiku that I have read in other publications.

The Haiku Foundation, music challenge:

spring breeze
the orchestration
of wildflowers

dl mattila

The touch of a Moth. The 35th Annual Haiku Canada Members’ Anthology

spring evening
playing my piano
for all the street to hear

Marilyn Potter Betty Drevniok Award Hon mention 2010

Now for haiku which are being published here for the first time. We’ll begin with a new poet, **m shane pruett, writing for us from Oregon. If any of you live in the Salem, OR area he’d love to connect. He’s quite new to the area and looking for his tribe.  Let me know if you think you might be his tribe and I’ll put you in touch.

Shane is a biologist working at the Oregon State University where he studies bird demography, chiefly of owls. His job is mostly analytical at the moment, but he does love to get out and about in the countryside.

He’s been writing since high school, but started writing haiku around 10 years ago, getting more serious about it 3 years ago.

He suggested something I thought all of us could try if we’re not already doing it. He has developed a database (still a work in progress) where he can enter his poems and connect submissions and publication for each, as well as search for poems on specific key words. Might that help you?

Now let’s hear from him:

**m shane pruett

a yellow leaf
spins in the current
—dancing alone

dad’s guitar
minus his voice
out of tune

Mark Gilbert, UK:

piano concert
the glitter
of her cocktail dress

allowing the words
to just fall into place

a shared glance
a nod
and the music starts

Liszt all those things
I will never do

Isabel Caves, New Zealand

after the rain
the brambles glisten
with wrensong

piano lesson
she only hears
the wrong notes

Katherine E Winnick, UK:

Strings and notes
Echoing through the halls
Of my minds eye

Ernesto P Santiago, Greece

sweet rain . . .
becoming harder to ignore
the broken guitar

Now, off to a concert with Ernesto, he doesn’t say the type of music he’s going to hear, that’s part of the beauty of haiku, isn’t it. We can interpret it to suit our own ideas.

concert rush –
I am filled with

Next we welcome another new poet, our first from Ireland I think, unless of course you include me, but that’s a bit of a stretch. Here is **Maeve O’Sullivan from Dublin. Maeve is a tutor of journalism, English and creative writing in a college of further education in Dublin she has many hobbies but some, singing & playing guitar; going to gigs, movies and theatre shows, should be ideal inspiration for today and of course the podcast in April on film.

She has had four collections of poetry published. As yet she has no website but can be found on Twitter, I’ll add her details on the show notes, of course. (). Her latest book, Elsewhere, a collection of long- and short-form poetry (plus a few haibun) is available from Alba Publishing, amazon or from directly from Maeve, via Twitter.

Now we know a little about Maeve, let’s hear her words:

**Maeve O’Sullivan

jazz improv
the black hammers
of the grand piano

hug on the street
the bagpipe’s notes

Patrick Stephens, a US expat, in France

He says of this haiku “I see haiku a little like a film.. the first line (scene) introduces the characters and teases the plot. The second, exposition, telling more of the plot but not all. Third is the resolution, bringing it all together in a surprise ending. Each object (line) is independent yet somehow linked. Only the last unites all three to create the real image of the poem.” What do you think? Have a listen…

Three days in the Can
Playing saxo on the street
Everybody’s a critique

Trois jours de taule
J’ai jouer le sax dans le rue
Chacun est un critique

With his next poem, Patrick engages us by using the Sabi aesthetic. Can you feel a heaviness of heart?

The worn trumpet case
Sitting by his empty chair
Songs not forgotten

Norm Kekki, US

like a puppet dance
fingertips on a fretboard

child singing off key
cuts through glass

And then a change of mood in this next poem,

wistful melody
tears come but I don’t know why
your beautiful smile

**Dan Burt, US

He is part of our growing number of IT specialists in the community.

He has become interested in learning Japanese. Perhaps Dan, you could check out Mineko Takahashi’s Instagram and Facebook pages? She teaches Japanese to English speakers.

Dan has some recommended reading for us, The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan by Abigail Friedman. A book which he says inspired him to start writing haiku. I shall hunt it down and give it a read, thanks Dan.

I was very envious of the first of his haiku today. I have been trying to write one on the same subject with no success, Dan’s poem is quite charming:

forest drum circle
a new member joins in

His next one is quite a different style and really made me smile.

Zumba class
muffin tops jiggle
to the beat

Rickey Rivers Junior, US

Transporting vocalist,
seducing symphony,
satisfied listener.

Did you enjoy the use of alliteration, the (S) in this piece of work, especially in L2. I could have read this one in the erotic haiku feature, (deadline for submissions for that one is the 10th June.)

shifting hearts, moving bodies,
raising dead.

I love the movement in this piece of work. Do you?

Joan Barrett, US

eardrums pummeled,
breath smacked—
Bach in the car wash

the doctor hums
while he cleans
my ears

Now a more personal monoku from Joan.

jada jada jing jing jing . . . banjo!

The jada poem refers to her father. Joan was a teenager when he died and remembers him playing “Jada” on the banjo, sitting on a chair in the dining room.

Andy Syor, US

a late summer rain
splashing its final concert
in glistened greenness

Again, don’t you think the alliteration adds a certain something to the haiku?

Andy is a traditionalist. He can a hear a rhythm in the 5/7/5 format. I read this one last time, but I think it fits beautifully to this week’s theme so bears repeating:

precise and direct
in the rhythms of haiku
my thoughts are expressed

Dick Bailly, US

mighty wurlitzer
reviving classic movies
a breath of fresh air

Apparently, The Fargo Theatre in Fargo, ND, where Dick’s wife was executive Director, has a wonderful theatre organ.  I have to admit that I have never been up close and personal with a wurlitzer organ, but I imagine it is quite a treat not only for the ears, but the eyes.

bow engaging string
ruby-throated cello bird
touching memory

Gregory Finn, Canada

junior high school dance
I ask her to dance and she,
laughing, walks away

It’s based in reality.  He says “Years later the girl in the haiku and I worked together, and became friends… she doesn’t like the poem.” I’m not surprised she doesn’t like the poem. It shows how cruel teenagers can be.

Mineko Takahashi, Japan

the rhythm of modern music
tapping my brain endlessly

This suggests so many things. The annoying popular song that worms its way into your consciousness and then won’t go away. Or listening to the thumping music from someone else’s headphones or even worse, there seems to be a fashion for people playing music on their phones without using their headphones. Why do they think this is acceptable?

flowing river water
as back ground music
a couple walk on

Robert Horrobin, Scotland

one string left
on his broken guitar –
some notes in the tin

Judit Hollós, Hungary

false dawn
a creek bed fills with
wren chortle

early Alzheimer’s
Northern Lights beams dancing
out of tune

There is so much in this work.The sadness and fear of the onset of Alzheimers, contrasting with the beauty of the northern lights, and then another change, not just in the mood, but in the use of phrase normally associated with singing rather than dancing.

I’ll end the podcast with one by me. I wanted to express my love of spanish guitar and in particular a work by Piazzolla, Libertango,  which has me twirling around the kitchen, or how the taste of a proper mug of builders brew tea takes me home to the bog lands of Ireland. What’s that got to do with music? well it would have been inspired by a song by Morrisey, Come back to Camden. Had I written it.

Sadly these are still a work in progress. I give you instead a haiku revealing how my neighbours probably felt when we bought one of the kids a full drum kit:


summer thunder—
a drum school opens
on my stomping ground

Once again, I thank you all for your contributions. I have really enjoyed the diversity of your writing and the way you have interpreted the theme.

In the next podcast due on the 8th April, I’ll bring you up to date with the renku we’re writing and introduce a new poet to the community. I’m looking forward to it. You have written some fabulous verses.

Next theme is Film, deadline 15th April. I look forward to hearing from you on that topic, if you’ve not already sent me something.

Thank you so much for listening today and to your continuous support of my efforts to learn about haiku and spread the joy I am taking from it.

Take care and most importantly of all, keep writing.


m shane pruett
Twitter: @HaikuMyBrew

Mark Gilbert
Haiku foundation poets registry 

Isabel Caves

Katherine E Winnick
Twitter: @thewovenwords

Ernesto P Sanitago
Living Anthology Page
Haiku Foundation Poets registry

Maeve O’Sullivan
Twitter: @writefromwithin
Book: Elsewhere – Alba Publishing 

Norm Kekki

Dan Burt
Recommended Reading: The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan by Abigail Friedman.

Rickey Rivers Junior

Andy Syor
New Blog

Mineko Takahashi
Instagram sites teaching Japanese Idioms “your_private_japanese_tutor” and “ur_japanese_tutor” which teaches our characters
FB account @yourjapanesetutor which discusses many facets of the language from the viewpoint of a foreign learner.

Judit Hollós
The Haiku Foundation Poet’s Registry

Series 2 Episode 6: Harmonious Haiku

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